I’ve always wondered about these “Pompeii red” colored buildings that dot Italian state roads. They are called “case cantoniere” and they are owned by ANAS, a government agency that is responsible for the maintenance of the country’s roadway system. ANAS, or Azienda Nazionale Autonoma delle Strade (National Autonomous Roads Corporation), was founded after WWII in order to rebuild and expand Italy’s war-torn highway system. These houses mark the beginning and end of one section of the roadway. The worker or “cantoniere” responsible for maintenance of that stretch of road (a “canton”) often lived in the house along with his family. The house also stored equipment the road-worker needed to do his job. I write in past-tense because ANAS has closed many of these stations over the last 30 years. This particular casa cantoniera is on the SS 120 between Etna and Madonie in Sicily’s Madonie Mountains.