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Italian Town Where Dole Was Wounded Revs Up for Party

August 15, 1996

CASTEL D’AIANO, Italy (AP) _ This mountain town where Bob Dole was wounded in World War II was cooking up lots of pasta Thursday to celebrate its honorary citizen’s Republican nomination for president.

The party, to include dancing to a Dixieland band and entertainment by majorettes and a military marching band, was scheduled for Friday because residents had another celebration on their agenda Thursday: the national holiday of Ferragosto.

``Today’s celebration is for the country. Tomorrow’s is for Bob Dole,″ restaurant owner Pietro Tondi said while cooking up a ``ton of pasta″ for Friday’s party in this town 25 miles outside of Bologna in north-central Italy.

In the past, Tondi has cooked the local specialty, tortellini, for Dole, who has visited Castel D’Aiano seven times.

Dole, nominated Wednesday night as the Republican Party’s candidate for president, was named honorary citizen last year by the town’s city council.

Party organizer Pietro Esposti is hoping the nominee might even call. ``It’s possible ... but it’s not easy,″ because of Dole’s busy schedule at the Republican National Convention in San Diego, Degli Esposti said.

Dole was accepting the nomination Thursday night, which is early Friday morning for the 1,800 residents of this town in the Apennines, the mountainous backbone of Italy.

``We’ll tape his speech and then show it Friday,″ Degli Esposti said.

Dole was injured while serving in the 10th Mountain Division, the U.S. force that cracked the German defenses in northern Italy. His right shoulder was shattered by German machine-gun fire, a wound that cost him the use of his right arm.

The battlefield is now a plush mountain valley where cherries and chestnuts grow.

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