During the spring holidays we visited my family in my hometown, Veroli, in the very heart of Italy. We were lucky with the weather, we had almost all the time sunny days. One day I drove all alone to the cemetery as I needed to pay a visit to my relatives and friends there, which I have to admit I had not done in years.
While they are always in my thoughts and I often light a candle for them, visiting the cemetery of my hometown is always been very difficult. Things have changed since I have the opportunity to make farewell reportages, which often brings me to work on locations, cemeteries and burial places. In the last years I have discovered incredible peace in these places.
The cemetery of my hometown is on a hill, along the road there are cypresses and on each and every tree there is a metal board that commemorates a soldier who fought during WWII.
Being on a hill, most of the graves are not in the ground but are built in the height, and there are terraces that face the valley. The footsteps that lead to the top part of the cemetery are magnificent, walking up the hill gives me a feeling of serenity and infinity.
My grandfather’s grave, from my mum’s side, is at the very entrance and he was buried at the same place his father was. On the grave there is written “the memory of their rectitude is the greatest legacy they have left us”. I have never met my great-grandfather but luckily for me my grand pa Nino died when I was 31, so I grew up with him, he was the greatest example of rectitude I could have.
In the last years the cemetery has been enormously extended on the hill, a totally new building has been placed where the parking lot was, so when I walked up the hill I could not recognize anymore the place and I totally got lost. I wondered around determined to find the grave of my other grandfather and grandmother. Sadly I could not find it and the telephone connection was so bad I could not manage to call my dad and ask him directions. It felt very sad and ironical; I will lit an extra candle here at home for them.