Anne's Blog

Umbrian Cemeteries: An Earthquake’s Travesty of R.I.P.

Date: November 2, 2016 - categories: , , , - 1 Comment

I’ll visit the Assisi cemetery this afternoon as I always do around la Festa dei Morti (“Feast of the Dead”, i.e., All Souls’ Day, November 2nd). In late October/early November, Italian cemeteries are transformed into a kaleidoscopic tapestry of colors as visitors lovingly arrange chrysanthemums of rust, buttery yellows, creamy whites and burnished oranges on their relatives’ above-ground tombs, many of them veritable architectural wonders.

chrysanthemums-abound-in-late-fall-in-italys-cemeteries

relatives-visit-their-deceased-cleaning-the-tombs-putting-fresh-flowers

some-family-mausoleums-are-architectural-min-masterpieces

two-sisters-honor-their-father

husbands-grave

sisters-on-their-way-to-the-cemetery-to-the-graves-of-their-deceased-nuns

As I left, I thought sadly about the thousands of people displaced by the earthquake, living in tents or pre-fabs or in hotels along the Adriatic, far from their homes, far from the cemeteries where they’d be visiting their loved ones today, arms full of chryanthemums. Psychologists are working closely with the earthquake homeless and dealing with the pain of a November 2nd without a visit to i morti.

More than one cemetery in Umbria and the Marches region has been ravaged by the October 30, 2016 tremors…and no one from Campi (near Norcia) would be able to visit their morti due to earthquake flagellation of the cemetery, now a ravaged distortion of “R.I.P.”:

cemetery-damaged-4

cemetery-damaged

cemetery-damaged-3

cemetery-damaged-5

An elderly man just interviewed as he came out of the cemetery (damaged) of his village said solemnly, “We have to think about the living now, taking care of our deceased loved ones later.” A bent, toothless elderly woman now living in a tent, mourned a November 2nd without a visit to her relatives in the village cemetery: “This earthquake spared no one, not the living and not the dead.”

yellows-reds-and-more-copy

Read more about- and see!- cemeteries in October, November
Read about the loss of Campi’s San Salvatore  church
Read about – and see – Castelluccio, hill town splendor, devastated
Read about – and see! – Castelluccio splendor
Read more about the flowerings of Castelluccio
Read about nearby Norcia’s earthquake devastation
Read about quake devastation in Visso
Click here to read about Preci (near epicenter and near Norcia, also devastated)
Click here for news on the glorious Benedictine abbey of Sant’Eutizio (outside Preci)
Click here to read about the August 24, 2016 earthquake damage in Umbria
Read about earthquake benefit dinners
Read more on the benefit dinners following the earthquake
Click here for news on our benefit dinner starring pasta all’amatriciana
Read about San Pellegrino near Norcia, damaged in the August 24th, 2016 quake
See the recipe for pasta alla norcina (a possible earthquake-benefit dish)
Read about Castelluccio di Norcia and lentils as quake solidarity
Read about Norcia’s norcinerie, needing a comeback
Read about Cascia and earthquake concerns there

1 Comment

  • Judy Bates says:

    So painful to see knowing how lives have been impacted so tragically in ways we could never imagine or know of without your sharing these images and stories with us, Anne. You bring Italy in its good times and its tragic closer to those of us who love it yet are so far away. And, when we are there with you, you bring us closer in such an intimate way to its beautiful people and their lives, making our experiences all the more beautiful and unforgettable, and making this all the more poignant. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us.

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