Sunday, April 28, 2013

Few new insights into Italo Spadoni, but nice photos, a pleasant final day

The family home where Guido, Italo, Gino and Bruno grew up. This is where
Italo was going on the night he was killed by a group of fascists.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
This rusty cross behind a
fence marks the place
where Italo Spadoni died.
Rain is predicted for later, and I want to take some photos of the field where Italo Spadoni died and also of his former house, so hoping to avoid getting wet, I skip breakfast and pedal off to Ponte Buggianese. I take photos of the field he crossed and ask permission of a lady I see outside to look around the house that Italo Cortese had pointed out to me last night as being near where Italo was shot. The house is now a row of apartments, and the lady hasn’t lived here long enough to know about any cross. I don’t find it either.

Then I move on to the old Spadoni family house, and Italo Cortese is there, because this is where he keeps all his tractors and other farm equipment. He is happy to see me again, and immediately offers to show me the cross. It has begun to sprinkle, so he grabs an umbrella and takes me about a block away, to a garden about 100 feet on the opposite side of the house where I had looked previously. There is the old metal cross, next to the ditch where Italo Spadoni’s body had been found.

Italo Cortese stands near the cross and ditch where his nonno was killed.

We walk back to his farm yard, where I take some photos, and Italo is very willing to offer more help. He thinks of an old man who might know more about his nonno’s death. We drive off to the man’s house, but we don’t find out anything more. Italo asks if I would I like to go to the cemetery. Gladly, because when I went earlier this year, I couldn’t find Italo Spadoni’s tomb, though I had seen it many years earlier. We go there first thing and I take a photo, and then we go to the marker for Italo’s wife. She remarried Fiorenzo Pemonte and had three more children after Italo’s death. I am surprised to hear that she married a man known as a fascist, but I suppose love is stronger than politics.

Inscription at bottom translates: He leaves in tears his
 inconsolable parents Antonio and Gioconda, his wife
Caterina di Vita and his daughter Gina.
We also see the marker for Gina Spadoni, the daughter of Italo and Caterina di Vita. She was raised by her grandmother, Maria Gioconda Niccolai, who died in 1952 while in the embrace of Italo Cortesi. We also find the marker for Gino Spadoni, brother of Italo Spadoni.

Gina Spadoni
I ask if there a grave here for Boccaccino. Italo goes to the woman who sells flowers outside the cemetery. She is obviously a long-time resident of Ponte Buggianese, because she knows his real name. She closes her booth and accompanies us on a search. We can’t find his name, but then she finds his daughter’s grave, and it has her name and then says “and relatives,” so she is quite sure that Boccaccino is also buried there.
Francesco gets out of the tractor to talk to Italo.
We make a stop on the way back to check on the progress of two workers who are plowing Italo’s fields. One is Francesco, driving a tractor. Something isn’t working quite right with the plow’s machinery, Francesco says, so Italo takes a turn while I talk to Francesco for a few minutes. They talk some more about the plow and then Italo and I return to the farm yard. I tell Italo his son seems like a fine young man,  and he agrees. He is proud of and very happy with his son, and he shows me two old tractors that Francesco has beautifully restored that they keep in one of their garages. I am invited once again for a spaghetti dinner next year, and I repeat my invitation to have Francesco come to the United States for a visit. Then I am off on my bike to finish packing and eat.
One of the two tractors Francesco has remodeled.
Luca takes me to catch the 4 p.m. train to Lucca, and I check in a hotel, borrow an umbrella and walk into the centro to buy a bus ticket for tomorrow, a loaf of my favorite bread and a last gelato: tiramis├╣, fragola, cioccolato and limone. Later that evening I attend a free a cappella concerto di musica sacra in the Chiesa Santa Maria della Rosa. The acoustics in these old churches is fantastic, and so are the singers, one of whom I know from the Valdese church Lucy and I attend here in the city. It’s a very peaceful and pleasant final day in Italy.

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