Saturday, March 17, 2012

Not only is life beautiful here but death is now hereby forbidden

Thursday, March 15
The crowded cemetery in Carinola.
As much as we like life here in San Salvatore, something I read online makes us discuss moving to a village in Southern Italy which, according to La Stampa, has recently passed an interesting new law. As of March 2, 2012, ordinance 9 prohibits the residents of Falciano del Massico from dying.  Here is the text of the ordinance: “. . . è fatto divieto, per quanto nelle possibilità di ciascuno, ai cittadini residenti o comunque di passaggio di oltrepassare il confine della vita terrena per andare nell'aldilà.” This translates to “. . . it is made forbidden, as much as possible for each person, for residents or whomever to pass beyond the boundaries of life to go to the afterlife.”

Mayor Giulio Cesare Fava explains that the town lacks a cemetery and has been using the one of the comune next door, Carinola. However, the municipalities have been engaging in a big brother-little brother political feud for many years, and as of now, they aren’t speaking to each other. The cemetery has no more room. Fava says Carinola was planning to expand the cemetery, but because of ongoing disagreements, nothing has happened. “It hasn’t started, and we don’t know why,” he says. “They don’t inform us of their acts.”

Fava, who is a cardiologist and thus considered by town residents doubly qualified to enact the new ordinance, wants to see Falciano build its own cemetery to solve the problem, and some Falcianesi have offered their land. But building a proper cemetery will take time and considerable expense, and there will likely be a lawsuit by Carinola, because in the past Falciano had agreed to contribute to the expansion of the Carinola cemetery. In the meantime, Fava says most citizens are pleased with the new law. “The ordinance has brought happiness,” he says. “Some say that the problems were all resolved with a simple administrative act.”

It is well known that Italians love to pass laws to make their lives more orderly, and in principal, the citizens agree with this aspect of Italian culture. However, it is impossible to live within all the laws the government imposes, and this is so in Falciano as well. Fava says two elderly residents have already violated the law, and it looks like these “conscientious objectors” are going to get away with it. The mayor conceded that he is not planning to fine them.


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