25 Aprile

Today is the 25th of Aprile. In 1945 Italy was liberated on this day. But as the Germans moved northward up the country much damage and many lives were lost including citizens of Umbertide. Also on the 25th of April but in 1944, one year earlier than Liberation Day, Allied bombers, attempting to hit the bridge over the Tiber, killed 72 people in Umbertide. The square, since called Piazza 25 Aprile is now a parking lot but where the walls of the houses were is delineated in red brick with openings where the doors used to be as well as the house number. There is a plaque on the wall with the names of the killed.

We knew something was up yesterday when the Kilometer Zero market set up on an unusual day of the week, Friday. This morning the street cleaners made the Piazzas pristine and I noticed all the police were wearing their spiffy dress uniforms. Then, at 9:15 am the bell in the old church tower on the piazza began to ring. I wondered at the significance of the time. Later I read the bombing started in the morning, probably at 9:15. I didn’t count but perhaps they rang it for each person killed. Then the Umbertide band marched through town.

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We ventured out a while later and they were giving speeches in the Piazza 25 Aprile. I noticed a number of old men about. I wonder if they remembered the day. Later when I was talking to Susan about it she mentioned that she felt guilty and avoided the celebration because the Americans did the bombing. I had not felt that way at the time. Perhaps I was being insensitive.

Last night I took this picture of the Tiber. It was a pretty sunset.
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1 thought on “25 Aprile

  1. Carlo J Rodriguez

    Your post on the commemoration of the Liberation of Italy came at an interesting time as I was reading the first chapter of Hemingway’s ” A Farewell to Arms,” describing the scene in northern Italy. Of course, that was World War I but it felt like an odd coincidence. Thank you for sharing the moment and events.

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