Tuesday, March 06, 2007


A death
I am ashamed to say I knew nothing about Nino Baglieri, "the saint of Modica" until this week. He must have been a wonderful and courageous man: tetraplegic since an accident at work when he was 17, Baglieri cursed God for 10 years then, one day, found acceptance. After that he inspired and gave comfort to many. Only able to move his head, he used his mouth to write books and had begun his third when he died on Friday. Over three thousand people attended his funeral and a square in Modica Alta is to be renamed for him. I admire those who are able to bear their own suffering well and help others - I really do - but I cannot accept it and I'm afraid I'm with Albert Camus on the question.
A prison sentence
Modica has a lovely and charming theatre, the Teatro Garibaldi and for years when I first used to come here I was frustrated because I could never get inside: it was always in restauro. Finally it was restored to its former glory but in 2001 the new roof fell in! Miraculously, no one was injured. Now six of those involved in that restoration project have received suspended prison sentences. I should add that the theatre is now functioning again and if you are in Modica it really is worth a visit.
A warm winter
It's official! This has been the warmest winter, all over Italy, for 200 years. Now there are fears of a summer drought, especially down here.
...And a "war"
Two villages in the Province of Palermo, Campofelice di Fitalia and Mezzojuno, have been "fighting" over the TV presenter, Mike Bongiorno. Both villages claim to be the birthplace of his ancestors. The rivalry might have continued peaceably had Bongiorno not announced at the Sanremo Music Festival that his forefathers definitely came from Mezzojuno. Imagine the bitterness of the "betrayed" residents of Campofelice di Fitalia, where the presenter has now been declared persona non grata!


Liz Hinds said...

I am fairly sure I would be a horrible invalid! I do not suffer well. People would be glad to see the back of me if I were long-term disabled. I thank God I am not.

We have had the second warmest winter since records began. But the hosepipe ban in England was lifted recently (I believe).

James Higham said...

What a range you covered here. Loved the bit about the roof falling in and the prosecutions and also about Garibaldi.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Welshcakes. I see I have missed many super posts. I'll have to take some time to go back and read them. Hope you are doing well.

Anonymous said...

I love stories about saints, so interesting to hear all this background about your town.

sally said...

been very warm here in england too

Bill Haydon said...

Lovely post again, WL. You would make an excellent political journalist: you could do it without annoying half the country. By the way, the drought is terrible here in the Cotswolds: in its desperation for water the river here is about to burst its banks. But, like revolutionaries and progressive governments, Thames Water warns us not to be complacent and that meters are still very much on the horizon.

CityUnslicker said...

none of these stories would have made the news in the UK. it shows how different Italian culture is from ours.

Lee said...

Great post, Welsh. Sorry I've been a bit slack these past couple of days...I've had a busy week so far.

It's pouring with rain here at the moment...a storm passing through. I love the rain.

Glad all is well with you. I, too, don't know how I would handle being debilitated. I hope I never have to know.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I would too, Liz. Is there a hosepipe ban in Wales? Glad you liked it,James. Welcome back to us, Steve. Hi, Ellee. Nino is not a saint yet but there is talk of his becoming one. I think the late Pope is ahead in the queue, though. Hi, Sally. What's the temp there this week on average? Thank you, tin drummer. I'd have loved to have been a journalist. Interesting to learn about the weather situation where you are. C/u, yes, it does, doesn't it? I think perhaps the Baglieri funeral might have made a local UK paper, though.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lee. Not at all - it is I who have been slack this week! Glad you liked the post. I, too, hope I never have to find out about being "differently abled". It makes you count your blessings when you read of people like Baglieri - yet he would have said he was blessed.


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