Looking outside the window after waking up far too early at 5.30am, I noticed that last night’s rain had left the village smothering in a blanket of eerie mist. A howling opportunity lay in wait at the local graveyard for me to take some picturesque snaps. These are some of the scenes I captured.
I came across a gravestone in remembrance of three local villagers who lost their lives here in Castelvecchio during the fighting of World War II. Danilo, Luigi and Divo were all struck by Allied artillery on 24th September 1944 during the liberation of their homeland.
The local church (La Pieve di Sant’Ansano e San Tommaso) stands beside the cemetery.
Continuing my way past the Pieve, downwards into the village centre, I take a look back, my mind now filled with wonder about these innocent lives lost during this dreadful time. With the civil fighting between the Partisans and Fascists, the Allies and Germans, what was it truly like to live here? Caught up in their rifts, gunshots and bombings? Especially during that fateful year of 1944-1945 when missions were stepped up around the Italian villages and executions of locals carried out.
I crept back into my house, the children still asleep, I sneaked a little kiss on their cheeks, feeling grateful and fortunate that our streets and villages are safe from such atrocity.
Nowadays, one will find Castelvecchio tranquil, colourful and charming. Living and holidaying among the Italians in harmony are a friendly mixture of Germans, English, Scots, Irish, Americans, etc, making it a great spot for relaxation and peace.
I made my way back to bed where I lay awake, pondering on where to find information on this period and of those lives so sadly lost in Castelvecchio.