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Posts Tagged ‘Bari’

Still here in Foggia and more fed up than ever of this very static existence, the only ray of sunshine is the many happy hours I am spending just now with the family of the Sicilian whom I have known for some time now.  I have just spent a very pleasant weekend with them and being with them has made me feel more cheery although at the same time more homesick.  His name is Nino Gitto. Peter and I intend to write to him after the war. His wife is very charming and works very hard besides looking after their three children. Yesterday Phil Banks  and I visited the house of Nino’s sister to repair their radiogram and fortunately it turned out to be a very simple job.  There were four of us in the party Nino, Salvatore his brother Phil and myself.  We rode all the way in Nino’s horse drawn cab and it was a very pleasant ride too down the Bari road to Foggia.  Of course we were drinking vino and some spirit all the time. Back at Nino’s house in the evening we had a good chat and drank lots of wine until we were all quite merry. My Italian is coming on quite well and I can easily make myself understood as well as understanding what they say.  Yes they are a real good family and I simply love their three children Maria aged seven, Guiseppi  aged five and little Helena aged three.

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Tonight I am still in the old disused paper mill at Foggia. Since I wrote last I have been out into the town twice once to walk round the town last Sunday and  the other night I went to the ENSA  cinema at the opera house.  I was amazed at the amount of damage to buildings.  It reminded me of the terrible night I saw at Battipaglia where every building had been damaged.

Mount Vesuvius was in eruption last week and I must describe the events as it was described to me by Wilf Tilliton who had the good luck to get within a few feet from the lava when he visited Naples last week.  Looking at the volcano from Naples it’s like five great plumes of fire and volcanic dust shooting up into the sky making it a red glow for miles around.  Incidentally black volcanic dust fell as far away as Bari 150 miles away.  It appears that looking at the bubbling seething slimy molten lava from close quarters was a really awe inspiring sight.  The the height of the lava at its crest was about 30 feet and the noise it made as it moved down the mountain at 30 yards an hour  was terrific.  Nothing held up its advance for more than a few minutes , the houses  just crumpled up under the pressure and  vanished without trace.

It is awful to think of people losing their homes and everything within a few minutes without a sign of where they originally stood.  Acres and acres of fruit farms and pasture land have been destroyed leaving just a bare land without a living thing on it.  Such was the eruption of Vesuvius March 1944.

The weather here he is now quite warm, the rain seems to have had gone for good until autumn and very soon the weather will be hot enough for us to wear KD [14] again.

My  S. Africa project has dropped off a little and it now looks as if I shall have to wait until after the war before  I can do anything definite.  In reply to my letter to them the  John Hilton Advice Bureau say that the government will be doing all they can for potential emigrants after the war, so that is that.

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