This post is also available in: Italian

Dear Villarosa,

Your people have gone, you are left alone and abandoned. But I’ll always carry you in my heart.

It is sad to see you down, the closing of the mines forced your children to flee.

Your children still run away today, but they don’t run away from you Dear Villarosa, they run away from hunger and misery in search of work.

I remember the majestic patronal feast, the many stalls along your main street, the lights in the streets and the aroma of cotton candy.

I was little, but I was already growing fond of you and your feasts.

I remember when people sat outside in the summer. No armchair, just wooden stools and folding chairs.

While grandmother told of her adventures in the market I was playing hide and seek in your alleys. How many beautiful hiding places you made me discover, and you never caught me!

I remember when that same granny who sat out in the evening would take me with her to the market in the morning and buy me candy or potato chips or Christmas balls when it was December.

I remember when I used to ride a bicycle to your dam.

Dam, what a bad word, yours is a magnificent lake, albeit artificial, and the flora and fauna that live there would be the envy of any “Dam” in the world!

Today your pond is left to itself, once there was a kiosk, a well paved road and information signs on the flora and fauna.

Now … The silence.

Dear Villarosa,

how you have shrunk, you had a BEAUTIFUL cinema. How much I dreamed of as a child to reopen it. I wanted to see “Cars” or “Toy Story” in my small town with my friends. And instead…

Your museum train is breathtaking, unique in all of Europe. In elementary school I took so many of those photos that I lost count: ancient nativity scenes, miner’s tools, farmer’s tools, etc …

I was so in love that one of my birthdays, if you remember correctly, I celebrated in a carriage of the restaurant train. Weird don’t you think?

My Villarosa, your clock tower is small but has a big heart because it is the symbol of the whole village. My heart was crying when your bells stopped ringing, after a year they were fixed and my heart started smiling again.

Who knows how many times your clock has rung .

Your churches are not cathedrals, but it doesn’t matter. They are beautiful all the same, take care, each stone tells a different and compelling story.

Nobody can understand us. Only your children truly appreciate you for who you are, no one knows how great the love that we have towards you can be.

Like us, we cannot fully understand what our brothers from Villapriolo, your younger brother, feel.

Duke Notarbartolo, your father, gave us the best gift in the world: he gave us this town of peace, clean air and countryside.

I was little and everything seemed wonderful to me, dear Villarosa, but now I’m a little older and soon it will be my turn to leave you too.

You are beautiful, yes, but you belong to the past and you cannot offer me anything more for my future.

You will always be in my heart. Take care of your buildings, your churches, your small woods and your humble farming and mining history.

Finally, take care of your station, the same one from which one day I will leave as our grandparents and great-grandparents did, abandoning you forever.

But I’ll be back, dear Villarosa, it’s a promise.

Long live Villarosa!