The story that follows is reported as it was told me. All the characters really existed, and many of them are still alive. The narrator was one of the characters and for this reason, at the time the events happened, he was in a very emotional state. So some of the passages that are unclear or without a logical sequence should be forgiven. To clarify or emphasize some of the passages of the story, occasionally they resemble an interview. For reasons of privacy the names of the protagonists have been changed and are only indicated with initials.
It was the end of October or the beginning of November of 1943.
Ere la fine di uttobre li prime di nuviembre di lu mille nuviciente quarantatrè.
It was during the time of the war.   Ci stave la guerre.
The Germans had arrived everywhere, even in Fallo. The local people were frightened. The men, to avoid being captured and sent to the front, hid in the countryside or in the attics of the village. One night a few trucks, loaded with soldiers, arrived in town, and the soldiers set camp on Colle Rosso, right in front of our house.
Li tedesche era arriviete a tutte li vie e pure a lu Falle. La iente aveve paure. L'uommne pi nin esse acchiappate e trasciniete a lu fronte zonn'ere annascuoste 'ncampagne o sotte titte dentre a li case. Na notte cierte camie cchine di suldiete onne ntrette a lu paese e zonne mittette verse Carruscie, proprie nniente a la casa nostre.
The house was small and I had four small children. My husband F. was hiding together with O., P., and some other people in the attic of the house of P. They had been hiding there for about twenty days. I used to bring food everyday. The food was passed to them from the chimney of the fireplace. They lowered a rope to which was attached a basket with the food, and the names of those receiving it:
La case era cirelle e i tineve quattre vagliune cirille. F., maritme, zera annascuoste sotte titte a la case di P. nziembre a O., P. e altra ggente. Stava aloche da na vintine di iuorre. Ogni iuorre i purtave a magnnè. Lu magnnè zi faceve passà pi la ciumminere; zi calave na curdelle, ci zapinneve la ceste nchi la rrobbe pi magnnè dentre e zi diceve pi chi ere.
- This is for F. -,

- This is for O. -,

- This is for P. -

Q. - Didn't they ever leave the hiding place?-

A. - Once in a while they came home to see their wives, their children, and to wash up. -

Q. - How did they go to the bathroom? -

A. - There was a big bucket, which was periodically emptied and...oh, we went through so much. One time L. and I, two women alone, went on foot to Civitaluparella to try to find a mule, which the Germans had taken away. The war had this effect: people lost their common sense. We didn't even think of the dangers we could have encountered: in those days those who owned a mule were wealthy, and the hardship of going to Civitaluparella on foot (to look for this lost mule) was insignificant. When we reached the Valle Villacine Bridge, two Germans tried to stop us yelling to warn us that the zone was mined:

  - Custe è pi F.-,

- Custe è pi O.-,

- Custe è pi P.-

D. - Ma non uscivano mai dal loro nascondiglio? -

R. - Ogni tante onne ariminive a la case, pi vidè la moglie, li figlie e p'allavarze. -

D.-E per andare in bagno come facevano?-

R. - Ci stave un traggne gruosse e ogni tante l'onne vuiutuave e….quante ni seme passate! Na volte i e L., du femmene, sola lore, iemme a l'appete fine a la Civite pa ripiglierze na mule chi zonne era pigliete li tedesche. La guerre faceve pure stì cose, ti luvave li cirvelle. E necca c'eravame pinzate a chille chi i puteva succede; a chilli tiempe chi tineve na mule era ricche e lu sacrificie d'arriviè a lappete fine a la Civite n'era niente. Quanne arrivemme a lu ponte di la Valla Villacine, du tedesche i vuleve firmà e alluccuave pi dicije ca ntuorre ci stave li mine:

- Mines, mines-, but we continued to walk. We had been told that to have the mule back we needed to speak to someone in charge whose name was......I don't remember, and who lived in one of the first houses of Civitaluparella.

We reached the place that they had told us: there was a very large room where there were many soldiers that were yelling. We were frightened because only then we suddenly realized that we were two women alone. A young soldier, who had stripes on his uniform, approached us and asked what we wanted. We told him that we were looking for person in charge in order to get our mule back. The young man pointed outside through the door and said:

- Mine, mine -, ma nu passemme nniente lu stesse. Ionne era ditte ca pa ripiglierze la mule avevame parlà nchi une di chille chi cummannave, chi zzi chiamave…, nin maricorde chiù e zi truvave a une di li prime case di la Civite.

Arrivemme a lu puoste che ionne era ditte: ere la cambra grosse addo ci stave tanta suldiete c'alluccuave. Zi mittemme paure picchè solamente allore z'aricurdemme ca eravame du femmine sola lore. I zavvicinette nu suldate giovne chi tineve cierte grade sobbra a li spalle e iadummannette chi vulavame. Nu i dicemme ca iavame truvenne stà pirzone picchè zavevame aripigliè la mule. Lu giuvinitte, facette signe fore da la porte e dicette:

- Cli,....cli! - We didn't understand what he was telling us. He repeated the same thing two or three times, then suddenly he kneeled on the ground, clasped his hands, crossed himself and repeated:
  - Clì,….clì!. Nu nin capivame chi vuleva dice. L'aridicette tre o quattre volte, po', tutt'nziembre, lu giovne zi mittette addinucchiete nterre, aggiugnette li miene, zi facette lu signe di la croce e aridicette:

-Clì -.

We understood that the person we were looking for was in church. We went there quickly, but he was not there. They let us speak with another officer who, with gestures, made us understand that the mule was no longer there. They had taken it away.


Capemme ca la pirzone chi iavame truvenne stave a la chiese. Ci iemme subbte, ma nin la truvemme. Ionne facette parlà nchi nualtre militare nchi li grade chi i facette capì ca la mule ncì stave chiù. Zi l'onne ere purtate.

We were tired. L. remembered that she knew a relative of her mother who lived nearby; we thought of going to her house, at least to rest a little and get some drinking water. We went by a few burned homes and some others that had no longer doors or windows, and finally we reached the house we were looking for.
Zeravame straccate. Zeravvame maggniete nu tuozze di pane la matine e nin i diceve core d'arii a la case senza niente. L. zaricurdette ca canusceve na parente di la mamme ch'abbitave loche vicine; pinzemme di i a la casa se almene pi vevze nu mirzuglie dacche e aripusarze. Passemme vicine a cierte case abbrusciuate e a cierte chi i mancave li porte e li finestre e arrivemme a la case chi iavame truvenne.
It was a house, so to speak: it had a broken door, and the glass panes of the windows were all broken. Inside, in a huge room there was a big fireplace in which burned a few branches.

On that witches' fire, rested a black pan, badly banged on one side, and in which were cooking two shriveled potatoes. A woman dressed in rags was taking care of a little girl who had a gunshot wound on her shoulder. The girl was lying on a cot in the corner of the room and was moaning in pain.

Ere na case pi mote di dice: tineve la porta sfunnate e li vrite di li finestre ere tutte rutte. Dentre a nu cambrone ci stave nu fuculuare tante gruosse addò stava appicciete nu fuoche di cippitielle.

Sobbra a culle fuoche di streche ci stave appuiete na friiaove miezze abbrusciuate chi iera arimaste sane sole la parte d'arrete e dentre zi stave cucenne du patate ammuscilite. Na femmene vistute chi cierte cinciune stave curenne na vaglione chi ionne ere sparate a 'na spalle. La vaglione stave allunguate sobbra a nu strapuntine di liette a nu curnicchie e zi lamintave chi faceve pene.

The woman recognized L. immediately, welcomed us to her house and asked what we were doing in Civitaluparella.
La femmene aricunuscette subbite L., zi facette dice chi ci faciavame a la Civite e i facette 'ntrà.

- The girl's mother and father died in an explosion of a bomb and she was shot as she tried to run away. I am alone because my children and my husband are at the front. Sit down and rest a while, but I have nothing to eat for you, I can only give you some water. -


- La mamme e lu puatre di la vaglione zè muorte nchi na bomme, a esse ionne sparate mentre stave scappenne. I so rimaste sola i picchè li figlie e maritime zi n'è jute a lu fronte. Assittatve e aripusatve na nzegne, ma nin tienghe niente da magniè. Vi pozze solamente dà na nzè d'acche. -

We drank from a dirty ladle and began our journey back to Fallo, tired and without the mule.
Vivemme dentre a nu maniere spuorche e zaribbiemme pi lu Falle, stracche e senza la mule.

Q. - But you were telling us about the Germans' arrival. -

A. - Ah, yes. The day before, F. wanted to go home, but now with the soldiers' arrival I was afraid that he could be captured. I left M., my oldest daughter, to watch the other children and I went to the house of P. to tell F. not to move.


D. - Ma stavi raccontando dell'arrivo dei tedeschi.

R. - Ah scine. Lu iuorre prime F. vuleve ariminì a la case, ma mò conn'ere arriviete li suldiete i aveve paure chi zi l'onne acchiappave. Lassive M., la figlie chiù grosse, a guarduà lieltre vagliune e ive a la case di P. a dice a F. di nin movze.

We were lucky to have heard the arrival of the trucks so he didn't move from the attic! The rain was pouring. Shortly after I returned home I heard a knock on the door. I went to open the door. It was a young man, a German soldier, soaking wet.
Menu male ca onnere sintute li camion arriviè e nin zera muoste da sotte titte! Chiuveve a ciele apierte. Doppe na nzegne chere arrintrate sintive tupplijè a la porte. Ive a aprì. Ere nu giovne, nu suldate tedesche tutte mbusse.
-To come in, to warm up - he said. I told him to come in.
- Entrare, scaldare - mi dicette. Lu facive ntrà.