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Photographer's Note

It's not often I voluntarily go into a church. I'm usually dragged inside kicking and screaming, the holy water starts boiling and the Italian mammas start keening. But a church - which ever the denomination - gives solace during difficult times.

The day before I took this photo, my darling Uncle Francesco (in the Neapolitan dialect, "Zi' Ciccio") had passed away.

Zi' Cicc' was one of the kindest people I knew. He was a quiet, very humble man who loved to paint. He loved Nature and animals. We would sit quietly for hours together in the Terme Stabiane (botanical gardens and mineral spring). My uncle would tell me about my father when he was little, about his own life, those of my grandparents and of Naples after the Second World War. He taught me so much of the Neapolitan dialect, which if you hear it, will recognise it from the poetry, songs and films you think of as Italian. He also gave me the best advice possible: always try to be kind. Nothing else matters.

As I sat in the Cathedral of his hometown, thinking about Zio Cicc, all of a sudden, these beautiful rays of light shone through the dome. They only lasted for a short while and then faded out. In my Workshop are two photos of my beautiful uncle.

This is the dome of Santa Maria Assunta, built in 1643, and is located on what was the ancient road between the Roman towns of Nocera and Stabia. This town is about 15 minutes from the famous ruined city of Pompeii. A church has stood on this site since Roman times, but was destroyed by an earthquake in 1456. Our town's patron saint is Catellus (Italian: Catello, Neapolitan: Catiello). As a result nearly every second male in my family is called Catello. It gets very confusing at family gatherings, let me tell you.

Here is a song which will always remind me of my Zio Ciccio: 'Na Sera E Maggio

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Additional Photos by Lisa DP (delpeoples) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5609 W: 342 N: 12455] (60342)
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