she was the heroine of the earthquake victims-

she was the heroine of the earthquake victims-
she was the heroine of the earthquake victims-
from Carlotta Lombardo

Appointed Commander of the Republic, she had never wanted to leave the wooden house built next to her homeland

Nonna Peppina, born Giuseppa Fattori, the woman symbol of the earthquake in Central Italy, died last year before she turned 99, was nominated Commander of the Republic last year. Three weeks ago she had fallen, slipped from the sofa of her wooden house, which she had not wanted to leave, clashing with the institutions, in order to remain in San Martino di Fiastra, in the Marche Apennines, a village completely destroyed by the 2016 earthquake (on 30 October the stronger, of magnitude 6.5 with epicenter between Norcia and Preci). There were 13 houses that collapsed in the province of Macerata and she was the only resident: while waiting for the reconstruction, she had decided to stay in the temporary house that her daughters had built, to please her and not force her to move.

I’m fine here. I have three bedrooms, a kitchen with fridge and freezer, a sitting room and a bathroom. And I look at my old house, up there, where I’ve lived for 70 years, since I got married. The earthquake took it away from me. But now I’m happy because everything is fine and no one can take me away from here. Nonna Peppina had thus recalled the story that had moved Italy by making Matteo Salvini, Giorgia Meloni and the An si Foundation intervene in an attempt to help the elderly woman. The judiciary had seized her home because it was built without landscaping permits in the small building area owned by the family, in the Moreggini district of San Martino di Fiastra (Marche), forcing her to move to her daughter in Castelfidardo. A story that ended with the acquittal of the crime of building abuse with full formula. The fact does not constitute a crime. The grandmother Peppina decree had saved her temporary cottage, and over time she had become a symbol of resistance, attachment to one’s roots, and attention to earthquake victims. On October 30, 2020, the green light had arrived for the reconstruction of her house, which she will not be able to see. Thanks to the bureaucratic delays Nonna Peppina was unable to return, despite her desire (on her last birthday she had asked to be able to go there for at least one day), despite her incredible battle.

The eviction

Nonna Peppina had been forced to leave that do-it-yourself wooden house built not far from the unusable house where she had lived most of her life. When the foresters arrived, sealing the house, she was reluctantly evicted, firmly convinced that she does not want to abandon her land. I won’t leave even if they kill me, she said, and she had already become a symbol of the displaced, of those who, after having survived the shocks, find themselves facing the Italian bureaucracy. Nonna Peppina’s family members move the sea and the mountains: they resort to the TAR, they write to Pope Francis and to President Sergio Mattarella but there is nothing to be done. The kidnapping is triggered and she is forced to leave. After a year, the Parliament approves an amnesty with the decree grandmother Peppina which saves her temporary house. Nonna Peppina in the meantime even becomes the subject of university studies, ending up in an overseas academic publication as an example of those who, after a calamit, do not want to leave their territory. Mattarella pays her homage in February with the title of Commander of the Republic. Homage to her resistance, her pride in being independent. To his love for the fragile land that has seen it grow. An ante litteram feminist, Nonna Peppina, as one of her daughters remembers. She left without the joy of returning to the house she fought so much for.

November 19, 2021 (change November 20, 2021 | 12:03)


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