A sad story of love from Monte San Martino, Le Marche

Donna Ida in her fifties.
Donna Ida in her fifties.

In the 1930s, Donna Ida ("Donna" meaning "Lady" was a title of respect) was a young girl from an upper-middle class family in Monte San Martino. Unfortunately, she fell in love with a man from an inferior social class, a builder by trade, and her family would not consent to their engagement. So, for years, with the help of friends, they met in secret.  But, sadly, the young man died of cancer when he was only 40.



Donna Ida lived to be 100 years old! Every afternoon for about 60 years, she left the house and followed obsessivley this itinerary: she sat for amount on a big step in front of her house;  went to the Church of the Madonna delle Grazie and looked through a window into the church; on her return she looked through the doorway of a private home and then went on towards the Church of Sant'Agostino.  Along the way she touched with her foot a specific stone set in the pavement in front of Palazzo Vecchio; in summer, always following the same route, she  picked a single flower from the jasmine that grew on the wall near Caffè Aliberti (a lovely art deco building knocked down in the 1970s), and finally she went into the church, made a tour of all the small altars and then returned home. She did this every day of the year.  It was a walk she had taken with her young man.....

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