The history of Bussana Vecchia, written by Nilo Calvini
Please sign the petition to save Bussana Vecchia.
Updated: April 8, 2018 (first draft)
Bussana, dall antico all nuovo paese (from the ancient to the new town) was written by professor Nilo Calvini in 1987. Comng from a family which suffered terribly in the 1887 earhquake (several family members died), he painstakingly researched the earthquake and its consequences for the inhabitants of Bussana. His book tells the horrible story about the people of Bussana, being victims of not only this earthquake but also of the governmental and municipal manipulations that followed.
The book was supported and printed by the Mayor of Sanremo, Leone Pippione, who acknowledged Calvini's research and wanted to make everyone aware of the suffering of the people of Bussana. A courageous step for a government official.
Calvini's book has been out of print for decades and is hard to find on the 2nd hand market. The people that own Calvini's book often belong to the families which were tormented by the earthquake. They consider it a treasure and are emotionally attached to it. One of them was kind enough to lend me the book, under the condition that it should be returned as soon as possible.
I did not envision the horror that engulfed the poor inhabitants of Bussana who were prevented by soldiers, at gunpoint, to save their family members from under the rubble, who got shot at, and were forced to leave their town of which large parts were still habitable. They had to live for many years in poor quality shacks for which they had to pay rent, and were forced to buy new land and houses (at their own expense) in the designated Bussana Nuova area. When the government realized they preferred to stay in he old town they cut the water supply and destroyed many more houses, leaving the inhabitants no other way out. While completely shutting off the town for the inhabitants, corrupt administrators made handsome money by allowing thieves to steal all items of value.
Lesser stories have been turned into award-winning films.
A public apology and compensation of the surviving families would be fair. Looking at the situation today, not much has changed for Bussana Vecchia. To be frank, neither for the many other towns who have recently been affected by earthquakes in Italy and have suffered from the "New Town" approach from the former Berlusconi government. See this article (translated by Google) The audacity of the Demonio and municipality to turn Bussana into a Disney-place with earthquake information center, starting by evicting the present inhabitants, violates every humane principle.
Again: please sign the petition to save Bussana Vecchia.
I digitized the book in its entirity and transformed it into a pdf. For ease of use I deviated from the original by adding few additional pages with better scans of some drawings.
Click on the image to download Nilo Calvini's book (53 MB, italian, 144 dpi version).
I apologize in advance for possibly violating any copy rights. Ideally, there should be a reprint of this important book.
Below is a crude translation of some key sections in the book. Over time I will make improvements. I added some clarifications between [ ... ].
BUSSANA, FROM THE ANCIENT TO THE NEW TOWN, WRITTEN BY NILO CALVINI
1 - The earthquake of 23 February 1887.
2 - The tragic situation of the town.
3 - The list of the dead and the injured, street by street.
I - The greatest misfortune hit our old town on 23 February 1887 at 6.25.
The bell ringer had recently played the call of the faithful to the sacred functions. That humble ring of bells usually marked the beginning of the working day for the whole town; many, before going to work in the fields, stopped for a few minutes at church; that morning, recurrence of the "Ashes", the people were more numerous than usual, although some, on the contrary, still slept deeply for having watched longer the night before, the last one of Carnival.
It was still dark; the boys and the children slept in the narrow rooms, on a common mattress.
The cataclysm came suddenly: only a gloomy roar, a furious wind, a mysterious roar announced that something frightening was happening; it was a vain warning that only increased terror: a 20-second telluric shock sowed death immediately over the whole town.
By this first shock, perhaps undulating, a thick wall fell that stood out about five meters above the facade of the church: the gloomy rumble of that collapse, to which many other disasters were added, landed on the people who were in church. The parish priest Don Lombardi had just finished the distribution of the Ashes; sensing danger, he shouted to the faithful to save themselves in the side chapels, accompanying the council with invocations to Divine Mercy.
But in the meantime here is a second heavy shock: the vault of the church, pushed upward,and cracked in all its length; when the sections closed again they did not fit together the parts that had opened up: all the heavy parts crashed to the ground.
Not all the faithful in those few moments had managed to escape to the chapels; some were overwhelmed and submerged by debris; fortunately the sturdy benches, under which they instinctively took shelter, contributed to the salvation of many.
2 - Let us now take a look at the entire desolate town.
The escape from the houses was cruelly difficult: not a lamp illuminated the narrow and winding streets of the town; the houses, leaning against each other and often joined by the dark archivolts, the steps, the bottlenecks, the turns, the protruding stones, the holes ... increased the difficulties; the terror then paralyzed everyone somewhat, but especially the screaming children clung to their parents making it more difficult to escape.
The situation was truly tragic in the upper part of the town, called "Le Rocche", north of the parish church. An overhang surrounding that group of houses leaning against the feudal castle; only one street led to the lower part near the church; but the collapse of many houses had filled the archivolts with debris, completely obstructing transit.
Some hundred people were locked in and suffered the damage of the first two shocks, almost simultaneous, of 6.25 and 6.30 hours and another, no less violent, at 9 o'clock.
Only after much effort a path of escape was opened through stables and foundations, which allowed the survivors to reach the square of the Church, where even today you can see the two remaining solid arches.
So many memories of harrowing scenes are still alive: Luigi Torre, who dragged himself along the streets with a broken leg; Luigina Rolando, so bloody that she was not recognized by some of her family; the Gramegna family, which remained imprisoned on the second floor, begging for help from the windows, but where to find a ladder in those moments to get them out? A similar fate occurred to other families; some threw themselves down, saving but injuring themselves; others were more fortunate in such misfortune, like Pietro C'eriolo, who found a big rope: he lowered his wife first, then one by one his sons, then he saved himself ..... How many others had to wait the help of compassionate neighbors.
And in this regard I feel the duty to praise all the Bussanesi who on that dreadful day were all supportive and generous in helping each other, even beyond the limits of their strength.
It is worth mentioning the former mayor Giuseppe Calvini (of the branch of the Cagli) who, for old grudges towards a large part of the population, for years no longer came out of the house! Yet that day, far from the idea of escape, was seen digging in the rubble of the Church (he lived a few meters from it) in aid of the miserable fellow citizens who were buried in the collapse of the vault. Little trained now in physical exertion, he became so hot in work that he died of pneumonia a few days later.
And I remember Don Lombardi who in those moments proved to live up to his mission, assisting the injured for a few days and nights in a row. And let me remember only some of the many brave ones who stopped among the ruins to extract the wounded from the debris and those who had not been able to escape: Ceriolo Pietro and Luigi; Nobile Isidoro, Pasquale and Francesco; Calvini Terzo, Federico and Luigi; Donetti Giacomo, Vincenzo and Pasquale, Podestà Innocenzo; Rodi Londrino; Lepreri Pietro, Novella Antonio and many, many others, who had no other reward than a brief eulogy from the City Council.
But here it is necessary to make a painful mention: on the same morning of 23 February a platoon of soldiers arrived who enforced a strange order: all the Bussanesi had to suspend the search for the dead and the wounded; the village had to be cleared! The surviving population withdrew outside the village into a vineyard of the provost, which Don Lombardi made available as a gathering place for the frightened population. Some rescues were still carried out in the following days, but clandestinely: this is the case of Calvini Leonina and Soleri Giuseppina with her daughter Antonia.
This unfortunate order, which finds its difficult justification in the attempt to avoid further misfortunes due to the continuous collapses of walls, further increased the suffering of the tortured population because the external aid of food and clothing, given the slowness of the means at the time, arrived only after some days.
The wretched bodies of those who had been found dead, were painfully visibly placed in the oratory, which had remained almost intact, transformed in a matter of hours into an impressive testimony of the ruin of the town.
On the evening of 25 February the mayor G.B. Geva gave orders to bury them in a large mass grave in the cemetery.
To avoid new harrowing scenes, it was decided to avoid the ritual accompaniment: the sad procession was composed only by the provost, by a cleric who supported the Cross, by two confreres of the Confraternity of St. John the Baptist with lanterns; followed by carts loaded with corpses. The Bussanesi humbly accepted this extreme sacrifice: at nightfall, when the sad procession went to the cemetery, everyone knelt on the cold earth to sob and pray: 55 of their loved ones had disappeared forever.
3- Most of the dead were in the upper part of the town, both because it was the oldest part, and because the ruins prevented escape through the Montà, the only way out of the upper part of the town.
In via delle Rocche the people killed by the earthquake were:
- the family of Calvini Giovanni Battista, consisting of Giovanni Battista, called Baci l'usciere, municipal attendant, aged 51; together with him they found his wife Bongiovanni Antonietta, aged 47, and their two sons Colombo and Gabriele, aged 22 and 14, respectively. Although she was wounded, his daughter Leonina, aged 20, was saved.
- the family of Calvini Domenico, consisting of Egidio, aged 53, known as Munegò; along with him died his wife Revelli Rosa, 37 years old, their sons Dominic, said Muneghetta, in his twenties and Vincent, 12 years old. Instead, their other children were saved, though injured: Luigi, 21 years old and his sisters Rosalinda and Antonietta.
- the family of Soleri Giovanni Battista, consisting of Giovanni Battista, aged 68, called Lumetre; he was in the stable, intent on preparing the mule to go to the town; having felt the shock of an earthquake, he took refuge under an archivolt, which in fact did not collapse, but he remained so surrounded by rubble that he died from frostbite and hunger. He was found long after, standing under the archivolt, wiithout any wounds. In the same house, one of his sisters died, Angela, widow of Pizzo, aged 75; and three nephews, sons of one of his daughters, Giuseppina, widow of Ceriolo Antonio, named Romana, Giacomo and Emanuele Ceriolo, 12, 11 and 9 years respectively. Giuseppina was buried under the rubble with her youngest daughter, Antonia, for 58 hours; when she finally succeeded in making herself heard she was found in a state of freezing by the young members of the Torre Pasquale family (called Zaccaria) and Donetti Pasquale family, Luigi (called Vacoto), helped by some others.
- the family of De Andreis Antonio, consisting of Pietro, aged 38, a day laborer coming from Montalto. His wife Capena died with him
and so did Maria, aged 22 and her sons Pietro, aged 4 and Annetta, 10 months.
- Torre Bernardo, named Egidio, aged 66, died in church; his wife Lupi Caterina (called La Longa), 65, died in the house in via Rocche.
- Rolando Giovanni Antonio family, consisting of Giacomo, aged 60, died with his wife Moraglia Bianca, of Poggio, aged 59; their death is registered under the date of 30 April, in via delle Rocche; evidently their bodies were found long after the earthquake (or they were never found); their sons Giovanni, aged 32 and Maurizio, aged 26, are recorded on the date of the earthquake, as inhabitants in via della Torre; evidently, their house was at the beginning of via delle Rocche, where it merged with the via della Torre.
Also in via delle Rocche we must mark the death of seventeen year old Calvini Marco, Giovanni, and Novella Giuseppina, known as Marchin, 44, of the Sarotu family; Luigi's Torre family member Luigi, 24 years old, called Ciccardin, and Torre Benedetta of G.B. [Giovanni Battista], 39 years old!
The total dead in town were 55, with 30 seriously injured. Numerous wounded who took care of themselves ... and suffered the consequences for years.
In the municipal records of the dead, most of the names are registered under the dates of March 29th, 30th and 31st; evidently the secretary did not have the registers at his disposal. It includes about 37 people immediately taken from under the rubble and buried on February 25th in the mass grave.
A month later are recorded: Rolando Giovanni Antonio and Moraglia Bianca, whose bodies were perhaps found on that date; while listed under the date of May 6 the following are marked: Soleri G.B. family, Ceriolo Romana, Giacomo and Emanuele; Donetti Vincenzina family, Lia Laura; Lupi Caterina; Revelli Rosa; Torre Pasquale family, Angelo and Innocenzo; Torre Luigi family, Colomba and Raffaelina; Torre Antonio; Pizzo Eugenia, all inhabitants of the upper part of the town.
You can follow this sad list better by observing the location of the streets on the map of the old town that we publish here.
1) In the list published by the Royal Commission Report established by the R.D. 19 June 1887, Rome, 1893, 34 dead were recorded [at the time of the earthquake] in Bussana. We have added the name of (1) Domenico Calvini, aged 22, because he died a few days after injuries.
2) The names of the 18 deaths recorded in April and May 1887 are listed in a sheet under the heading: "List of persons still under the ruins", in A.C.B., parcel n.13. It is, however, without date and I do not know what date it goes back to. According to Amalia Capello, The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Bussana and the earthquake of 1887, Genoa, 1897 (1st ed.), 1900 (2nd ed.) , who writes 10 years after the disaster, "deads were scattered all over the limestone and the twenty-one dead bodies had their cemetery in the village" (p. 19 of the 1st edition and 166 of the 2nd ed). I believe, however, that in 1897 the 18 bodies on the list had already been found and that therefore Capello should have cited 3 dead bodies under the rubble, not 21.
1 - Suspension of the search for victims. Thefts.
2 - Military tents.
3 - First resolutions. Rewards.
4 - Arrival of first aid and barracks.
5 - Life in the barracks and rental prices.
I - In the first days after the catastrophe of 23 February the municipal authorities, overwhelmed by the dismay and bereaved by so many sudden and unexpected new difficulties, did not even find the time and the way to meet in regular Council.
It seemed useless to make any decision: no provision would have had practical implementation in those sad moments of crying, discouragement, terror. It seemed especially useless to spend hours in discussions when it was known that under the rubble living people still languished , desperately waiting for help.
It is difficult now to reconstruct the details of the events of those first two or three days via official documents.
Let us therefore refer to the accounts of the witnesses at the time, many of whom, questioned by writers worthy of faith, have handed down their live and sometimes terrifying impressions.
Unfortunately, the newspapers of the time do not provide us with useful information, as we will write in a specific paragraph, very little reported on Bussana and indeed sometimes reported news that was gathered in other locations, without control over the truth.
The infantry platoon, commanded by the lieutenant Isidoro Mattei, who arrived from Sanremo towards the midday of that tragic February 23, aggravated the pain and grief of the already unhappy survivors.
Unbelievable, if it weren't well reported by all the witnesses, was the order given to the soldiers who just arrived in Bussana to suspend all search for victims buried under the rubble, and bring out the survivors who were frantically working, trying to wrest the wounded from death.
Lawyer Vincenzo Donetti, present at the spot, writes:
The lieutenant, "to prevent the survivors looking for their relatives in the rubble, they were approached with cruelty, they made everyone go out of the town and shut it down, placing guards at the doors, with orders to prohibit anyone from entry. And so any further rescue was prevented. And since the miserable population was heavily objecting, they were threatened with very serious penalties to those who had rebelled against the orders given, or who had however deplored them; so much so that the frightful number would have further increased to fifty-seven victims, if it weren’t for two brave young men of the village, Torre Pasquale (aka Zaccaria) and Donetti Pasquale, son of Luigi, who regardless of these orders, hearing the weeping and moans outside the walls of the village, approached from the west side, passing near the house of Soleri Gio Batta, and had therefore not gone to the gathering place outside town, helped by the municipal messenger Soleri Giovanni".
In one of his handwritten notes he adds: "I was present, and I had to witness a deplorable thing. "Mayor Geva, unsuited to support the situation created by the earthquake, was left overwhelmed by Lieutenant Isidoro Mattei" of whom he describes the wrongdoings: "He had ordered the sentries to shoot at the Bussana people who had entered the town, and the order was executed against Isidoro Nobile, called Pietro di Giuditta, who had gone home to get blankets because his sons were cold. They failed to kill him. He further imprisoned a group of Bussanesi, including Giovanni Calvini (Vinello) because they had protested, and they remained locked in a shack for 24 hours."
Even Don Novella, also present on the spot, reiterates this miserable situation: while some Bussana people were in the village someone made them flee by spreading the alarming news that the bell tower of the church was about to collapse. And he adds: "The municipal authority could have better applied its mandate if it had been left free to act. "
Instead the command was assumed by the Military Authority, of which we do not know with what right, and a certain amount of battering of the people ensued. Even the parish priest Don Lombardi was restricted the freedom to work for the public good and this was a damage to the population "
The Maineri, who was sent two years after the earthquake by the Ministry to visit to some of the worst affected towns, reports how a witness confessed with a choking voice: after praising the soldiers who had performed the orders received "we will cherish them but if they had not come, we would not have to cry twenty-one corpses that lay under the ruins. I know it well, they have obeyed the superiors, they have fulfilled the orders received, in good faith, with zeal; but we would have done our things better. The posting of many sentinels, the prohibition of our villagers to continue the excavations, was bad; for this reason we suspended the rescue, which had given good results up to nine [o'clock]; and so many unbelievable robberies took place. That's how it was! "
A similar story can be read in A. Cappello's book: "The rescue, which had given such a good result until nine o'clock in the morning, was suspended when the soldiers arrived: the sentries were placed and no one could return to the village; because they said it was dangerous. Well, while we terrazzani could not return, they came out of from where I do not know, from forbidden sections, and circumventing the soldiers' watches, they went into the houses and stole as much as they could!
... This endurance! Preventing us from helping our own!..."
Giuseppina Soleri was found; "Trust was reborn in all hearts when they saw her again and with great hardship, permission was granted to proceed to the excavations again, but as we approached the square a voice shouted:" Let's flee, the tower is moving!" and most of us descended as fast as they could.
In short, a develish play that can not be described, and all of us, without noticing the dirty trick that had been played, abandoned the excavations. "
We report again on a subsequent testimony that was collected from living witnesses who well remembered those facts and had never been denied or changed:
"A lieutenant with the praiseworthy intent of avoiding other misfortunes, made the ones of us leave who stayed to dig between the obstructing building materials, he made the town people stay outside, preventing anyone from entering it.
The provision, in theory legitimate, in practice struck against the frenzied desire of those who still hoped to rescue some of their loved ones. This led to disputes and arguments, and only due to the disobedience of some terrazzani [terrace dwellers] two creatures, a mother and a daughter could be saved ".
There are numerous allegations of thefts committed by mysterious individuals in homes and especially in cellars. Tradition has handed down many stories that I do not want to state here. I quote only a few sentences of a letter written in April by Mayor Geva: he pray's to the mayor of Sanremo to make strict controls on the Dazio about the wine that was imported into the city "expecting that there is real booty in the cellars". Reporting the theft of "a serious amount of wine in bottles, in cask, stolen from all the main wine cellars, including mine".
In the same days Bartolomeo Bongiovanni asks for a subsidy because "fake helpers" had stolen his possessions: L. 90.
It is evident that a directive was lacking both because of the disorientation of the administrators overwhelmed by the terrible disaster and the external "aid". The lieutenant Mattei therefore took command of the town and left many obscure shadows on his involvement: it was said that he insisted to accompany the persons who came to the aid of the unhappy Bussanesi on a visit to the town which was guarded by the sentinels. It seems that by exercising this task he pocketed a sum of money that generous benefactors had given him. This is a scary accusation of dishonesty, which is supported perhaps because his name is not listed among those who delivered the sums received from benefactors to the appropriate Relief Committee.
A bag of coffee and sugar was requested on his authority, as well as fair supply of wine from the only shopkeeper in Bussana, G.B. Soleri. They were intended for the sick and wounded and Soleri was repaid by the Municipality of Bussana only after two years for the contrasts arose between the parties for this supply.
It is known that Mattei asked the City Council for a certificate of merit stating that he had saved some people while enddangering his life, and showed a wound which the competent authorities refused to recognize by declaring that the wound was caused by a burning cigarette.
He was joined by a shady individual, self-proclaimed marquis Rinaldi, who, pretending to be a representative of the Florence Relief Committee, promised great help, but tried (and succeeded?) to take possession of some sum of money. After a few days this was discovered; he managed to escape Bussana and apparently he was arrested.
On that same day, February 23, about forty military tents arrived in Ventimiglia, in tarred canvas that the Bussanesi mounted as they could.
I quote here what Don Novella wrote about it: "The most knowledgeable erected the military tents, and here the children took shelter. At the gates of the village, a large pit was opened up, which in other times had served as a deposit for an olive mill. People squatted around, trying to get away from the cold with some coverings. "
And so he describes what happened later: "The population initially had to live in the tents, in the open field. It was necessary for three or four families to sleep together, men and women, young men and spinsters, children and infants. In a single tent three people including the parish priest and Father G. Comanedi stayed for a month without changing clothes, sheltering when it rained by opening umbrellas above the bed.
All these hardships, robberies and abuses remained ignored by the superior government authorities who boasted that the readiness and validity of the relief immediately arrived to offer a comforting relief to the people of Bussana. Prefectural Commissioner Annibaie Berti in his intent to commend the governmental relief work to the injuredexpressed elated praise to Biancheri, president of the Commission for the injured, in a long report which gave "allowed the affected of the earthquake to repair the damages suffered"! And he stated quietly that "in a few days after the night of February 23, to give shelter to the citizens who were so terrified that they had left Bussana, the military Engineers had built, on a flat ground at the foot of the town, over one hundred barracks"!
Unfortunately, however, as mentioned above, things had gone differently: the population had been living for some winter under canvas tents and the ones who have been there know very well how cold and completely inconvenient this had been.
Keep in mind that very few families had wool blankets; perhaps no one had a mattress, certainly no spring bed!
And all this was endured, without a word of commiseration, especially because this was not about young and robust soldiers, but about a poorly nourished population with children that were a few days, months and years old, and with old and sick people, with women bruised from hardships and labors.
After these very painful experiences and irreparable damage to some families who had to mourn the loss of someone who could have be saved from the rubble, the population started to put pressure on local authorities to elect a commission that would take over the town.
Thus, on March 3th 1887, a community meeting was held in which, with nearly half of the councilors absent because they were either dead or wounded, eight people were elected to form the governing group of the town.
Even this Bussanese Commission, however, had to act "always under the orders of the Lieutenant Commander of the troops".
At this meeting on March 3rd, it was only decided which people could enter the village to accompany visitors, to ascertain the properties of the removed goods and to distribute the aid that was finally beginning to reach Bussana.
The painful situation continued with anguishes and pains for several weeks, without anyone being able to think about the future.
It was not until the next meeting of March 14 that the local authorities began to think about a new destiny for the town.
Twelve councilors out of 15 participated, including Calvini Raffaele and Calvini G.B., although wounded by the rubble. Commemorated briefly, with words of praise, the deputy councilor G.B. Soleri and the senior commissioner Giuseppe Calvini, who both died in, or as result of, the earthquake, Giuseppe Calvi and Giovanni Berio were elected in their place; then the Mayor brought first news about the need to build a new town elsewhere, as mentioned in the following chapter.
The City Council then had to deal, on April 20, with the requests of many soldiers who wanted compensations for goods. He greatly reduced their claims, reducing their boasted merits and excluding compensation for all "life perils". He also compiled a list of the Bussanesi who had worked in the rescue work, to be proposed to the Ministry for "the reward that he likely will be granting them". They are [with "fu" having the meaning: "child of the deceased"]:
1) Calvini Federico fu Filippo; 2) Ceriolo Luigi, son of Vincenzo; 3) Le-preri Gio Batta by Gio Batta; 4) Rodi Londrino fu Stefano; 5) Ceriolo Pietro fu Antonio; 6) Nobile Pasquale fu Giovanni; 7) Torre Pietro; 8) Rolando Raffaele fu Francesco; 9) Donetti Tito of Dionisio; 10) Calvini Terzo of Defendente; 11) Calvini Gio Stefano of Defendente; 12) Pizzo Gio Batta fu Domenico; 13) Brigadier of the Royal Carabinieri of the Tagus station; 14) Lepreri Pietro fu Antonio; 15) Rolando Pasquale fu Stefano; 16) Lepreri Gio Batta fu Antonio; 17) Donetti Borgia fu Maddalena; 18) Donetti Giacomo fu Giacomo; 19) Lupi Maddalena in Lepreri; 20) Revelli Giovanni of Nicola; 21) Calvini Giuseppe fu Francesco; 22) Novella Gio Batta fu Raffaele; 23) Calvini Defendente fu Bartolomeo; 24) Fisero Gio Batta; 25) Noble Francesco fu Gio Batta; 26) Novella Antonio, of Giovanni; 27) Putoro Angelo; 28) Calvini Luigi fu Domenico.
2- Among the most useful gifts received from the Municipality of Genova and from the Relief Committee of Porto Maurizio, three wagons of boards, beams and shingles were sent to build the shacks.
A first quantity of timber arrived at the railway station of Arma on March 7, but it took a few days to get them transported to the ruined town.
Some premises were built very early by a group of soldiers of the Military Engineers who had arrived, I believe, in April; but many families - stayed in the tents for a long time.
The two most significant barracks were among the first to be set up: the one that served as a "communal house" and the other as "church". I have no precise indications for the first; of the second we know that the City Council in the minutes of May 16, 1887 thanked the bishop Msgr. 'Tomaso Reggio the gift of that shack that had been built before in S. Siro square in Sanremo, and no longer was used.
The Municipality of Bussana took care of the transport: on June 10th, when this accommodation was completed, it was inaugurated.
At the same time work began on the shacks that had to host the population. Their assembly went very slowly; a lot of material was still needed: beams, tiles, tar paper, which arrived slowly in the following weeks. There was also a lack of skilled labor, equipment and the ability to turn the lumber into the rudimentary sheds, visible in photographs taken some months after the disaster.
A "list of people to whom tables and rafters were distributed for the construction of their respective shacks" was immediately executed. The following note was written: "It is the obligation of those selected to carry out the construction as close as possible to the center of the inhabited area within a timeframe of not more than one month from the day of delivery; failing that they will be required to return the tables and everything else received, as well as all the expenses and damages that could derive from it. It is understood that the tables and other distributed items remain the exclusive property of the City, and will have to be returned after the construction of the new town ".
The document is without date, but perhaps dates back to June 1887. Up tol that time, many were still housed in the tents that were taken back by the municipal authorities using the following "warning" dated July 21st: "All those who received tarred conical tents are urged to return it to the consignee of the same to be returned to the owner. The Mayor" .
Simultaneously with the distribution of boards, with specific warnings that it was not a gift, the City Council in session (so to speak) of January 10, 1888 fixed the rent that each family had to pay!
And everyone had to accept: who could do without it, having the military authorities refused them to enter the old houses?
5- The Prefecture blocked this resolution. One could think of a ray of humanity that enlightened those directives; but only in appearance it was so. The Prefecture rejected the cruel municipal resolution only because they wanted to include one sentence: "People in need are excluded from the rent tax".
It was a mockery: everyone was well in need! The municipal authorities are to blaim for this and other hateful measures: there was a desperate need of money for the thousand collective shortcomings, as is clear from the many examples that I quote and the many more numerous cases that I have left out.
The Government had charged the Bussanesi the costs of rail transport of these lumber panels for the barracks. Humanity towards the needy would have been more explicit with an exemption from these aggravations.
The City Council still had to meet on January 30, 1888 to redo the resolution, with the unnecessary addition desired by the clement government authority. And here is the text in the central section of the new report: "That the people who were accommodated in the wooden shacks built after the earthquake of last February 23; as well as the people to whom the materials were distributed to build them on their own, be subjected to an annual rent relative to the occupation of the expropriated land, to the construction carried out and to the cost of the relative materials; which rent is established in the following proportions.
a) L. 10 for each large Barack.
b) L. 8 for each small Barack.
c) L. 4 percent on the distributed material.
Persons in need are exempted from this tax.
To authorize the Municipal Council for the formation of the relative Role, with the faculty to exempt from the aforementioned tax all those persons who they will perceive belonging to the indigent Class, and to also reduce the tax itself if they believe it to be the case ".
These difficult distinctions seriously embarrassed the administrators; they created distrust, rancor, and crying; the misery, also in moral, kept in getting worse. To this we add the bureaucratic work and the time taken by the administrators who in a cold and dark shack spent full days compiling useless and hateful lists, or discussing complex problems imposed by the tragic moment and the dullness of the rulers.
This is but one example among many: the directors of the Council of Bussana had to fill out also the "Role of collection for the rent of the barracks and taking stock of materials and land occupation" and keep it updated in the following years. It is a list of 166 families who paid different rent amounts for the years 1888, 1889 and 1890, according to the occupied space and the number of the family members. The amounts ranged from a minimum of L. 1.50 (Ceriolo Tobia fu Antonio) to L. 30 (Donetti Ludovico, son of Dionisio).
From many documents today other incredible situations arise: the material sent "for the temporary shelter of the population" (and this provision for many lasted about six years) was of so poor quality that families had join other families to share the few remaining materials. A list marks the names of 69 families that were accommodated in twenty shacks.
In this regard, I refer to what Don Novella writes, who personally lived through these times. "Miserable shacks sheltered from the rigors of the inclement March climate. Rough, poorly designed, built in haste, letting the icy wind pass through the frets, water dripping through the cracks of the roof." "The kitchens were spread out in the open country; at the usual time the fire was lit to make some soup, but more than once the wind sent the pots into the air! "
Nor were the pitiful cases of people that for years were excluded even from that miserable refuge. I name only one example: Marietta Calvini of Defendente, abandoned by her husband, with a son in very tender age, devoid of means, on February 25, 1890 she asked for shelter in a shack already built: because they had in fact delivered only a few boards to her!
A similar letter to the mayor addressed (the date is not indicated) Pasquale Torre, who modestly accompanied the request with simple words: "If I could not have half of a cabin, I would be happy anyway if I could get some rafters and I could buy a hundred tiles and a few strips. I say this because I already having a number of bricks in my posession, I could have enough accommodation to be able to sleep ".
These were people well resigned to poverty and far from pretentions!
I omit other questions and complaints that are still in the archive today; It is easy to imagine how many others have addressed these matters.
At the same time, however, the state bureaucracy and many regrettable polemics, stemming from human suffering and worries, kept the municipal authorities so busy that they lost days compiling lists of materials and money received and even of the victims of the earthquake as if the superior authorities of the Prefecture and the state did not know that the entire population had suffered damage, all had received the order to evacuate the houses!
Yet the Government requested numerous lists of the damages and the compilation of many forms for any minimum concession. In January 1888 a first list of the earthquake victims was created for one of these privileges: those damaged by the earthquake could delay the payment of land tax by three months. And the city council strictly applied this prefecture notice by restricting only this modest concession to only 425 people.
To the already thousand problems of those days the Provincial Council of Health wanted to add one: they ordered to build a canal that would collect and divert rainwater from the Rocche; the water could be polluted by the bodies left under the rubble.
The municipal administration had to call an engineer, Antonio Tornatore di Sanremo, who on May 22, 1887 gave the Mayor a drawing and a report on the work to be done. It contains elementary observations and advice; I do not know why it was necessary to call, and pay, an engineer; obviously this expense was imposed on the already poor and unfortunate inhabitants.
"The infected centers - writes Eng. Tornatore at the Provincial Council of Health - they are all in an area that is inclined towards the Armea torrent. The alleys that furrow this area, that is, climb to the Rocca, Torre and Zotte all descend towards the Piazza della Chiesa and towards the alley that leads to it. In these two localities the construction of the canal that must begin in front of the Rocca climb, run along the wall of the Church (that will serve as a shoulder strap), then bend and unwind along the Volte alley to the most depressed point. At this point it can be interrupted because the water that it collects, with great ease, comes to vent on another inclined street that, departing from it after a very short stretch, ends up in open country."
Here the Tornatore advises the construction of a gully that sends the water into a large pit already existing in the olive grove owned by the G.B. Torre; next to this well it is good to dig a pit of about 40 cubic meters to accommodate the excess of water in case of prolonged and prolonged rain.
A section of covered canal was also planned through the land of Paolina Torre.
And the expenses? The calculation was perhaps linked to the now lost design; but to the superior authorities this was not interesting: they had to be paid by the poor people.
1 - Many Bussanesi expelled from the houses of Bussana Vecchia.
2 - Interruption of water supply. Return of the barracks.
3 - Obligation imposed on individuals to build in the area of the master plan.
1 – The surprises that the documents of the time reserve for us are not small: some families received eviction even from those poor shacks, for which they paid regular rent!
Yet they were expelled in 1891 because the prefectorial commissioner Berti, who ruled the municipal administration from March to October 1891, had found that some families had already settled elsewhere.
Arriving in town March 18, 1891, he fnoticed that the population partly housed in the barracks "provided by the public charity" (he wrote: paid by the Bussanesi renouncing the subsidies that arrived from public charity) and still partly in the ruins; "It was my concern - he continues - to publish a manifesto with which to invite everyone to come out of the ruins ".
To give this and other practices a more agile course, he used forms prepared in templates, which only lacked the name of the recipient. This refinement of the bureaucracy was applied precisely to eviction order from the houses of the old town. In this way, the order could be quickly delivered to all those who were considered "abusive".
Here is the text:
"The Extraordinary Delegate for the Municipal Administration of Bussana, Intended the opinion of the Civil Engineering Office. Seen 1 art. 133 of the Municipal and Provincial Law (consolidated text).
UNDERSTANDS to be evicted from the house located in …… and make sure to block the entrance within the term of ten days from today; and this because the said building has a risk to become a ruin because of the earthquake of February 23, 1887. The concerned party is aware that, in case of refusal, it will be done by the authorities and at parties' expense.
Bussana, ….. 1891
The R.o Delegato ".
Precise in that way it had been written, but without the incredible sentence: "The party concerned is aware that, in case of refusal, we will proceed to perform the demolition .." obviously at the expense of the owner.
Evidently he considered those poor peasant farmers guilty of having to pay, at their expenses, for the destruction of their houses which had been spared by the earthquake.
In short, but I think significant, in comment and as complement of the facts now exposed, I will add that some families after a year or two of life that was so difficult in the barracks, and not having found other accommodation in this area or elsewhere, had returned to the old town. It is a known fact that many Fascette houses had not had dangerous damage. They are still standing today!
They were certainly more habitable than the shacks.
It is difficult to establish to whom those orders were sent, because in those situations a protocol register was not drafted, but from various papers it appears that it was delivered to the following owners who lived, or were allowed to stay, in houses that were also listed on a report of the less damaged ones:
Torre Luigi, son of the late Giacomo - Via Geva 26
Rolando Francesco, of the late Gio Stefano - Via Ospedale 6
Geva Gio Batta, of the late Francesco - Via Geva 20
Panizzi Gio Batta of Antonio - Via Geva 4
Calvini Gio Batta, of the late Egidio - Via Soleri 32
Calvi Giovanni, of the late Egidio - Via Soleri 26 - 11
Lupi Giovanni, of the late Benedetto - Via Soleri 19
Rolando Raffaele, of the late Francesco - Via Soleri 15-16
Ceriolo Giacinta, of the late Antonio Maria - Via Soleri 15-14
Rolando Caterina, of the late Stefano - Via Soleri 24
Donetti Filippa of the late Vincenzo - Via Donetti 26 bordering Via Geva
Geva Clara in Lodi - Via Geva 44 or 22
Geva Gio Batta of the late Francesco - Via Geva 11
Rolando Luigi of the late Gio Batta - Via Ospedale 5
Soleri Pasquale of the late Gerolamo - Via Ospedale 4
Pizzo Giuseppe of the late Antonio - Via Geva 13.
Eight days after the dispatch of the eviction order for the old houses, an engineer from the Civil Engineers intervened and, having inspected the village, "found that only 15 houses were still habitable; that 2 had to be demolished within 3 days; that 23 had to be abandoned in 10 days; 28 or repaired or abandoned in 90 days. That all the others were absolutely not habitable ".
Berti does not openly confess that he was the one who did not allow repairs to the 28 declared repairable houses; he would make it clear however soon after: "to give a greater push to the latecomers who remain in the old Bussana they cradle in foolish illusions to renounce the house in Bussana Nuova deliberately to transfer to the Capo Marine with the collective water supply" and therefore "I had to cut the old pipeline that went from Pianelli to the square of the Oratory and transport it to Capo Marine ".
Therefore, those who thought they could continue to live in Bussana Vecchia are considered crazy!
2 - That unqualifiable government administrator, sent to help of the battered town, had for a moment the mental lucidity of recognizing that the interruption of the aqueduct "was a very ferocious provision", but soon after he was proud of its outrageousness: "Its effect has been full; the procrastinators of the old Bussana, vanquished from thirst, were made convinced of the firm resolve in me to want to finish the new town as soon as possible, he decided, and now they all have their houses under construction ".
Meanwhile the poor Bussanesi, hungry and forgotten by the high government authorities, had to pay. Those who lived in the barracks were left without water! The nearest source was "ai Pozzi" in the Fonti valley.
Next he thought it would be good to accelerate the eviction also for these remaining inhabitants, starting with those who had partially left, finding refuge in cottages scattered in the countryside, in oil mills and wherever they could take advantage of a shelter. He then made his "warning" reach many others: "It has become clear to the municipal administration that the S.V. [formal expression: signoria vostra = you] by being located in another place does not take advantage of the shack that was granted after the earthquake of 1887 for use of housing.
"Now being the undersigned in the hard need to make this shelter available to a family that, for lack of another suitable space, lives in the ruins which they, for urgent reasons of public security, must immediately evict, the invitation to deliver = at this place and immediately = the key to the cabin in question, taking into account that if such delivery is not made tomorrow before 12 noon, they will be deemed to decline the invitation that was made and will otherwise be responsible for all expenses and damage.
The Delegate "
In support of his order, he compiled in his own hand this "List of families who must return the key to the shack no longer inhabited."
1st row 1 Torre Rosa see Soleri
2 Soleri Giò di Francesco
3 Donetti Tito
2nd row 1 Podestà Innocenzo
2 Calvini Pietro
3 Donetti Maria ved.Calvini
4 Torre Luigi fu G.B.
5 Torre Giuseppe fu Serafino
6 Torre Catterina ved.Capponi 3rd row 1 Torre Gasparina
4th row east 1 Torre Maria
2 Donetti G.B.fu Pasquale
3 Lupi G.B.fu Giovanni 4th row west 1 Lupi Vittoria Baracca Forno 1 Ceriolo Vincenzo
2 Donetti Ludovico 1st row north 1 Novella Gio Batta
2 Luigi's Torre Luigi 1st row south 1 Rolando Santino di Gio
2 Donetti Benedetto 2nd row south I Natta Benedetto
2 Torre Giovanni
2nd row north 1 Rolando Davide
2 Ceriolo Giovanni
3 Ceriolo Giò fu Antonio Maria
4 Calvini Giò fu G.B.
5 Torre Luigi fu Luigi
To avoid trespassing in empty shacks, he hastened to move some of these actions forwadr, as appears from a sheet with no date, but always by the hand of the Berti:
"Barracks to be put up for sale.
List of people and families who must change their homes.
1st Ludovico Donetti
2nd Lupi Ilario
3rd Dionisio Family
4th Torre Giuseppe
5th Rolando Maddalena
6th Natta Francesco
7th Ceriolo G.B. of Vincenzo
8th Amedeo Teresa
9th Wolves Veronica
10th Calvini G. Batta
11th Gollo Francesco
12th Calvini Bartolomeo
13th Donetti Metilde"
This unfortunate example of eviction from the barracks was then followed by the subsequent administration and sent gradually, but promptly, to those who in the following months left the cabin for better accommodations.
Here is the new text, a bit softened but evidently derived from what the Berti began to send in 1891.
"To be otherwise commissioned, the S. V. no longer benefits from the concessional cabin after the earthquake for temporary use. Having now, in accordance with the legal decisions, to provide for the withdrawal of such shacks, the invitation to deliver to this office the key to the shack itself within the peremptory term of three days from the date of the present, preventing it that otherwise, you will be dissenting to the invitation and will otherwise be provided for all your expenses; with a declarion of all the damage that could derive from it.
This notice was drawn up following the municipal resolution of July 7, 1892. In it the municipal administration governed by the Mayor Boccone-Lotti reiterated the order of delivery of the timber while recognizing that many families received only the material from the Bussana Committee and "had to support not insignificant expenses, and adding own materials ", in the decision of February 2, 1893, the City Council decided the demolition of the last few cabins for the total eviction from the parish land which cost the Municipality L. 225 per year; however, the sum was still confirmed in the budget in the council session of 24 January 1895.
So it was dramatically documented how muc resistance was initiated by many to abandon the old town and go into the new.
Not only were there sentimental motives that pushed the population to such resistance: they understood what financial effort they had to endure in accepting a loan that was made asier for other municipalities;
They sought to escape the harsh condition of the obligation to pay a new house in a defined area. Nobody was allowed a modest loan, easy to repay. To build a house completely, starting with the purchase cost of the building area took a lot of money to repay, even if with special terms. Nor could it be built in profitable areas like in Arma di Taggia or Sanremo. There was an obligation to build it in Bussana Nuova.
3 - This iniquitous clause, imposed only on the Bussanesi, ruined the spirit of the Law 4511 which thus turned from an aid for the unfortunate town to enormous damage, by some contemporary writers, as reported below, considered a second earthquake.
It obliged the inhabitants, who almost did not have any money, to request figures above their capacity to return, but necessary, indeed indispensable, to build up the entire house from the foundations to the roof.
For the Bussanesi no exit option existed: they could no longer live in the old houses; they were all forced to build new houses and only in the prescribed location.
This rule was applied, evidently by higher orders, with extreme rigor. A special permission was even needed by some inhabitants to build on land they already owned, bordering the area bounded by the Town Plan.
Everyone had to buy within the building area. They wanted to force the purchase of a lot even to those who already owned one near the future town.
Here are two cases: Dr. Gio Matteo Soleri owned a land located a few dozen meters north of the area reserved for the school building and the municipal drinking water reservoir. Confident by the loan required by law for the damage suffered to his home in Bussana Vecchia, he began in that already owned land the work for the construction of a comfortable and elegant home. He was informed of the serious restrictions in granting the loan, and presented the following question to the City Council, which I report entirely because it is very significant in this regard.
"Honorable Municipal Council of Bussana. The undersigned, damaged by the earthquake of February 23, 1887, conforming completely to the law and regulation to obtain from the Government the favorable loan, already sending regular questions for some time to the Institutes financers: but, come in today to cognition as the Onorevolissima Royal Commission has decided not to grant loans to those who rebuild their houses from scratch outside the new Bussana master plan, allow themselves to exhibit to the SS L.L. how this determination is not only contrary to the law and regulation, but very late; and it can not have retroactive effect because it causes not only significant damages to the interests of the applicants, who. reassured to obtain the requested loan, set to work for the construction in the region of Capo Marine, chosen and approved by L.L. S.S. and by R. Government, and already have done considerable expense in the excavation of their new construction and in the provision of materials and in the stipulation of the building contract, and so they do no longer have the opportunity to choose a convenient area.
Therefore, the undersigned turn to this honorable Consort to obtain, even by way of an exception, an approval for the continuation of the work of their home in the land of their property adjoining the master plan and are allowed to enjoy, according to the regulation, the bank loan ; land that was included on the alignment of the municipal area is, due to extensive landslide occurred in many lots, now unserviceable and therefore were abandoned.
Confident the applicants that the Honorable Council will want to consider their petition, and take an interest in their favor with the R. Commission, have the honor to declare themselves Dev. And obligatory
Bussana 19 July 1889 D.re Giovanni Matteo Soleri "
Although I have not found the continuation of the practice, I believe that Dr. Gio Matteo has been able to collect the loan of L. 12,000 promised to him, as shown in the official list published in the Report of the R. Commission.
A similar concession (!) was granted October 16, 1898 to Calvini Vincenzo who, owner of a land bordering to the south of the area provided in the master plan, had to apply, and wait for the long-awaited municipal building permit, not to lose the right to the mortgage. Yet, as is well stated in the document, that land was included in an area already envisaged "for future enlargement" of the new town.
So this was the hostility to allow for the grant of a loan for those who, even with justified reasons, asked to build on the edge of the area of the master plan! It was useless to hope for what the inhabitants of the other 235 affected towns were clearly allowed to: build freely!
For Bussana I refer only one case of refusal, reporting the significant whole document: it is the answer given to the Bussanese Calvini Maria, married, and therefore inhabitant, to Poggio.
"La Giunta [government board], given the request sent by Mrs. Calvini Maria was Egidio, wife of Grossi Bianchi Andrea, born in Bussana and now residing in Poggio di Sanremo, with whom she asked to be allowed to use her current account prepayment ascendant to L. 4.640 in the construction of a new house to be built on the territory of Poggio (Sanremo) rather than on that of Bussana where the damage was suffered.
Considering that the Royal Commission supports damage funds for the earthquake of Bussana, it established the principle for Bussana not to grant advances in current accounts where these are not intended for the construction of new houses within the regulatory plan.
Considered that such a principle was already adopted for others who were in the same case as the applicant, by unanimous decision we can not accept the above application.
It is therefore evident that it was not the local authorities, however different in the people during the years cited, but precisely those of Rome that imposed this restrictive clause on the granting of the loan.
So was the law the same for everyone?
The political leaders who conceived this restriction and decided to apply it remained in the shadows: they did not publicly exhibit it, they did not print it nor did they sign it. However, it appears evident from the official documents that we report here. It was expressed with some letter, lost, or proclaimed by an authoritative voice; for example by De Rossi, secretary of the R. Commission for the damaged of the earthquake, who came to Bussana, perhaps for this purpose, on August 28, 1890
He also had some influential supporter in the area, but I do not know who; perhaps the Comanedi and the Spinola; not the parish priest who was opposed to moving the town to the Capo Marine, nor the Mayor Geva, accused by Berti of being one of the procastinators to present the project of rebuilding his house.
However, this clause came from above: it was not only known but also supported by S. Ecc. Biancheri, president of the Chamber and of the R. Commission for those damaged by the earthquake.
The first authority, in order of time, that made it apply, without bringing the text, was the Prefectural Commissioner Berti, who ruled the city administration in 1891. For him it was a boast to have so many families dislodge their old houses and have forced 122 of them to buy 75 lots of building area in the Capo Marine area.
The "Report of the Royal Commission" is very much more explicit and authoritative, charged by the Government to organize and distribute mortgages to Municipalities and private individuals.
In it are also reported (p.130 e segg.) the Laws and the related official Regulations, which say nothing particular to Bussana, therefore uniting the 235 other Municipalities which benefited.
A long comment made by the president Biancheri and by the secretary De Rossi, who with some ambiguous sentences, try to bear responsibility for the transfer of the town to the popular will (a fact that they had not read the Report printed two years before) from Berti?) but sometimes they contradict and recognize (p.11) the following:
"It would be impossible to describe to what pile of ruins that town (of Bussana) was reduced. Suffice it to say that everyone who lived there was forced to take shelter in shabby shacks in which they had to stay a long time having been deliberated by the Royal comission that the ancient town, that is, the mass of ruins of the old Bussana, should be completely abandoned, and instead a new Bussana was built ".
Here therefore the admission is very clear that the order for a new town came from above. This confirms the exclusion from the benefits of the May 31 law for those who did not obey. This is also stated in the Report: "It should also be noted (p.79) that such a faculty (to build freely where everyone wanted) the commission did not believe it extended to the damaged Bussana."
And further below: "Regardless of all the applications for anticipation presented by the damaged (Bussana), were directed to rebuild the houses in the new town, because no one in then thought to repair or rebuild those of the old town, being an absolutely exceptional case, it was necessary a coercive measure to achieve the prefixed purpose, that is the construction of the new Bussana, and this was recognized in the obligation made to the survivors to manufacture their houses in the chosen location, and within the limits of the master plan, distrusting them that otherwise, they would have been declared forfeited from the benefit of the grant. If this had not been done, after spending hundreds of thousand lire in public works, there would have been houses scattered in the old and in the new town, but the purpose would not have been achieved. "
These admissions of high political authority are a little softened and justified, but significant.
Note the concern expressed here by the Commission about the waste of a lot of money ("hundreds of thousand lire") if the order to rebuild the entire town of Bussana had not been given; it would almost seem that all that money belonged to the state. Instead it was the Bussanesi money that paid for the expenses of their homes and public works.
And that it was also personally the Hon. Biancheri to impose the obligation of the implantation of a new town, appears from a letter from the Prefect Commissioner Berti. He wrote directly to the Hon. Biancheri on July 17, 1891 that he prides itself on the decision to cut the drinking water supply "to force the inhabitants of the old Bussana to shake their inertia" (8). He warns the Hon. Biancheri - declares Berti himself - to prevent any protests, knowing clearly that such pressure was appreciated by the eminent politician.
The unjust and illegal clause, to which in vain the weak and abandoned population of Bussana opposed itself with the deliberate delay in asking for mortgages and building areas, was finally reproached to the Government in official form by the municipal administration of 1897.
In a petition addressed to S.Ecc. the President of the Council of Ministers, signed by a commission delegated by the population and the City Council on June 6, 1897, referred to the disastrous earthquake and the iniquitous obligation to rebuild the town "at the total expense of the entire population".
Then he went on in these more explicit terms: "These were the very heavy burdens that the inhabitants of Bussana were going through rebuilding the town, and in the eccentric location described, it was very natural and certain, (and it is well understood) that when they they were left free to rebuild their homes, or to build on that land or in that area that would return to their individual interests, all, or would return to their old habitations, or would have helped to the construction of rural houses scattered around the campaign, therefore exempt from any tax burden and in relation to the only industry in the town; or, finally, they would build their houses for profit in nearby locations like Sanremo and Arma, or further, but more and more hospitable and rewarding than in the new Bussana, where the possession of a house, without a new, sure and real help, would have always represented a huge passivity. "
Recognized the noble patriotic purpose of this arrangement, continues: "Bussana had to rebuild itself at any cost, and under the most modern forms." And so it happened that, while under the aforementioned law, to all the inhabitants of the other Ligurian villages damaged. from the earthquake a loan was granted to favorable conditions to rebuild their home, or to build another building, of any shape and size, in any place or town, freely chosen by the owner, for those of Bussana instead, with equal loan conditions, It was absolutely necessary that the new house - it could not be that - only had to rise on the new pre-established area, and scrupulously followed a determined plan: it was still prescribed the erection of public buildings, the construction of new internal and vicinal roads, the arrangement of rainwater, the formation of squares, the conduct of drinking water etc. etc., and all of this in full charge of those few 800 inhabitants ".
And below this statement is repeated: "So difference in treatment between the various Ligurian ctowns, even affected by the earthquake, and Bussana, because equal benefits are matched by different obligations; therefore greater aggravations and greater inconveniences for this already of its very unhappy country nature; therefore for it new constraints, and new reasons for expenses on the one hand and lack of advantages on the other ".
A few years later, with decisive frankness, Fon, Nuvoloni in a courageous speech in the Chamber recalled that blatant injustice perpetrated against Bussana and re-instated it to the President, who was just 1 Hon. Biancheri, former President of the Royal Commission
the responsibility of that fatal wrongdoing.
And the Hon. Biancheri listened without denying, thus admitting the truth of those words that we are partly quoting here.
"The secretary, if I am not mistaken, was sent to the central Commission for those damaged by the earthquake in order to convince the people who had no other way out: or to manufacture in the new master plan, or do not have a mortgage. And what happened? The municipal council had to be dissolved and a royal commissioner was sent, who, in order to force those out of Bussana, was forced to resort to this extreme expedient, that is, he removed the drinking water that was to be used for the old settlement and sent it into the new locations.
Only because they were taken as they say with a throat-lasso in this way, the Bussanesi have complied with the deliberations rightly taken by the Central Committee and have built it there ".
And although with lesser authority but not lesser heat, so on this question was expressed by a contemporary writer, not interested in the facts; "Almost all (of the inhabitants of Bussana) did not intend to deviate too much from the ruins of their fathers and would have preferred a kind of plateau at the foot of the destroyed town. It was an exclusively agricultural town that was in the center of the territory and it would have been convenient for them to use the materials of the ruins in which they could have kept some stables, some barns and some terraces and loggia for drying figs.
But no sir! Italy, immediately after the disaster, had lavishly enlarged the strings of her purse, not for the benefit of those affected but that swarm of speculators who had swarmed like hyenas in those immense necropolis, and the Law of May 30, 1887 economically was more disastrous of the earthquake itself. As a result, engineers and contractors and tutors pushed, as they wanted, imposed that the new Bussana should rise in the place where we now see it, a place not conducive to agricultural needs and such that it cannot profit from the coastal transit road. And the citizens, unlike what was granted to others, were enforced to build where, how and for how much money ".