The Boy in the War Zone

When we arrived, we found a scenario quite similar to what we had seen before. Many houses were abandoned, no shops were open and very few soldiers could be seen in the small town. We picked a house that was empty, relatively untouched by the war, and settled down. My father assured us that we were not going to move again, come what may. Unfortunately, more strokes of bad luck were coming. We spent time talking and waiting nervously for the front to arrive. We foraged for food and found some in vegetable gardens and in fruit trees, mostly apples. One day we were able to purchase some fish that had been caught with the traditional seine method of sciabiga. It consisted of lowering a semicircular net into the coastal waters and then pulling it slowly to shore with the fish trapped in a sack at the end. Sciabiga was labor intensive as it required several men to pull the two ropes that brought the net to the shore. The small flounders and anchovies fished in Viserba were the best dinner we had in a long while.

I asked many questions of my father while we waited for something to happen. My father was not a Fascist and called himself a “monarchist”, loyal to the King. My mother instead was on the opposite side and called herself a “republican”, belonging to the old liberal party that

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