(To Gregorio Vella)

(Fanta-story of military life)

The sunset of that fallen day had begun and the echoes of the battle had not yet been extinguished.

General Garibaldi, amongst his lieutenants and commanders, assessed with the state the results of their latest military offensive, whose alternatives did not yet allow them to draw a reliable balance of the situation.

What seemed clear was that men were really tired.

All the holy days there was a battle to be done and it is known that battles are never a complete rest. First of all there was to be a great uproar to surprise the enemy, who, however, doing exactly the same thing was almost never surprised; then all day in the midst of gunfire, cannon fire, smoke, caring for the injured and taking away the dead, eating a piece of bread when it was possible between assault and another, in short, a big job. In the evening it was not possible to rest properly, no leisure, because there was to be taken care of the wounded, to clean the weapons, the guards, the dead to be buried, a little 'soup cooked at best when it was fine and then very few hours of sleep lying on the floor.

So it was that the great Nice, since it was Friday, decided to give the whole weekend a free weekend; so all free and no battles Saturday and Sunday; it would start again on Monday, maybe mid-morning but fresh and refreshed.

Who could and lived near, was already preparing to go home; the others began to argue animally with their companions on where to go, who wanted to have a nice meal, who felt the need for a female company, who both were.

Even the hero of the two worlds, loosening the tension and sitting on his field stool (he still had the wounds of Aspromonte's wounds), turned his mind to himself and what he could do in the next two days.

The vicissitudes of war had led the heroic Garibaldini to fight a few kilometers from Orte, where lived an old aunt of the general: Aunt Adelina. She was the sister of her father, who had always had a weakness for her nephew. Having had no children, he had been a mother to him when they lived in Nice where Peppuccio (as she called her), young and scumbagged, gave a lot of thoughts to her mother who was always ill. He married a sailor who had died in the sea after even two years of marriage. She had resumed after almost ten years of widowhood with an official of the Manifattura Tabacchi of the Pontifical State, also a widow, and had gone to live in Orte, home of the manufactory.

Aunt Adelina often wrote to her nephew, asking for news of him and reproaching him for never coming to see her, perhaps between a battle and another; in his letters (to which, in truth, the nephew replied very rarely) he always advised him to be cautious, to eat vegetables, to say prayers in the evening and to cover himself well especially when he was sweating in the heat of the fight (the legendary poncho had given it to her for Christmas).

But another possible (and indeed more enjoyable) program was in the mind of the hero of the two worlds, visiting Aunt Adelina.

The occasion was given to find Brigitte in Rome, the guest of his beloved brother Monsignor, who was forty years old and almost a partisan of the general. Brigitte had, in Nice, been her first love of youth, then lost sight but, as is well known, the first love never forgets. Although in Rome it was not air for him, being such a big city could have been fine, perhaps by being a friar. with Anita there would be no problem because she had gone to Campobasso to give birth to the baptism of her friend's son; then free field.

So, immersed in his thoughts, he did not notice that he was close to whether the trusted Nino Bixio, well deservedly relaxed and with his mind finally cleared of tactics and strategies, asked him where he would go for the end week. Still overwhelmed, the general replied: "I still do not know, either Rome or Orte"but the devout companion of a thousand battles, which by now was almost completely deaf, he asked:"Sorry, as you said."to which Garibaldi, with what voice he had in his body, repeated:" O ROME OR ORTE! "

It was thus that a young officer passing by them by chance, received and rightly, how much pride he relayed the matter in an unintentional incorrect manner, but which, as such, was handed down to posterity and so transcribed in history books and enrolled in the many commemorative graves of a great father of the country.