Even though I have never ridden my ‘truck’ for more than 154 km in one day this evening I felt like I did 250 KM. I am physically and emotionally shattered after my six hour visit to Latina.
With an internal temperature 24C and the maximum speed of the train reaching up to 158 km/h I arrived to Latina at 9:50 AM. This was my first ever visit to this city in the last 33 years. After a short ride I got off the bus at the Piazza del Popolo in the centre of Latina. It was 10:34 AM and the main square was occupied with the peacefully protesting students. Well, back in early 80’s I did my share of protesting, so I passed on now.
Although I recognized the main square I wasn’t quite sure, which out of six streets I needed to take to the XXIV Via Maggio where the refugee camp was located.
It is wasn’t hard to recognize the main gate to the ‘campo’, which I crossed on March 22, 1985 for the first time. Eight years later, in 1993, the refugee camp was shutdown and then partially demolished. Today serves the students of the Facoltà Di Economica at the Università La Sapienza. My hesitation of crossing the main gate lasted for less than a minute. Next 20-30 minutes I walked around the premises trying to reconstruct the layout of the camp. I was confused and pretty exhausted. Eventually I had enough. I decided to grab a coffee at the nearby café. I sat down and I felt my legs were shaking. I realized that the whole morning I ran on adrenalin. My head was like the highway of the past events. I knew I’m done with it. It was time to SMS Mario to pick me; “Dove vorresti che ci incontrassimo? al campo e piazza del Popolo?”
Few minutes later Mario replied; “Io sono appena arrivato al campo.”
To be continued…
The Piazza del Popolo in Latina, Italy
Between 1957 – 1993 the Latina Refugee Camp was located on this street
This used to be the family building, today part of the local university.
33 years apart
The kitchen building – partially demolished
My bed at the ‘H’ barrack – I took this photo back in 1985