“Conversations” with Salvatore & my friend Enzo Regarding Cemetery Gravestones

Continuing our conversation…..I know cemetery gravestones are not a normal topic of conversation, but it is a necessary one.

As I stated before, I told Salvatore the highlights of my trip and what I learned during my visit to Castellammare del Golfo and Calatafimi of the family history. Salvatore was astonished and sad to learn that our great-grandfather was “left at the wheel”, abandoned at birth.

He also didn’t know that his mother had to show Bernardo and I the grave because we couldn’t find it, due to the deterioration of the stone. So now, the grave of our great-grandfather Lorenzo Milano was the main topic.


January 25, 2017, Celia to Salvatore
I am hoping that you can help me solve this issue.

Several times Bernardo & I went to the cemetery in May & could not find our great-grandfather’s grave. I knew it was in a mausoleum but could not remember where your Father took my sister Laurette & me many years ago.

Your Mom said she would show us & she did. When I saw the stone I knew why I couldn’t find it. In addition to being vertically challenged (short), the stone was faded.

When I came home to the U.S. I wrote 2 times to Maurizio at the cemetery. He never answered me. I also asked Felice & I heard from him yesterday via facebook – “I lavori non li farà il Comune. Devi fare tu i lavori, devi pagare tu per il lavoro”. “Work will not be done by the municipality. You have to do the work, you have to pay for the job.”

How can I have the work done to restore the stone? And yes, I will pay the fees. I am attaching the 2nd letter to the cemetery which includes the photo. {Inserting English only}
September 11, 2016
Signor Maurizio Cassara
Cimitero di Castellammare del Golfo
Via Euclide
91014 Castellammare del Golfo, Trapani, Sicily, Italy

Ciao Signor Cassara,
I met you this past May when my cousin Bernardo Como brought me to the cemetery to pay my respects to many family members. (Milano, Vivona, Galatioto, Cartiera, Giliberti).

I had inquired into the location of my great grandfather Lorenzo Milano who died December 1934. The records did not show his location.

Fortunately, my cousin Maria Ciaravino Milano (widow of Lorenzo Milano who died October 2010) showed me my great grandfather’s grave.

[When you leave the office building, take a right turn and walk to the end of the sidewalk (to the second closed gate). It is on that wall. I am including a photo.]
The engraving on the stone has faded so that it is very hard to read.

I am writing to inquire about the process and cost to clean and restore my great grandfather’s grave marker.
Your help in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
Molti saluti,

Great-grandfather Lorenzo Milano’s gravemarker
Gravemarker for Great-Grandfather Lorenzo Milano in Cimitero Comunale (Via Euclide – 91014Castellammare Del Golfo(TP))








January 25, 2017, Salvatore to Celia
Hi Celia, I wanted to tell you that the work to fix the graves is done by relatives and not the municipality. With us, it is so. If you want to do the work inform me. In recent months, my mother told me that the city needs to release the posts and that there could be a risk that he will be moved to the common ossuaries.

January 26, 2017, Celia to Salvatore
Hi Salvatore, Thank you for all the information. Yes, is it possible to have the stone cleaned? Or should I wait until I visit to arrange it??

What does your mother mean by “the city needs to release of the posts and that there could be a risk that they take him away to put him in the common ossuaries.” !@#$%^&*()

Do I need to pay a fee to keep him where he is? If so, please let me know, as I will pay it. I have heard from people in my genealogy group that if fees are not paid, then the bones are dug up and put in a mass grave. Therefore no one knows where their ancestors are buried. I will NOT have that happen.

January 28, 2017, Salvatore to Celia
Hi Celia, how are you? I hope you are fine. I’m going to be calling a person in Castellammare and I hope to know if is better to clean or to do a new stone. I will try my best but I don’t live in Castellammare so isn’t easy planning. I hope to give you some news soon.

I don’t know if is possible to pay a fee to keep grandfather there. I think it’s a good idea to replace the headstone. If the municipality sees that there are relatives who are interested, they will not take him away.
I hope to give you more next week. Have a nice week end.

January 29, 2017, Celia to Salvatore
Hi Salvatore, Thank you!! I would also think that the fact that your mother places flowers every week shows that the relatives care & are still living in town.

While I was in Castellammare, I met a gentleman who knew your Father & knows Bernardo. We had espresso many mornings at Cafe Garibaldi. We have been corresponding via Facebook & his name is Enzo….. Do you want me to ask him for guidance about this?? He may be able to give us more information as he lives in CdelG.

January 29, 2017, Celia to Enzo (translated from Italian)
Hi Enzo, I hope you and your family are well. While I was in Sicily I tried to inquire about the process for cleaning up and restoring my great-grandfather’s stone without success. Shortly after my return from Sicily, I had a wonderful surprise, I received an email from my cousin Salvatore, whom I did not meet. I’ve been corresponding with him. I told him about the tombstone. He said it was up to the family to do the repairs. I said good, please let me know and I will make the payment. But he recently wrote to me and said the following: In recent months, “my mother told me that the city needs to free up places and that there might be a risk that it will not put it in common ossuaries.”

Does this mean that they remove the bones to another tomb? I’m so upset! What can I do? Any guidance from you is so much appreciated.

Celia post scriptum Thanks to God for Google translate!

January 30, 2017, Enzo to Celia
Dear Celia, As regards the question about the cleaning and restoration of the tombstone, the municipal law orders all owners maintenance of the graves, that is, cleaning and restoring the tombstones.

Presently, the Mayor has decided to deprive the bones of the deceased who have not been honored by relatives for a long time. Christian bones are deposited in a common ossuary. I think and suggest that we must anticipate the Mayor’s decision and arrange the cleaning and replacement of the tombstone as soon as possible, hoping that by doing so and noting the maintenance the Mayor will not remove the bones.

I think that you will be in Castellammare again this year and I will be honored to try to solve this problem together. I want to ask you if you have a picture of the gravestone and its coordinates to find it so I can make sure it is still in place. Happy to be helpful with my suggestions, I send you a warm greeting together with your loved ones.

January 31, 2017, Celia to Enzo
Dear Enzo, I never received a reply from Maurizio from the cemetery. Is there a business in Castellammare doing this job? Hugs. Celia

January 31, 2017, Enzo to Celia
Dear Celia, today with the sun and the clear day without rain, I was at the cemetery. I had trouble finding the tomb because of my low vision.

In any case, I have been informed about the maintenance and cleaning of marble gravestones at the cemetery. The right way is to entrust it to the specialist company for these jobs. Only the specialist firm can do these jobs because it is registered with the municipality and is authorized to do all this. The path to follow is as follows: 1) fill out a printed “form” that is already in my possession; 2) Make a deposit of Euro 25; 3) Make the stamp of execution by signing the Mayor; 4) Make a cost estimate by the specialist company and then let him do the job. So only the specialized firm and not the private citizen can do these jobs.

As you need to start your work, you need your signature and identity document, I think it would be appropriate when you’re in Castellammare to complete everything. One of the companies specializing in these works is just beside the cemetery, that is, the Fontana company. He is a very good professional and I think he should be entrusted with the job. A hug, Enzo

February 3, 2017, Salvatore to Celia
Hello Celia, Today I spoke with Fontana and told me the price is 200 euro for cleaning the grave. The price also includes communication with the municipality and a new vase for the flowers. I was hoping to also talk to the director of the cemetery but these days he is not at work. I’m going to CdG on March 11. Kisses

More to follow ……


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *