LETTER TO A FRIEND
The other day I was struck by how even the natural elements are enraged and grieving for you. I seemed to see your coffin flying over a black winter sea, driven by the Nor'wester that you the fisherman knew so well. The rain lashed all of us who had come in our thousands to the port of Acciaroli, your port that, with heroic effort, you had made beautiful and open to the people of Pollica and the world.
We were all there, no-one was missing. You did everything on a grand scale, doggedly, seriously, without sparing yourself. You wanted to extend the season - I am not talking about the tourist season - but the season that Pollica offers to honest people. You sacrificed yourself for everyone, above all for your fellow citizens, demonstrating to the whole world what Pollica, that small town in Southern Italy, was capable of. Pollica, whose name from now onwards, thanks to you, is synonymous with valour, honesty, good governance and hope for the future.
If we were living in the 17th and 18th centuries, already, just a week after you left us, we would hear the storytellers in all the town squares and throughout the countryside recounting the tale of the man of courage, of the fisherman-mayor who loved his family and Pollica and its people more than his own life, who one Sunday in late summer was killed by a cowardly hand. Rhetoric would not have pleased you, Angelo, but I wanted to let you know that we will be your storytellers. I know that you would agree and command us to go forward, more determined than ever. The mayors and the ordinary citizens of Cittaslow, the members of Slow Food and the thousands upon thousands of men and women of the Terra Madre communities and the voluntary and environmental associations will pass on your spirit and your inspirational desire to make a better future that belongs to us.
Thank you, Angelo, for having suggested to us the sense of possibility without fear, the rule of law as the precondition for any kind of future, your contagious passion for the young and above all - in a world that too often exalts negative values and frivolity - for having taught us the importance of words. Your own words were few, clear, optimistic and profound. Goodbye, my dear Angelo (Pier Giorgio Oliveti)
Angelo Vassallo some pictures
Funeral and messages from network
Italian Network proposal
Official telegram of all Cittaslow representatives
Retrieved from Pietro Cannizzaro Pollica movie
Last speech to Slow Food Congress
An example for the Cilento region
Cittaslow and Slow Food mourning
Killed Major of Pollica, the news.