Yesterday night my latest book, ‘The Dew of Heaven’ was presented to about 30 spectators, brave enough to have negotiated their way through the mad mad traffic on a Friday evening in Causeway Bay.
My presentation centered more on the historical part, rather than the mystic and esoteric part, presenting some little known details of Italy’s military intervention in China, in 1900 and giving the outlines of some of the historical characters who did partecipate to that enterprise.
Among the big names, a small one: my fellow Turbighese, Diego Sainaghi, a humble farmer who at 21 threw away his hoe and volunteered for Peking in the army as a Bersagliere trooper. On the way back to Italy, in 1902, he was discharged, sick with typhus, in Singapore.
Once he recovered his health he enrolled as a cook on a ship bound for Peru and there he opened a ice cream shop in Lima.
After two years he returned to Turbigo – my native hamlet about 35 kilometers far from Milan – while, in the meantime, he had never though about writing a postcard to his mother and fiancée, telling them that he was alive.
Out of the train at the station of Turbigo, he discovered that his folks were already saying mass for his soul in the church but his fiancée was still waiting for his return, having refused other suitors.
He died in Turbigo in 1962.