Where is the final resting place of Giuseppe Garibaldi ?

garibaldiA nice article here from the BBC about the hunt for the final resting place of Giuseppe Garibaldi. It is generated from a BBC Radio 4 From Our Own Correspondent programme, which is has a link from the webpage.

As the article suggests, “he had made very clear that he wanted to be cremated…and…he had written that it should be done on a spot near his house, overlooking the sea – and had even specified which type of Sardinian wood should be used. He had said that his coffin should be open, so he would have his face to the sun as his pyre was set ablaze. He hoped ordinary Italians would take away his ashes and mix them with the earth of the motherland, and that from them gardens might grow that would symbolise a new and better Italy. But all these last wishes were ignored. It seems to have been decided that the national hero’s body could not just be burned. Instead, he was buried in a tomb in the grounds of his home.”

However this is not the end of the story. Have a read and see what you think…

Finally, all of this is typical of Garibaldi. Beyond the unification course he is perhaps most noteworthy to us because he is one of the best examples of a historical figure distorted by a romantic haze. We should, as historians, always be wary of this. Today we are more interested broader forces of change like nationalism and economics. To switch from Italian unification to events in north of the Alps in Germany for example, few today would disagree that it was “coal and iron” rather than “blood and iron” that led the Kliendeutch unification.

But then again, it was Bismarck that said that…

Mr Kydd.

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