Clouds wanting to lift and the sun wanting to rise (Part I)

“Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel” by Mark Sullivan is another book I read recently.  


It’s a true story of a forgotten hero who had gone through the darkest history of WWII in Italy. Before the war, Pino Lella and his young brother loved to travel from Milan to Lake Como and skiing in Dolomite (Part of Alps). Life was good.

One day, Father Re told him about Jews were seeking for help, and the next day Pino was risking his life to guide them climbing through Dolomite Alps to Austria border (then another person would take them to the Swiss Alps). Soon, it became his routine duties. He was only 17 years old.

One of the climbing journeys was drastically difficult due to the heavy snow. When they arrived at the Austria border safely, Mrs. Napolitano asked Pino as she was holding her violin, “Isn’t there anything I can do for you?” Pino asked her to play “Nessun Dorma, None Shall Sleep”.

“She played while he and his brother (who was only 15 years old) shouldered their packs and set off through the woods… They reached the tree line and put on their skis as she took the tempo up again, casting forth the melody of the triumphant aria… that hit Pino in his heart and vibrated in his soul.”

The story was intense from the beginning. Pino witnessed much of brutality and cruelty during the wartime in Milan.

When Pino had to bear the unbearable, he went to Father Re. He said, “These are dark times, Pino, but I really do sense clouds wanting to lift and the sun wanting to rise on Italy again.”

While patiently waiting for sun to rise on Italy again, they had to endure.

Part 2 is here

Photo 1 to 5 were taken in Dolomite, the last one is Lake Como. Part II will be up soon.

Enjoy Pavarotti’s Nessun dorma (Zubin Mehta was the conductor).


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