Unlawful to die in Italy!

by Mario Fusco

Cimitero di Carinola

Cimitero di Carinola

Falciano del Massico is a town of about 4000 souls near Caserta, in the south of Italy. In this town it is forbidden, by municipal edict, to die. The edict was promulgated by the Mayor of Falciano del Massico to try to remedy a situation which has been festering for almost half a century, ever since Falciano del Massico was separated from the neighbouring town of Carinola and incorporated as an independent city. In the process the existing cemetery was left entirely within the boundaries of Carinola, leaving Falciano cemeteryless.

Not for the Mayor of Falciano to find a mundane solution such as contracting with Carinola to bury Falciano’s dead in Carinola’s cemetery, or of building a new cemetery for Falciano. Better not to allow anyone to die: more humane, more cost effective, and ecologically sounder. No penalty is specified for contravening the anti-death city ordinance, and it is known that at least two elderly residents of Falciano have shamelessly contravened it already.

In all fairness, it must be admitted that Mayor Fava HAS sought remedies more likely to bring about a lasting solution to the dilemma, and has decided to challenge death because of the failure of these more orthodox remedies. Having raised the awareness of the Italian public, he hopes now to be able to tackle the problem effectively. So the injunction against dying will eventually be lifted and anyone who so wishes will be able to die in Falciano del Massico. But, at least for now, it is illegal to die in Falciano del Massico.
Which makes one wonder why such creative solutions could not be found at the national level to tackle some of Italy’s more pressing problems. Can the Italian Parliament pass a law to forbid unemployment, for instance?

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