Saturday, November 20, 2010


I so wanted to share this hauntingly beautiful Romany music with everyone. It is played on a barrel organ in Piazza Beccaria in Florence. I have finally succeeded with bicycle, laptop and microphone in rcording it. And here it is

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


In the post came a thousand daffodils, sent by an English Garden Tour organizer. And this morning we have planted all of them in Florence's Swiss-owned, so-called 'English' Cemetery. Some on graves, some on the little lawns between the graves. Breteanu, Mihai, Gheorghi and I braved thunder showers and worked together, raking leaves, planting bulbs. Roma work best in groups like this, the young twins Mihai and Gheorghi (who are now such good alphabet students, this Sunday even rapidly learning the computer keyboard), working with the older Breteanu and instinctively doing everything right, with great energy and joy. When I pay Breteanu for his garden work he takes the euro bills and rubs his beard with them with such a twinkle in his eye. It was a glorious day. And will be a glorious Spring in Florence.
This is part of our 'From Graves to Cradles' project with Roma, its 'work/study' aspect. And everyone who visits exclaims about how well-maintained the English Cemetery now is. People remember it as formerly abandoned, put to weed killer, grey, broken, ugly. And I explain it is the work of the Rom that has now made it so beautiful. I so wish my Italian friends would take on this splendid team of workers, a gardener and his two boys. They can do anything. And so well.
You can find out more about our Roma project at and more about the 'English' Cemetery at We are now nominated for UNESCO's Memory of the World Register and we are also included in the Council of Europe's Cultural Cemetery Route through ASCE, Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe. Google UNESCO Memory of the World and ASCE to find us!

If you wish to donate to the Aureo Anello Association for the restoration of the 'English' Cemetery and its gardening you can do so by a cheque made out to 'Aureo Anello' and posted to 'English' Cemetery, Piazzale Donatello 38, 50132 Florence, Italy; or through the Pay Pal 'Donate' button below, which can also be used for the CDs, for the hand-bound limited edition books or for the sculptures of Elizabeth and Robert's 'Clasped Hands' or tondos with their portraits (Amalia Ciardi Duprè's sculpture can also be found at, or some or all of these.

Julia Bolton Holloway
Aureo Anello Association for the Library and Cemetery
Piazzale Donatello, 38