Flags on Caprera, off Sardinia, were at half-mast for three days, Feb 2 to 5.?
Flags on Caprera, off Sardinia, were at half-mast for three days, Feb 2 to 5. Clelia Garibaldi, last surviving child of the Italian patriot and soldier Giuseppe Garibaldi, was dead, the last link with a legend was broken. The whole island went into mourning; telegrams and messages of condolence arrived from all parts of the world.
Clelia would have celebrated her 92nd birthday on the sixteenth of this month. All her life she was devoted to propagating her father's story, keeping fresh his memory as the liberator of Italy.
During her later years she was custodian of the family house and the Garibaldi Museum on Caprera which her father bought and to where exiled twice and retired twice, dying there June 2 1882.
In 1953 Clelia presented herself as a candidate for the Republican Party inn the Italian elections. Throughout her life she enjoyed robust health and only in her last years was there any sign of senility which gradually developed lethargy in her.
Her good health was attributed to her father's dipping her in cold water at birth. He is reputed to have said she would either die or grow up so strong that she would never experience fever or illness. Garibaldi was right.
Clelia was buried with military honours Feb 5. Italian sailors carried her from the family house to a grave prepared many years ago in the garden, by Clelia, next to her father's. She even had the headstone inscribed, it lacked only her death date. A great pine tree, planted when she was born nearly 92 years ago, overshadows the graves, monument to the amazing daughter of an amazing man.