Italy: Don Camillo’s church damaged by fire
The church of Brescello in Emilia, in the province of Reggio d’Emilia (northern Italy), which was made famous by the series of films about Don Camillo, was seriously damaged on Easter night by a fire. The famous crucifix with which the actor Fernandel conversed in several scenes was completely destroyed. Candles burning on a wooden altar started the fire, reported the Italian daily Il Messaggero on April 5, causing thick clouds of smoke that blackened the altar and the roof of the church.
The church of Santa Maria Nascente and the village of Brescello were used in the 1950’s and 60’s for on-location filming of comedies based on the novel by Giovanni Guareschi, The Little World of Don Camillo, in which the village priest, Don Camillo, portrayed by Fernandel, confronted the Communist mayor, Peppone, portrayed by Gino Cervi. Damages to the church, which draws almost 30,000 tourists a year, are estimated at 300,000 Euros. (Sources : apic/ilmessagero - DICI no. 216 dated June 5, 2010)