The Nuns of Nunbourci

Served hot meals

To their visitors

And provided comfortable beds

In their cells

They tended their gardens with a feminine authority

That hid their labours without effort

Although young in years many of the nuns looked older

Worn out by the hot Italian sun

They prayed five times a day

And six times on the Sabbath

I have fond memories of my times at Nunbourchi

But they are only memories

As the convent no longer exists

It was destroyed during the latter stages of World War Two

When I returned to the convent last year

I found as expected only rubble

But the gardens were still there

And were being looked after

By the remaining nuns

Who now lived in the village


Robert Summers (1948)