“Infected comma”. A book on cholera in northern Italy in the 19th century written by Enrico Cafulli, Anna La Torre and Elisabetta Zanarotti Tiranini


“Virgola infetta. Morbus Cholerae e contesto sociale nella Pianura Padana ”  is a book  that transports us to a dark age, to the Italian peninsula of the 19th century, where a disease rages and where humanity seem unable to cope, powerless in the face of this mysterious illness.

There are those who clash, imputing the origin of the evil to this or that cause, those who find scapegoats and scramble to propose extravagant remedies, while funeral rites become increasingly hasty and at night, so as not to alarm the population, corpses are taken away to be piled up in mass graves. In spite of all this, mankind, indomitable, advances, experiments, finally its enemy, nor does it distinguish the aetiological agent, nor does it give a name, and the name is: Vibrio cholerae, the vibrio of cholera.

It is the beginning of our revenge. But history tends to repeat itself: other bacteria, other viruses linger on the horizon.