It’s interesting to find a pomegranate tree just outside a catholic church – in the photo – in a village in Italy!
Pomegranate is, in fact, a tree associated with the cult of the mother goddess of the earth:

[…] Pomegranate juice symbolizes the menstrual or wise blood of the goddess; to drink it is to gain her wisdom […] – Source: http://gypsymagicspells.blogspot.it/2011/01/magickal-uses-of-pomegranate.html

With such a meaning, you would probably not expect to find this tree next to a church, right? If only they still knew this.
‘Witches’ might have been burned at the stake by the temporal power of the church, but the Goddess and the pagan ancient traditions were never really killed – they just went underground, they walked fine lines, they wore masks to survive.
Some of their secrets and knowledge might have been forgotten, but many are still hiding here and there, waiting to be re-discovered. Some are even in plain sight.

In Italy, many old traditions live – and have lived for centuries – side by side with whatever the dominant culture offers and promotes, and they survive, despite all the attempts of silencing them.
Despite all the games of power and politics, people live their lives and do what makes sense for them. There is a strong sense of self-determination by which people don’t just throw away what makes sense to keep, because someone (the government, the church, etc) tells them to. Rules and laws are always perceived more as a suggestion than as an obligation to comply.
Does this create problems in managing the country? Yes.
But maybe it’s also this trait which sets people free: Italians don’t like and don’t want to be ‘managed’; they prefer using their own brains and hearts, rather than being treated like robots.
This does not mean that all Italians are ‘awakened’ – far from it: especially since WWII with the influence of America and particularly since the advent of commercial television, the younger generations have been also targeted by all the standard ‘western’ conditioning you see elsewhere in the world.
Nevertheless, the almost instinctual determination to do things your own way is deeply rooted, and I believe it will help with awakening, eventually. When there is a will there is a way, says the old adage.

Are you ready to choose for yourself?