A clue? The answer is ... by the dreams,  ideals, passion, courage, sacrifice and  blood. Where have all of them gone now? Not the blood, of course. That's something I can gladly do without. But what about the Italians' dreams, ideals, passion, courage?

Italy turns 150 today. Happy birthday, my beautiful spoilt , offended country. Pity I have to use the past tense to say you WERE great. A great country, esteemed and admired by all. Do we have to go back to the Renaissance for that admiration? Even then, there were divisions and violent clashes. So, what? We still had so much to teach and offer to the rest of the world. We WERE a great country of great men like Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raffaello, Tiziano, Caravaggio (not in the right order, I know)

For those great men, there are  many people loving Italy still nowadays, for its wonderful patrimony of Art and natural Beauty. I'm sure of that, I'm among those many. I deeply love Italy. But it is like loving a brainless, shallow,  beautiful woman. You get bored after the first moment of overwhelming passion.
Sadly,  there are people who say they don't want to join the rest of us in celebrating our country's b-day (they even dream a secession),  most of them living in the North, and  a gloomy minority in the South.

I usually avoid writing about politics, and I want to go on like this. It makes me crazily depressed. Politics, I mean.
So to celebrate the day in which Italy, as it is now,  was born from the sacrifice and struggle of Garibaldi and his men, from the ideas and  political strategies of Mazzini and Cavour, I want to find Italians to admire in the present. Brave Italian people, who dedicate/d their lives to the dream of a better world. Politicians? None.

1. A doctor, GINO STRADA



A young writer, ROBERTO SAVIANO

An actor and director, ROBERTO BENIGNI

There are many others, I'm sure. Working hard because Italy may be different one day. Better. Much better than it is now. Men and women doing their jobs and fullfilling their tasks, doing always their best, despite the little money, they little respect, the little recognition they get. They are my Italy, the one I can deeply love.

Happy150th birthday, Italy. 


lunarossa said...

Bellissimo post, MG. Ne ho scritto uno anch'io sul compleanno dell'Italia ma dopo il tuo non so se lo pubblichero'...Posso aggiungere alla tua lista Marco Travaglio? E un paio di donne, anche se attempate? Rita Levi Montalcini, Margherita Hack, Oriana Fallaci...perche' le piu' giovani purtroppo lasciano un po' a desiderare... Hai appeso la tua bandiera? Io ci ho provato, ma mi e' stata portata via da un colpo di vento...Bacioni e buona giornata! A.

Claudia said...

Thank you Maria Grazia for this touching post. Other words would be superfluous so, just let's celebrate! Ciao :)

Maria Grazia said...

Qui diluvia da ieri e le bandiere appese ma zuppe hanno un aspetto così triste! Marco Travaglio, sì. E Montalcini, Hack, Fallaci,anche. Ho scelto i primi esempi che ho nel cuore, ma lo so che ce ne sono altri. Aspetto il tuo post, mi raccomando! Un abbraccio. MG

Maria Grazia said...

Yes, let's do it, Claudia!Happy Italy B-day to you :-)

Anonymous said...

Here I am! May I join the celebration? :)
Anche se, come hai ben detto tu, MG, non è che ci sia molto da celebrare, oggidì :-/
E come Lunarossa, anche io ho notato la triste assenza di donne tra gli italiani da ammirare nel tempo presente: probabilmente ce ne saranno tantissime, ma magari non si mettono in mostra come i maschietti... tipico, no? ;)
Auguri a noi tutti/e,
xx K/V

JaneGS said...

It's so weird to think of your country being younger than mine! It was interesting to read your perspective of your country.

As a related side note, I now have a copy of The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa, and plan to read it this spring!

Maria Grazia said...

I'm sure there are many women to mention. You could have contributed names, for instance, lazy girl!!!
Enjoy your total-relax holiday.
I blush confessing I've never read The Leopard (Il Gattopardo) nor seen the famous movie. I'll try to do both things sooner or later. Looking forward to reading your review!

Anonymous said...

Lazy, me??? How dare you? look at you, still in your pyjamas at this hour! :P
As for The Leopard, you must absolutely read it, asap! Reading Tomasi's prose is pure bliss, I assure you! My advice? Leave alone poor Byatt and start immediately The Leopard, it is worth it! Oh, and the movie isn't bad, either - mostly thanks to Burt Lancaster... and many others :)
x K/V

Maria Grazia said...

Don't you like pyjamas?!? There are people who even get married in those! And they are even so lucky to get married to dreamy men!!!

Kristine said...

Happy belated 150 years' birthday to Italy! I kind of see exactly what you mean... I love Italy, but maybe most of all, I admire her for all the greatness in the past, that's true.
But, there are the movies, the music, the art of living, and, of course- the people and a beautiful, beautiful country!