Thursday, March 17, 2011

LOVE LETTER TO A COUNTRY - LETTERA D'AMORE A UN PAESE



My dearest Italy,

As I write this letter, there is no doubt that you have some troubles:  you celebrate the 150th anniversary of your unification at a time when the very principle of that unification is in question,  you have a refugee crisis on your southern shores, the European economic recession has hit you hard, your ancient monuments are crumbling and in recent months you have been making world headlines for all the wrong reasons.

It occurs to me, therefore, that perhaps you do not realise how much you are loved; that there is an Italian dream just as there is an American one and that those of us who are lucky enough to live it, even for a short while, hold you in our hearts forever.

Your beauty is legendary, your food arguably the best in the world and as a cradle of civilisation you have no equal.  Those who criticise you for allowing some of your historic buildings to collapse cannot possibly visualise how many there are and, if you were to pump even greater sums of money into their upkeep, that would in all probability be judged harshly too, for sometimes it seems that you just cannot win.

You have a bureaucratic tradition which would frustrate a saint, public institutions which are famously inefficient and you make the best of laws for the best of reasons, forget to repeal the old ones and then wonder why the system does not work.  Yet you have remained a democracy since the end of World War 11 and have a  Constitution which bravely outlaws the excesses of that war and which should be regarded as a shining example by all who value freedom.  And you are loved.

You have given the world pizza, perspective, the  Fiat 500 and the Bialetti man.  I have yet to meet someone who does not wish that they spoke your language or someone who has spent time with Italians and does not wish that they could emulate their life style and priorities.

My lovely land, your great, collective heart and the kindness of your people have saved so many of us, so many times. So celebrate this great day with pride and go on teaching the world how to live.

I have loved you for such a long time and today I want to thank you for loving me back.

Mia cara Italia,

Mentre scrivo, è chiaro che sei nei guai:  festeggi l'150° anniversario della tua Unità in un periodo in cui il principio della stessa Unità è in questione, c'è una crisi di migrazione sulla tua sponda meridionale, la recessione economica dell'Europa ti ha colpito in modo particolarmente duro, i tuoi monumenti antichi crollano e recentemente hai alimentato la cronaca del mondo per motivi sbagliati.

Dunque mi pare che forse tu non sappia quanto sei amato; che esiste un sogno italiano tale quale quello americano e che le persone che hanno la fortuna di viverlo, anche per un breve periodo, ti tengono per sempre nel cuore.

La tua bellezza è leggendaria, la tua cucina è possibilmente la migliore del mondo e come culla della civiltà sei senza paragone.  Chi  ti critica per aver consentito al crollo di alcuni dei tuoi edifici storici non è in grado di immaginare quanti ne hai e se tu spendessi un sacco di soldi in più per mantenerli, anche questo sarebbe duramente criticato, perché a volte sembra che tu non possa mai vincere.

Hai una tradizione burocratica che potrebbe dare fastidio a un santo, hai delle istituzioni pubbliche celebri per le loro inefficienza e tu formuli le migliori leggi per motivi buoni, dimenticando di abrogare quelle vecchie e cosi chiedendoti perché il sistema non funziona.  Nonostante questo, sei una democrazia dalla fine della seconda guerra mondiale e hai una Costituzione che, coraggiosamente, condanna gli eccessi di quella guerra e che merita essere considerata un ottimo esempio per tutti gli amanti della libertà.  E sei amata.

Hai regolato al mondo la pizza, il disegno in prospettiva, la Fiat 500 e l'omino coi baffi della Bialetti. Non ho mai conosciuto qualcuno che non voglia imparare la tua lingua o qualcuno che, avendo trascorso del tempo con gli Italiani, non voglia imitare il loro stile di vita e le loro priorità.

Paese bellissima, il tuo grande cuore e la gentilezza della tua gente ci hanno salvato tante volte.  Allora, festeggia questo grande giorno e continua ad insegnare al mondo come vivere.

Io ti amo da tanto tempo e oggi vorrei ringraziarti di avermi amato reciprocamente.

15 comments:

PinkAcorn said...

That was a beautiful post!

Patricia said...

What a beautiful post! Very touching and I want to say...secondo mi!

rosaria said...

I'm crying as I read this; so much contained in these few lines. Yes, indeed.

Grazie, bella Patti for queste parole, questi sentimenti, uguali a quelli dal cuore di noi tutti.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Very very touching ... Yes straight from the heart ♥♥

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Pink and Patricia. I know you both love Italy too. Grazie a te, cara Rosaria. Thanks, Anne. x

Laura said...

That was lovely.

Kia said...

What a beautiful and touching letter :) Beautiful post!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you both so much, Laura and Kia.

Trubes said...

That was lovely Welshcakes, so touching...I'm sure Miss Simi will share your feelings too..


Love from Di and lots of puuuuurrs.....from Princess Chloe.
xxx
Viva Italia.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I got so tied up with St. Paddy that I forgot about Italy's birthday celebration until you reminded me.

You penned a grand epistle, my dear friend.

Thanks for the reminder!

Marian said...

What a beautiful post about appreciating where you live. I love that you realise how much you enjoy living there. It's difficult to maintain living in the moment and being thankful. Glad you're living the Italian dream. I really like Italy and hope to visit Sicily someday but for now I enjoy seeing it from your blog.

LindyLouMac said...

What a wonderful tribute to Italy. I have found reading all the different posts about yesterday so interesting, but your take is by far the most moving. Grazie :)
Viva l’Italia! Long Live Italy

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Trubes. Oh, she does! Love to all of you from Simi and me. xx woof! Thanks, Nick. That is very kind. Thanks, Marian. Yes, I do appreciate every moment. I hope you visit Sicily one day and that we get to meet. It's very kind of you to say so, LindyLouMac - thank you.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This was abeautiful tribute to one of the most beautiful countries in the world. May Italy always endure and prosper.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Pat. I agree - one of the most wonderful countries in the world.

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