We often forget what a young country Italy is. The Unification happened on 17th March on 1861 when the first parliament met, even if Rome eventually joined the country in 1870. This fulfilled a long dream that the Italian people had had seen the time of Dante. However despite this aspiration Italians are very loyal to their regions and guard their local traditions and culture with pride. The Unification has further been brought into question with the uprising of the Lega Nord, which wants more autonomy for the North. Italy is such a long country that in parts of the North for example in Alto Adige-South Tyrol, German is the first language spoken and the influences are German while as in the South the population descends from the Greeks and the Normans and there is an Arab influence in Sciliy. These different cultures make for a country unified but very diverse. If a Sicilian film is on the television there will be subtitles.
Italy like the rest of Europe is facing a difficult crisis not only financial but also political. Despite this, Italians including the young remain passionate about their country and lifestyle. Here are just fifteen reasons why I love Italy with all its emotions and colour even though it sometimes truly frustrates me.
1. Food and wine here is certainly the divine gift of the Gods.
2. President Napolitano – the sane Grandfather of the nation
3. Mealtimes are sacred.
4. The country that gave us Latin and still has schools devoted to the teaching of ancient Greek and Latin.
5. The country of the Renaissance and where the sonnet was invented.
6. Architecture that makes you draw breath.
7. A landscape that has everything from high mountains to a spectacular coast.
8. A language that is perfect for love.
9. Music form Palestrina, through Verdi to Puccini and folk songs.
10. The country that gave us Ballet and Opera and made football into an art form .
11. Sunlight and sensuality.
12. The Italian Mamma and the family.
13. The best-looking men (yes my man is Italian!).
14. Dolce far niente- the ability to do nothing and not feel guilty.
15. Aesthetics - beautiful clothes, cars.
In another entry I will write fifteen reasons why Italy irritates me but for now l will celebrate my adopted land and yes I was proud when I was given my citizenship a few years ago and presented with a flag that I was proud to hang out of my window.
Therefore Auguri Italia and take your brake off because you are a Ferrari that can go very fast!