Hey, there. Life in Italy is back!
It’s been a while since I last wrote about this topic, I know. I stopped updating this section of the blog because I was not totally convinced of its content. It was a mixture of private life and general happenings and it didn’t feel right.
I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and I’ve somehow found the right way of approaching it – I hope, at least. I’ve decided to skip personal things and just focus on what is happening in Italy (Well, if you want to be updated about what’s happening in my daily life, you can subscribe to the Vespa Rides, where I do not only share content about Italy and the Italian language, but sometimes I also talk about little personal things).
I’ve thought of this section as a compendium of events, news, little bits and pieces of life in Italy, published on a monthly basis, summarizing all the important things that took place over here.
Well, let’s start then. Here’s what happened in the month of October.
Let’s begin this with a very sad event: the death of Dario Fo, one of the most important literary and public Italian figures of the last 60 years. Born in 1926, he first began his career as a painter, then became an actor, playwright, comedian, singer, theater director and was also deeply involved in politics.
He has strongly influenced the Italian culture and, together with his wife Franca Rame, has given an incredible contribution to the Italian art scene, causing a lot of controversy with his revolutionary way of thinking. In 1997, he was awarded the Nobel prize for literature.
He is the author of a wide variety of books and playwrights, but the peak of his career was reached with Mistero Buffo (1969), a play inspired by medieval mystery plays, where he performed as a one-man show, making use of an onomatopoeic language called grammelot and a mixture of dialects. I remember watching it with my mom, when I was a kid, and being incredibly impressed by its newness.
It was one of those things that change your life – if you see what I mean.
On a much happier note, in October the amazing Beatrice Vio was invited at the White House, together with the Italian Prime Minister and a group of Italian personalities, for the last State Dinner held by President Barack Obama.
Beatrice Vio, known as Bebe, is a Paralympic Gold Medalist (she won the Gold Medal for wheelchair fencing at Rio 2016) and an incredible human being. She is now nineteen years old and, when she was 11, she contracted meningitis: doctors were able to save her life but all her four limbs had to be amputated.
Despite this terrible tragedy, she was able to go back to her passion for fencing and became a champion in the field. Moreover, she is a strong young woman, full of life and enthusiasm, with a lot of lessons to teach to each of us. She is very nice as well and was even able to steal a selfie with President Barack Obama. Isn’t she great?
Bebe Vio’s selfie with Barack Obama
The only thing we heard on the news, for a few days at the beginning of the month, was: “chi è Elena Ferrante?”. Actually, it seems that Claudio Gatti, a journalist for the business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, has finally found out who hides behind such pseudonym: it seems that it is Mrs. Anita Raja, the wife of the writer Domenico Starnone.
What such journalist did was basically follow the money, as in All President’s Men, and – thanks to an anonymous source – discovered that there have been huge amounts of money credited on Mrs. Raja’s back account from E/O, the publisher of Elena Ferrante’s novels, each time one of such novels has been published.
Personally, I think it is a terrible violation of privacy for no specific reason: do we really need to know who Elena Ferrante is? I don’t think so. Her amazing novels are a precious gift for us and if she wanted to be unknown, we should have respected her privacy.
On October 26th, another incredible bad news shocked Italy: a new earthquake took place, hitting more or less the same places that had already been affected at the end of August. Even if there are no victims this time – save for an old man who died of a heart attack – it is sad because many people lost their homes, again, and are forced to live either in hotels or other shelters.
The earthquake hit an area, between Umbria and Marche, where there are many ancient Medieval towns, little perched villages with old houses, which probably cannot be repaired. Some villages may even be abandoned forever, which is really terrible.
Moreover, it seems that the earth will keep on shaking for a while more and I can only imagine how scary this can be for people living there. I just hope things will go back to normal and there won’t be earthquakes in the near future. I can’t say never again, as unfortunately some areas of Italy are in serious danger for this kind of natural events.
The church of San Benedetto in Norcia, Umbria
There has been quite an amount of sad news this month. Let’s close this overview with something light, shall we? At the end of the month, the new single by Tiziano Ferro has been released, which made lots of people happy.
I hope you’ll like it!
If you are interested in learning more about Italian culture and lifestyle, I’d suggest you jump on my digital Vespa and join Be Italian For A Month, your 30-day virtual journey to Italy.
You will also learn some Italian words, you’ll receive some typical Italian recipes – ready to be cooked and enjoyed, you’ll get to tour around Italy, and learn about Italian traditions, proverbs, stereotypes, you name it. Plus, some cute surprises along the way!