Once upon a time there was the “Journey to Italy".

Every people who were in love with art and culture considered that event as a coveted and precious goal to be reached.

They used to imagined it, romantically, as a “must to do” pilgrimage along the routes of the “Garden of Europe" – as Italy was used to be called. Searching for treasures, miraculously preserved in unique unbelievable crossroads.

That journey, from Palermo to Aosta, from Trieste to Ventimiglia, contained millennia of history and very different documents to be universally remembered; it was boding unforgettable memories.

Those memories would have told about a land in which they still are kept, just close to really important monuments, with singular harmonious evidence, with horizontal diffusion of knowledge, with aesthetic taste. For centuries, even areas and towns “at the borders" had benefited of that knowledge and aesthetic taste, often showing amazing results; wrongly we define them as to be “minor heritages" despite they retain their singular and moderate style.

There is certainly a scale of values to which we should refer. The concept of “City of Art" expresses a set of differences, it proposes an idea of evolution, it suggests a whole range of contributions… and therefore it becomes a model.

But it is the whole of Italy that overflows with special places. It would be better for those places if we reserve them much more than a quick look.

Just a few steps far from the main routes imposed by tourist consumerism, a varied and promising fabric exists, it is capable of filling more and more journeys, full of unexpected suggestions.

It is right, therefore, to approach the masterpieces. Certainly, this does not exclude the possibility that it is right to go through small areas with history, even minor ones, through towns and villages, through necropolis, through castles and abbeys, in order to try to understand and appreciate how many of those small areas are perpetually alive. They certainly cannot be enclosed in a souvenir postcard.

taken from
(“Sei paesi del sole", Carlo Federico Teodori e Romano Gualdi, ArteambienteEdizioni, 1994).

photo credits

#Puglia #Basilicata