The upsides of loosing tradition

Tradition is key to Italians. Everything is deeply steeped in the stuff, it is part of what makes up their charm and charisma. Traditional cuisine, traditional recipes, traditional festas, street parties and above all, traditional ways of doing things. This legacy of tradition can also, I believe, get in the way of progress, it can trip up innovation and can undermine a mindset that yearns for change. So when I read about the 554 villagers of Filettino, up in the mountains near Rome, who are actively opposing the loss of their Municipal Status, I had to smile. Better still, they have invited Prince Emmanuel Filiberto, a descendant of the deposed royal family, to become their ruler. The potential loss of their mayor and council is part of Silvio Berlusconi’s austerity package. To them however Mr Berlusconi is about to destroy centuries of tradition – see – there it goes again.  Actually the real cause for the furore is their fierce opposition to being run by the nearby town of Trevi-in-Lazio – traditional rivalries would mean this arrangement simply would not work.  The same would apply here in the Garfagnana, I now that for a fact having talked with the lovely people who inhabit the rugged little mountain villages.  I love this fierce pride, this tenacity for the way things have always been, it is a part of the Italian culture.  It does however make me want to get them to sit down together and look out beyond tradition to what new horizons have to offer, what potential there could be in joining forces and embracing new thoughts, new ways of doing things, new traditions, that’s right, creating new traditions that work better for future generations…. now there’s a thought…

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