It’s Italy’s 150th birthday today….Auguri. I usually write about Italy talking about it’s wines, its beauty in terms of places and people but Italy is much more than that even. Italy is, in my opinion, one of the most blessed places on earth despite political and economic trials of various kinds.
There is no country on earth that has brought me more joy and a profound sense of life’s complexity than Italy. I say that despite my love for my country and its ideals. Italy has something else, something ancient, something mystical. Maybe it’s the long history of occupation, the mixture of peoples, languages, locations, terroirs and other traditions but Italy is and will always be a lifelong passion for me. So I say unabashedly, AUGURI all’Italia, un paese e un popolo che amo.
Here’s Roberto Benigni singing a version of the l’Inno di Mameli.
Most Italians also consider Va Pensiero from the Nabuco a sort of national anthem.
I heard Va Pensiero in Piazza della Signoria in Florence led by Zubin Meta after the bombs exploded, killing a family of five. The entire city was in the square singing together. It was incredibly moving.
Much is going on today as well but I did want to take a moment to mention the birthday of that great nation, that we all love so well.