Italy lost the European Cup final to Spain this past weekend in a resounding defeat, 4 to 0. No doubt about it, Spain had control of the field, taking home una vittoria meritata as countless Italian newscasters and fans all over the country admitted in interviews.
But what a glorious show of Italian
passione these weeks have been! One journalist wrote that for the final, Italians would be outdoors, everyone all together, in front of big screens set up all over Italy – whatever the outcome – to share un’abbraccio grande quanto una piazza. (A hug as big as a piazza.) And most wondrous: per noi italiani, almeno una volta, senza campanili, nel gioco piu’ bello. (..and for us Italians, for once at least, without belltowers*, in the most beautiful of games…)
After all, only at European Cup finals, World Cup finals – maybe at Olympic games – do Italians (excluding those abroad) feel Italiani. I write this from Lake Bolsena. Now that the European Cup is over, everyone is Bolsenese once again. Last night for the game, Italian flags were painted on faces, waved in the air, strung across streets. After the match, faces were scrubbed, the flags put away and campanilismo prevails once again… until 2014 and the next World Cup.
Facciamo le corna.
* – Belltowers?! Campanilismo is the sense of appartenenza (belonging, also loyalty) that Italians in Italy have historically extended only as far as their local belltower, i.e. town, or even just neighborhood if in a larger town or city. Italy as a nation-state, and hence nationalism, is still a relatively new concept that first began to enter the collective consciousness as of WWI. It has still not fully taken hold. Interestingly, the strong form of campanilismo almost completely disappears and is replaced with true nationalism among Italians, and their descendents, abroad. – Editor
An Umbrian tour guide in Italy most of the year, Anne also teaches Umbrian rural cuisine in private homes in the U.S. in February and March (see
Anne and her husband Pino worked the land for many years in the 1970’s and rural life, rural people, rural cuisine are una passione for Anne. She writes frequently on Umbria and other areas of Italy. See www.annesitaly.com for more on her tours, cooking classes, lectures – and her blog! Do see www.stayassisi.com for news on the Assisi apartment she and Pino now rent out!