Italian Landscapes - Paesaggi d'Italia

"Non è la libertà che manca in Italia. Mancano gli uomini liberi" (Leo Longanesi, 1905-1957)
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Arma dei Carabinieri (Carbineers Corps), Italy

Italians are beyond any doubt a not-militaristic people. Their relationship with their armed forces is complicated and almost conflicting.

Patriotism is usually seen in Italy with suspicion and diffidence, and in any case as a sign of naively, infantilism, and even of antiquated expressions of nationalism, probably as a reaction to bombast of Fascist era (1922-1943/45) and the disastrous experiences of the World War 2.

In fact, until a few years ago, the only situations you could have seen Italians flags waved in public were wins of National Soccer Team, and little else.

In my opinion, there are only two exceptions to this rule: Alpini (Italian mountain troops, topic of a following post) and Carabinieri.

The Arma dei Carabinieri (Carbineers Corps, from their short rifles) was created on July 13 1814 by the Kingdom of Sardinia and Piedmont (later Kingdom of Italy) as a police force and, in case of war, light infantry and cavalry, also with assignments of Military Police.

As the Kingdom extended his borders until he included the whole Italy in 1861/1870 and later after the First World War (1915/1918), every Italian municipality had its own Stazione dei Carabinieri (Carbineers Office), with only few troopers or entire companies in big cities.

The severe discipline, the incorruptibility, the hard training, the irreproachable behavior in and out duty, their origin from families without any police record until the second kinship degree, the frequent transfers to avoid dangerous relationships with local people, until some now forgotten rules, as that they couldn’t marry until they were 28 and only with women of “proven honesty”, made them as a reliable help and aid and support for the citizens, above all in case of disasters of every nature.

They are often seen more than older brothers than policemen.

The Carabinieri have successfully served in every Italian war. In the last years they carry out tasks of MP (Military Police), trainers of local police forces and aid to populations in former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East and in other theaters of war.

Carabinieri’s uniform is black and private troopers and low non-commissioned officers wear when in duty a characteristic white bandoleer with a cartridge case.

The Carabinieri had suffered several casualties by fighting crimes and terrorism (the latter in the 1970s).

Note: although they are loved by Italians, the Carabinieri are the target of funny jokes about their supposed low intelligence (to give you an idea, more or less the same that you can hear about blondes in America, or Belgians in Europe).

The Carabinieri emergency phone number is 112.

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Gino Bartali (Ponte a Ema, July 18 1914, Firenze -Florence- May 5 2000)

Gino Bartali has been one of the most famous Italian road cyclists. He won three Giri d’Italia (Tour of Italy) in 1936-1937-1946 and two Tours of France (1938-1948). His professional career lasted from 1934 to 1954.

His rivalry with Fausto Coppi, another Italian cyclist, was legendary and anyway chivalric; Italians were divided in Bartali and Coppi fans. No one of them ever revealed whichever of the  two gave a canteen to the other, in a famous image of a Tour of France.

He was the typical “Toscanaccio” (badass Tuscan guy): he was hard-faced, caustic and irreverent as every good Tuscan behaves.

He never revealed his little role in the Italian resistance during the Nazi occupation of Italy (1943/1945): as he was already famous, he could train in Central Italy roads without any control by Germans and Italian Fascist troopers, so he could carry secret dispatches and fake documents for Italian partisans. Moreover, he hid a Jewish family in his cellar, avoiding them the deportation in Germany. His feats were discovered only after his death. In 2013 Yad Vashem recognized Gino Bartali the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

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I was searching for some painting of Annibale Carracci, an Italian painter of 16th/17th C and I found this portrait (have a look at my other post of today, with further informations about it) and it has reminded me of some other guy… Who could be?

Ritratto virile (Portrait of a man)
Autore / Artist: Annibale Carracci (1560-1609)
Data dell’opera / Date of the work: 1595-1599
Tipo dell’opera / Type of the work: olio su tela / Oil on Canvas
Collocazione / Location: Palazzo Pitti, Firenze, Toscana (Florence, Tuscany), Italy
Stile / Style: classicismo / Classicism
Misure / Sizes: 46x37 cm (18.11x14.57 in)
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Ritratto virile (Portrait of a man)

  • Autore / Artist: Annibale Carracci (1560-1609)
  • Data dell’opera / Date of the work: 1595-1599
  • Tipo dell’opera / Type of the work: olio su tela / Oil on Canvas
  • Collocazione / Location: Palazzo Pitti, Firenze, Toscana (Florence, Tuscany), Italy
  • Stile / Style: classicismo / Classicism
  • Misure / Sizes: 46x37 cm (18.11x14.57 in)

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Santa Maria della Pietà, Abruzzo, Italy

The church (16th-17th C AC) is near the abandoned village of Rocca Calascio. The village is now under restructuring.

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Rocca Ricciarda, Toscana (Tuscany), Italy

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Labro, Lazio, Italy

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Il mangiafagioli (The Beans-Eater)

  • Autore / Artist: Annibale Carracci (1560-1609)
  • Data dell’opera / Date of the work: 1584-1585
  • Tipo dell’opera / Type of the work: olio su tela / Oil on Canvas
  • Collocazione / Location: Galleria Colonna, Roma (Colonna Gallery, Rome), Lazio, Italy
  • Stile / Style: classicismo / Classicism
  • Misure / Sizes: 57x68 cm (22.44x26.77 in)

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Abbazia di Vezzolano, Piemonte (Vezzolano Abbey, Piedmont), Italy

The abbey was founded in 8th C AC. It was destroyed by Saracens in 10th C and it was later rebuilt in a Gothic-Romanesque style.

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Balestrino, Liguria, Italy

The old village of Balestrino was abandoned in 1962-1962, due to continuous landslides. The new village has now a lower location.

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Thermopolium (Bar) a Pompei, Campania, Italy

Great reopening tomorrow, a.d. VII Kal. Sep. DCCCXXXII a.u.c., of our Thermopolium pompeianum, after a far-reaching renovation!

Don’t believe the stories you could have heard about the Vesuvius: for many centuries now, our delighful city of Pompeii is at the foot of this quiet mount and nothing has ever happened!

We are glad to offer to our new customers our classical low-cost prandium:

  • niger, secundarii et candidi panes (black, secondary and white bread: translation for Barbarians)
  • ovilla et bubula casea (selection of local sheep and dairy cheeses)
  • virides et nigrae oleae (green and black olives)
  • Transpadanae et Cispadanae Galliae farcimina (North-Italic and French sausages)
  • solida ova (hard-boiled eggs)
  • leguminarum luscula cum fabis, ciceribus, farre:(broad beans, chickpeas, spelt and various vegetables minestrones)
  • recentes olera: brassicae, Romana lactuca, cynarae (fresh vegetables: cabbages, Roman lettuce, artichokes)
  • condita cum sale, oleo, aceto garo et silphio (all seasoned with salt, oil, vinegar and above all with garum, our well-known specialty; for connoisseurs, with a little extra-charge, the famous African and now unfortunately rare silphium)
  • recentes et sicci fructus (fresh and dried fruit)
  • agri Falerni aromaticum vinum cum calida aqua (flavored Falernum wine with hot water)
  • if you are from Britannia province, you can also get here only pure hot water (a legend says that Britanni and terrible Scoti use to drink simple hot water with honey and milk; these poor barbarians are waiting for some desiccated leaves that should arrive from the far Indies for a long time, to flavor their water. We are sure these exotic plants don’t exist, anyway the customer is always right)

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Palazzo Davanzati, Firenze, Toscana (Florence, Tuscany), Italy (XIV sec. - 13th C AC)

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Asker asonnyie Asks:
Wich part of Italy is best to live in and why?
italian-landscapes italian-landscapes Said:

Good question (Bella domanda)! Every good Italian person would answer you his own city or region is the best to live in, and he/she’d have plenty of reasons in support of his/her convictions (half of them true, better if we pass over the rest…).

Anyway, these are the Italian places I suggest to live in, according to your interests:

  • Art (Tuscany, Lazio, Umbria, Veneto)
  • Entertainment and night life (Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Puglia, Sardinia coasts )
  • Food (Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio, Campania, Sicily)
  • Good and nice persons (Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Lazio, Campania)
  • Job opportunities (recession permitting):
  • Industry (Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Marche)
  • Tourism (Tuscany, Lazio, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Umbria, Marche, Puglia)
  • Peace and tranquillity (Umbria, Marche)
  • Vacations (Sea) (Sardinia, Liguria, Tuscany, Puglia, Sicily)
  • Vacations (Mountain) (Trentino, Alto Adige-Südtirol, Valle d’Aosta-Vallée d’Aoste)

In my opinion, the best part of Italy, that has a good mix of the above qualities, is Romagna (part of Emilia-Romagna region) on the Adriatic Sea.

A war between me and the Italians not living there has just started ;-) (btw, I’m not from Romagna)

Pues que creo que seas de idioma español, como entiendo desde tus posts, escribeme en esto idioma y en inglés: me gusta aprenderlo (y siento mucho por mis errores) :’-(

Ciao ciao!

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Asker jjblue1 Asks:
Yup, I am! Italian and living in Italy. You've a very interesting blog! Your post about the allies' invasion in Italy reminded me today is the adniversary of the battle of Gela and pushed me to go back read the books I have about it. Such a terrible piece of history... You've been inspiring, thank you! LOL... it feels weird to talk in English with another Italian...
italian-landscapes italian-landscapes Said:

Niente ci vieta di comunicare tra di noi in italiano e, per chiunque non fosse italiano e volesse comunque seguirci, possiamo aggiungere una traduzione in inglese; tra l’altro, dato che mi sembra che ti piaccia la storia, dai un’occhiata al mio post su Garibaldi (4 luglio) e dimmi che ne pensi.

There’s no reason to communicate each other only in English; we could write in Italian and add an English translation for not-Italians interested in following us. Btw, as I think you like history, have a look at my recent post about Garibaldi (July 4th) and let me know what you think about it.


Asker jjblue1 Asks:
Just wondering... if I can ask are you an Italian living in Italy?
italian-landscapes italian-landscapes Said:

Sì, yes! E dalla tua dashboard penso che lo sia anche tu (quantomeno di madrelingua italiana) - And taking a look to your dashboard, I think you are an Italian too (or at least an Italian mother tongue).

If you need any other information, pls ask me anything!