I’ve been back in Italy for almost two weeks now. Things at work are quite busy at the moment, so days are still long sequences of zoom calls, but it’s nice to be able to take a break in the garden, or chat with somebody in person between virtual connections.
I have been able to go for daily walks in the woods around here. I love the fresh air of the morning, the smell of nature waking up, the occasional encounter with the little animals of the forest.
On one of my standard routes I often walk by the cippo Corridoni, a big lump of stone loaded with fascist symbols, commissioned by Mussolini himself. It doesn’t disturb me, I find it healthy to be reminded of our history, but I often wonder how this thing is still here after all these years. I guess it’s just too far away from the main roads to be noticed.
Things appear to be going relatively well in Italy with the pandemic. Number are still low and most people are still following most rules. I must admit to feel a bit of pride for how this country managed the crisis: it was hit early and hard, but after fumbling the initial response it was able to control the pandemic and bring the numbers down much better than many others.
It’s disheartening to follow what is happening in the UK, with face masks only now being required in shops, but only from the 25th, but only for clients, but nobody will enforce it, but yeah, but no, but yeah, but no… That is the country I chose to move to, and to be honest I would have expected them to be able to manage a crisis better than Italian. Guess I was wrong.
On the other hand I had just a couple of occasion to deal with the Italian bureaucracy and in both cases I just wanted to just drop everything and head back to the airport, promising to never ever try to run a business in Italy again (“never ever” on this blog should be read as “At least 5 years. Maybe 3. Definitely not less then 6 months”).
This always reminds me of a conversation I had with Dave Winer while walking around the Duomo in Milano, perhaps a dozen years ago (details might be wrong). I was complaining about how things were in Italy, he told me that things actually appeared pretty good to him, that looking around he could see a functioning society, and that everywhere you go there are problems.
Of course I thought he wasn’t getting it, that the situation in Italy was special.
Of course he was completely right and I was wrong: at the end, we are all special.
Stay safe, be kind, keep in touch.