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At the corners of the Blog: News from a weird, beautiful Country, Italy.

William Orpen Le Chef de l'Hôtel Chatham, Paris

Of all the worst that can be said about our Country in this historic moment: the negligence, bureaucracy,the  increasing difficulties to keep the wolf from the door … there is maybe one thing I think we can still say: which is that (beyond any apparent or increasing difficulty ) Italy is still a wonderful Country. I do not think it is just a matter of Nature (in fact, there are many places far more fascinating and natural … for example … I’m thinking of Australia, Canada, Tropics,  South America, India, Africa, and many other places on Earth) or of civilization (in fact ,there are several other places probably more “civilized” as, for example, Northern Europe, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Singapore, Japan, the US, etc. ..) or of culture (in fact, many parts of the world can be proud of ancient historical traditions that, although not as widespread as in Italy, are nevertheless important; I think of Countries such as France, Spain, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Egypt, Turkey, Asia, India, and certain parts of Africa). I imagine my country as a kind of secret recipe, a  really unique dish. A dish that people never get  tired of, and although eaten often it could become a little bit boring, then it always returns to be liked. It ‘s like a weird recipe, with a few ingredients, all in the right proportion, perfectly blended. Imagine an immense, imaginary chef, that in this universal and limitless kitchen  starts collecting the ingredients to be put within a huge pan. Now he picks up an enormous amount of  monuments and old paintings and pours them into the pan, then  begins to mix the whole; subsequently pours a little water of rivers and seas all together and keeps on mixing. The dough becomes softer and softer … the stellar chef pours into the huge pan the best products of our land as meat, fruits, oils, pasta, wine, water, cheese, vinegar, sweets , coffee and many other delicacies. The mixture becomes more and more  fragrant. The chef collects rain water and picks up the sun and puts them in the pan and continues to stir; then puts into the pan the major books of our poets, philosophers and writers of all ages that tell our Country … and continue to stir. Then he collects, from all over the Country, a bit of snow-capped mountains, of gentle hills, of soft sand and a beautiful piece of plain  and throws everything into the pan. The dough has become really soft, fragrant and colorful. The chef  finally picks up the population of the various regions and gently sprinkles them on the surface of the dough, then he leaves it all to rest for a while. The chef  finally picks up the population of the various regions, and gently sprinkles them on the surface of the dough, then he cooks the whole under the warm, summer sun and cools it in the cold winter, just for a while, in an universal period. The result is a rather strange pie, withso  many different colors, so many nuances, so many layers. It is a dish that releases many different flavors within the mouth. Here’s how I might describe Italy, from my personal point of view. Although full of contradictions, of immorality, hypocrisy and many difficulties … Italy remains my Country and to my eyes it is still unique and exceptional, it can give off ancient and always modern  flavors.

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