(by Lorenza Cappanera)
I love my region, even if sometimes I would like to throw it into the sea. Perhaps more the people of the Marches than the territory, they make me angry when they close themselves in and underestimate themselves, an ancient cultural heritage that always wanted them inferior compared to the Vatican/aristocratic caste. It's not their fault, it's not our fault. The only one capable of countering the mentality of a native wild village was Giacomo Leopardi, who I have always called Giacomino, as if he were a brother: "Here, my most amiable sir, everything is senselessness and stupidity", he wrote to Giordani. Now certainly many things have changed compared to the nineteenth century, but ultimately I have often suffered from this lack of broad views, as a fortified city, even Ancona, the city where I was born and raised, I have always considered it a closed shell, incapable of see beyond, the sea has never helped her. Already at 12 I dreamed of London and my mother called me crazy. Languages yes, but at home. As luck would have it, for two years in middle school I had a Greek-English classmate as a classmate and then the linguistics one. Once I graduated, my dream was to leave again, like Giacomino. And I was really on that path. It was then a wonderful German lady I met by chance who suggested to me that I shouldn't leave at all and that I could move my London anywhere, especially here and I should, on the contrary, bring the foreigners and make get to know this extraordinary region. I looked at her strangely, I didn't understand, but little by little I began to see the Marche from a different perspective, through her eyes, as if it were the first time. We traveled far and wide, from the sea to the hills, towns and cities and in the mountains he shouted: “that is Switzerland!” as we climbed up, “that is absolutely better than Switzerland”, indicating untouched meadows and woods. And I started to believe it. The London I wanted and the Marche I was fleeing from was the Lorenza that lacked perspective, used to being told no for everything, "no you're not suitable, no this isn't suitable" said my parents and relatives, that death she spoke of Giacomino, the silence and the universal sleep that he explained to Giordani when he minimized "foreigners are amazed by this" he wrote, but he knew something about it. Leopardi should be taught to every parent, inculcated in every disheartened and derelict mind, in every school, every psychological study, not following the educational program in a pathetic-traditional way, always waiting for the usual, tragic idiot (there is always one in every class) who labels him as "desperate". If only all desperate people were like that! When he wrote he was little more than a teenager, but with such a sharp and alert mind that he managed, despite the times and his health, to write with the help of Giordani, a sort of professor. Keating from “The Fleeting Moment”, freeing himself from Monaldo. It's not for everyone. But let's go back to us, or rather let's go back to the lovely German lady: retired, she had bought a farmhouse in the hills of Arcevia, in the past she had traveled the world managing a modeling agency (for men, of course!) and she had lived for a long time in South Africa whose only souvenir was her Rhodesian Ridgeback which followed her everywhere except when she saw wild boars, it seemed like they were returning to the savannah and she no longer understood anything. What wonderful days in that splendid countryside, as we ran after him, the sun descending on the hills, the clear air, the sunflower fields. And that's how I realized how right he was: The Marche was beautiful. Enchanted. A wonder of nature. Something that takes your soul and never lets it go. We returned exhausted to his house, dog on a leash, then on the veranda a glass of local wine, music at full volume and so much of us absorbed in the landscape. We were that landscape, we were an integral part of it, we were part of the system. The scent of the brooms and the wheat did the rest, inebriated by that atmosphere we smiled to ourselves and toasted saying “Prosit. Ein Prosit der Gemuglichkeit”, lyrics to a Bavarian song he had taught me. Der Gemuglichkeit. An untranslatable word, but the meaning is: the hearth, the soul of the house. We toasted to that. I don't know how many times I mentally thanked her. He taught me that there is a soul in all the things we do, we just need to want it, and we just need to love. This love for the home was born there, but perhaps my soul was waiting for my awakening, the symbolic image of which Plato speaks chasing the myth of Er, the image that takes us back to the earth and to the meaning of existence: the love for my land, and perhaps also for my stubborn people who are not inclined to emotion. Don't expect tourism tout court. Those "apparently happy masses of unhappy individuals" who get off buses waiting to admire a painting do not belong to us. And we don't even want them. We care about our space. But as Sgarbi says: "all Italian painting was born here, in the Marche". And we kept something, we're not stupid. It's just scattered, hidden. The Marches, says Vittorio, are elusive, mysterious and plural. That's how it is. Discover them, you will never know enough. I recommend a tour of the churches, palaces and museums. There are masterpieces in towns and cities that you don't expect. I will tell you about it in other articles, don't worry. So get off the highway of life, take any route and be your own tourist, make the trip to the Marche a metaphor for existence, become a landscape.