Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Saving Italy

"Italy has long been identified by its cultural treasures; Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper is but one. Its ancient cities - Rome, Syracuse and Pompeii; jewel box towns - Venice, San Gimignano, and Urbino; places of worship - St Peter's Basilica, Florence's Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore), and Padua's Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel; and iconic monuments - the Colosseum, Leaning Tower, and Ponte Vecchio, have been so studied and admired through literature, verse and image that they have become the shared heritage of all mankind." Prelude (p. 5) to 'Saving Italy' by Robert Edsel.

I picked up this book over the week end and it so happens a movie called The Monuments Men was made based on the story of remarkable men who set to preserve and save Italy's cultural heritage from the Nazi's in WWII. The film is set to hit theaters in Decmember 2013. I don't know how much of it will consider Italy, but the book is all about it.

The above passage is powerful - and to anyone who has visited Italy or has come appreciate its history, this is but scratching the surface. The country holds more Unesco heritage sites than any country. The country isn't a geographic expression; it's a cultural expression. When one sees Italy on a map or atlas, it may as well be staring into the world's museum. I remember reading somewhere years ago in travel book it's been thought that Italy holds 60% of all Europe's cultural legacy and 40% of the world's." In addition, economically speaking, it produces about 45% of the world's luxury items.

Italy, simply, baffles.

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