So, back to Italy. As usual more photos are on Facebook, but i want to post some here to flesh out my entries.
Here is a picture of a squatted building covered in anarchist flyers that greeted me in Taranto.
I think i mentioned that most of the old town was held up by rusted iron girders. This is what that looks like.
This corner gives a good impression of what it felt like to walk around the oldtown at night. It looks pretty beat up and down on its luck, but you know a bunch of hippies have been through at some point too.
What is the current national anthem of Italy? This is the song that was blasting from every car on the street and playing in every bus i took.
Luis Fonsi - Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee
Without a doubt that song is always going to remind me of Italy now, even though it's Puerto Rican.
But this is the stuff that the kids in Calabria told me was the true Italian music (and none of that Giorgio Moroder guff). Apparently this guy speaks for the south.
Caparezza - Vieni A Ballare In Puglia ft. Al Bano
So, Italy. Interesting place. I am glad i went and dispelled some of my prejudices. But i found it to be uncomfortably uptight. They are a fiercely traditional nation that has built up elaborate rituals and bureaucracy to maintain a lifestyle that comes across to me more as small-minded than proud. And while it's sad to see how deeply the south is suffering economically, it's a real tragedy to see the parallel world African migrants inhabit. Hundreds of thousands are coming to Europe for a better life, but then they are greeted by active racism and experience far greater poverty than even the poorest whites. All the ingredients are there, though. I think if the younger generation opens up and embraces cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism, Italy could become a very exciting place. There are hints of it already.