Luca’s Little Italy–A History of Italy

Lucas Little Italy--A History of Italy

Luca Casali, Human Interest

Ciao a tutti amici americani, bentornati ! (Hi to all my American friends, welcome back!)

Today I would like to talk a bit about my country in general and tell you how an Italian guy sees his own country.

Let’s start from the beginning, Italy is a “small” country in Europe, small geographically but not that small for culture and for importance in international politics. I admit my country is not one of the biggest and most important in the world but it has always had its importance throughout history. As one of the co-founders of Europe, we produce a lot of products sold all over the world. For example, Italy excels in the food and fashion sector.

Italy is divided into 20 regions, which is not very politically relevant (it is, but not as much as the 50 states in the US). This division is very important culturally. In fact, until 1861 when Italy was united, almost every region was a kingdom itself, and each one spoke different languages. Languages were similar among the regions, but it was difficult to understand people from different places, each region has its own culinary traditions and meals. Even after the unification we haven’t lost these languages and traditions.

Have you ever had the chance to talk with two Italian people coming from different places? If so, have you ever noticed that they sound different?

It could be comparable to the different accents among American states but the differences between one Italian accent and another one could mean that one is more clear while another is harder to understand.

In Italy, people usually speak Italian to each other but it’s not strange to find people speaking a weird language in some places( more likely in the south). What language are these people speaking? We call them “dialects” and as I said before, they depend on the region (it’s also possible to find more than one dialect in the same region though, depending on where you are).

I find this fact very fascinating and I can assure you from experience that it’s not easy to understand other region’s dialects.

Italians are also very patriotic (but probably not as much as you are). We love our country sportively and culturally, but we don’t love it that much in regards to politics. 

However, we do love our country! More than that, everyone loves the specific region or area where he/she is from, it’s like an internal and pacific conflict about which subculture is the best.

The highlighted region is called Emilia-Romagna and it’s where I am from.

To reconsider the argument I talked about earlier, let’s take my region as an example. Although it’s a unique region, Emilia-Romagna is culturally divided by two parts, Emilia, the northern part, and Romagna, the southern part. The southern part is where I was born and I still live. In these areas, we have different dialects, a different food culture of which we are jealous to share its ownership. If you have ever asked where lasagna, tortellini, and tagliatelle noodles are from, here is the answer; Emilia-Romagna is where they are from. 

To conclude I want to make you really understand how much we care about our provenance even inside Italy, I’m from Romagna and if someone called me “Emiliano”(literally it means “from Emilia”) I would be mad at him/her and I would specify that I’m “Romagnolo”(from Romagna).

Our dialects and food culture were also classified as UNESCO heritage sites and the goal is to preserve them generation by generation.