Italy and campanilismo; it’s provincial and parochial and it can also be charming and understandable.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

What is campanilismo? It’s excessive civic pride, it’s an exaggerated attachment to the customs and traditions of one’s own town. It’s localism, parochialism, similar to provincialism. And here in Piemonte it’s intense, perhaps more evident, than other parts of Italy. It can inspire rivalry and discourage people from working together.

It’s also charming and quite understandable when you think of all the fine products of Italy. Especially here in Piemonte, the wine, the truffles, hazelnuts, the cheese and the fact they produce most of the rice in Europe. They produce many things and when you travel to each town and listen or just observe you will find campanilismo on full display. They may not work together to market their region but separately they remain strong and focused and continue to be one of the most industrious tribes I’ve ever watched in action.

I hope to convey this in my current book, “Piemonte: the stories that need to be told” – because it lends beautifully to who they are and how they achieve so much on a daily basis.

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