Today I do not have a story to tell. Yet living in Romagna every day offers me many suggestions. Just stroll through the streets of my city, stop in a bar to listen to the people who enjoy the morning coffee, sitting at the table while greetings and exchange the first words of the day, strictly in a mix between dialect and Italian.
A few days ago, talking to some people, I happened to think of something I had taken over in these years: telling Romagna had become a necessity, almost a way to put myself in a place that for long I had seen something else from me. People, faces, ways of saying, sounds, images: a world I did not belong to, I was not the daughter of Romagna, with no connection to this land, of any kind.
But it is true that as my friend Giovanna Conforto says, the one who guided me in the secrets of story telling, or rather of the narration, as I like to define the art of telling a story, the stories come by themselves, it is not necessary to look for them spasmodically. They simply come!
Romagna, a land to discover!
And so this land, made of places that have been poetically secluded for so long, turned from the magmatic movement of a region dazzled by the neon lights of the tourist coast, began to appear, slowly, piece by piece, history for history.
For years I have literally avoided everything that this region represented: I used to travel from little to cultivate my beloved foreign languages, I used to read, to see, to observe to be open, to talk to everyone, I found myself on the periphery of a city (Forlì) which, although provincial capital, had little to offer and indeed isolated for my non-Romagna origins.
Images, sounds, smells, scents, words, smiles of the many people on this journey for four years, since 21grammy, the blog hosting my stories, has been put on line for the first time. And along with me, the many who helped to build the story: friends, people known by chance, travel companions I brought with me and they made me discover the surprise of the discovery. The long breath that opens when the look stays on an unexpected landscape that you would like to keep for yourself.
People of Romagna
Romagna is not known as it deserves, it is true.
Romagna people are wild as the land he has cultivated for centuries, that on the border between Romagna and Tuscany, but also the northern one, where the blue waters of the Po Delta tell of bandits, swamp herbs, mosquitoes and hunger. Precisely these secular difficulties have left them distrustful to those who they do not know, and also to things they do not know, but capable of inventing, creating, producing for the simple need to solve daily problems.
Here life is good, and no one even question why. Nobody wants to leave, not even tourists who, still too much by accident, discover this land, crossing the mental boundaries of the classic itineraries, Venice, Florence, Rome. As if there was nothing between one and the other. As if Italy was just that. As if Romagna did not exist. As if Romagna was just the caveja, the piadina and the cappelletti.
I did not choose Romagna, I did not choose to live where I live, but I chose the tales that this region offers me every day. I chose the stories, I chose the people. Maybe Romagna chose me.