Italians want to know
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 by Dave Winer.
Paolo says they want to know what we think of them.
I was talking yesterday with my friend Mary Trigiani, who as you can tell by her last name, is of Italian descent. Her grandparents were born in the old country. I told her my impression, that for a country of such beauty, and a people so intelligent and friendly, and one that seems from the outsider's point of view to run so well, they sure think very little of themselves!
I didn't see any homeless people in Italy. There were some beggars, they were very aggressive, but they didn't persist if you ignored them. But even they seemed to be taking reasonably good care of themselves.
And the cities are so fantastically beautiful. When Italians visit the United States, what must they think of us. We can't even keep our streets clean. True, NY is doing much better, but we have a long way to go. And our food, it's nothing compared to theirs. Honestly I don't think I had ever really tasted fish until I had lunch with Marco and Paolo in Genova. You can ask them how I was gushing over the flavors and textures.
I go back to the advice I gave at the end of my trip. Let's have an international blogger's camp in rural Italy, off-season, a week retreat, where we talk about the world, in an expansive way. Let Italy be the first host. Then we go somewhere else, maybe South America, New Zealand, Korea. Let's find what's great about all our cultures, and learn from each other.
I think if Italians use the rest of us a mirror they might learn to appreciate what they have more than they do now. It's a beautiful place. And the people are nice. What more could you ask for!