Here is a countryside piece of southern Italy, a hilly sweep that stretches out in the area between Benevento and Avellino. A village named Terranova is my mum’s native place, a tiny town where we find a few houses surrounding a square overlooked by a church. This church below.
My mum was born in one of these houses and here is where my family heads to, a few times a year, just to escape the city. It goes without saying that the pace of life is incredibly slow here.
Slowness is a value, somewhere.
During my last visit I realized I hadn’t explored the area yet. I spent a couple of hours reading Charles Bukowski in the bedroom of my ancestors then decided to take a stroll under the scorching sun. I embarked on 1 hour long walk with David Bowie singing in my head “This is not America”.
I must still feel the influence of my last trip to Canada.
“This could be the biggest sky / This could be a miracle / This could be.”
This is Italy or just a glimpse of it. Images of a country I found out to be more beautiful than I remembered. More fascinating than I was willing to remember. A country defeated by years of indifference and carelessness that still shows off her insolent and gaudy beauty.
Before leaving the green province of Benevento, I headed to a Pizzeria in the small town of Arpaise. Most of the restaurants and pizzerias live on local glory. You will not find them online. To some extent, things must happen only locally, almost secretly, to retain their authenticity. I slowly tasted my pizza and concluded that seclusion from the global buzz is just what is needed to preserve genuineness.
This is not America, David Bowie was still singing in my mind when I left the town.