As bad as I can criticise national weaknesses and flaws, I still am an Italian, sharing with my fellow countrymen those same limits as well as the many strengths.
Living abroad, I don’t suffer for the distance, and when coming back I am stricken first from the many things not working properly than from the evident beauty and richness of this country.
Fact is that the positive factors seem stemming from nature, climate and ancient culture and history, while the shortcomings are a straight product of ours, contemporary inhabitants.
Probably this kind of extreme self-criticism is part of the problem. We seem to be more ready to complain about our own faults than to contribute to their overcoming.
Italy for me is the language, the food, the history. And, probably first of all, the genius represented by Giulio Cesare, Leonardo, Michelangelo but also Armani, Rivera, Caruso, Pertini and probably Al Capone.
And Italy is the landscape, so varied and intense, made of natural forces and human labour: a Pino Loricato, the Colosseo, Tuscany countryside, Positano, Venezia, Dolomiti Mountains.
Giorgio Gaber states in one song: I don’t feel as to be an Italian, but by fortune, or by force, I am one.