Letter of praise to Italy

Saturnia Tellus, Ara Pacis Augustae, Rome © 2021. DeAgostini Picture Library/Scala

Solomeo, 30 December 2021

My thoughts go to this most amiable place of the soul, of architecture, art and culture, probably the country longest and most deeply loved, visited and sought after over the centuries by people from all over the world. How many poets, historians, philosophers, architects, painters, artists and thinkers have sung the praises of Italy! Some have left their land, the place of their soul, to come and live with us. How many of the greatest have been inspired and have built their masterpieces on our history: Shakespeare, Goethe, Gogol.

This was the land of father Dante: "Pure and prepared to climb onto the stars", thus unifying a language as melodious as music.

I think of Rome, the fabulous and eternal city, of the great minds of men like Hadrian the Emperor, who claimed to have inherited the sense of the human from the Greek masters, of philosophers, poets and Marcus Aurelius, who stated: "While you live, while it is in your power, be good", and of Pythagoras, a Greek from Calabria, who said: "Number rules the universe". Archimedes was born in Sicily, the land of the sun, of oranges and lemons, of cyclops and gods.

When I think of all this, I understand the Italian enchantment of a land unique for the richness of its diversity. A land of people who know how to unite in their work, who have the courage to overcome mistakes. A country that has inherited from Roman law the honest life, respect for others, and fairness for everyone. Land of prudence, reliability and durability. Land of universal Humanism.

Of this Italy, which stands out as a hymn of hope to future generations, I feel like a citizen and son, and I love this motherland with the wisdom of my heart. Italy has grown in art and beauty, and as Kant reminds us: 'Beauty is the symbol of the morally good'. Today Italy has rediscovered balance, moderation, kindness, dignity and respect; as in the golden centuries of the Renaissance, it is ready, I believe, for a new destiny to once again become the cultural mediator of humanity, towards the future full of light and well-being that awaits us.