Summer has come with its motionless skies, dried-out wheat fields, the soft sound of sandals, Emily Dickinson umbrellas. Season “abundant”, full, swollen, mature, which welcomes dreams of freedom, desire to escape, desire to loaf about. The South calls us with its mortar walls, cool rooms by the sea, blue summer evenings. We dedicate this July issue to white towns, to villages of lime-coated houses, where everything under the sun seems to re-emerge from sweet sleep, a long hibernation. Behold Locorotondo, Otranto and Trani in Apulia, which kidnap the traveller with their wonders, between tolls at noon and shadows stretching on the walls. Behold Levanzo, a small group of island houses in front of an African sea. And finally Atrani on the Amalfi coast, always listening to the thunder that the sea creates at its feet.
Summer, time for discovery. Backpack on shoulders and a dauntless heart to slip into the alleys of abandoned (or almost so) villages: Sadali in Sardinia, Piobbico and Frontone in the Marche, and other small agglomerates, lost in the Lucanian Apennines or in the Occitan Alps. Places that demand a return, after abandonment. And other places that, due to personal stories or fortuitous encounters, are always with us: the valley of mills in the Ladin village of Longiarù, in the Badia Valley, and the gulches of the Sagittario river in Abruzzi, with the three villages of Anversa degli Abruzzi, Villalago and Scanno.
Plus many other pages, again, to make you enter places engraved in our mind like landscapes that do neither dissolve nor degrade, and that we always recognise as if they were faces, faces we love. Perhaps a landscape is nothing but a matter of love. And it is as if it were the whole of Italy asking to be loved, even where there are suffering and unease. The peripheral Italy that we embody in our magazine is not an abstract idea, it is a part of a country that fights, sometimes winning, sometimes losing.
At the Venice Biennale of Architecture, the curator of the Italian Booth, Mario Cucinella, presented a research by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism on inland areas, from the Alps to the islands and along the Apennines ridge, showing “the highest expressive biodiversity” of a nation that, in spite of everything, still manages to produce beauty. It can be seen in the 67 selected contemporary architectures. Cultural spaces, squares, wine cellars, schools, testify to the desire, on the part of the “periphery of the empire”, to look to the future without betraying the past.