I do not remember hearing Quirino Briganti speak about Monti Lepini (Lepini Mountains) in high school but I’m sure this ongoing connection between caring for the local community and being open to the global was already born those years ago.
I lost sight of Quirino for a while and I found him again when he was a ‘strange’ young mayor who dealt with nature and history of the Lepini Mountains when everyone else thought about plastic and buying larger cars. I would wait patiently for him in the waiting room with a book or two to read. I knew that my patience would be rewarded by a creative meeting.
Quirino Briganti has taken care of his town, Carpineto Romano, and the Lepini Mountains. With his attention spanning from Carpineto to the Lepini Mountains, the expansion of his horizon towards the neighboring municipalities was almost immediate. A mountain town surrounded by nature cannot live alone. As the elements of nature relate to each other, so the small towns must relate to have more strength and visibility and to promote their territories. It is the essence of the ecology, of nature and of history.
“The Lepini Mountains have a very large territory that spans three provinces. We have several different slopes to the sea and to the valley of the Sacco, but we also have many things in common that in recent years we have valued. Today we present you with an eye-catching image, a basket of typical products of excellence, well-equipped paths and enhanced historic architectural heritage. The next step will be the Park and the international stage.”
Lepini Mountains: Naturally Historic!
His tenacity and optimism led him to become a reference for many mayors and Quirino became president of the Society of the Lepini Mountains, an organisation that takes care of promoting this territory and to cement more and more a sense of belonging among the municipalities.
“In recent years it has created a common logo, strengthened the territorial identity and has cooperated with the mayors on tourism and promotion of the territory. Culturally we have been concerned to hear of the Lepinis as a ‘common good’ of the citizens and today we are ready to make the leap to integrated and unified tourism proposals.”
Last year Quirino Briganti was chosen as the head of the Lazio Region Expo in Milan where he created events for promotion of regional excellence through which the agro-food enterprises of the Lazio region could initiate collaborations on national and international markets. It was such a positive experience that, soon after, he was given responsibility for coordinating events for the Jubilee of the Lazio Region and the preparation of the participation of the Lazio Region in Astana in 2017, the city in Kazakhstan that will host the ‘Intermedia Expo’.
Quirino is a ‘man of the establishment’ and he pronounces this phrase with the proper respect to the meaning of representing the interests of citizens and enhancing their common good. Right now on his table there are the Lepini Mountains that Quirino has inculcated in his blood, and all the incredible towns of Lazio that have a history and a thousand-year tradition, and can rise to prominence when ‘in the hearts of citizens’ the value is understood, in their welcoming and promotion of their towns.
The story began when the young twenty-five year old Quirino Briganti was given the task of Councillor for Culture of Carpineto Romano, in the Lepini Mountains.
To envision the period we are in the era of ‘Milan da bere’, during the period of speculative building, where everyone wants a new home outside the historic center, and just throw away tradition and all the memories of the past, when the Italians were poor. Plastic was starting to invade our lives. Quirino, as usual, looked at the reality outside and wondered:
‘But what is Carpineto? That old one or this new one? ‘
He was creating a rift between two neighboring towns that corresponded to two different lifestyles. An old town, being abandoned, which was being run down and a new urban area growing without control. The myth of work at the factory and the decline of craftwork. A rift between an identity cemented for thousands of years of history with a pope (Leo XIII was born in Carpineto), and a frantic search for a cancellation of that identity in the emerging globalization.
“I had no doubts. We created the first street artists festival in the historic centre, we dusted off the old tradition of the Palio al Carriera with a historical procession and Renaissance races, and we started to promote the biodiversity of the Lepini Mountains”.
Carpineto like many towns of the Lepini Mountains have their historic reenactments and attempt at recovery of their past identity to help citizens in this phase of social and historic disorientation, but some ideas have yet to be understood. Many municipalities have rearranged their historic centers but still have not understood the socio-economic capacity that this can have in the revival of tourism.
The Palio in Carpineto has led to the discovery of gastronomic traditions, such as truffles, crafts such as tailoring (they are seven) and tourism with a new approach to art and culture shared by the citizens.
In the words of Quirino Briganti: “You can also win elections on a battle to bring back a picture of Caravaggio to Carpineto! This is what happened to me when I became mayor. My whole plan was about cultural and natural tourism!”