The presentation of the book "Elsewhere" by Norberto Lombardi - Intellectuals from Molise in the Diaspora was an opportunity to return to the center of Rome and the Montecitorio press office. Waiting for the opening hours, I noticed these strange window sills in the press room and once again I was bewitched by the beauty of Rome: every corner reveals a detail to tell.
The presentation had been organized by the Honorable Fabio Porta elected in South America and all the honorable Members elected in America were present, Francesca La Marca (who had been introduced to me by Tony Malizia and Christian di Sanzo, as well as the Swiss Toni Ricciardo.
For many years Norberto Lombardi coordinated the work of honorable citizens elected abroad and from this position he came into contact with many realities and people from all over the world. But his heart has always beaten for Molise and his Campobasso.
The windowsill of the press room of Montecitorio
Norberto interviewed 20 personalities of Molise origin who have had success and influenced the society in which they live. 20 life stories that can immediately convey the emotions experienced by families who left Italy when digital communications did not yet exist and the distance seemed unbridgeable.
Stories of challenge to the new world, of stubbornness and success until becoming so integrated into the new society with a process that can be defined as 'transcultural'. A dynamic process where cultures influence each other to build a new future.
Stories that, if known also in Italy, could enrich both our present and our future.
It starts from the story of Giose Rimanelli from which the name of the book comes. Giose Rimanelli is an Italian-American writer, originally from Casacalenda, with his style that has influenced a generation and in which Italian slowness joins American and jazz dynamism.
With our pleasure we continue with the American photographer Tony Vaccaro, whom I too had the pleasure of interviewing when we awarded him the Town Ambassador Award together with the mayor of his beloved Bonefro.
I recently saw a documentary on Sky Arte dedicated to Tony Vaccaro who is considered a true legend in the USA, both for his photographic stories of the Second World War and for his portraits of the stars in the golden age of Hollywood.
And his attachment to Bonefro is an example of how important his Molise roots are but also of how emigration was the only experience that could lead them to the success they have had.
Claudia Bettiol and Francesca La Marca
It was a real pleasure to hear the story of the interviews directly from the words of Norberto Leonardi who overwhelmed us with a childish enthusiasm towards the future. Never a nostalgic look but the joy of how the Molise roots, integration and 'transulturalism' have brought richness and depth to these 20 interviewed personalities.
And I jotted down a sentence I didn't know. When an emigrant left with his fears and dreams of him, he greeted his fellow villagers in this way: "If we no longer see each other in this world, let's hope to see each other in the next".
I will certainly buy this book and I hope to build a future of relationships also with young descendants abroad thanks to the Town Ambassador Award and the Felicita Back Home project.
Meanwhile, we met all the elected officials in America and rest assured that we will meet them for the new edition of the Town Ambassador Award.
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