29 Settembre: happy birthday to Modena ‘beat’ music capital

29-settembre-2016-concert-Modena-Maurizio-Vandelli

When the folk revival and then the rock revolution of the 60s arrived in Italy, it landed in Modena. Amid Ferrari and Maserati cars, balsamic vinegar producers, tortellini restaurants and small industrial enterprises scattered around the province, ‘beat’ music started to bloom almost unexpectedly in that ‘little town, bastard place’, as Francesco Guccini, one of…

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My top ten non-fiction books about today’s Italy (in English) – and a modest picture of the country

Ideal-City-Map-of-Hell

My top ten books are a virtual guided tour that wants to take you to the heart and the soul of what may seem like the most European of countries. It’s a voyage, sometimes dark and sometimes funny, throughout “Good Italy” and “Bad Italy”, an attempt to let the reader scratch at the reassuring surface…

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Education in Italy (part two): the foul play of Berlusconi’s and Renzi’s reforms

Vittorio-Vandelli-Professor-Bingo-education-Italy

In Education in Italy part one I describe the decline of the Italian Education system since the beginning of the new century and the birth of the scuola/azienda, of the student/customer and of the consumers’ school, with its parallel downgrading of the role of teachers and students. In this post I’ll try to present the…

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Education in Italy (part one): Nothing worth Teaching can be Taught?

William-Shakespeare-Leicester-Square

Education in Italy: Nothing worth Teaching can be Taught? In Education in Italy part one I’ll describe the decline of the Italian Education system since the beginning of the new century and the birth of the scuola/azienda, of the student/customer and of the consumers’ school, with its parallel downgrading of the role of teachers and…

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Well-fed young television-watchers or freedom fighters? Of juvenile rebelliousness and social commitment

anti-war-demonstrations

Since my book on Italian society in the last ventennio is also a warning against the contemporary erosion of democracy in the Western World – as I have said time and again, the Italy of the so-called Berlusconi Age is a privileged observatory -, a chapter of my work deals with some dystopian writers of…

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Mafia Capitale: dirty hands over the Eternal City

mafia-capitale

Mafia Capitale: a shocking Christmas gift to Italian people As I write in the introduction of my book on Berlusconi’s Italy, later that year [2014], we discovered that also Rome was not willing to stay behind [Milan and Venice, in which the ‘Expo 2015’  and the ‘Flood Barrier MOSE’ corruption cases had recently been discovered]. The…

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Migrants’ Holocaust, the modern Middle Passage: do we really care ?

2013-Lampedusa-migrant-shipwreck

Migrants’ Holocaust: the second anniversary of the greatest migrants’ tragedy of the XXI century On October 3, 2015 the tiny island of Lampedusa, South of Sicily, celebrated the second anniversary of the greatest migrants’ tragedy since the beginning of the century. 2,000 people marched through the street of Lampedusa sending out an appeal to Europe “to maintain the…

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Genoa G8 summit in 2001: the days Berlusconi’s Italy went back to fascism

Genoa-G8-summit-Carlo-Giuliani-Diaz-school

The police street violence at the Genoa G8  summit against the peaceful protesters and the raid at their headquarter – the Diaz school – in July 2001 is one of those episodes a country must be deeply ashamed of It was the Berlusconi governement’s deliberate plan to discredit and eliminate the anti-globalization movement which left a trail of blood behind. It was…

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Berlusconi’s legal problems: the ‘fake’ sentence in the corruption of senator De Gregorio’s trial

Silvio Berlusconi Sergio De Gregorio

Another leg of the Berlusconi’s legal problems saga: sentenced to pro forma three years in jail for corrupting opposition senator in the first trial. Why is il Cavaliere still (almost) untouchable by the law?  Here is another episode of the Berlusconi’s legal problems saga: On July 8, 2015, Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to three years in jail for…

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Silvio Berlusconi: 11 overwhelming questions

Silvio-Berlusconi-Newsweek

Silvio Berlusconi and the dark aspects of Italy: why writing a book  about them? Silvio Berlusconi is “not just any old charlatan”, as the Nov. 21, 2011 Newsweek cover reads.  As I have said time and again, Silvio Berlusconi’s ventennio (his twenty years in office) is a privileged observatory as far as the future of democracy is…

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