In honour of our blog’s name, we decided to take a look at an “exhibition” that took place recently in London called “La dolce vita”.
Less an exhibition and more a trade fair, the “dolce vita” event lists tourist operators, food suppliers, wine producers and, tellingly, real estate agencies.
All the best Italy has to offer in the UK, it seems.
But what do Italians think of this image of their fair country?As one commentator has it, it’s a view of Italy through rose-coloured glasses – mostly for British retirees, cashed-up and looking for sun and relaxation.
The slow life is unfortunately something many Italians no longer enjoy, and the idyllic, village image of 50’s and 60’s Italy is a well-tweaked version of the living reality of most Italians.
But it all works for what can be called “luxuxy immigration”.
The Chianti zone in Tuscany has been dubbed “Chiantishire” and the English are snapping up villas in regions such as Umbria and even turning them into entreprises such as “agriturismi” – country-style bed and breakfasts.
Although this might not all be so negative as at least, as our commentator has pointed out, high-end tourism could be one of the few advantages Italy has in its current political and economic climate.
But will the Italians themselves be able to participate in this vision of their own country?