Alberto Angela: that’s how I tell the Italian history’s novel to your readers

“It’s like seeing an ancient statue that looks at you, then suddenly smiles, and it is she to talk of his time: this is the difference. All the other history books you get to see the property, with that look a little stern. We do smile.” Alberto Angela, 57 years old, journalist, writer, popularizer tv, summed it up like this, with this image, his latest venture: the series As we were. The novel of the Italians from the origins to the unification of Italy: it is now on sale with the Republic, the first of the twenty volumes that come out weekly (9,90 euro plus the price of the newspaper). “From small I used to draw prehistoric men and dinosaurs. From what I can remember I have always been passionate about story: the stories that the teachers were on my involvement in second grade are entered in the history of the family”.

Why a novel?
“When we open a book of history, we find dates, kings, battles, empires and then just. Escapes completely the reality that history is made up of small stories. In this series, every time you see through a family, each volume tells the story of a father, a mother, sons and daughters, aunts, and explore their daily life, the food, the streets, the businesses, the ways of dressing, as a father appealed to the sons, as it was a wedding. It is not what we all would like to know? Between two thousand years, we would like people to know about our age, through the ministers, the presidents of the Council, or telling what we ate, how we vestivamo, how they made the roads? That is a bit what we look for when we go in another country: to discover the narrow streets, the food, the monuments”.

She, however, comes only to the Unity of Italy. Because you are not pushed over?
“I stopped when you form the country that we know of. If we want to, even before the etruscans, there were other civilizations: the celts, the camuni, the picenes, the messapian in Apulia. And even these we have chosen not to treat them, if not across it. In the same way if I was pushed over the Drive I had to remove something in the past, you can not tell it all. Then I have chosen to stay at the day before yesterday: the years following the unification, you can easily guess which was the style of life. Instead, you don’t know how you lived in the year one Thousand. And when there was Giotto, what ate the people, like we got married? Here, this would have been a shame to lose it”.

Then what are the most important stages that we touch in this journey?
“Of course the past is important: the etruscans, Magna graecia. But in this kind of a big fresco of Italy, the starting idea is that through each era, we want to touch every time of different regions. Otherwise, we would have focused too many times on Rome. Instead we discovered that every region of Italy has had its own culture, its own golden moment. We will think of the Unesco world heritage sites, Italy is full of them”.

Of course, there is a chapter dedicated to Leonardo…
“Couldn’t miss in the five-hundredth anniversary of his death. But even here we have to change perspective: Leonardo was always celebrated abroad as the great genius of the Renaissance. No, Leonardo is a great Italian genius. In the same way the roman empire is the empire of Italian. It is always a bit blurred, the size of our Country, abroad we do not do discounts, but we must not forget that our Country has given the world great moments of knowledge, of grace, of art. The Europe of today we have already done. In the case of Leonardo is evident. But we also think of the banks, of Venice.”

We often speak of the cycles and recycles of the story: what have we learned? And what we learn never?
“History repeats itself, of course. It was said that there is never a great past, but a unique present. That, and the story is a concept that we coined ourselves. History is made up of generations one above the other and each generation has its victories and its defeats. Now, let’s take as an example the football world cup. Italy has always been a dominatrix, and now limps, the last world cup and even there we were. But as we were the strongest, it makes you wonder. Here is this makes us understand that the story depends on every time by the capacity of the generation of that time. It resets every time everything and every generation has to show its capabilities. And Italy has been shown to have several aces up his sleeve. Commitment, sacrifice, responsibility: every time there have been these ingredients the used emerged. Strong men create certain times, certain times create men and women more soft and men soft to create the difficult periods and the cycle repeats itself.

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