Sunday, March 15, 2015

Word of the week- periferia

Our word of the week, periferia, means periphery. But its common use refers to the outskirts of a city, which in some European countries (like Italy and France) has a negative connotation. Historically, what is called the centro storico (the center of town with all the attractions, monuments and beautiful architecture) has been inhabited by the middle and upper classes, with the poorer folks relegated outside this area. Below you see the area of Spinaceto, near Rome, which was visited by Nanni Moretti in his movie Caro Diario.

This is the Italy (the Europe) that most tourists never see, and don't even know about. At present, there is a process occurring which is similar to the move to the suburbs and out of the downtown areas that occurred in the US after World War II. The centri storici are increasingly losing population and businesses, and thus changing the very nature of Italy as we have known it.