Past, Present, and Future: An Italian Perspective on Time and “the Old”


(photo: an old door in Pellegrina, Italy)  

There’s a certain comfort in all things deemed old: Old homes, old devices, old parts, old countries, old texts, old people, old trees, old clothes, old friends, etc.  The old can be defined as something not made or experienced recently and having a history (or story) or emotive quality.  An old friend can bring you back to your old childhood street and memories of running free while absorbed in a simple game of hide and seek.  And an old, weathered, home can bring joy and gratification knowing it’s history, how it was made, and a sense of it’s parts as a joyous collective.


(photo: pinks meets wall in Pellegrina, Italy)  

In my view, it’s vital we celebrate the old and the ideas mentioned above.  During our trip to Calabria, I was reminded of how important it is to view the past, and the physical items representing it, as critical to the human experience.  In Calabria, like many parts of Italy, one can see the past in everyday life and it’s celebrated not as something that needs to be improved or renovated, but as a condition key to being happy.  And this view extends, for example, to how the elderly are viewed and treated to the average Italian’s relationship with an old home, a family farm, and old friends.  That is to say, for most Italians the experience and tangible objects of the past are to be celebrated and revered.  

So, here’s to taking the past seriously and enjoying the present (we’ll talk about the future at another point in time!).

(photo: an old barn door on the family farm in Pellegrina, Italy)  

(photo: you can walk these streets alone, but it’s nicer with someone else)

(photo: an ancient olive tree on the Latella family farm)

(photo: on the family farm just outside of Pellegrina, Italy)  

(photo: old brick as art in Calabria)  

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