People silhouetted near Trevi's fountain in Rome. (Photo by Marco Bertorello/AFP)
When I arrived in Rome some 32 years ago the city was at the tail-end of the "Dolce Vita," a post-World War II boom period in Italy that the brilliant Federico Fellini satirized in his 1960 film of the same name.
The country was enjoying three or more decades of ongoing modernization and was experiencing vigorous growth in its economy and jobs market.
The largely agrarian Italy of the pre-war years, the remnant of an ancient feudal society, had already been transformed into one of Europe’s industrial leaders and there was a pervasive confidence that this period of increasing prosperity would never end.
This was not a time of unbridled capitalism, however. Quite the contrary. Strong labor unions, a generous social welfare system and a carefully regulated economic and business sector offered security and peace of mind for the average Italian.
Bald ambition so apparent in other countries, such as the United States, was largely absent or at least masked by that inimitable Italian form of nonchalance and effortlessness known as bella figura — the art of always appearing to look good or at least cool, calm and collected.
"Va piano" — or, go slowly — was an essentially Italian piece of advice bosses and co-workers offered me early on and would repeat many, many times. It was part of an old saying: "Chi va piano va sano e va lotano." Those who go slowly, go sanely (or safely) and far.
To continue reading click here.
….as we enter the last months of 2021, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.