Italy’s “strange and wonderful chords”

“For us to go to Italy and to penetrate into Italy is like a most fascinating act of self-discovery — back, back down the old ways of time. Strange and wonderful chords awake in us, and vibrate again after many hundreds of years of complete forgetfulness.”

— D.H. Lawrence

It’s incredible to think about how true D.H. Lawrence’s words still ring true today, even though they were written a century ago.

From the Italian Alps to the tip of Puglia and the island of Sicily, Italy abounds with archeological ruins, traces that remind us of the origins of western civilization.

But at the very same time, across the Italian peninsula, Italy continues to stand at the forefront of western civilization with its innovations in a wide range of fields that span multiple disciplines.

Whether technology or design, gastronomy or winemaking, entertainment or literature and the fine arts, Italy continues to dazzle us with its brilliance and its myriad contributions to culture, science, and artistry.

The image above is from the super Roman ruins that have been restored in Brescia in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy.

Roman ruins in northern Italy, you ask? Yes, Sicily has some of the best Roman ruins in the world and so does Campania (the shin of Italy’s boot). And of course, so does Rome, the eternal city and the once capital of the Roman Empire.

But superbly preserved and restored archeological sites that date back to the Roman era can be found also in the north and in particular in Lombardy, Veneto, and Friuli.

One can only wonder if Italy’s leadership in so many fields of innovation and growth today can trace its roots back to ancient Rome and the many gifts the Romans gave to Western Civilization.

There’s no doubt that that legacy awakens “strange and wonderful chords” in us, as D.H. Lawrence wrote so many years ago.

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