>In The New York Times, a piece about Italy’s upcoming sesquicentennial, and how not many Italians feel they have anything to celebrate.
Although as I read the article I kept thinking that, if Italy’s national football team hadn’t performed so miserably in the last World Cup, the feeling of unification wouldn’t be quite so low. It was, after all, the German team, with its face of integration and success on the field (but not too much success — just enough let Germans feel good about them without feeling guilty about feeling good for a change!) which started off a new national discussion about national pride and identity, and if it’s OK to wave flags again. (Well, and then Germany won the Eurovision Song Contest, which never ever happens as a rule, and which kept the mood high for some people.)
That said, an idea presented in the article, that”[e]ven today most Italians consider themselves the product of their hometowns or regions more than their nation” is not exclusive to Italy. The Bavarians feel the same way (and the Franks within Bavaria). The Tiroleans most certainly feel that way, and it breaks down further to whether you are from the upper or lower regions, and then from which valley. Even the dialects are different from practically village to village. I think this is a long-standing and perfectly normal thing, and not leading to countries’ disintegration. The business with South Tirol is another matter altogether, and lots of continuing talk from the right-wing about secession, but from here it looks that they have as much chance (and actual interest) of seceding as does, say, Texas.
The BBC’s take on Italy’s lack of party mood includes a tiny bit more historical background.