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Video 15 June Jun 2020 0702 15 June 2020

Franco Arminio, poet and ‘paesologist’: “Small villages are a great opportunity for Italy”

Franco Arminio is one of Italy’s most exciting and best-known poets who has coined the word ‘paesologist’ to describe himself

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He calls himself a ‘paesologist’ – someone who is very much concerned with the present and future of all Italy’s small villages (paesi). This focus was born of a need because, sadly, it seems that the country’s attention is very much on cities while nobody takes any interest in villages.

Franco Arminio is one of Italy’s most exciting and best-known poets. “During this pandemic we have learnt that villages could offer a great opportunity. If Italy revitalizes its villages, that will also benefit our overcrowded cities,” he explains.

With the right policies and new consumer behavior, job opportunities could be created in Italy’s small villages and countryside. “We have these villages - let’s reap the benefits of this heritage” is his call for action. That’s why he believes people should be encouraged to return to village life. Over the years, services have been run down but at the same villages are places of great beauty – he describes them as ambivalent. However, our instapoet does not condemn city life: take the good things from both villages and from cities but also bring villages back to life by attracting city dwellers. “Diversity is what makes Italy beautiful, we need Milan as much as we need Bisaccia, my village,” he points out, underlining how important both communities are to Italian life.

Bringing back old crafts by using the internet and technology is another aspect he highlights. He has shown that thanks to social networks poetry has been given a new lease of life and found new impetus. Finally, in this interview Arminio explains how he has managed to weave together poetry, pecorino cheese and social media by going back to the old tradition of exchange. Watch just how he managed that.

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