It’s a place of amazing and haunting beauty, casually unscathed by decades of speculation that ravaged Italian landscapes. The Maremma: forgotten, thus saved. A place where you end up by chance, but where you want to come back, a place which pulls you by the sleeve and you are willingly held back. Which amazes you every time you come back, with its breathtaking scenery appearing at every turn of the road. It makes you feel that little twinge of nostalgia in your chest whenever you leave. EVERY time you leave.
And this happens before you even discover the artistic treasures, the villages in which life is as from another era, the “km-zero” food cooked in an exquisite way by women who have learned from their mothers and grandmothers. And then, small hidden wineries which surprisingly export to Japan and the US, charming farms offering hospitality, but also sophisticated services at the top of their industry, such as Michelin-starred restaurants, spas, championship golf courses. Also, roads that wind through the silence and seem to be made for cycling fans, trails for horseback rides in the wildest of nature that can last for hours or even days.
Well then, what’s missing? Nothing. The Maremma is a gift of nature, history and culture given to us without having deserved it and that we can only thankfully enjoy. A gift that the world would envy us (if made aware of its existence).
But Maremma is today primarily a territory in deep suffering, which never really fully developed during the years of economic boom and which is undergoing more painfully than others a crisis for which no end is in sight.
What can be done? One thing is certain: the Maremmans viscerally love their land, and they lead all kinds of initiatives to debate, discuss, comment, suggest.
As an “acquired Maremman”, I attentively observe this creative turmoil. Maybe the Maremma of the future is being born? But for a new one to be born, the Maremma of today must have the courage to look itself into the mirror and ask: Who am I? And what do I want to be when I grow up?
While waiting for the answers, we can only cheer…