Friday, April 1, 2011

La Riviera nel Parco

Doug and I attended what could only have been called (in any country) a poor presentation (powerpoint with no pictures--just words) featuring memorized bureaucratic speeches. Somehow, as new experiences tend to do, it led to a some wonderful revelations for me. You never know where anything will lead, so we will keep on going to these sorts of things. The little booklet pictured above was part of the handouts for this presentation on "Youth Working in Agriculture" (or--apparently-- the lack thereof). The idea was a good one in the tradition of helpful government. Towns should get together and make agriculture fun and profitable for the kids and thus for everyone else. Sounds good--and I'm sure a great deal was lost in our translation--including the relationship of the booklet to the idea of Youth in Agriculture. I'm gathering it has to do with that nice old phrase in Landscape Architecture--genius loci. They want us to promote our local indigenous products with a modern slant on innovation and tourism.

The booklet contains a short description of fourteen towns--our Hill Towns: Aieta, Buonvicino, Grisolia, Maiera, Orsomarso, Papasidero, Santa Maria del Cedro, Santa Domenica Talao, Tortora, and Verbicaro--and the Beach Towns: Diamante, Praia a Mare, San Nicola Arcella, and Scalea. These towns are either within or benefit from the ambiance of the Pollino National Park. So the long name of the booklet would be The Cedro Riviera within the Pollino National Park--but I think the creators meant it to be more whimsical than that. It's nice to know that after a year these towns are more to us than just names on a map.
Lonely Planet notwithstanding, these are each well worth a trip for any tourist. 
An Italian book Calabria Positiva also seems to stress this idea of innovation within traditional outlines (so far as I can tell--I'm not done with it yet). The revelation here is that I'm very happy a lot of good thought and creative ideas are out there for real people to snare and get going on--and in fact I agree that Calabria should take advantage of its relative unspoiledness to create a tourism that goes with rather than against nature and the landscape. Maybe someday soon I could help in some small way (like adding some pictures to the presentation??)

My next revelation--a more personal one--happened while I was doing my usual minimal research for my blog topic. For a whole year, I was not sure what exactly Italians called my profession (Landscape Architecture). It's a rare enough profession that you can't just ask anybody. I found it today.
Architettura del PaesaggioPaesaggio means scenery or landscape. Great! Italians don't have to choose. So I'm an architetto di paesaggi (Landscape Architect). Wikipedia (I know) also referred to paesaggista--but this is defined in dictionaries as a landscape painter and that could get confusing. I'll stick to architetto di paesaggi.
We have always used guardia forestale (forest ranger) to translate our former professions but now I have a more exact choice. Small pleasures.

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