All in the square in connection with Montelanichesi from all over the world from: USA, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, France, England, Holland and Sweden. While Egypt was represented in the square live.
The 'Montelanico in the world' evening was one of the surprises of the Town Ambassador Award event at Palazzo Valentini, when the mayor Sandro Onorati's emotion prompted him to meet all those who had left his village.
I had met Sandro just a few days before the event, thanks to the project of the Town Ambassador network of the Metropolitan Area of Rome which was concentrated in the areas of the Aniene Valley and the Lepini Mountains, and we immediately got along.
Not only was I surprised by the immediate choice of Romeo Castellucci, but by the affection that Romeo had been able to distribute among the whole local community who had no doubts about his love for Montelanico.
The interview with Romeo had touched my heart, and perhaps not only mine if the mayor wanted to organize Montelanico in the world in a very short time. The demonstration in its simplicity was exciting: a dinner in the square with the music of Parquaria and a zoom connection with everyone.
I will not dwell on the Parquarias but they deserve to be listened to and to be overwhelmed by their rhythm. They were born as a group of friends from Montelanico who play and sing traditional local and Italian music. When they are there, the dance is guaranteed and I even sent their videos of parties in the square to China to tell the Italian Lifestyle - Italian Lifestyle with a few images.
For the occasion, the municipality had closed the main course of 'Jo Borgo di Montelanico' and tables had been set up where everyone gathered to eat together. Meanwhile, Montelanichesi from all over the world connected on Zoom, some with a sweater and some in a t-shirt and some in broad daylight depending on the different time zones.
When I arrive, they offer me a good glass of craft beer and I sit down at the table with the Parquarias (I take a selfie like any good fan) and with the mayor and his collaborators who are managing connections with the world.
But the guest at the table is Anna Rita Ronzoni who has come from Egypt to spend the holidays with her daughters in Montelanico: “my daughters are very attached to the town, here they can experience a freedom that is not possible in any other part of the world".
Anna Rita's story is very particular, one of those outside of any scheme. Never as a girl she would have imagined to get where she is now she, to represent the WHO in Egypt, in Cairo. It all started with a degree in Arabic from La Sapienza and work with Arabic-speaking women for the municipality of Rome. Then her fate leads her to marry an Egyptian a few weeks after their meeting and to settle in Acilia.
Their daughters are born and they begin to travel following the work of Maria Rita who, by chance, takes her to Egypt on behalf of the World Health Organization.
But the parents in Montelanico have always brought them back to the village and here the daughters have created their own groups and have their own group of friends with whom they are growing up together.
The mayor also asked Anna Rita to support the organization with interviews with people who perhaps prefer to speak in English or Spanish. Her speech moved, the mayor presented her with great pride and she was moved as she recounted her attachment to her roots.
After reading some poems that some citizens of Montelanico had dedicated to those who had left, each family member was able to say goodbye and exchange a few words with their relatives abroad. It goes without saying that when mothers spoke to their children, positive emotions were perceived by all the citizens in the square.
We were asked to talk about the Town Ambassador Award and how we help build bridges by also letting the Montelanichesi de Jo Borgo know the current stories of those who have left. Those who know us know that after nostalgia, we like to discover the stories present in order to reconnect today's people so that they can build a new future together thanks to the love for their country.
Thanks Sandro for this evening and thanks to all the Montelanichesi (from Jo Borgo and around the world) for letting me into your heart.