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Photographer's Note

BUON COMPLEANNO ITALIA! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ITALY!

17 March marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Italy. It seems strange that a land so ancient, that has so much history can be so young in terms of it being a unified nation. Prior to 17 March 1861, and dating from ancient times, Italy consisted of numerous separate kingdoms. Even around the time of unification, there were still 4 separate kingdoms within the land of Italy: the Austrians in Venice, the Papal States, the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (which incorporated Naples). A patriotic revolution ("the Resurgence") by Mazzini, Garibaldi and later Cavour led to Italy finally becoming unified in 1861.

Choosing only one photo to properly represent Italia is impossible and I was always doomed to fail. So I settled for something that to me, you only have to glance at to know is Italian.

The recent tragedy in Japan has made me think alot about countries, their people and the place in the world that country holds. Can you imagine a world without Italy in it? I simply cannot. Which got me thinking about the contribution Italy has made to the world in every possible walk of life: politics, philosophy, art, history, language, science, medicine, sports, exploration, engineering, film, and cuisine.

So I pose these questions. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Where would America be without Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci? Would man have traveled into space without Galilieo Galilei? Where would trade and links to the east be without Marco Polo? Where would science, art and our dear friend Bulent Atalay be without Leonardo Da Vinci? Can you imagine Rome without Bernini or Michaelangelo? Florence without Botticelli or Pisano? Venice without Titian? Would opera really be opera without Enrico Caruso, Pavarotti, Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Leoncavallo, Bellini, Serafin or Toscanini? Fashion without Gucci, Armani, Ferragamo, Zegna or Versace? And the mere act of communicating with one another without Marconi, or Meucci (the true inventor of the telephone), driving to work in a petrol car without Bernardi, in a helicopter or hydrofoil without Forlanini, or on a Vespa without DAscanio? And what would a car be without Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo or Fiat? Google famous Italians and you'll understand what I mean. I can't do justice to it.

I know that Italy has been through some difficult times lately; the earthquake in LAquila being one of the more recent events. And I also know that there has been a split (mostly caused by politicians) between North and South, that is probably too complex for an outsider to understand. But all I know is that I am glad we have Italy as one country. Viva lItalia!

Canon 5D
f/11
1/30
ISO400
Hand held

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Additional Photos by Lisa DP (delpeoples) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5609 W: 342 N: 12455] (60342)
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