Golden boot - Issue 137 - Magazine | Monocle

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Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Art collector

“I was born in a unique country: a miniature continent attached to Europe that looks on to the Mediterranean; an atlas of landscapes, climates and territories; an encyclopaedia of ecosystems and traditions. Italy is a cultural force. Creativity is what distinguishes this country that’s moulded by centuries of art, architecture, poetry and philosophy.”


Michele de Lucchi

Architect and designer

“Italians have always rejected specialisation and repetitiveness. We don’t appreciate organisation; we tolerate it when it’s used to overcome an emergency. We certainly have our weak points but we also have those famous three Fs that put us in contact with the world: fashion, furniture and food are the industries that identify us. They are the result of an endless curiosity towards technical possibilities and of a rooted humanistic sensitivity.”


Franco Noero

Gallerist in Turin

“It’s not about adding the leaf of basil to the pasta al pomodoro – it’s the way that we do it. It’s the way that we do everything, with a simplicity that is often unintentional and which distinguishes us. We find it in our industry, in design, in the cut of a suit, in the thoughts of artists, in the colours and fragrances of our food and in every small thing that makes our apparently unstable and unique country.”


Pietro Corraini


“Italy’s force is forged by its weak points. Disorganisation and micro-fragmentation, for example, have contributed to making Italy great, thanks to the temperament they gave to Italian artisans. It’s not by chance that Italy’s highest historical moments are called the Renaissance, the Risorgimento [“Resurgence”] and the Resistenza [“Resistance”]. The capacity to undergo difficult moments still shapes people’s incredible ability to adapt, to improvise and to form a sense of community.”


Toni Servillo

Actor, ‘The Great Beauty’, ‘Loro’

“What I love the most about Italy is its entrepreneurial spirit. For centuries we have been able to set up small and medium-sized businesses in myriad different sectors, from manufacturing to technology, art and research. Our country’s biggest strength is a continuous striving to build and create.”


Neri Marcorè

Actor and comedian

“What I find most special is the inherent flexibility of the Italian people. We are inventive, creative, spontaneous and can easily adapt to different situations, which is something that I think is intrinsically tied to the geographical beauty that surrounds us.”


Igiaba Scego

Writer of ‘Adua’ and ‘Beyond Babylon’

“As a writer, I often find myself looking at Italy through a different set of eyes and realise that I take so much beauty for granted. I live in an area of Rome where the country’s biggest cinematographers from the 1970s and 1980s shot their iconic films. Walking through these streets makes me feel like a part of the set.”


Gloria Hooper

Olympic sprinter

“I love the most simple things. After spending months every year training around the world, the best part is coming back to my hometown of Verona and going for a walk by the Arena and down by the riverside, taking in all the beauty that the historic city has to offer.”


Giovanni Floris


“The best thing about Italy? Italians. We can be deep and light-hearted at once, able to adapt to different circumstances and come up with solutions to different problems. After years of conducting televised political debates, I do not remember once when confrontations, however heated, did not end with a handshake.”

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