During the opening ceremony of the General States of Culture, held in Rome in early November, the writer Vincenzo Cerami described in a poetic and profound way the enormity of the cultural heritage that Italy has accumulated over the centuries, a legacy that must not be lost nor betrayed, but it should act as a stimulus for growth and for the rebirth of our entire country.

For business entrepreneurs, for those like us who Aspire to create prestigious products, his words are excellent travel guides.

The corporate culture is also the daughter of the context in which entrepreneurial activity is rooted: the beauty That surrounds us Affects our lives and shapes our products.

“Naked is the picture portraying your beauties, oh mother land of mine. It is a dried, yellowed image, made of tissue paper, plastic and rhetoric. Conventional. Empty. No one is there, and if there is somebody, he is way down there, getting away, quickly. He escapes. He disappears. Behind the bastions. The arches. The columns. Mute papier-mache backdrops under a pixel covered sky that knows nothing about us. Nor it gives a damn.

“Oh, my homeland, I see the walls, the arches/ and the columns the simulacra and the/ towers of our ancestors/ but I see no glory/ I see no laurel no iron of which were loaded/ our ancient Fathers. Now, rendered helpless/ your naked forehead and your naked breast you show.”

And yet our ancient fathers, even among wars and bloodshed, told the tale of their beautiful soul by building beauty.

Here are the walls, the arches, the simulacra … iron statues with sword in hand, helmets and pouches, cannons devoured by guano, marble flags, unknown tin crowns. And female saints with a lily in their hands and male ones with the eyes turned to the heavens.

Since Magna Grecia, stone by stone, geometries and plumb lines, history left living traces of a past that makes us say, today, still: we are Italians.

We are Italians for what we have been not for what we are. Roman civilization, its science, its jurisprudence, the great Latin poets, the rhetoricians and the philosophers have left on our peninsula monuments of inestimable value and of universal striking timelessness.

Beauty make sleep more peaceful; we existed, we left footprints that brought us in the parks, in the squares … that make us perpetuate the past.

Giotto painted Francesco, the most poor and humble of men … a humility that time has transformed into pride; and genius.

To break the rosary that unites father and son, grandfather to grandson … make us naked and fearful, strangers in our own land.

Beauty is in the men and the women and it expresses itself in the objects they create … even when history is a torment.

We choose where we live. Every age looks for its past by studying buried civilizations, stumbling on ruins and remains worn out by the passing of time.

Dante flew to the afterworld to find mankind’s present. Also his work is a testament. From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, nowhere in the world you will find so much beauty in so little land. From Michelangelo to Modigliani through Galileo, marched the artisans of thought and of the things that lay under our eyes: silent, they crossed the centuries.

This is our true, eternal, sublime, contemporary beauty. It is our wealth.

Italy’s constant postwar state pushed its talented ones to look ahead … to build our decorum.

In the other century art enters industry. Italy world champion of design … art shapes blenders, shoe racks, handles, beach chairs … art masterpieces: beauty furnishes our life. The future has the Made in Italy face of Gio’ Ponti and of Castiglioni lamps, of Fellini and of Zagato cars, of the great masters of fashion.

Goethe’s oranges are the same as Munari’s…

These are our treasures, the Italian oil reserves, our nonperishable raw material.

Here even an Eskimo finds a piece of himself.

The voice of Ugo Foscolo—and of a thousand other civil poets—loudly resounds: Italy where are your sons … nothing you lack, only the strength of concord.

And now?

Now we would need a nice acid rain to wash away all this.

A revealing bath.

To scrap the monoxide from the walls, the rust from the bells, the mold from the marble columns.

And rediscover the beauty, the richness of Italy.

And the wonder of the Italians.

The future is in the past. The richness is in the past. And in everything that, in the present, will become past.

*Fonte “Sole 24 Ore” del 16 Novembre 2012

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