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Head Over Heel: Seduced by Southern Italy by Chris Harrison

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Campanilismo

We had been living in our apartment for six months when we heard the church bell at the end of our street for the first time, a rare midday silence allowing us the sound of twelve indolent rings.

For a few blessed moments the traffic noise ceased, stubborn horns and howling sirens usurped by mellow bronze. ‘Che schifo di campana!’ declared Daniela, who was off work with the flu for the second time in a month. ‘That’s a tired bell. It sounds like a dry tongue slapping against the parched walls of a mouth that doesn’t want to sing anymore.’ I am yet to hear a better example of campanilismo—love and loyalty to one’s hometown bell and the unique way of life that its ring orchestrates.

The campana in an Italian piazza is like a heart ...

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