Let’s hold onto this city. It will never be first in the quality of life rankings, those places will forever remain mortgaged by the cities of the Centre-North. It will never be as beautiful as you would like it to be. Sometimes, in fact, it is the exact opposite, when she appears sad and listless, resigned, abandoned by her own inhabitants, by those who say they love her and then do nothing but hate her. But it is our Messina, the one that today, dressed up for Christmas, appears in its best image. Ah, if it were always like this…
It’s true, a lot of money is being invested and, as always, the judgment depends on the point of view of those who observe and judge. For those who consider it “ephemeral” to dedicate time and attention to events and urban furnishing and decoration interventions, and believe that much more should be done in a city where the number of poor people has risen to impressive figures (29 thousand out of a population now less than 220 thousand), all this is just “opium for the people”, “bread and circuses”. For those, however, who believe that form and substance coincide, that without events and without a proud and proud image of oneself the economy itself is becoming increasingly depressed and there is no way out (while we continue to talk about nothing cosmic, of curbs or no curbs…), then qThis Christmas 2023 is another step forward in reversing the trend. To make the people of Messina grow fond of their city again. To attract tourists and visitors who can then decide to spend their winter holidays here, on the shores of the Strait, in addition to their summer ones.
But beyond the different points of view – God forbid if there weren’t any, confrontation is the spice of every democracy, if everyone agreed with everyone we would probably be in Orwell’s country -, a clear signal comes from our squares: Cairoli, Duomo, European Union, Lo Sardo-del Popolo. Look how beautiful they can be when they are loved and valued.
And let’s also think about the space in front of the Theater, at the Christmas market in Via Laudamo: it has nothing to envy of the much more advertised ones in Northern Italy and the rest of Europe. But the real news is that even the suburbs, for once, have not been forgotten. Not all, unfortunately. But in many villages and neighborhoods we are trying to create, also thanks to the precious role of the decentralized institutions, the presidents and councilors of the six Municipalities, the same atmosphere that can be felt in the centre.
Will all this end when Epiphany sweeps away all the holidays? We hope not. The municipal administration – which has created an important network of synergies, and must be given credit for this -, precisely with the planning for this Christmas 2023, has also taken on a further responsibility: to ensure that the beauty of these decorations related to the end of year holidays are not wasted in all the other months. The same attention lavished on creating the flowerbeds, fountains and ponds in front of the Town Hall must be lavished on all activities.
In several cases, it is being done (think of what was done in Piazza Cairoli, regardless of Christmas, with the transformation of the horrible road widening, on the mountain side, into a real pedestrian area), in others it cannot be judged due to the many construction sites in progress, in some cases, however, it must be admitted that the “patch” is worse than the “hole”. These are precisely those cases in which one must have the humility to listen to the moods and requests of the people, the people in flesh and blood (rather than “social media” and virtual squares), to understand how to move, at most even how to reverse and start again.
Let’s hold onto this city. Let’s ensure that those who have left, even if not immediately, somehow have the opportunity to return and build their future here, and that of the community. We welcome those who come from outside and who can bring a breath of fresh air to a socio-economic fabric that has been folded in on itself for decades now. Let’s lay one brick after another, to begin to reverse the course of a destiny that seems inevitable, that of depopulation and immiseration. And not only to move up the rankings, but to return to being proud of Messina, of their roots, of their future.
The video is produced by Air Cinematic