The big rebound
It all began one evening in May this year. Italy was still quite behind with the vaccination program, and still waiting to see if the new Prime Minister, the experienced, competent and extremely respected Mario Draghi, appointed only a couple of months before, would deliver on the promises of efficiency and competence for which he had been asked to serve in office.
But change and rebirth came in the form of the very loud, energetic glam rock band Maneskin winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 for Italy for the first time since 1990. The country woke up in disbelief with radios blaring loud rock music and celebrating the strangest of victories, while most of the country was still in various stages of lock-down.
As the summer came and the country opened up, Disney Pixar’s movie Luca, set in the stunning Cinqueterre in Liguria (home to the sensational oils of Frantoio Paolo Cassini)
celebrated trenette al pesto, 50s music, the Vespa scooter, the beautiful Mediterranean sea and carefree lifestyle, which we all missed. It was the first ever major Disney feature set in Italy.
And then July came with one of the most memorable days in Italian sports: Matteo Berrettini was the first Italian ever to reach the Wimbledon final. The nation was gripped to the screen, as Berrettini gracefully conceded to Djokovic, only to rush to the other side of London and watch the final of the Euro2020 football championship against the hosts England. Down by a goal after only a few minutes, Italy eventually won the Euro medal on penalties, and for the first time since 1968 the country was crowned the champion of Europe.
Italy felt invincible, but little did anyone know or expect that Marcell Jacobs would win Italy’s first track and field medal since 1984, by winning the most important medal of the Olympics – the 100m dash! Unbelievably, Italy then won the 4 X 100 m only a few days later, making Tokyo2021 the most successful Olympics ever for team Italy.
During the previous year, we witnessed fear, death, seclusion and loneliness, so this wonderfully energetic coda in Italy has been much needed. Each and every winner dedicated their successes to those who have suffered and those who have helped. This unexpected rebound has been a magical breath of fresh air for a country (like so many others), brought to its knees, helping everyone to stand, look up and applaud.