A few days ago I saw a photo on the Internet that caught my attention for quite a few minutes and it got me started on a long train of thoughts and reflections.

As sometimes happens, just a single image can allow you to see a whole story behind it. Suddenly it seems we can see a whole world, captured and locked into a single photo.

Licia Ronzulli Parlamento Europeo

A modern version of the “Madonna and Child”

Like an actress on a dark and empty stage, with black curtains and lit, with only a single cone of light to make her stand out, to bring her out better from her entourage.

This was my vision of this modern version of the “Madonna and Child”, an ancient theme dear to history and Italian art: a splendid picture, luminous, an image expressing both serenity and strength at the same time.

Seeing this woman dressed in white with her daughter, also in white and both of them nonchalantly casual but concentrated on voting, surrounded by motionless characters, dark and immobile (at least in their iconographic appearance), was like seeing the Italy I love, my Italy, or at least the Italy I’m looking for in this beautiful land and that fortunately can still be in great abundance.

The authenticity of being

This is my Italy, the Italy of the authenticity of being, of the naturalness of doing, and with its interpretation of living following intuition and creativity. And what can be best about this country begins to take shape: a natural but at the same time powerful determination, like the woman in white and her daughter, capable of emerging from the misty drabness of the picture and from the impenetrable darkness all around.

It is this all-Italian authenticity that makes the Italy I love so different, that makes it shine with light and energy, and that makes it so unusual and unique.

I know very well that there’s another side to every coin, and maybe more than one, but I also know that the side that this image transmits to me gives me strength, it fills me with energy and light, it reassures and reinforces me in my faith in our future. Every now and then the values essential to live the world of tomorrow are concentrated into a single moment. Seize the day, because time is flying…

This is the Italy I chose 25 years ago when I left my native Netherlands, and it’s still the Italy I continue to choose every day for my work and my life.