The Premise

Like the opening scene of Antonioni’s classic La Notte, this blog will take a look at the post-industrial landscape of modern Italy from the unique vantage point of its financial and industrial capital, Milan.

Some who write about Italy focus on what they see as the pillars of Italian culture: food, art, design, fashion and travel.  Rooted in dogged materialism, this blog will address those concerns only incidentally.

Don’t expect any Tuscan sunsets, fine wines, and or pleasant provincial peasants tilling the earth as they have since the year 1000 (when they were probably much less well-off), although I do reserve the right to say something about culture when I want.

These are observations from the Italy of industry, the Italy of modernity, the Italy of precarious workers, anti-immigrant sentiments, dirty politics, the unemployed — the Italy that occasionally feels that it stands outside Europe.

When I first came to Italy, I was told I needed a permesso di soggiorno – the foreigner’s permit to stay. Having obtained it, writing about my stay forms a sort of premesso di soggiorno – my premise to stay, which is what I’ll call this blog.

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