Latina, august 12th. Latina Ambiente, the local agency for the collection of litter and for the cleaning of the streets went bankrupt months ago. Since then, rubbish and litter started piling at the sides of the streets waiting for sensible citizens to collect and trash them.
I must apologize with you in advance if the remainder of this short article will be mostly concerned with nostalgic and highly romantic sentences. Take it as the desperate cry of a former Latina inhabitant, who left a long time ago to settle accomodation away, in the north of Italy. At present I return to Latina to see my parents and my relatives, in a long and futile quest for my lost origins.
I was brought up in the outskirts of Latina, in the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s. Once my parents and me moved into our brand-new house, there were no supermarkets, no pharmacies, no postal offices, no schools into this block. Everything looked so new and so primeval, at the same time, that its first inhabitants, like settlers on an unexplored land, did everything they could do to improve it, from cutting the grass, to planting new trees, from raising a petition for building a school to stalking the mayor to have what he had promised once.
By the time I was eighteen, this side of the city had a primary school, a secondary school and a university branch. The same applies to a supermarket, a postal center, a pharmacy and many other facilities. Masses of children were crowding the courtyards, the public gardens and the countryside around. The neighborhood was packed with new inhabitants.
I do not have a clear understanding of what happened during the last years. I left ten years ago and I suppose that people, since then, grew more and more distracted, or disinterested in what surrounded them. The ingredients of cooperation and cohabitation became secret or, simply, went forgotten while, day after day, the symptoms of a collective amnesia grew more evident.
One day, I promise, I would catch my mother’s broom, make my way to the nearest public garden and start sweeping the streets. Is there any chance that someone, remindful of the way we used to fix things before, would join me? At least, that would be the first attempt to regenerate that spirit that, thirty years ago, brought us, as settlers, to this unexplored, brand-new world.
Too read further about Latina Ambiente and its enduring financial distress please visit: