GIOVANNINO GUARESCHI. Route 77, the heart of Emilia Street
Curated by Egidio Bandini with the “Amici di Guareschi”
Route 77, or 77 years later, we retrace the very personal “Giro d’Italia” that Giovannino Guareschi did by bicycle, limited to the North and practically all along the Via Emilia and the Po (even starting from Milan). After this trip, from which he returned with very important discoveries about it, Peppone’s father and Don Camillo explained precisely where to place his famous short stories about “Little World”: “The environment is a piece of the Po Valley: and here we must specify that, for me, the Po starts in Piacenza. The fact that from Piacenza up is always the same river, does not mean anything: even the Via Emilia, from Piacenza to Milan, is always the same road; however the Via Emilia is the one that goes from Piacenza to Rimini.
You cannot compare a river to a road because the roads belong to the history and the rivers to geography. And with this? History is not made by men: men suffer history as they undergo geography. “In these few sentences we should mention the different point of view on the river po and Via Emilia by Peppone’s father and Don Camilio: according to Guareschi , the Po starts in Piacenza, for the ancient consular road Giovannino there’s no doubts: he simply says that the Via Emilia is the one that goes from Piacenza to Rimini. Perid. And from here we move on to tell you this new but old story of centuries: the history of a road that, in reality, is destined to become, along its path, much more than a way of communication.
The Via Emilia is a symbol, a legend, a myth and, precisely for this reason, it is exactly the way of life that characterizes our region: Emilia-Romagna. A region made of many souls, many hearts, many spells. A region that Edmondo Berselli called “Land of communists, engines, music, good game, rich cuisine and classy Italians.” in conclusion, the portrait of a dream, of a utopia, of an idealized image that, like a mirror, is reflected, on the black asphalt of the Via Emilia. A dark ribbon that, however, in the eyes of those who live along this fantastic road, becomes as transparent as the water of the river, with the many vehicles that run through it to form a real current, to be abandoned in both directions : from the river to the sea and vice versa.
Accompanied by the waltzes of the Cantons and those of Casadei, from the Felinese and the Romagnolo salami, from the Amarcord felliniano and from Rigoletto di Verdi, from the roar of the Ferrari and the caressing sound of the surf waves, from the blue sky reflected in the Great River and the wild Adriatic which is green like the pastures of the mountains. All following, from Piacenza to Rimini or vice versa, the tales of Guareschi: to read but also to look for, to find and re-live under this immense sky that is above the plain of the Po where, wrote Riccardo Bacchelli: «Nature spreads, he lingers. “A world different from all the others, that of our region because, said Guareschi,” In that slice of land between the river and the mountain, things can happen that do not happen elsewhere. Things that are never out of place with the landscape. “Things like the Via Emilia. As well as the “little world” of Don Camillo and Peppone.