“Now that you mention it, I wonder what I have kept from Abruzzo and I must say, alas, everything, that is the pride of being from Abruzzo which comes to my throat when I wouldn’t expect it. On the positive side of my Abruzzo inheritance, I also include tolerance, Christian piety (in the countryside, a man is still “nu cristiane”), the kindness of mood, the simplicity, the frankness in friendship; that is, that way of always stopping at the first impression and not then change judgment of persons, by accepting them as they are, recognizing their flaws as mine and even as mine.
That hospitable way that is in us, a little due to the conformation of an isolated land, we even say it is an island (in the Decameron, Boccaccio mentions once the Abruzzo as a remote region: «Gli è più lontano che Abruzzi»); an island extended between an exemplary sea and two mountains you can not ignore, which are monumental and clear: if you think about it, the Gran Sasso and Majella are our churches, facing each other in a very successful and complementary dialogue.
Among the negative data of the same heritage: the feeling that all is vanity, so that it is unnecessary to accomplish things and is needless to assert one’s rights; all this everything mixed with a mute, ancient, of a disarming sensuality disapproval, a deep sense of justice and grace, an acceptance of life as a prelude to the only thing that is certain, death: hence the daily mess, the indecision, inattentiveness to what happens around us. We must take as we are, people left the border (in what state or country? Perhaps, at what time?), with an only one moral: work.
And with our Madonnas dressed in mourning and the seven swords of the seven sorrows well-rooted in the breast. My friend, I know little of Abruzzo, the little that is in my blood. This letter that I’ve obtained with your loved patience I would have not write it, for another defect from Abruzzo, the more serious, the modesty of one’s feelings”.
– Ennio Flaiano, Lettera a Pasquale Scarpitti.