Here we are, day 0.
We don’t really want any awkward moment between us, so let’s dive right into things.
Q: What is Italian Culture?
A: It’s a podcast.
Q: Duh, can you elaborate on that?
A: It’s a podcast dealing with Italian Culture in a wide sense.
Q: So, are we going to learn things about Dante, Michelangelo, Verdi and so on?
A: Well, yes and no. Italian Culture deals with Italian Material Culture, so it’s more nuanced.
Q: Wait a minute. Wikipedia (bless thy name) says that
Material culture is the physical aspect of culture in the objects and architecture that surround people. It includes usage, consumption, creation, and trade of objects as well as the behaviors, norms, and rituals that the objects create or take part in. Some scholars also include other intangible phenomena that include sound, smell and events, while some even consider language as part of it. The term is commonly used in archaeological and anthropological studies, specifically focusing on the material evidence that can be attributed to culture in the past or present. It is usually synonymous with artifacts, which humans use to cope with the physical world, facilitate social intercourse, and benefit man’s state of mind.
Is this gonna be boring?
A: Yes, definitely.
You’re still here?
A: Good. Now that we got rid of anyone who isn’t into Italian customs, we can be a bit more specific. Italian Culture is neither an academic dissertation about the way we lost track of the Latinitas, nor a flashy, smiley video about how you can cook pasta just by leaving it in tepid water for 36 hours.
Q: So, what’s this podcast about?
A: Italian Culture deals with curious facts. In these days we’re selecting all those stories that somehow tell us something about Italian traditions and lore. We try to report on matters that normally don’t cross the Italian borders and get international attention, despite being interesting and meaningful.
Q: You’re telling me that this podcast is thought for non-Italian people who are fond of Italian lifestyle?
A: More or less. We’re also going to pick some stories that most Italians never heard of, so you may want to pay a visit from time to time, anche se sei italiano.
Q: Can you give me some details?
A: That’s not gonna happen.
Q: Pretty please?
A: Alright. Have you ever heard about a portrait that drives his owner mad? I mean, a real portrait, not an oscarwildesque portrait.
Q: That can’t be true, come on!
A: Cross my heart. And what about the dead pope trial? Ring any bells?
Q: You’re joking, that’s ludicrous.
A: Yeah, I know, it sounds like that, but each and every story we chose is deeply true, no matter how absurd it seems. We’re not into fictional storytelling, we like facts, books, experts and stuff like that. We pick our themes by checking if they resonate with what, we believe, is “Italianness”.
Q: And what’s this Italianness?
A: We still don’t know that.