Notes on Italian Culture

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A)Historical
a.First Unified in 1870 under the rule of Victor Emmanuel, but not everyone was happy b.The south is known for being politically and socially corrupt i.The south is classified as everything south of Rome↓Sicily, called the Mezzogiorno 1.After WWII the Italian Govt. sent billions of dollars to the south on public works projects to make the south more developed a.Money went to the Cassa del Mezzogiorno

i.~1/3 of the money was squandered and many of the project’s they started weren’t completed or Never built B)Economic
a.The north is more developed and prosperous than the south i.The north has industry whereas the south has agriculture
b.Many people emigrate from the south to the North to make a better living i.The south is virtually dependent on govt. money, because it cannot generate it’s own private growth c.“Even at present, huge regional disparities persist. Southern Italy continues to be poor and underdeveloped. Problems still include widespread political corruption, pervading organized crime and very high unemployment rates” d.Birth of the Mafia in the South

C)Social
a.Different dialects and greetings
b.The North look down at the south the same way Yankees joke about southern Americans; the south is uneducated, stupid, parochial c.Stronger separation between North and south vs. Race – “Oh, your southern italian?...” d.Because of economic differences, food is different

i.In the north they could afford cream and used more dishes with butter/cream/pesto ii.In the south they were more agriculturally dominant and use more vegetables- tomato based, more garlic e.Notable Greek influence in the South whereas a Germanic influence in the north
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