Sipping a cappuccino at the Steps of Rome in San Francisco this weekend, I turned to the television, which was covering the inglorious arrival of Naples’ garbage in Sardinia. Cagliari was animated with disapproving crowds attempting to turn the garbage back to sea or dump it in the President’s front yard.
I could imagine. Sardinians are deeply distrustful of (mainland) Italians. After all, the island has been owned by just about every power in the Mediterranean at some time or other.
It’s ironic; much of the island has been plundered by Italy—most of the old railroad ties in Italy come from the deforestation of Sardinia I am told. Italians built prisons on Sardinia and populated them with their worst. No wonder there’s a movement toward autonomy.
Once the Campidano plane between Cagliari and Oristano was Italy’s breadbasket—as far back as Roman times when Generals were given free land in the malarial swamps, figuring they’d know how to get resources to drain them. Now it’s payback time, evidently. How it must feel to Sardinians to now be Naples’ dumping ground.
After living there 5 summers, I can’t imagine a Sardinian like President of the Sardinia Region Renato Soru accepting garbage, even if there was a lot of money involved. It’s the symbolism, stupid.
Renato Soru founded internet company Tiscoli and is one of the world’s richest people, a media mogul like Berlusconi. He comes from Sanluri, which has a nice Ethnographic museum to visit.
Garbage. We shall see.