- Sept. 11, 2016
-- You wouldn't expect a story like this one to come out from Italy. And yet this is a tale of pride and bravery, an account about vision and long-term planning. It's the story of a man, Alberto Novelli, mayor of Norcia when an earthquake struck the region of Valnerina and the Sibillini Mountain Range in central Italy in 1979, who managed to re-build his charming village, lost amid lofty mountains, with future in his mind. Unlike typical Italian local administrators, he pursued the goal of smart reconstruction by enforcing quakeproof design for all residential buildings, preserving at the same time the ancient, centuries-old character of the enchanting Italian dwellings forming up the village of Norcia.
In the early 80's, the common policy in Italy was to re-build the houses collapsed after an earthquake by pouring large quantities of concrete to shape brand new constructions, irrespective of any heritage that was to be found in the territory affected by the seismic waves. In addition to that, buildings that had not been damaged were just left as they were, with no reinforcement in preparation of future earthquakes.
But Alberto Novelli was a civil servant of a coarser fibre. «The story of the man», said Michele Sanvico, an Italian writer of literary fiction and creative nonfiction, «stirs a wide range of deep feelings. He had to fight against short-sighted resentment and disapproval from many of his fellow-citizens because planning and preservation mean more time before having one's house back. He had to enforce his innovative vision, as a public official who acted with the mission of developing his own town, preserving its very spirit and traditional character, and yet projecting its essence toward the future. And he finally had to resign and leave politics, under a number of unfounded accusations. He died in 1990, his heart and mind broken by the burden of charges and a piercing feeling of having been forsaken by his own people».
Earthquake, destruction, reconstruction. The struggle, the sacrifice, the new birth, the unconditioned love of a man for his own land. The essay "Mayor Novelli" is the narration of a daring adventure: the restoration of Norcia, driven by a talented man. This is also the tale of the charges and trials that will lead to the political and personal downfall of the public man, whom most people still remember with a sense of loss and affection. An amazing story which is narrated through the support of previously unpublished documents. An essential work for those who wish to understand the essence of Italy: a modern story of a country who lets its best men down - today as it has always been - sending them to their personal doom with an indifferent glance. A nonfictional essay capable of moving the readers, hitting them straight into their hearts.
For more information, visit Michele Sanvico's page dedicated to the book "Sindaco Novelli" (http://www.italianwriter.it/book_SindacoNovelli.asp
) and Michele Sanvico's official page (http://www.italianwriter.it/