Allegrini 2018

Between nature, sociality and new (old) needs, everything pushes to return to the rural villages

Unicredit: "during and after the lockdown an increase in the search for houses outside the city, with gardens or terraces, and in rural environments"

The rediscovery of the village shops, from bakeries to butchers, from grocery stores to pastry shops, which, in the lockdown phase, provided for both the difficulty in moving around and a very limited social relationship. The rediscovery of small country villages as safer places to live than cities and towns, also from the health point of view, with better environmental conditions and less population density. The revaluation of the role, more precious than ever in the past days of quarantine, of green spaces in homes, such as gardens, even very small ones, vegetable gardens, and so on, for the physical and mental well-being of people. All elements that seem to push, at least soon, to a return in the grand style of small rural villages, one of the trends highlighted by WineNews in these weeks when it is difficult to interpret the present and imagine tomorrow. Small rural villages at risk of depopulation, until today – considering the most famous and prestigious locations, often linked to the greatest wines of the Belpaese - as reiterated several times, among others, by Carlin Petrini, founder of Slow Food, but which are facing a future in the name of rebirth. Provided that important infrastructures are invested, also in terms of internet connection, so that these villages will also become smart, as pointed out by the many architects heard in these days by WineNews, such as Marco Casamonti of Studio Archea Associati, one of the most important architects of the Belpaese, and signature of the futuristic winery of Marchesi Antinori in Chianti Classico.
Now, to testify to this sentiment, there is also the analysis UniCredit Subito Casa, the real estate branch of the Credit Institute, which analyzing the searches of users in the lockdown, found “a strong increase in the search for houses with garden or terrace”, accompanied “by a clear increase in searches for houses outside the city”. The trend, explains Unicredit, suggests that people are looking for a rapprochement with nature, preferring spacious homes in rural areas
. An opportunity, therefore, for many rural and wine-producing areas of Italy, especially for those less famous, glamorous and renowned, which could also benefit from a different relationship of people not only with nature in the broadest sense, but also with the food and wine production chains that, as highlighted several times by WineNews, from this very difficult period, can come out strengthened in terms of the respect that people are increasingly nourishing for agricultural work and for the production of food and wine which, together with quality and widespread catering, are the pillars, from the employment, economic, social and environmental point of view, of many of the more than 6. 000 villages throughout Italy.
Of course, as pointed out by many, from the architect Casamonti himself to urban planners such as Stefano Boeri, to Ermete Realacci, a pioneer of environmentalism in Italy and now president of the Symbola Foundation, to seize this opportunity we need a national project, “able to give new life to these places rich in natural, landscape and cultural beauty
. A project - Unicredit stresses again - able to overcome the limits that even today small villages and inland areas are facing: lack of services, telephone and web connections, functional connections by public transport. Interventions that could encourage people to leave overcrowded urban centers, especially at a time like this, when the importance of having an open space and the desire to distance themselves from the city crowding are becoming increasingly predominant”. And who knows that a further push in this direction, in times of pandemic, will not come also from the resumption of tourism which, as pointed out by the Minister of Culture and Tourism Dario Franceschini, will see the small villages - until now less visited and known, but no less rich in history, culture, art and flavors to be discovered - at the center of a tourism strategy at the level of the country system, which even before the pandemic was thinking about how to move mass flows concentrated only in cities of art, for example, with the historic centers stormed excessively. A road that will have to be taken even more decisively on this path out of the pandemic, where physical distancing, and therefore the need for more space and the obligation to avoid large gatherings of people, will remain one of the most important measures.

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