Marco Barbieri

The tourism agency defines its territory as “the blue green land”, where it is possible “to find out the blue-green beauty of our land full of lakes close to valleys, hills, wonderful villages among green areas and full of history”. But the surroundings of Lake Varese look rather like a crumpled postcard from the 90s. Impressive buildings now in disuse, a legacy of the rich industrial past, alternate with new real estate initiatives, small family businesses and large empty spaces. A small slimy pool of water is the center of a cultural landscape steeped in the rituals of the northern Italian middle class. Sunday mass and country fairs, Saturday morning shopping at the mall and walkabouts in the park, a car parked in front of the house, newspapers on the bar table, and bike rides. The province of Varese is the commonplace family. Like a kind father dedicated to work and a mother who is moved every time you leave but when you come back asks you only ‘what can I get you for lunch?’