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Madonie o il Paradiso Perduto


The park of the Madonie is an ideal place to reflect on contemporary forms of settlement. The Italian tendency to associate the protection of its cultural heritage with a return to the past is accompanied by the widespread belief that the past is the Paradise Lost, and that consequently, the identity of a place - along with that of its inhabitants - is to be found solely in its ancient history. In the case of the Madonie, its ‘glorious’ time goes back to a period when it was predominantly populated by sedentary shepherds and farmers. Today, however, we no longer think of an anthropized environment as being stable or immutable. Instead, we view it as the outcome of transcultural experiences that are shaped by successive layers and continuous displacements. This is the most interesting aspect of the relationship between global and local cultures, experimenting with unusual lifestyles, and making comparisons between varied behavioural models. Unlike the Madonie, Brunello Cucinelli’s “cashmere factory”, in the medieval town of Solomeo, Umbria, is a successful example of a fruitful synergy between the protection of cultural heritage and innovative models of life and production. Not only has Brunello Cucinelli transformed Solomeo into his company headquarters, he has also turned it into a place where it is possible to find a high quality of life.