My name is Elena, I have 29 years and since I was 20 I frequent Albania. I attend is the right term to use in my case, because I have since been the average of once a month.
The first trip was in September 2008. I had no idea what I would find, I didn't know this country that I later found to be so close, not just geographically, I only knew why I was going there: Marjan, today my husband and my baby's father.
He, an Albanian citizen who arrived in Italy as a teenager in the 1997, returned to his homeland to undertake a new activity in the construction field and our commuting life began as Bergamo-Tirana A / R.
Where the bunkers become ladybirds, by Elena Pagani
A premise to explain how I decided to dedicate my degree thesis to a country that until a few years ago did not have a great media coverage in Italy, while today, finally, things are changing. "Where the bunkers become ladybugs" and the my degree thesis on Albania , a historical overview from the period of the Ottoman invasion, up to today, including my personal experience, published by Besa publishing house .
I wanted so much that it became a book, not only because writing has always been my dream, but for the fact that during the readings for the thesis I had struggled to find a text that exhaustively, without going too far, would tell the story of Albania, illustrate the vicissitudes of this country and this people to the Italians who know so little.
We know little of a reality that has had relations with us for centuries and that for a period (Fascist era) became an Italian province (the occupation lasted from 1939 to 1943), which during the period of the Dwelling dictatorship always looked to Italy with admiration thanks to the RAI television channels, strictly prohibited by the regime. A people that in the nineties physically re-established relations with Italy, when, following the fall of the dictatorship, many Albanian citizens sought new life by emigrating.
Today the Albanian community in Italy boasts important figures, almost half a million inhabitants, and on the other hand many Italians are going to Albania to work and live for some years. Italy is the first trading partner of the Country of Eagles with over 400 between companies and joint ventures located in the Albanian territory.
Having said that, it is, in my opinion, right that for interest, curiosity, personal reasons, relationships and so on, the Italians are informed and know the Albanian reality. A fascinating, rich, jagged story that reveals the reasons for the particularity of this people. The book tells us this: the massive Ottoman presence during the centuries of occupation, the search for independence and the birth of the Albanian State in the 1912, national pride, the difficulties due to a lack of political historicity, the annexation to Italy and the period of Communist communism that closed the Albanian people to Europe and the world.
However, the citizens have always tried to maintain it. The difficult democratic transition of the Nineties, the risk of the civil war and finally a new Albania: Albania 2.0 the one that is still being built, thanks also to the citizens who have emigrated and decide to return.
Albania is a world to discover. "An exotic near home," the Italians who emigrated to the 1939 called it. That exotic flavor still exists, thanks also to its splendid coasts, to the crystal-clear sea, to an area rich in beauty to offer to a tourism in continuous growth.
Albania is hospitality, folklore, green spaces, pristine areas, white beaches, chaotic cities, nightlife, bars and restaurants, color, and above all total absence of banality, wherever you go.
This is Albania that I try to present and describe in my book, a country where bunkers (symbols of dictatorship) are today able to transform and become ladybugs.