When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Digging out of the mud
Digging out of the mud
Massimo Gramellini

TURIN — Riding their bicycles along the banks of the Po river last Sunday, a university professor and his wife came upon a scene that caught their attention: A man and a woman, armed with shovel and spade, were busy digging out a bench, just before the Sassi bridge in central Turin, that had been submerged by mud from the recent flooding of the river.

The professor and his wife asked the couple why they had taken on this public chore. They told them it was a special place, a kind of secluded "lovers' bench," where couples would come to share a tender moment in this northern Italian city. To discover that it had been swallowed by the mud had seemed like something that needed fixing.

Moved by the simplicity of their words, the professor's wife asked permission to photograph them and send the picture to the newspaper. The couple said yes, provided that they remain unnamed. Such people do still exist, capable of performing a small act of altruism in a spirit of public good and perhaps a romantic memory of their own. Bearing witness to this kind of story is not sentimentalism, but rather a basic duty to report: No, not everything is awful out there.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Dottoré!

Sowing The Seeds Of Paranoia

"They must be dumping garbage — good, it makes for good fertilizer!"

"Slowly, we were the only ones left"

Mariateresa Fichele

"Dottoré, I know a lot of flags, and let me tell you why. I grew up in the province of Caserta, and — like everybody in those days — my parents owned a piece of land, and they would take me with them to farm it.

I remember there were other kids in the fields around us. But then, slowly, we were the only ones left because everybody was selling the land, making a lot of money off of it too.

Papà wouldn't listen to reason and he kept the land. But in the meantime, instead of farmers, trucks began to arrive. Many many trucks, unloading thousands of barrels and burying them into the ground.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ