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Stop the world, we're slowly getting off

Rome: Thirty-three Italian towns were yesterday expected to tell the world they were tired of the hectic pace of modern life and that they had joined forces in a drive to make it slower.

Greve, in Chianti (population 13,000), leads the way for the 33 towns - already considered ideal places to live - in forming the Citt` Slow (Slow City) movement.

Their aim will be to preserve the way of life in their areas of Tuscany, Umbria and neighbouring regions. They also hope to set an example to others enslaved by unbridled modernism.

The founder members, which include Urbino, Todi, Orvieto, Asti and Positano, have agreed to introduce measures to get rid of cars, rooftop aerials and ugly modern architecture.

In places where cars are tolerated, there will be an absolute ban on car alarms. Bicycle rental will be encouraged, with fleets of electric buses introduced or greatly increased. Residents will be urged to grow sweet-smelling plants. Artisans' workshops - a disappearing sight in Italy - will be preserved. Restaurants will be asked to sell only local produce and the local production of genetically modified food will be banned.

However, it would be wrong to think of the league as neo-luddites waging battle against progress. "We do not want to be hostages of the past, or to live in the 19th century," Mr Paolo Saturnini, the Mayor of Greve, who founded Citt` Slow, said on Wednesday.

"We also want progress, and to marry tradition with the best of technological innovation. We want aerials removed, but in return we want to install underground cables for everything.

"In the world in which we live, we leave ever less time for reflection, free time, the pleasures of life, and last but not least among them, that of food.

"Towns are ever more besieged by cars, noise and air pollution, and are coming to more and more resemble one other," Mr Saturnini said.

"McDonald's, and the same franchise outlets for pullovers and jeans, shoes, telephones and even bread are taking over everywhere."

Although large swathes of Italy - a country of "thousands and thousands of towns, with their own mark, identity ... and cultures and traditions" - had come to resemble Las Vegas, large areas still had been largely spared, he said. The Slow Cities want to keep it that way.

The Telegraph, London --------------------------------------end

Interesting. The best of both and ban the visual junk-n-junk-food.

Regards from OZ

-- Pieter (, July 20, 2000


>to get rid of cars, rooftop aerials and ugly modern architecture.

so I'll guess that "skyhooks" (large amateur radio antenni) are out, too. Are the hams in those areas doing "low profile" contacts? We're starting to see a little of that in our subdivision: there's a movement to ban "excessive" TV arrays, as well as free-standing flag poles, and yard statues over a certain size. I've been joking that it's just the Secret Lawn Police getting restless, but when they start going door-to-door with petitions, then it's time to erect the nine-foot pink birdies in my front yard. 8-)

-- (, July 21, 2000.

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