Monday, December 10, 2012

Oltrarno, the meaning of NoScav

Visitors these days to the narrow streets of Oltrarno will be struck by banners everywhere hanging from windows, with the words Carmine and NO SCAV written on them.
Carmine refers to the Chiesa del Carmine, the thirteenth-century church which stands at the very heart of the San Frediano district of Oltrarno, where speculators plan to dig a two, or possibly three, storey deep underground parking lot to bring more traffic into the district.

No Scav means "No allo scavo", "No to the dig", but chopped off in such a way as to rhyme with the well-known No TAV movement, opposing the digging of a 57-kilometer long tunnel through the Alps for the High Speed Train (Treno ad alta velocità) line - thus implying a free kinship of spirits with all those who oppose devastating waste of public funds in times like these.

However, the term also has other implications - "don't dig into our lives", "don't dig us out of our quartiere", a feeling strongly shared by the many kinds of people living in this district.

Just before the slogan gets out of hand - it was invented in October 2012 by Concetta, a lady of Oltrarno who has led an adventurous life around the world, especially in India, but has never forgotten her roots.

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