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Feudalism 101 – how community works

If this were the 13th century, the Bianconi family would be the feudal lords. They own four of the five hotels in Norcia, including one with a Michelin-star restaurant. All their employees are about the happiest people I’ve ever met. The other night, some friends and I splurged on a nice dinner in their fancy place, and the staff – waiting on no more than three tables – were bursting with pride in what they do so very, very well.

During that dinner, the older son, Vincenzo Bianconi, came in to chat with us about the earthquake and how the town was doing. People are going back inside, he said, (from sleeping in their cars and tents in the garden,) and life is returning to normal, even through the now hundreds of aftershocks.

Then he told us that the Bianconi were planning a party at the Salicone hotel, their sports and kid-friendly place that’s just across the field from my house. They would just put on some pizza and pop, some happy kid-music, and fun and games for families, and he urged us to come for a while.

So we did.

IMG_20160828_185652This is how a community works, in which “the rich” take responsibility and take up their natural leadership role.

IMG_20160828_184434This is how you create “community cohesion”. It wasn’t the job of the “government”.


They still know what “family stuff” means here. Facepainting, balloon animals, swimming, ping-pong, bouncy castle and general running around. And no screens.

Rich people are people too.