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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.


8 thoughts on “Feudalism 101 – how community works”

  1. JRuskin says:

    Hoosiers say pop, too, as do Oklahomans(?), interestingly.

  2. DJR says:

    I’m originally from Cleveland. We always called it “pop.” Everyone I knew while I was growing up used that term to refer to soft drinks.

    I never heard it called anything different until we visited relatives in Connecticut. It was there, for the first time ever, I heard “pop” referred to as “soder.”

  3. Hilary White says:

    “Pop” is a Canadian word, which is why we share it with Minnesota, the most Canadian of the US states.

  4. Martha says:

    Awesome. Beautiful. Amazing. You are blessed to have been led there, Hilary.

    By the by, I thought only us Minnesotans and the very small surrounding area used the term ‘pop.’ I am in good company. 😀

  5. Fuquaysteve says:

    Amidst the heartbreak there is love. A lesson for all of us. Admiration for the residents of the town.

  6. Aaron Traas says:

    In a Feudal society, they would be “the government”. But then, the government would be made of actual people that have a stake in the community, rather than bureaucrats trying to either do minimal work for government money, actual graft, or desire to climb the ladder into higher-level bureaucracy.

    We have an aristocracy today — our celebrity and political classes. But neither has the principal of noblesse oblige that the aristocracy of old did. One thing that inheriting title does is attaches a lord to his land and people in a real way through the generations. That’s a good thing. That’s a human thing. And its one more way to act as an image of the Kingdom of Heaven that some of us will be members of, God willing.

  7. Hrodgar says:

    Just for some contrast, apparently, at least according to a Lew Rockwell article I stumbled over, folks have been trying to something similar in the aftermath of the recent Louisiana floods and the government is actively undermining them:

    I wish I could say I was surprised.

  8. Long-Skirts says:

    That is so good to see!!

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