Let’s Wake up, Italics!

by Piero Bassetti, Calandra Institute 2017

«This book is a rallying call. An appeal to anyone who is willing to listen». Piero Bassetti, over the last two decades of its cultural and political engagement, has been able to closely observe the impact of globalization-driven change from both the economic and social standpoints: the fact that there are millions of people around the world whom we should get used to calling “Italics.”

This definition has taken shape over time and, after overcoming inevitable resistance, it has become widely accepted.

In fact, Italics are not just Italian citizens in Italy and abroad. They are, above all, the people of Canton Ticino, Dalmatia, and San Marino, and their descendants; Italian-Americans, those of the two Americas and of Australia; as well as Italian speakers and all those people who might not have a drop of Italian blood in their veins, but have nonetheless embraced our county’s values, lifestyle, and shared behavioral models. We estimate that we are talking about approximately 250 million people.

They have different citizenships; they live in countries and societies that are far apart, both culturally and geographically. They speak different languages. But they feel the same.

Italicity is this shared way of feeling, a way of relating to the world, of giving meaning to the world, and it could transform itself into an opportunity for Italics to play a new leading role in global history.


Piero Bassetti (Milan, Italy, 1928) graduated in Business and Economics from Bocconi University, Milan and perfected his studies at Cornell University, subsequently specialising in Economic Sciences at the London School of Economics. Board member and Councilor at Milan Town Council from 1956 to 1967, he was the first President of the Lombardy Region from 1970 to 1974. Member of Parliament from 1976 to 1982, he was also President of the Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture in Milan (1982-1997) as well as President of the Union of Italian Chambers of Commerce (1983-1992). From 1993 to 1999 he was President of the Association of Chambers of Commerce Abroad (CCIE).

Currently President of Globus et Locus, an association of institutions whose objective is to analyse global and local relations. He is also President of the Giannino Bassetti Foundation, the purpose of which is the study of “responsibility in innovation”.

Author of political essays and economic studies, he has written “Occidente Scomodo” (Vallecchi, 1978), “L’Italia si è rotta”, (Laterza, 1996), “Milanesi senza Milano” (Mursia 1999), “Globali e locali!” (Giampiero Casagrande, 2001), “Italici” (Giampiero Casagrande, 2008), together with Giacomo Corna Pellegrini, “Le Redini del Potere” (Ceschina, 1959), “Italic Lessons”, by N. d’Aquino and Piero Bassetti (Editore Bordighera Press, 2010); “Svegliamoci Italici! Manifesto per un futuro glocal” (Marsilio, 2015); ¡Despertemos Itálicos! Manifesto para un futuro glocal (Cyngular, 2015).