Proverb from Cecina

Main Piece:  Better to have a death in the family than a guy from Pisa at the door.

Background information about the piece by the informant: Lorenzo was born in raised in Cecina, Italy, which is a small rural town in the Tuscan region. For unspecified reasons, the town has a rivalry with the town of Pisa, which is also in Tuscany. According to Lorenzo, part of the resentment comes form the fact the Pisa has “sold out”, becoming too indulgent to the tourists because of the famous “Leaning Tower” and loosing its original traditions to this. Lorenzo hates the use of this proverb as he sees it as intolerant, but it is common among his family members and colleges.

Context on the piece: The proverb is generally used to insult people from Pisa. It can also b used as a joke to lighten the mood when there is an actual family death.

Thoughts on the piece: It is interesting how one of the defining proverbs from Pisa is meant to specifically insult an entire group of people. It is the way of the people of Cecina to create bonds with each other, as they establish the “us” and “them” with proverbs like this. It also provides insight to how these locals see capitalised tourism, as they think that it ruins the authenticity of the region.