Giuliano Giubilei, Perugino DOC, journalist and former deputy editor of TG3, tells his Perugia, where he was born and where he took his first steps as a columnist for Paese Sera; the city with which it maintains a strong bond, despite the forty years of distance: «I have been living in Rome for a long time, but I will never forget the wind of Tramontana in Corso Vannucci. The relationship with these places has never stopped: a Perugino will always remain a Perugino».
So I can only ask you this question: what is your connection with this region?
I was born in Perugia and, although I have not lived in the city for more than forty years, I have maintained a strong bond: I have a relationship with these places that has never stopped. In Perugia I had my first experiences, including work; I had my first friends and I lived my training as a man: after all, when I moved, I was twenty-five. A Perugino by birth will never become a Roman by adoption.
You are president of the Festival delle Nazioni of Città di Castello: how important are these kinds of events for the region?
They are very important, they make Umbria known in Italy and in the world. Three of them are fundamental: I’m talking about Umbria Jazz, the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and the Festival delle Nazioni in Città di Castello. These are the manifestations which make the territory alive and allow it to be appreciated outside. Each edition is dedicated to a nation and this allows you to bring in Umbria artists who otherwise would never have come. The festival is also very popular with foreigners, who in summer live in the Upper Tiber Valley and in other areas of the region.
How was this last edition of the festival?
A great success! Last year we celebrated fifty years with a record number of spectators and collections. Well, this year it went even better. The next edition will be the twelfth under my direction and we plan to host China. In the past only on two occasions, we came out of Europe, hosting Israel and Armenia. With China, we want to expand even further.
What does Umbria need to make the leap forward and get rid of the reputation of Tuscany’s younger sister, both in the infrastructural and in the cultural field?
I do not think that Umbria is the younger sister of Tuscany, it is not inferior to any other region. Regional policy has invested heavily in culture and in promoting various festivals and events; obviously it is always possible to do more. As far as infrastructures are concerned, the railway structure must certainly be strengthened: Rome seems far away, in addition to the fact that it takes two and a half hours to reach it from Perugia. In addition, we it is necessary to improve the airport: Umbria cannot be isolated!
Through your journalist’s eye, what is your opinion on Perugia and the region? What are its strengths and weaknesses?
Its greatest weakness is its closure. I tell you an anecdote: I graduated in Contemporary History with Professor Fiorella Bartoccini, who was a prestigious name and she was leading figure at the University of Perugia. One day she said to me, «Do you know I’ve never been invited to dinner by a Perugino?» This is to make people understand what I mean speaking about closure. Among the strengths instead there is the concreteness and the solid character of the Umbrians.
Do you have any significative story related to your work and to Perugia?
I’d like to tell how I started my career as a journalist. In 1973 I joined Paese Sera: the newspaper had an office in Perugia. One day, while I was walking along Corso Vannucci, a friend of mine said to me: «I am working as a journalist at Paese Sera but I do not like it, would you like to take my place?» Obviously, I accepted without hesitation. Firstly, I dealt with news in the judicial area, eventually with local political issues. Perugia, in the seventies, was a very lively city, full of culture; there was a close relationship between the community and the foreigners who lived here. Unfortunately, it went through a deep change like all other Italian cities, but it should return to play the role of capital of an important region, both in cultural and social fields.
How would you describe Umbria in three words?
People who visit it want always to come back, it is serene and characterized by landscapes shaped by man.
The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…
The cold mornings, lashed by the Tramontana in Corso Vannucci.