Whether flipping off the Italian national anthem or using the lyrics to wipe his ass, whether spouting racist rhetoric or aligning his separatist party with the evil empire of Silvio Berlusconi, Umberto Bossi (left) has been the face of one of the ugliest chapters of contemporary Italian history.
I am not Italian but I have devoted my adult life to the study of Italian culture, literature, history, and gastronomy.
And it was with great pleasure that I toasted alla faccia di Bossi last night upon learning that he has resigned “amid a widening scandal of illegal party financing.” (Here’s the NY Times report.)
As much as I miss my family in this moment, after being away from our home for nearly two weeks, I am glad that I was in Italy on the day that he left office. And in these troubled times for Italy and Europe, it is my deepest hope that this episode marks a turning point in Italian politics and a turning of the tide of xenophobia that has gripped this nation in the last two decades.
Please join me tonight in raising a glass alla faccia di Bossi…