The New Italian Job
Italian entrepreneurs lead the nation's artisan industry revival
A generation of young Italians are rediscovering the grand tradition of “Made in Italy”, ditching international careers and expensive studies. Is the return to their roots more than just a hipster phase?
“Yes, I kind of like the fact that now I’m making concrete products", says Guido Pallini, a London banker turned Tuscan farmer. "Before I was selling contracts and ideas, and a lot of hot air." But now, if he's not herding his buffalo on horseback, Guido spends his time perfecting new varieties of cheese on a farm that belonged to his retired father. "I see also my friends that went away to live in London, after 10 years they're all coming back", says Guido's sister Matidia. The trend seems set to continue, and with youth unemployment still at 35%, half of the 125,000 Italians leaving the country last year were young people. Yet for these law-students-turned-farmers and psychologists-turned-shoemakers, the future for a generation of educated Italians is back where they started, at home.