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Borderlands …

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Perhaps it is difficult to understand, the quirks of nation geography, but it is an important factor which is a never ending component in the realities of life near the Italian northern border to Switzerland.

Switzerland has a high standard of living, and to go with it high costs and high salaries. To boot this acts as a magnet to workers from the whole of Italy and well beyond. Italy, despite being a beautiful country, has far more than its fair share of problems, not least the level of unemployment – particularly in the south. So Switzerland, as well as being ( moreover because) a place where there is plenty of work on offer, that work being invariably well paid – much, much more so than you would expect in neighbouring Italy, is consequently a popular destination for all those would be Dick Whittingtons of the world!

The downside – of course there is also a drawback! – is that because many of the border towns and villages are inhabited by people from other places who have come for a better existence and the chance of a better quality of life, the result is that some of these places – including where we chose to live – tend to lack the sense of history and community. They sometimes become dormitories for people from other places. Working, living but being sometimes separate from the indigenous populations.

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