|The Story of Raviscanina, Italy|
The Italian village of Raviscanina is located in the Campania Region in the province of Caserta. The Campania region is the home to many famous sights and cities in Southern Italy, including the city of Naples, the Sorrento Peninsula, and the Amalfi Coast. It is also home to Greek and Roman ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum and Cumae and Paestrom.
With its population of 1,384, Raviscanina is like many small Italian villages. It has its own patron saint, San Michele Arcangelo and the people that live there live a traditional lifestyle. Moving even one town away is, for many, akin to leaving home.
But for many young people now growing up in Raviscanina, there will soon be little choice but to leave home. Many of today's youth are seeking out higher education and new challenges. But when they return home from their universities to Raviscanina they find few opportunities to use their new degrees and they must leave their ancestral land for major metropolitan areas and abroad.
With the departure of the young people, so goes the lifestyle of the small village. This traditional lifestyle, which includes fresh foods, close family ties and a slower pace of life is believed to promote health and longevity. Losing it may have the opposite affect.
Raviscanina is not alone. It is one of many small Italian villages experiencing a similar trend. And the changes that are occurring threaten not only a way of life, but also a path to good health for many Italian citizens.
The Una Vita Foundation is looking to understand, on a deeper level, life in the village of Raviscanina, and how its traditions and social culture affect the health of its residents. The foundation hopes to investigate how health and social structures are intertwined in this village and other like it.
Upon gathering this information, the foundation will move closer to its ultimate goal, allowing the village of Raviscanina the ability to offer young people modern day opportunities and yet still live and raise their families in the same lifestyle that has supported past generations.