How to preserve our memories in the digital era

Blog! is the answer

‘Where is the Life we have lost in living?’, asks T.S. Eliot. I often, more humbly, ask myself ‘where is the Life we have lost in our digital world’?

Since our 8-year-old Costanza was born, we have taken over 40.000 pictures, but we’ve printed only a few of them. I left off keeping my daily journal when Costanza was 4 (too busy floating – and paying attention not to sink! – in our ‘liquid modernity’, I guess).

When I launched my blog 6 years ago I just wished to promote the ‘real Italy’ through the eyes of a ‘real’ Italian and her (extra)ordinary experiences of everyday life. Today I realize that if it weren’t for my blog, the story of our family would be very ‘liquid’: thousands of unprinted digital pictures on my PC, hundreds of photos posted on Instragram or sent to friends via email or WhatsApp.

I own very few belongings of my grandparents. Yet I can trace their lives through a few faded documents and pictures. I want to help Costanza preserve her memories and the memories of our life together. Blogging to me is an anchor in a digital sea where fragments of personal and collective memories risk to dissolve.

* * * 

This post is a little article I wrote on the 5th issue of DirceFoglio: a praiseworthy magazine aiming at preserving collective and individual memories (I should say ‘individual’ therefore ‘collective’ memories) of our community. Cristina Ortolani, my sister, a.k.a. The Storyteller, has spent years interviewing the elderly, who mostly live in our hilltop beautiful borghi, and listening to their stories. She entered their houses, shared food in their company, reviewed their past through old pictures, letters, fragments of their lives. But most of all she listened to them. Therefore she gained their trust and many times their affection too. They somehow adopted her, as they perceived she is working to preserve their world, their wisdom: our roots.

Bar Lento in Rimini

So, what is the DirceFoglio about? It’s a 4-issue-a-year magazine (one issue for each Season), hosting professional journalists or professors, as well as ‘ordinary’ people like me (come on, there is not such a thing as ‘ordinary people’; we all are a unique world and Cristina knows… this is why she hosts everyone who has a significant story to share!). The main theme is: ‘memory’.

Cristina, The Storyteller

The title of DirceFoglio #5 – presented yesterday in Rimini at the organic vegan Bar Lento, was indeed #farememoria? (#creatingmemory?… please note the question mark).

Is it still possible, in our digital era, to remember and to pass on our recollections, meaning with ‘recollections’ also words like: wisdom, tradition and roots, to our future generations?

To me, Blog! is the answer 😉


  1. So true Simona! So important to recored memories, tell stories of the family over the years. I’ve made our kids photo books now and then when we have a big event and– I treasure a little life history that my grandmother wrote when she was in her 90’s. We made copies for all the family. Love this post! take care friend. xox

    • I’m so behind in printing pictures of our life with Costanza! But I’m hoping to catch up soon. I think it is great that your grandmother wrote a little life history in her 90’s. My sister Cristina would have loved to interview her… she has interviewed so many elderly people in the past years and we have all learned so much from them- Hugs (un caro abbraccio)

      • Hi Simona– what a wonderful exercise of Costanza interviewing older people! They do have such different experience behind them and most young people never have a chance to learn from that. Hope your week is going well… hugs from here!

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