The long wave of barbaric cementification that continues to afflict the country, and the decline of civic conscience, renders the scholar's reflections on ruins even more relevant.
The essay starts with a statement by Arnaldo Momigliano, namely, that the traces of our history contained in monuments, and in the landscape, are so many that they should arouse our curiosity and oblige us to study the past. In this way, we can begin to understand an important part of ourselves, especially at a time when the Western cultural model, whose roots are firmly rooted in the Classical world, is apparently being pushed towards a level of marginality which crumbles when confronted with other cultures which are anxious to emerge.
As a result, we can understand how, on the one hand, ruins preserve the image of memento mori, a Romantic allusion to the ephemeral nature of every human achievement, to the inexorable passing of time, the decline of civilization, the disintegration of cultures, and the prophecy about a possible fate because there is no respite to the destruction; on the other, these ruins are fortunately also the symbol of the pig-headed resistance of human beings to withstand the worst disasters and help to maintain the distinctive and inalienable character of our cultural identity. The text is accompanied by interesting photographs which places classic views of ruins from the past with the most diverse experiments in recycling material and conceptual art of today.