HODDESDON.- Memories photographic and personal stories exhibition a photographic and personal stories exhibition will be showing at the Lowewood Museum, High Street, Hoddesdon from 5 September to 14 October. This exhibition of photography and personal stories illustrates the lives and histories of people who migrated to this country in the 1950s from Emilia Romagna and Sicily to work in the food industry in London and the greenhouses of Hertfordshire and Essex.
The first Sicilian settlers arrived here in the 1950s to fill the employment gap in the greenhouses of Hertfordshire and Essex and many managed to acquire the greenhouses in the 1960s. Their life histories are important in order to understand their contribution to the British way of life and the roots of these communities in the present day.
Emilia-Romagna is an administrative region of Northern Italy comprising the two historic regions of Emilia and Romagna. It forms a rough triangle, bounded on the East by the Adriatic Sea, on the North by the Po river and on the South by the Appennine range; these two linear features, with the Via Aemilia, and the A1 highway and the railway that run close and parallel to it, give an unusually regular structure to the whole region except for the easternmost part. With 4,030,000 inhabitants in 22,123 km² (8545 sq. mi) as of the 2003 census, it is a densely populated region (especially in the plain half). Emilia-Romagna is one of the richest regions of Italy, and its cuisine one of the most characteristic.
Agriculture is the most important economic activity: cereals, potatoes, maize, tomatoes and onions are the most important, along with fruit and grapes for the production of wine (of which the most famous are perhaps Lambrusco, Sangiovese and Albana). Cattle and hog breeding are also highly developed.
The industry of Emilia-Romagna is also healthy, especially the food industry, particularly concentrated in Parma and Bologna, mechanical and automotive (e.g. Ferrari, Ducati, Lamborghini, Maserati), and tourism especially along the Adriatic coastline.
The principal city is Bologna, an historic, cultural and entertainment center of national importance. Other important cities include Parma, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Rimini, Ferrara, Forlì, Cesena, Ravenna and Maranello.
The name Emilia-Romagna has roots in the Ancient Rome legacy in these lands. Emilia refers to via Emilia, an important Roman way connecting Rome to the northern part of Italy. Romagna is a corruption of Romània; when Ravenna was the capital of the Italian portion of the Byzantine Empire, the Lombards extended the official name of the Empire to the lands around Ravenna.
Politically, Emilia-Romagna is a stronghold of the left, despite being one of the wealthiest parts of Italy. Some believe this is because of a strong tradition of anti-clericalism dating from the 19th century, when part of Emilia-Romagna belonged of the Papal States (mostly Romagna and Bologna, in Emilia there were two independent states ). At the April 2006 elections, Emilia-Romagna gave 60% of its votes to the left-wing Olive Tree coalition of Romano Prodi.
The region is also characterized by a unique economic attitude: the economy of Emilia-Romagna is largely based on its tens of thousands of cooperatives. In Emilia-Romagna, two out of three people belong to a co-op. Bologna alone hosts 8,000, including the one-million member left-wing Legacoop and the 250,000-strong Catholic Confcooperative. The nature of the region's economy is considered responsible for the high standard of living enjoyed by the inhabitants.