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Rondine Cittadella della Pace


Rondine - City of the Peace

The Association Rondine Cittadella della Pace (Città della Pace) plays an active role in promoting a culture of dialogue and peace, with the International Student Hall (Studentato Internazionale Rondine) acting as its focal point. 

Rondine is a small fraction of the town of Arezzo, near Castiglion Fibocchi and Cappannelle Holiday house, in the homonymous province, located 12 kilometers from the center on a bend of the river Arno.

The village, very small and well preserved, dates back to the eleventh century, a period in which it was built the adjoining Castle Swallow, the ruins of which are currently undergoing consolidation work and restoration.

The river Arno seen from Rondine with the railway viaduct
The village church is dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. It is located in a scenic bend of the River Arno and is visible in its full beauty by travelers who travel the rail line Direttissima Florence-Rome.



Citadel of Peace

Until 1977 the medieval village of Rondine was in a state of complete abandonment and neglect. The then Bishop of Arezzo, Telesforo Cioli, entrusted the care and the rebirth of Swallow and his Church to young families in the area. To these, in the years after they joined the Community of the Sacred Heart and the Community Youth Saione of Arezzo.

Rondine becomes a training, especially for young people and families and place of welcome and service to families in need.

In 1997 came the 'Association Rondine Cittadella della Pace with the aim of promoting a culture of peace and dialogue, in particular by working with people from countries who live or have just experienced wars and conflicts.

The building that houses the International Hall
The association was founded in fact around a strong and original idea: bring together, in one place and a context-neutral, boys from countries in conflict and that their lands would be potential enemies. This coexistence "forced", but voluntary, showed that the contrasts and mutual distrust tend to dissolve when taken out of context in which they develop and that the dialogue is in fact possible.

In the village of Rondine is indeed one International Hall that welcomes young people from the Caucasus, the Balkans, the Russian Federation, the Middle East and Sierra Leone. Students, once finished their studies, they return to their country of origin and be as bearers of a message box. The Association's mission can be summarized as follows: to promote the resolution of the conflict through the experience of young people who discover the person in your enemy

"Only peace can there be progress." With these words Rondine Cittadella della Pace welcomes its visitors. Small Tuscan village on the banks of the Arno, social and cultural laboratory, Rondine will opens its arrival with flags from many countries of the world and its plaques dedicated to thoughts of peace.

In this quiet corner of Tuscany, ten kilometers from Arezzo, in existence since 1997, a Student where he teaches international peace through the study. The Association Rondine born around strong and original idea: to combine in a neutral place and context, young people from countries in conflict and that their lands would be potential enemies. "Giving a face to the enemy - to humanize umanizzarci - is a way to change, an endless process," he says with eyes lit Franco Vaccari, president and founder of the Association. "The injury brutalizes, is rooted so so thin that the practitioner is not aware. Swallow the method consists precisely in teaching to cultivate the human that is in each of us, that it may bear fruit. "

This village so sheltered and mild is a cutting edge. It may sound simple the way of young people from around the world who study in an international environment with the support of scholarships, but it does not. Peace, explains Mauro D'Andrea, head of international relations, it is built with effort and perseverance: "We choose young people who rejected the war to become tomorrow's leaders. Yet the way that these children must take is challenging. Everything feeds in their suspicion, mistrust, resentment, revenge, hatred. They come to Rondine, undressing some certainties, look into my eyes and touch their enemy, we are living, not for the time of an emotion, but for the time of an academic. And begin to change. Something changes in the inner life of each of them, changing relationships, changes the consciousness of their 'personal and historic, changes their lives. A change that overturns the way we see each other and others. By Rondine, in Tuscany, they return home with their own history "inverted", ready to overturn the history of the world where they live. "

Upon arrival at Rondine the student attends, for about three months, an Italian language course and then begin their course of study. Students take college courses or master's degree from the University of Siena, Florence, Rome and Bologna. The studies are funded with grants provided by institutions and individuals. "Most of the students have achieved good results," says Sara Bindi, head of communications. "When you have finished their studies, they return to their country of origin to enter into careers in academia, institutional and industrial positions of high visibility and so are bearers of a message of dialogue."



In the province of Arezzo, near Castiglion Fibocchi, there is a small medieval village that houses two-year students from countries in conflict. It 'a place where knowledge is used to bring down the walls: Rondine-Cittadella della Pace is an experience that becomes a point of reference because someone thought that can aspire to the Nobel Peace Prize. The announcement of the nomination was made today in the House by Ms Marina Sereni, promoter of the initiative. "I know at Rondine he is growing a new generation, even a new kind of world leaders, leaders who have the courage of dialogue, who know how to look, digging to understand the reasons of conflicts. Today the world has great need of this courage and why I had the idea of a candidate for the Nobel Peace Rondine 2015 and are very happy to tell you that your application has been accepted, "he said.

And the experience of the village of Arezzo is also the consent of the Secretary to the Prime Minister, Luca Lotti, citing Pope Francis according to which "we must build bridges and not walls". And out of the logic of the conflict "it is the important role of the policy but before that - said Lotti - that of human formation." Peace Rondine is a daily occurrence. Because they live under the same roof Israeli and Palestinian children of Sierra Leone or dell'Arzeibagian, from the Balkans as the Indian subcontinent. On July 18 they arrived, while the alumni, the Rondini d'Oro, return to their countries as ambassadors of a new method of dialogue. And the secretary general of the Italian Bishops Conference, Monsignor Nunzio Galantino, who will be visiting the Citadel Saturday, July 11, points out that "courage is needed more in comparison, in the dialogue, and in the choice of hostilities."

The President of Rondine, Franco Vaccari, presenting young people who have already had this experience, and the new 18 who are going to do it, said a delighted the Nobel nomination: "We work every day to remove the concept of enemy." How? In comparison on major issues but also in everyday life, which does not spare quarrels. It does not need to be divided religions or peoples. Just do not want to make the turn to do the dishes or turn up their noses if the washing machine have been put into the shoes of another. Now suspense until October 9: that day will be announced the Nobel Prize for Peace and boys Rondine hope to snatch a ticket to Oslo.


An interesting article A walk to Rondine

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