Firstly, there is a bruise. A blue haematoma on the left cheek.
The bruise flaunted by the Mother of us all, who has been sitting for centuries on the slopes of Vesuvius, very calmly, on a sea of magma. With her bruise and her pain. The Madonna dell’Arco.
Venerated by the people who claim her, and talk to her in dialect using the familiar thou form, the Madonna of the Arch is the absolute star of a totally Italian myth, a bruise which has generated hysteria, thrashing about, seizures and delirious mass scenes for centuries: a “rave party” for the poor and the suffering, who recognise themselves in this bruise and implore it for divine mercy.
The portrait of a completely miserable country, unable to heal its injuries, is structured around this bruise, and one slowly penetrates into the disordered anatomy of an Italy that keeps sinking under everyone’s eyes, always waiting for a miracle.
At the centre of the story, are five characters who will probably never meet (or will just, by a hair's breath).