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Witch. Witchcraft. Strega is the Italian word for Witch. When the old Ristorante Italiano Lillo closed down, I was fortunate enough to be in the right place and time to buy some of the old stock. Among that stock were some interesting liqueurs, as it was a place of considerable taste, and among the intriguing bottles acquired was a bottle of Strega. As well as the official website www.strega.it there is an interesting Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strega The which gives some clues on The Old Religion, ie Wicca in Italy.

Witchcraft is to be encouraged, of course, as it is pro-individualistic unlike various mundane monotheistic belief-sets. Earlier on, I had been doing some online searches investigating the league tables of countries by land area. Despite its boastfulness, the USA is not Number1 in this, and comes in behind Canada, arguably China, and definitely Russia. A glance at the bottom of the list reveals the most crowded tax haven in the world, Monaco, second-smallest, and then last, the smallest country in the world, the Vatican.

And then I got thinking, if the Roman Catholic religion can have a city state and be a country and have ambassadorial relationships around the world, how about Wicca having a homeland? It wouldn't need to be a big place, not even as big as Israel or even the city of Mecca, indeed I'm sure Italia could spare a 0.44 square kilometres for a City State of Strega, world homeland for those who believe in Wicca. It would be a start of reparations for the centuries of persecution which witches (and those suspected of being witches) have suffered because of religious intolerance.

The advantages for Pagans are obvious, but also there are advantages for Italy to have a Wiccan homeland, the City of Strega. It would be good for business! Plus, it would help to divert attention away from the political turmoil and intrigue that seems to be prevalent.

Moreover, it would have Style! It is style, rather than mere functionality, which has always been a strength of Italy.

You don't have to agree with me that Witchcraft is a good idea and is to be encouraged. The point is that diversity of belief is a positive thing, accepting the existence of things which you don't necessarily agree with.

Meanwhile at www.strega.it , the screen is coming up completely blank. The only thing appearing is the colour, which is that special yellow hue which is shared by the liqueur. The liqueur is curious aromatic stuff, and at 40% vol it is quite effective.

Strega the liqueur is good stuff. I can recommend it.