lunedì 11 novembre 2013


"All this time I was finding myself , but I did not know I was lost"
Certain cities seem to have the power to speak to our hearts, while others put you in the corner, London has always had a strange effect on me. Like a bitter sip of medicine, either healing through its strength or weakening for its strong consequences. London shakes you, awakening with its pouring rain, challenging with its gray sky that leaves no place for easy satisfactions. It opens the mind, with its undeniable momentum, forcing you to seek more than a way out, at least with your fantasy. So many are those who come here pursuing their career, choosing to spend a couple of years away from real life. Each day, they spend fifteen hours working. Nothing else, not even during the weekends, in front of the desk or draining their soul and wallet in a posh Chelsea’s club.
In London you can choose to forget yourself, or to deal with opportunities, hidden among young professionals who fled from countries that should be their future. You can come here to get lost, or to look for yourself, hoping that someone will wake up at the right moment. Cos it’s only stopping the movement that you can understand where to go, and what you really care about.
" Don’t worry Cameron , we will stop the recession" It’s written in the subway .
We'll wake up, one day.

lunedì 4 novembre 2013

Nick: couchsurfing in San Fran

Couchsurfing for the first time, a new challenge in my first visit to San Francisco.

That s how I met Nick: spare keys ready for me, lunch waiting for my arrival, soft towels on my couch. Blue coloured pillows, a futurist painting with the flavours of summer, a egg-shaped chair, four guitars and two Buddhas, fluorescent lights that changed colour when passing by.

Nick loved his home: it was its shelter, his port far from the world outside, a welcoming place for all his fellows. There was a blue wall in his room, with the word "Girls" painted in red, as to suggest Nick's bad attitude towards women. But Nick would have never convinced anybody: nobody watching his drawings and his books would ever believe in his "bad boy attitude". And all those who listened to him playing would never buy that he arrived in San Francisco following the the Silicon Valley’s dream. Nick  was deep and sensitive, fast in following his passion, and so elusive to be almost forgetful of himself . He had a dream: to work as a cook in an organic catering, with no machine in the land of self –movement, having chosen to walk between the markets of a city full of Californian fruits and flavours. He was in love with Frisco, with the migrants of Castro and the organic sandwiches of the shop next door. He loved the Speakeasies of the Haights, the shadow of Prospect Park and the murals of Mission.

By chance I trusted Nick, accepting his Couchsurfing invitation, preferring him to a yoga instructor. I would have never done it before, enchained in my fear of letting go, of trusting others, even if they could be my princes. But not this time: this time I wanted to play my cards right, without sacrificing this occasion. And so I found myself in a studio in the Spanish barrio of Mission, contemplating San Francisco from a blue rooftop in front of the ocean, ready to cycle on the Golden Bridge and escape to Alcatraz after an ice cream at Fishermen's Wharf.
Only the convertible was missed to make this a daydream.

We talked about the world and our life mission, Nick and I, we discussed the"Stay hungry , stay foolish " of Steve Jobs, admiring his courage to drop everything in the pursuing of a passion.

I recall those conversation every time I think of America, now that, wandering around the streets of Rome, I think of what I miss, of the reason of my insatiable thirst to go .

lunedì 7 ottobre 2013

"Only those who dare will be able to fly"

"Our time is limited, so we don t have to waste it living somebody else life. We cannot let dogmas put us in a cage, we cannot live following somebody else thoughts. we cannot let the noise of other people' s thoughts hide our inner voice. 
And, mostly, we need to follow our heart and our intuition: somehow they know what we really want to become.
Everything else doesn't count"
                                                                                                            - Steve Jobs-

Now I finally hear the Italian newspapers talking about Africa, because of the death of hundreds of migrants, realizing distracted, with years of delay, that Africa is a continent torn apart and in war. So, I think of those immigrants dear to none, and of many of my friends, who have emigrated to search for a better future somewhere else. And I also think I of all the others who have remained here, saving for their retreat or planning a mortgage in order to buy their future home.
And I realize that I will always be different.
"If you prefer freedom to economic security, if you will always feel better in a studio rather than in a loft, it is not running that you will find joy. Ensure that your wishes match your needs, and you will realize that you don't think about the Rockefeller Center anymore "

I have copied this phrase in all my agenda, since 2008.
And with this in mind I have stubbornly planned my trip to Ivory Coast, my 3 months in Bolivia, my inner journey to the Middle East and my volunteering experience in Kolkata. I've always loved the freedom of a lightweight luggage, the feeling of knowing that I could start elsewhere again, with only few things packed and the most in my hearth. I hate moving but maybe it's a odi et amo, and perhaps my mum is right when she says that I will never be happy.
Or maybe the truth is that "I will always have a dream in mind" , as one of my friend told me.
"Only those who dare will be able to fly"

lunedì 30 settembre 2013

Describing home from the outside, partially witnessing our own reality, discovering again our little piece of the world, humbly. Still feeling like summer in this autumn in Rome, wandering between old coffees and new ice cream shops, with electrical bikes, while bike sharing is re starting, tiptoeing, in Villa Borghese, between rollerskates and electrical bikes for hire. Blogs, inspirations and stories at the travel literature festival at Villa Celimontana, continuing a journey inside themselves started a long time ago. To change perspective on this Italy, a foreign servant who slowly discovers Wi-fi and e books, laughing at them through cooking tutorials. The foreign policy as a niche topic, the eight-hour day without a minute longer, the lack of money against the power of ideas, in this passionate land in the middle, forgetting the future in the charm of the Coliseum.
Will it change? We will change?

mercoledì 18 settembre 2013

VICTIM OF MAFIA: an ordinary person’s name

A pink sweater,  a string of pearls and coloured stones: she smiles.
Threats and intimidations don’t frighten her: Adriana Musella denounces men and Institutions colluded with organized crime, who are destroying the patient job she is doing in schools to seed sprouts of legality and hope .But it’s hard to fight a counter-revolution, especially if it’s one against an institutionalized power.

" Will you ever be able to erase that gray stain from your memory ? "

During the conference against the mafia, Adriana Musella recalls a story thirty years ago.
May 3, 1983 . Via Apollo , Reggio Calabria.
A car bomb explodes, scattering in the surrounding area strips of flesh of an engineer from Salerno. A gray stain remains on the wall of the building in front of the one where the young Adriana lives . Traces of Gennaro Musella’s brain .
That man was not a bureaucrat, neither a judge, nor a politician.
That man was his father.
A common man, a professional who had done something “wrong”, something that was not supposed to do, who had denounced irregularities in a tender piloted by the "Cavalieri dell’Apocalisse”, a Mafia association in Catania.

Victim of Mafia: an ordinary person’s name.
That’s the title of the book published on for the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Gennaro Musella.
"I Never will get rid of that gray spot" Adriana Musella said.
"I will never take it out of my memory, I will never be able to erase the pain. However, I can try to give it a sense building an ethics of memory, based on education and information".
That is how she has started her own mission in schools, engaging in a battle to raise awareness against mafia and its crimes.
"Until a few years ago many were those who even denied the existence of the Mafia. Now the memory of what happened to my father lives beyond me. "
To remember all the victims of mafia, she has chosen a flower, a yellow gerbera, symbol of sunshine and rebirth, an image of the hope and determination of those who strive not to forget.

Be, all together, the change

May 22, 2012
The two “ships of legality” depart from Civitavecchia and Naples. Students, teachers, politicians, associations, citizens on board.
All together against the Mafia.
To discuss, to listen and remember, in order not to forget.
Once in a while, everybody at the same level, sailing together side by side.
 Violence, crime, blood.
The crisis and ethics: an ethics of crisis against the courage of memory, of ideas that survive. Justice, dignity, responsibility: words that are the foundation of democracy. Sharing the risk, finding the courage to make a choice, hoping for a change.
Being, all together, that change.
Do not be afraid to be afraid.
Living life to the end, do not waste even a moment .

Andrea is eighteen years old: his dream is to become a journalist, and has the courage to write .
Sara is twelve years old: she wants to be a waitress and has never been afraid.
Melissa was sixteen years old: that day she was going to school. And wanted to live.
Giovanni was fifty-three years: he was a magistrate and, like all other men, was afraid.

May 23, 1992
Capaci. 5.58 PM .
Five hundred pounds of TNT exploded, blowing up the car of a judge from Palermo and men of the police escort. Giovanni Falcone , Francesca Morvillo , Vito Schifani, Antonio Dicillo and Rocco Montinaro died .

May 23, 2012
Palermo. Thousands of people together, in order not to forget .
“You haven’t killed them : their ideas walk on our feet ."
Green, white and red balloons flew up in the sky .
Flags at the wrists, banners in hand: we go.One, ten, a hundred steps towards Falcone’s tree.
Crying out loud, without fear.

“Men come and go, ideas remain.
They will stay alive with their moral tension and continue to walk on the legs of others"
                                                                                                          - Giovanni Falcone-

Welcome to India

January the 8th, 2012.
Flight LH 750 Frankfurt - Calcutta: welcome to India.
It's two o'clock in the morning: the air is moist, dense, full of the darkness of night.
A taxi ride me through dark streets, animated by the fires of those who don’t have any other home.
A ghost town, strange "bicycles" bumping in the night, the sound of car horns, policemen, distant lights ...
Well, here we are : a good dose of Autan and my sleeping bag.
Goodnight ... And sweet dreams.

"Namaste, namaste! Anti, Anti ... Chocolate! ".
I start to understand something, in this intricate and fascinating city. It's already a week: I'm getting used to the traffic that knows no rest, to the animals and to the zoo with two, three, four wheels and two legs that populates the streets.
 "Tuc tuc", motorcycles, taxis, cars, bicycles, trams and buses: a bell is trying to make its way in the deafening noise. He is a "richshaw-puller, a rare species of" horse people " that you can find only here ...
City of joy or of painful hell?
I began my service with the Sisters of Mother Teresa, an oasis of peace and silence in the folds of AJC Bose Road. In Pren Dam, home for sick and dying, a journey of inner discovery IS waiting for me: when I will leave at the end of February I will not be the same.

It is said that in Calcutta is the prayer that sustains and heals the sufferings.
Now I can understand this phrase, after walking through the poor  areas around Sudder Street, after seeing entire families living in the streets, after roaming the corridors of the slums that runs alongside the rails ...
In how many places will nuns and volunteers be able to arrive, bringing that little drop of joy and love that will one day perform the miracle?

But now you must be wondering : "It 's India all about this? Where are Mumbai, New Delhi, the beaches of Kerala, the forts of Rajasthan, the Taj Mahal and the Golden temple of Amristar? ".
Animated by the same curiosity I decided to explore a little piece of this immense continent.
Thus I find myself on Duronto Express, an efficient Indian train that took me to New Delhi: my journey from east to west, with a quick escape to the north, and back.
Will this country share my silences and endure my cries of despair, when I will look confused the two sides of the same coin? Will I understand the how the dazzling lights of India's universities and avant-garde luxury hotel can live together with the dark face of the kids slums that play among waste  and putrid water?
I have lost myself in the streets of Agra, I have experienced the tourist target profiteers in Delhi, I have talked to my soul in the silence Amristar, I have observed of unknown divinities taking shapes under the moon that illuminate the holy city of Varanasi ...
During theses days, I have let myself change from what I saw, from the emotions I felt and from the people I met. I let myself be fascinated by this country that has the consistency of a dream, made of bells, flowers, candles, holy rivers, incense and women dressed in the brightest colors.
In India, death and life go hand in hand, and challenge each other, laughing, on the steps of the ghats who bow to the Ganges…
Is this a rapid ascent to the sky or endless rebirth on earth?

February, 23 2012. This morning the wind blows, it swells my sails.
It 's time to go: farewell India.
I have a phrase in mind: "When leave you lose yourself ... Or, you find it."