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."

That's America

Goodmorning America!
Drivers yell between cups of coffee and bottles of Coke, wandering through KFC, McDonald's and Subways. Watching Obama's speech and observing Americans: a President as a symbol of collective hope, a way to feel all united.
 "Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness : we will seize it as long as we seize it together ."

Obama smiles to his America, this America of Africans with pins, hats, magnets of Him. The America of the elegant jet set of Washington's businessmen and career women with their high hills in their purses. The America of the young professionals of Capitol Hill, of the Hispanics of Columbia Heights, of Chinese living on the 8th and the Europeans of Dupont Circle. This America who is striving against liberal market problems, health care concerns and university loans, the America of accessible roads and possibilities, of half dreams and semi-freedom.

This America reflected in the streets of Washington, the town of networking and lobbying, of  parties and happy hours, of everywhere free wifi and shopping 24/7. Friday evenings sitting in an open bar, ordering in English and greeting in French, hablando español in this international city. Two moijito and a ride with bikesharing before talking of democracy with complete strangers, glorifying the power of marketing and the strength of networking. In the city of the White House and gay bars, of bohemian cafés and second-hand bookstores. The Washington of Adams Morgan and its music till the morning, of the Diner and the Coupe and their outdoor tables, of  Perry's and its terrace overlooking the city, Christmas lights in a summer sunset. Washington 's of Howard University and its white towers dreaming of the Caribbean, Washington of Latin American parties of Mezze, BBQs in Georgetown and Ladies Nights at the Centro de F. City of transition and life choices, of one day travel fellows and unforgettable life companions.
Small pieces of heart scattered around the world, pursuing happiness in a foreign land.

martedì 17 settembre 2013

Postcards from the Middle East

               Damasco, Syria 2009

No need to go to the end of the earth to touch the sky: Jerusalem is here.
Here, with its walls and its gates, its suqs and narrow streets, its churches and its mosques, the sound of Christian bells which blend with that of Jewish songs, mingling with the smell of spices coming from shops near the Damascus Gate. The Wailing Wall and Al Aqsa Mosque, the Holy Sepulchre and the Basilica of Saint George, turtle meat and pomegranate juice, toy guns and goldfinches, children soldiers, and nostalgia for God. What's missing in the mosaic of this city? Jerusalem takes your soul, it charms you before capturing your heart and then reduces it to shreds, leaving it prey to countless thoughts and unanswered questions.
You can feel the pain, the despair, the anger for a God who is not there, yet invoked by thousands of voices that rise up from every side of town. He is hidden and ignored, the God of consolations, submerged in the sea of tension that fills these walls.

Journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem: just a dozen kilometres that shake you inside.
You feel it, the wall, blankly risen up to heaven, perceiving the sea of differences and misunderstandings that separates these two peoples. Friday evening: a crowd invades the indescribable narrow streets of the old city. The fasting time is almost finished: the shops that sell honey cakes are full of Arabs who wait with joy for the sunset on this twentieth day of Ramadan. On the other part of the town crowds of Jews converge toward the Western Wall for the evening prayer: everything is ready for Shabbat. Israeli and Palestinian children are playing in the streets with their bright toy guns: judgement has gone long time ago. Hopefully, we will find a way, a clue, in this intricate mosaic ... Sooner or later.

domenica 1 settembre 2013


                                                                                     Washington, DC

"Do you travel to discover your future?"
- Italo Calvino- "Le città invisibili"

A black and white poster of monks walking away, surrounded by pictures of people and places. Back home, feeling finally safe from all life turbulence.
Maybe, or maybe not.
What makes a place our home, changing its borders to adjust to our feelings and win our solitude fears?
So that's for you, Emma, Mika, Euge, Dimitra, Agot, Francesca, Nathalia, Ligia, Xoan, and for all those who have remained here:  Sofia, Piera, Giulia, Ele, Damiano,  Francesca, Maria Chiara, Benedetta, for all who have followed my changing life decisions and support my crazy job and life plans, listening without judging, advising  without trying to re direct me. For all those who have made me understand what I want after two tequilas or hanging out on a sofa with a beer.  For all those who have listened to hours of crazy travel plans and tried to follow complicated existential turns. For all those who reminded me not to let life put me down, encouraging with your words and hugging me in front of a piece of cake.
You made me better understand who I am and where I want to go.
You have made anonymous  geographical spots  became the invisible cities of my hearth.
Oversea or back here, you will always be my home, wherever a damned application or my even worse free spirit will send me. The good or bad that will turn out of me will always also be partly of your fault :).
Grazie Mille, con tutto il mio cuore.