One of my favorite things about my work is definitely the possibility, from time to time, to visit Italy. Whatever the region or the designated city, it is every time a dip to the heart, a vibrating and a thrill of strong emotions, summarized in one word: home.
First stop: Campania.
Driving the car in Pompeii, where I have been, should be a paid activity, like a normal job. Nothing is worth pissed off for a lack of precedence, or because those “stop at the stop”, do not let you turn in peace, but pass, regardless of your presence and the flashing arrow. Since the reading of the signs is subject to free interpretation, it is better to adapt to these non-rules and to act, rather, as if the road were a track for the carousel of the rides.
There is more fun, the other drivers do not get irritated, and in the end they get out unharmed.
Never overestimate a season: autumn does not exist, not here. Do not be fooled by weather forecasts, with their 16 degrees maximum and 13 minimum. But when ever!
They say it only to comply with the standards, for an unhealthy tendency towards homologation typical of these times: they do not want to feel less when others begin to complain about the first “fresh” ones.
The secret? Always carry two summer changes in your suitcase; get to a business appointment as if you had just crossed the Mediterranean by swimming, not good.
The kindness of the people is disarming. Really. It makes you feel shit even if you were in contention for the Nobel Peace Prize.
People are so cute that you feel guilty for saying goodbye only with your best smile and the most polite “hello” that your voice can produce. I wanted to hug everyone, thank them for warming my soul, not that it was needed, with 27 degrees in the shade.
Second stage: Puglia.
The place I have to reach is not reported on the navigator. A breeze for a woman born in Sardinia. I am sure, strong of the full fact a few kilometers before. I decide to proceed in stages and to update the map as the destination approaches.
If I had to give form to “nothing”, I think that part of the planet would perfectly reflect the idea.
Anyone would have shuddered to say the least in seeing the desolation of the streets in which I came across, the craters scattered here and there on the road surface, the abandoned and dilapidated buildings, the glimpses of the people met by chance. Anyone, but not me: perfectly at ease and inserted in the context, I let myself sway from sinking into the ditches, imagining to inhale the smell of myrtle berries with the sound of cicadas and rugged landscapes.
But there is no end to creativity in southern Italy.
In two shopping centers, I was able to see with joy how some people are affectionate collectors of handles and hangers for bathing suits.
When you run away, you rediscover yourself artist.
And here, between acrobatic moves that you did not know you could do, and a resoluteness of other times in keeping what remains of the door, you feel a strong regret not to have gone a few more days in the gym. What a bad thing he did not do.