This was the summer of the crisis. No holidays abroad, but considering the personal economic condition not even in Italy. After all, it is not always possible to go on holiday. It’s in. You find a way to feel good anyway. And then deep down I have to work. There are no real holidays when working “on your own”. It never really pulls the plug, let alone in a start-up moment like the one I live!
And then comes the end of July, the tiredness of 4 months of hard work, of thoughts, of encounters is felt. The mind begins to have difficulty in focusing everything, it is slowed down. Even writing an article becomes difficult. Fingers no longer fly on the keyboard as they usually do and sentences come down with difficulty.
Okay, we have to stop. It is the physique that requires it. And so loaded with good intentions but unloading banknotes in the wallet part what will eventually turn out to be “My most beautiful summer“.
A first tranche of days at camp with my little girl. A journey back in time. The places that saw me as a child, where I was as free as air. Where I learned to swim, to drive a dinghy, to collect worms to go fishing. Where I learned how to clean the fish, in those sinks in the middle of the small campsite. Returning to that place, at Foce Verde, at Camping Poseidon was a very strong emotion. The places that seemed to me at the bottom “great” I found them much smaller. I grew up. Those parking lots where as children we were forbidden to go after dark because they were deemed dangerous and almost a place of perdition today are large camping pitches. There are so many new people. Yet the spirit of the Poseidon remained the same. Welcome, familiarity. A place where all in all time has really stopped. People spend them pretty much the whole summer season, with their beautiful caravans equipped with everything they need. In their small “mobile villas” they are ready to welcome those who arrive even for the first time in that place. The hospitality is wonderful. Although it is true that on my arrival virtually everyone knew that I had been camping there for almost fifteen years all the faces I met when I arrived were new, yet the feeling was that I had never left.
And then the real discovery: there are still two people who have seen me as a child. For forty years they have been spending their summer in that campsite. Today even the son, that child that I would never have recognized but who played with me more than thirty years ago, is there with his family. A true paradise for children. It always has been. No danger, no aggregation, no freedom. The one that all children, especially accustomed to city life, look for. I took a real trip back in time. I retraced with this couple years and years of happy life. We remembered together so many people who went to that campsite. Many of them were and still are fishermen. A lot has changed for sure. So many people have left, yet the mere fact of talking about it has made us feel as if they are all there with us. My dad, “Torre Astura“, for so many people because he spent most of his time in that great place, was there with me. I’ve been see again as a child under that jetty that’s gone. I’m back at the bottom!
The excitement was so great that for the day of August I went back there with my mom. A surprise, at first taken a little subdued, which in the end turned out to be an exciting moment for her too. A lunch with a lot of people and, even for her, a trip back in time that she retraced for several hours and that made her come home with a smile that I had not seen in a long time. We’re going to come back to see each other with old and old. The “little ones” are the children of the 80s, today they have become adults, each with their own history, their own wounds, their own joys and their own desires. What was truly magical was the desire and the will to remember and to live there again. We will live, we will not get lost again because good things must never be lost.
But it all ends and so too Foce Verde has passed. A short work recovery characterized by online meetings and phone calls of particular importance and then leave for the mountain.
I was alone this time. The impetus was due to the possibility of meeting the local institutions and talking about a project that had been going through my head for some time.
Although the work projects of my Etruscan area are not yet finished, there was a little corner of my mind that kept telling me that I had to try to put them up in the “my mountains”. Those mountains that my grandparents saw live there when they were young because Battilocchi is a surname of the area and my grandmother wore it proudly. The same mountains that brought my parents together: she daughter of a Battilocchi, he brother of the wife of another Battilocchi. No kinship between them, just that attraction that made them fall in love as children and stay together for life.
What about me? I have grown in tandem between those mountains, as much as in the waters of the Lido of Latina. A soul and a spirit divided between the sea and the mountain. I can’t tell if I have better memories on one side or the other. Maybe it’s like when you ask a child, “Who do you love the most? To mom or dad?” There is no answer. We love both of them in the same way, then there is the day that mom makes us angry and then we become “paponi” or vice versa. And so for me it was Foce Verde and Volciano. If I spent happy days at the campsite I felt deprived of that feeling if I was taken to the mountains, but just as it happened when I was up there and I never wanted to go back to the sea.
And then I told myself that I owe it to those places an attempt at development. I owe it to both my grandmother and my parents. I’ve been buzzing in my head for a while to give this project the name “Dodo”, Rodolfo. I think my dad would be happy.
So I came to the mountains. With my trolley where, although it was August, I put in the wool sweaters because if you want to go out in the evening, after August, they really serve. With my computer bag, my blocks and my projects in my head.
The idea was to take a few rides in the area, instead arrived on the top of Volciano where there is my house I found many people that I had not seen in a long time. I spent the first few hours telling each other how we were doing and answering questions and doubts about “Sogni & Calzini Spaiati”. I’ve been following a lot of them on Facebook, and I was so pleased with it. I didn’t fully explain what my project would be for the area. It was all in the making, I first did not put up many issues because before I wanted to understand what kind of involvement on the part of the institutions there could be.
And so that Tuesday morning I went to the Commune. Gianluca Gizzi , the Mayor, had given me an appointment, courteous exactly as I had imagined, perhaps a little less talkative than I would have expected, but inclined to really grow this territory surrounded by mountains and many difficulties. A territory that just four years ago was the victim of the last earthquake that destroyed Norcia, a territory that was injured and that still has the scars of that great pain that it has suffered. But the city of Leonessa, its surroundings, its mountains, cry in order to emerge. They want to make themselves known all over the world. They are aware of their limits, they do not hide them, but they know that they can give so much to those who want to live them. Thanks to the Mayor I met a person who for two days put me in touch with many people, with her and thanks to her I can say that the project can start… Then here we go. The project begins to come to life, I will follow it with the utmost professionalism but with all the heart that I have. Who knows that the “Dodo” project between now and next summer is not really a reality?!!
But Volciano represented not only work for me. Being with people made me feel good. Although we’ve known each other all my life, I’ve shown myself for who I am. A person who wants to be together, to build relationships, not to leave them confined to those few summer days but to continue to cultivate them throughout the year. Because there’s no better charging than being good in the crowd. With the utmost simplicity I have grouped probably three generations of “ex-boys”. We were all in my house remembering the old days, maybe a little melancholy as a situation, but we were fine. We laughed and joked, I saw smiling faces that hadn’t done it in a while. I’ve rediscovered people for who they are and have inside. I’ve had evenings worth a whole holiday…
And then this summer is really coming to an end for me. This is the conclusion of the first phase of my project. Now the starting points are clear. A good percentage of work is put black on white. Now is the time to tighten the tempo and close that circle to bring all the projects and dreams of these months to life.
There are. Here we go. I am no longer alone in this path, I have on my side many professionals from the areas involved who want to achieve the same goal of my. I have the institutions who are aware that there can be no growth without adequate action to promote the territory. And where the territory is promoted well, this brings benefits to everyone. There are the Trade Associations that have given their permission to participate in these projects because the aim is to grow the product “Italy” and its specialties and cultures.
I’m here. I who have lived the most beautiful summer that my adult mind can remember. A simple summer, lived at an average of 100 kilometers from my home but that enriched me and recharged me like no trip around the world could do. A summer that saw me return as a child, smiling, sunny, sure of myself and my possibilities.
I will never let this feeling go again and although work will never really be a fun time, I will do everything that awaits me with eyes that shine and lips that smile because the real joy in working now comes from within me.