It was 27° Celsius the other day when I assisted in the late harvest of the unique autochthonous "Aglianico del Vulture" grapes in the magnificent vulcanic "Vulture" area of the southern Italian region of Basilicata. The warm autumn sun accentuated the mixture of natural scents of earth, olive-and chestnut tree bark, vine leaves and grapes, while the air was filled with laughter and soft singing of the youngsters who picked the grapes.
A perfect atmosphere which I had wished could last forever.
I decided to do something different this time.
Two weeks ago I recorded Cry Me A River which I will sing on stage here in Arona during a big musical event on the 2nd of July.
If you wish to listen to the song, connect yourself to the hereunder indicated link.
Wish me luck!
The square where I live is finally open to the public again after 6 months of works, trucks, sand, bricks, stones and dust everywhere. I had previously published a photo (tic...tic...tic...) where the workmen worked on the pavement laying stone by stone. I had given them wine in the freezing cold winter so that they could warm themselves. The final result is stunning. I can overlook the newly made fountain from where I live (from the old balcony of the white building on the right) and enjoy sheer silence (no cars and motorcycles are allowed anymore!) and the magic lights of the fountain itself. The noise of water falling? Soft and pleasant in comparison with the noise of roaring motors of cars at all hours of the day and night. It was all worth it!
Today is your 150th birthday. We know, your life hasn't always been easy and you have often been treated without the respect that you deserve, but you have been patient and forgiving. Trying to keep the family together, has not always been an easy task, especially with family members who have such different characters between them. You know that they have not yet given the best of themselves, but they will make it, together and united as a family should be. You'll see! Happy birthday, Italia, and...many happy returns.
The character of a nation comes always out in moments of need. The complex system of showing respect, which has been imposed on every single individual in Japan throughout centuries of discipline, is showing its fruits these days, with the strikingly silent composure of who is waiting for hours in endless lines to receive first-need assistance or only information. No scenes of understandable despair for the loss of loved ones, belongings or identity in this immense tragedy. Just terrified faces of adults and youngsters who would not know where to go, of smaller children who are waiting to hear a whisper of comfort . “We were all aware that “the big-one” would be coming”, says a lady with a sad smile. “And we cannot do anything else but bow to what Nature has decided for us” . She makes a small bow to whom has interviewed her briefly and steps back in line, to wait for the answers she hopes to receive. Centuries of self-discipline do not allow to shed tears onto this collectivity, therefore every individual sheds them in silence, in the darkness of an uncertain future, while making a small bow of encouragement to whom steps in line of the same queue. And I make a deep bow to them…with profound respect.
I met Ray Heffernan only recently when a mutual friend invited me to go and listen to this Irish singer, who writes and sings “what he feels and sees around him”. He lives on one of our beautiful lakes here in northern Italy and I now often attend the trial sessions with his newly created band composed of high-level musicians. His music is excellent, just like the texts he writes: vibrant, intense and elegant. He really deserves to find his place high up in the international musical firmament.
This authentic 1935 Fiat Balilla was used by friends as their wedding car last saturday and stood in front of the 12th century church San Siro di Struppa in the City of Genova where the beautiful wedding ceremony took place.
A delegation of approximately 150 present and former heads of state, ambassadors as well as academics from the Arabic and Muslim world, guided by the President of Senegal and backed by Unesco and the Municipality of Paris, and accompanied by another 100 representatives of various international Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities, will visit the former concentration camp of Auschwitz in southern Poland today. I’d like to see this important event as a new start of better understanding and more respect between populations with different cultures and different religions. As long as all parts will act in good faith and with trust towards each other.
The sandbags are there to protect the beach against the difference in water level between high and low tide. Many groups of islands of the Maldives have been badly affected by the enormous tidal wave of the 26th December 2004. With an average ground level of 1,5 meters above sea-level, this unique archipelago, featuring 1.192 islets of which only 200 are inhabited, is vulnerably exposed to all possible extreme natural hazards and is slowly disappearing, due to a constant sea-level rise which has been calculated to be of 59 cm by the year 2100. This, if the leaders of our planet do not take drastic action against the negative effects of global warming. Actions aiming at saving many areas of the world from going under water and consequently saving the growing world population from loosing precious sources of food and sweet water. Otherwise, nobody can stop the repeat of the historical migrations in search of survival with its devastating consequences.
I just stood there watching the sun rise from behind the ocean, while I let the soft talcum-powder sand of the beach glide through my fingers. An athletic young man ran along the shoreline. He looked perfectly fit and I felt a hint of envy rising in me. I looked down on the curve of my stomach and knew that I should be doing the same and should have started a long time ago, but as he disappeared from my sight, the feeling of envy ran away with him leaving me alone with the sun breaking through the thin sheep-clouds which slowly moved away from the horizon. The grey colour of the sea gradually changed into silver-green with red glints generated by the first sun-beams, while the soft pink colour of the sand turned into white. I waited for Nature “to do better than this” and was immediately rewarded: the shadows of the clouds gliding over the surface of the water made the silver-green turn into deep-turquoise with glints of dark blue and yellow-gold. At the other side of the sea, tall palm trees on a long sand bank softly waved their leaves in the breeze with a constant rustling sound. As I walked back to the apartment under a tangle of tree branches and flowers, to accompany my wife to the restaurant for our first breakfast in Paradise , I suddenly knew that Nature would surprise us more during the days to come… and without limits.
All our lime trees and plane trees along the lake are being prepared for Spring.
I will be absent for 10 days, off to the Maldives. An 11 hours long flight from Milan, followed by a 40 minutes transfer by boat from capital city Malé to the Olhuveli atoll over the cristal clear waters. I can't wait to arrive there and make the photos I will post on my return. Take care of yourselves in the meantime!
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