#30 Grado – Gianni’s fish

In Grado I met another special guy. Gianni Maran  is a staggering, profound, all-round artist who never takes himself too seriously (take a look at his website). But above all he’s a friend, capable of an extraordinary welcome to a perfect stranger like me who calls him from the sea only a few hours before arriving.

And then it becomes evident, once again, that in the North (this is the northernmost point of my journey) as well as in the South (well, I let you guess what the most southern point I have touched is), islands are the places of hospitality. Forever and ever.

 


Posted on: 21.Aug.2018   Leave a comment

#26 Linosa – Departure

What should I write about Linosa… Perhaps the most authentic one, the best to stand against mass tourism, welcoming tourists instead of robbing them in such an impersonal way as it happens in so many other places.

In Linosa it is difficult to arrive, you can’t find a more remote island in Italy. Therefore who comes here does it with total awareness and a fully open spirit, ready to discover an island that is not just beautiful landscapes or crystal-clear sea, but most of all unforgettable people.

And me, I met so many wonderful people in those that were supposed to be three days and eventually became eight because of Mistral. Everything started with Claudia, Giovanni and Francesca of Terraferma Diving, one of the best diving centers I’ve known, a diving center that is also the cultural center of Linosa – which is even more awesome considering that hardly ever in Italy diving rhymes with culture. A cultural center where welcoming is the first rule, and the second is sharing: the pillars of the Mediterranean spirit. I don’t know how to thank you guys, and by the way this is not the right place to do it.

The diving center is called Terraferma because the friendship among its members was born on the set of Terraferma, Emanuele Crialese’s film that was shot a handful of years ago right here in Linosa, a masterpiece. And who did I meet and interview? Of course Emanuele Crialese himself, a sweet man, full of poetry and sensitivity. It was a great privilege and a great source of inspiration to meet you, Emanuele. Thank you too for opening up and understanding it all straight away.

Then an amazing man and an impressive professional, Claudio Palmisano, a photographer who for six months a year lives here in a house he turned into a small photo studio. Among a thousand other things, Claudio studied a method to create underwater panoramic photographic compositions that render the grandiosity of Linosa underwater landscapes. In a world where post-production mostly takes away the picture from reality, in a quest for sensationalism, Claudio works in the opposite way: post-production serves to approach reality in the best possible way. And these seascapes are the obvious evidence. I beg you to take a look at them, following this link. Your sushi, your pizza, your fun, Claudio: unforgettable indeed…

Then there was Michele, who apart from kneading the bread for the only bakery every night, brought the cows back to Linosa with great passion. Here, 25 years ago, there were more than 500 cows; until stupid European laws, distant and careless of isolated and remote realities such as this, imposed their elimination. But Michele is trying again for personal use of course. Two anecdotes: cows eat cactus leaves, which here are used to delimit the land, and ricotta is made using sea water.

And finally Piero Zambuto, a sculptor who draws inspiration from the immense energy of Linosa, who also opened to us the doors of his world, made of research of the perfect shape, between female nude and poetry of stone and wood.

Now heading to Ortigia, first of the two atypical islands (the other one is Gallipoli), 150 miles away with the creepy silhouette of the least Mediterranean island, Malta, in between. But the spirit of Linosa will stay in my mind for so long still…

 

Posted on: 25.Jul.2018 Leave a comment

Island People – Lipari – Loredana Salzano

This time, I really don’t know where to begin. Loredana is crazy!!! She answered enthusiastically as I contacted her for 33 Isole, and she guaranteed an authentic Lipari experience upon my arrival. I will go mad trying to keep her pace!

Look how she describes herself:
Multifaceted artist with a volcanic talent, she was born under the Vesuvius and moved to Lipari, where she has been living for over 10 years and owns a gallery/shop. Creative at 360°, she realizes material canvases, dreamlike watercolors, artistic ceramics, informal paintings, sculptures and jewelry with materials recovered especially from the sea.
She writes poetry and publishes a collection of poems entitled “Feral Islands.” Volcanoes are her main source of inspiration (hence the name “Our Volcanoes’ Lady”) leading to an ironic-poetic mix, suspended between art, thought and design.
From engaged canvases or extremely contemporary conceptual installations, she switches with the same enthusiasm to easy, funny, and original design pieces, centered around the theme Alice Attònita, that is, *”the only primordial Alice with contemporary troubles”, a character/message that becomes the expression of the human dichotomy between contemporariness and need to return to a “wonderfully simple” life.

Loreda’, I’m coming!

Posted on: 20.Jan.2018   Leave a comment