ABOUT ME

About me

My memories are blurry and I have a hard time remember the day when I started to undertake my viaticum, or journey of self-knowledge. I only remember that I was still very young, and everything around me seemed enjoying to feed my intuition: the sea, the landscape, art, music, theater, fairy tales, narrative and furthermore. And in front of such beauty, with creativity, I interiorised any experience that I often expressed in writing, drawings or paintings or simply playing my guitar.

Of course, back then, I was unaware of what was happening in my soul, of that recalcitrant desire to go beyond the boundaries of my comfort zone. 

After finishing high school in the historic town of Greek origin, Rossano, in the South of Italy, I undertook the second step of my journey, attending the Faculty of Biology at La Sapienza, University of Rome. Here, thanks to my great passion for Nature, the first exam I passed was Botany… And yet, only a few months after, I felt that it was not even that one my path!

I strongly felt instead the ambition of crossing new insight thresholds to challenge myself in different other worlds. I decided then upon attending the School for Interpreters and Translators in Rome and then in Florence, and later upon the IULM, Free University of Languages and Communication of Milan. I was sure that my curiosity for languages and litterature of other peoples would help me to face contamination, thanks to which I would have seen the world with different eyes.

And so it was! Yes, so it was…but there was also the flip side of the medal, which I did  not consider at the time: a long and slow descent in the unknown of myself. A descent that I stubbornly wanted to tackle and for which I am grateful to myself today, being the only most truthful knowledge anyone may acquire.

But as a matter of fact, in that descent, I was never  totally by myself! Words, lots of works were with me: words coming back to my mind to make me go further than their superficial meaning; words I encountered for the first time and that, while I was trying to fit and adapt them in a sentence, offered themselves in their nakedness, and worked as a mirror to me. And they induced me to reflection. Their simple unraveling before my eyes and ears fascinated and intrigued me so much that, every time, I entered a contemplative status. And I let them freely begin their dance of unwinding their most intimate part to me. Something they did with gratuitousness and beauty, rewarding me with their universal wisdom.

There has been a maieutic relationship of Socratic memory therefore between words and me. And it has been made up of continuous questions and answers opening up to other questions and other answers, up to the unveiling and clarity, up to consciousness. Because knowledge is never only intellectual. Knowledge is mainly the unveiling of what you did not know or did not see about yourself. An unveiling which starts from a natural predisposition to con-template, to be with one’s own temple, in front of Nature’s beauty. But then questions and answers and each time a little piece of one’s self returns to its rightful place, striving towards that equilibrium between the material and the spiritual self, between the yin and the yang.

I completed my studies at university and I unreservedly ventured in the working world as an interpreter, a translator and a teacher in high schools. But very soon I felt that all what I was doing was not enough for me, and I left my restlessness direct me elsewhere, again.

It was 1994 when I left teaching (but not translating) to devote myself to my new life path as a cultural guide for families, or in any case for those who were curious or passionate about Art and Archaeology, History and Philosophy, Historical Gardens and landscape, of Rome and its surroundings. And they have been Italian, French and English-speaking visitors.

And then the faces I have come across with, during my cultural walks, have been so many in 29 years! But one in particular I still keep tenderly in my memory: the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maatai’s – here in the photo opposite when, back in June 2005, I guided her among the ruins of the Roman Forum – a biologist and environmentalist. Delightfully nicknamed Lady of the trees, I promised her to narrate about trees, flowers and gardens with the noble aim of raising awareness and conscientiousness on today state of Nature in other people.

And I have never thought, not even for a moment, of escaping from what I promise her. On the contrary, I have increasingly deepened my studies on Art education, Art therapy and Theatre of the Oppressed, as I believe that through Art, unquestioned synthesis of the contemplative relationship Man has with Nature, I would be able to help others to become more conscious and develop their intuition and empathy and love towards Nature, the environment and people. And my commitment became a paiedeic project of Greek memory, aimed at families: Playing with Art  in museums for families with children; and Beyond Borders: Seeing for families with teenagers. A still active project which I have summarized in an essay, and in series for children such as my recent series Storytelling with in art https://www.periegeta.it/it/pubblicazioni/

To all what I have told you so far, I would also like to share with you the wonderful professional experience I had in the Gardens of the Popes, between 2009 and 2011. As an expert of eclecticism, from my university studies and my final degree thesis, in 2011, I signed a contract with the Governatorate of the Vatican city state. The contract foresaw both for the review of the Vatican Gardens – thanks to which I published the book Anima Persa, Anima Ritrovata, periegesi all’interno dei Giardini Vaticani -, and the review of the cloister garden of the basilica of S. Giovanni in Lateran https://www.periegeta.it/2019/11/the-renewed-garden-of-st-john-in-the-laterans-cloister/

At the same time, I had already been studying screenwriting and documentary for a few years out of a pure interest in interdisciplinarity.

And still today, suspended between writing and translations, interpreting and teaching, cultural encounters and theatre***, documentaries and screenplays in progress and curatorship of personal exhibitions of contemporary artists, cultural and educational tour, I incessantly continue to proceed with my fascinating viaticum

Being currently in process of editing, my book on the eclectic American mosaicist George W. Breck, who made the facade and counterfaçade mosaics of the Episcopal church of St. Paul’s Within the Walls on Via Nazionale in Rome at the beginning of the 20th century, will forthcome very soon.

 

*in collaboration with

the “Gianni Rodari” Quintet of wind instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtFhQpNDnts 

and with

Corrado Patriarca, metaphor psychotherapist, theater therapist, actor and theater director in Rome   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAvXjf_cu-DcFiTdM9JbClw 

Elevation (tempera on canvas, Rome 2000)

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