By Alessandro Carosi
It was 20 years ago in August 2001 that I took 3 weeks holiday and with a small backpack I went travelling around South Italy and I remeber how beautiful was that solo trip as companion just my mind, not even a map, daily I would decide where to stop and where to sleep sometime on the street or on the beach sometime in a hostel if I was too tired, I still remeber like it was now the towns I visited, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Metaponto, Matera, Lecce, Alberobello, Tropea, Reggio Calabria, Palermo, Taormina and Catania, then from there a ride on the train back home, around 14 hours.
A lot of unforgettable memories, sleeping on the beach in Amalfi with the mountains and the sea as live paintings, on the bus to Matera in companionship of an Austrian Backpacker I could barely speak, my English was close to Zero at the time, the Surreal Matera and the otherworldly Alberobello, sleeping on the beach in Metaponto surrounded by the ruins of the Ancient Greece and sleeping on a bench waking up with the morning sunrise, very hard to express what I felt on here I’m not a professional writer but while I’m writing all the emotions are coming back and a sense of happy melancholic pervade my mind and body, in Taormina one of my first synchronicities, one of the many more I would encounter later on in life, a guy from Roma that was in holiday in my hometown the previous summer and got to know playing basketball at the famous Las Vegas playground in San Benedetto, he was in Taormina and we met in the evening for few drinks, the sea and beaches are amazing in Sicily so how could I say no to an outdoor rest that night, Catania was the end of that trip.
What I will never forget will be Naples, it was my first stop in that journey and arrived in the city I couldn’t avoid to realise I was in a different country within the country we call Italy, Naples is something unique with an unique culture, language and way of life and wasn’t for the fact that was forced to become United it would have been easily a city state like can be Singapore, arrived at my hotel the receptionist shows me the room a beautiful old room with oil Staines on the sheets just to start in the best way, so I knew that I should never wandering around not knowing where to go cause you get the wrong suburb and you can easily get in troubles but I was a young boy from a safe small town in Marche region so as naive as shit I went exploring like my usual, I love the unplanned discoveries but this time wasn’t a good one, I saw firemen trying to reach the second floor of this building so I stopped looking at what was happening then the police arrived and they placed a long ladder and started climbing when a guy come out and from the balcony shooting to the police and firemen almost hit me with a bullet just few cm away from my left leg, all I remeber was that I was running as fast as I could and reached the hotel I grabbed all my belongings and even if I paid for 3 days I left as quick I could to Amalfi coast and never went back to Naples.
Naples is a victim, victim of a corrupted government and the people victim of a broken system that have to spend the rest of their lives surviving in a dangerous city, this is Italy, this is the world we currently live in, the illusion of the Earthly immortality that create so much suffering for an illusion called Money and Power.
Look at me now, I’m 42 and what I remeber that makes me happy? A beautiful trip in South Italy, the places I visited, the people I met, Those are the memories that makes me happy not the endless hours in my shop and in that fucking fire alarm stupid factory, I don’t remember how much I had in my bank account or how much I spent but I remeber like was now the Sunshine, the Sunrise, the ancient buildings, the people, that’s what Is life, a short journey where at the end you bring nothing except the memories that make you happy that are made of other people and places.