Three keywords from my pilgrimage

by Lorenzo Piccoli

Willy Brandt. When one goes to Berlin, it is more likely to see terror than hope in the city’s recent history. I mean: the Nazi headquarters, the devastation brought by the war, the Stasi and the Wall; the whole story of the city in the last century is made of cruelty and shame. Obviously there are good things too. The years that followed the fall of the Wall were impressive; and there are some stories that are worth remembering. One of these is that of Willy Brandt: I was quite impressed by the small museum hosted by its foundation and I think it is definitely wiser to pay a visit to it rather than to the fake Soviet soldiers posing at Checkpoint Charlie or to the small pieces of the Wall that lie as souvenirs in the city centre.

Wisers. Sometimes Thursday calls for a night in with buddies and whisky. These ten words were a post I have my drafts for five or six months for no specific reasons, I just knew it had to be there. Then I decided to go to Fanø; and Thomas changed his mind too and flew there all of a sudden; and he had bought this bottle of Wisers from Canada because he knew; and when we all got there we drank it while playing cards and smoking cigars. What can I say: it was just meant to happen there and then, and it felt right, and we were all together one year later.

Skitača (in Italian: Schitazza). I remember it was a warm, terribly warm day on August 15th. We had been cycling for about three hours always going up for a tough peak in the middle of nowhere. There was no trace of civilization around us. We had no food, but we were determined to reach the small town on the top of the peak. When we saw these old houses appearing far away they looked desolately abandoned. We checked on the map and we came to the realization that only four people (literally: four people) nowadays live in that town, so obviously we supposed there was no trace of supermarkets, bars, restaurants, or anything of that kind. I remember in that moment I thought I could have died, or at least fainted lying under the sun for days while eaten by  vultures and consumed by the hunger. We reached the town centre guided by desperation more than by hope, and it was then that we heared music. I thought it was a vision and we were going to collapse there. Then we came to the discovery there was a local festival there and it was the only day in the year when all the people from the seaside towns hike up to that abandoned place and share music, beer, beans and sausages. We were in the cyclists’ heaven.