Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Category: blog

Less politics

Politics has vanished from this blog. Bizarre. I used to write a lot about attitudes, elections, parties. Then I stopped. I almost feel ashamed when I read through my recent posts: they are all about me, me, me.

Sometimes I wish I could be like another Lorenzo, who publishes daily witty comments on the political situation. I cannot. Probably I have few things to say because nowadays I spend too little time talking about politics with friends. When I want to write a short commentary here, I hesitate : surely it has already been written, much more clearly and elegantly, by someone else.

Perhaps this is why I do even more lists than I used to in the past. Unlike structured comments, lists know no boundaries. They are open, incremental, potentially indeterminate. I started doing lists of articles to read, lists of podcasts to listen to and, of course, lists of books to read. This way, I redirect my two or three readers somewhere else. Go there, read what she writes, listen to what he says: create your own opinion.

Palinsesto di questo blog

Dear readers of this blog,

I have been having a really hard time keeping up with this space lately. I am in a period of blossoming creativity, one of those times when one is able to work with a festive and fervent spirit. It is for this reason that I am preparing articles, databases, and book projects: everything you can think of, except posts for this blog.

And yet, I have made a list of things I would like to share with you. Drawing upon such list I am hereby delighted to announce that in the near future you will be able to delve into (1) a short note describing the books I read in the last year; (2) an essay discussing who I will vote for in the upcoming elections for the Italian Parliament; and (3) an explanation of how to cook the perfect risotto. In sensing your anticipation for these beautiful posts, I am happy to provide you with a witty picture entitled famous people looking like philosophers (author unknown, but if discovered I would be happy to acknowledge). You will have to do with this for the time being.


Write to you soon.



A quiet place

I still receive letters of protests from readers offended by the dearth of publications on this blog. (Very few letters, to tell the truth: for the most part, it’s just relatives and friends worried about my health). I will not apologise: this is a strategy. I am trying to turn this into a quiet place where few wanderers can take refuge from the confusion and hubbub that rages in the rest of the internet. A place clear of the clutter of unsolicited opinions, loud comments aloud, and extraordinary news.

Occasional note on the sense of keeping this website going

I started writing here to avoid sending the same kind of email to all my friends who were far away. It was 2012. Over time, I slowly turned this website into something different; and as of today I am not sure what it has become.

I still like to think of this as a personal thing, a sort of archive for myself and the people who know me personally. However, last year I had more than 19,000 contacts here, which is not a lot but is certainly more than I originally intended. One thing I learnt from my previous experiences is that quantity is rarely a measure of quality – which is why I never judged the quality of this website upon the number of visitors. In the last four years I always tried to write whatever crossed my mind; sometimes producing really ungainly posts.

I can do so because I have been lucky to find a professional path that allows me to post whatever I want without having to think Oh, wait a second, this might be inconvenient. I wonder whether that will ever change. For now it hasn’t: so for the time being I will happily continue posting very personal, very awkward stuff.

Don’t haunt this place

I see the keys still hanging in the same place: they haven’t moved for a month or even a day. I have been gone for almost a month now. Sure, it was hard to keep up with the posts, it was hard and it was dumb, but it also meant something. Maybe I should do it again. I am back on this deserted space.

In effetti

Sì, in effetti a guardar le date da un paio di settimane a questa parte sto scrivendo poco e male. E’ che  non ho davvero niente da dire.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: the concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. Click here to see the complete report.

Pandoro mon amour

This period of the year I try to take some time off to draw a balance of the year that I am about to let go and try to figure out which kind of life stories I want to write in the months to come. So don’t be surprised if the blog becomes all too personal. After all I imagine – or I hope? – that those of my occasional readers who are more interested in my professional endeavor – what endeavor? – will be on vacation too. I take the chance to assure the least professional of my readers that I have been spectacularly good in following my 2014 resolutions: twelve of them came through, and at the moment it looks like two more (e.g. See Thomas. Get drunk with Thomas) will be accomplished within minutes to the end of the year.


Where were we? Ah, yes, we were talking about a topic of the utmost interest: myself.

I am sure that all my friends who read this blog have been troubled by the steady reduction of posts I have published. I know you guys rightly agonize over the desire to read my stuff. And I very much like to write here; perhaps this is the best hobby I ever had – after collecting telephone cards, getting lost with my Vespa, and practicing some extreme ironing every now and then. So the question is: why did I stop?

The reason is simple: I had nothing particularly meaningful to say. Not that I ever had, really, but in the last few months I did not feel like sharing any of my thoughts. Ironically, I stopped writing right in the moment I put my Florentine room on Airbnb under the name ‘The writer’s loft’, in a striking and somehow odd contrast with the other room I had been renting out with Mindo under the label ‘Business flat close to the EU area’. I have not been very active as a writer since then, really. But at least I walked, read, drank, ironed, did all the kind of things other writers do, and now I am back.

The long absence brought its fruits: it wiped out all the readers of this blog. This thing, a thing that used to have dozens, what do I say, hundreds of readers!, this thing is now empty. Now it is just me, ready to expose myself to the ridicule, improvising like a drunk sailor dancing on a pole in a dark street where there is hardly anyone passing by. And so I will, though maybe not quite literally.

Just like the waves cover the coastal plains

December 24th, last year: pessimism is replaced by fear, fear and anxiety I will have to muddle through 2013 without much of a plan, as I did in 2012. Being an unsettled dog is fun for a while but then time comes you want a prospective, you want a job. And last December, this exact time of the year, I had none.

Then I got a few offers. Rome, Strasbourg, Brussels. I chose Brussels, where I had already been living between October and December. I moved to a beautiful flat around Madou (Voglio tutto) and I found the best flatmate (Tea for the Tillerman) and friend (La Hulpe) one can possibly imagine. In Brussels I did many things, some of which unexpected: I sunbathed (You learn to live with it), observed (Otiose weekendly remarks), ran a hostel (You want to change the world?) and ran myself (Challenge accomplished). I left heartbroken in July (I won’t be near). I then volunteered in Slovakia (Ricostruire) and went to a road-trip in centre-south Italy with Stefania (Travels with Stefania).  At the end of the summer I moved to Florence and after five years of pilgrimage between Trento and other places I finally had the impression I was settling down for good. I now work in a ivory tower (The world of ideas), enjoy phantastic landsacapes (Memorie fiorentine di popolo), live a rather mundane life (Foglie d’autunno), collect aureate memories with my groovy stronzi (While in Budapest) and do research on citizenship (Stuff I do).

And so I have been living in Brussels and then settled down in Florence; but I travelled to other places too. Between January and December I spent days and nights onto my mountains, in winter (Simple question d’equilibre and Monte Maggio and And goodbye) and in summer (Molto). I visited Innsbruck (It’s always the time for skinny-dipping), Munich (Sushi and gulaschsuppe), London and Edinburgh (It was blue), Utrecht (Koninkrijk), Flanders (Vlaanderen), Dinant (Dinant), Dusseldorf (Underwear), Berlin (Warschauer Platz and Clean Lorenzo), Bratislava (Dirty Lorenzo) and Budapest (The dustman and the dancer).

I used this space to write about many things. My posts were reflexive (So here we are), ironic (Revolt, red, and nudity) funny (well, I hope – Buongiorno anche a te and What do you think of), and serious (Radici). I also recklessly shared letters I got from my father (Coltivare i rapporti), Thomas (How much more French you can get), Iris (Follow your heart), and Fabio (All’improvviso). Of course, I wrote many other things too, but these ones are the ones I like better.

At the end some can say it is a waste of time. Yet, when I look back at all these posts that came online in 2013 I have the feeling this is worth something. While writing this, I could finally stop and think of the places, of the people, and all of these invented words. All screaming is my memory of the human love for anything, or anyone and, as the melody goes, if you don’t agree you better get back inside your cave ’cause we’re all dancing with the waves, breaking through the barrier reef, cutting through the carbon sea, approaching the shore.