Lorenzo & his humble friends

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

Tag: daniele

Reinventing oneself

Some lessons I learnt after living for two months without a home and spending all my time on trains, planes, and friends’ houses (thanks!). A note for the random visitor: these are just scattered notes I write for myself, not a coherent post.


People seem to waste too much of their time communicating with digital devices. This is an old refrain, I know, but it is scary how people use their phones nowadays – and for what? I have been on trains where all the persons of a family of four never spoke to each other for the whole ride, because they were all incessantly looking at their devices. Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, emails, sms, Twitter, emails, Telegram: even me, I am inundated by applications to chat. I often think of a line of a certain Passenger’s song, we pretend to be friends on the internet when in real life we have nothing to say. As a reaction I have grown increasingly more inept at communicating with my phone. Forget long messages. Rather, I have elected four simple ways of communicating with you: (1) this blog; (2) a short sarcastic message, picture, or video to laugh about; (2) a handwritten letter, for those of you who really matter; (4) a flight/train ticket to come and see each other in person.

Smartphone apps, more generally

There was a moment of my trip when I was craving for a map of Berlin. Until that point I had been getting around anywhere just fine using googlemaps. Sure, the app was working well; but I realised it was my fourth time in Berlin and I still had no idea of how the city was structured and I could not even remember the name of the neighbourhood where I was staying. The way I use googlemaps is just to get to A to B and, as a consequence, I never memorise the information. I made a resolution for myself to start using old paper maps again – like these. It is not for a case that when I was still in Trento I had the ambitious project of creating one. (I failed, but not for lack of trying).

Being a guest

I received precious hospitality by Giallu, Martina, Pietro, Giulia, Jonas. I learnt to wake up in the sun, listen to classical music, treat wooden objects with respect, prepare a smoothie, separate clothes in the laundry machine. But – hei – I am just not made for being a long-term guest. I feel like I am invading someone else’s space. So this experience confirms that I am a bourgeois deep down in my bones. The word bourgeois, as you know, denotes a person that takes for granted the sanctity of property. This brings me to point 4 of my diary.


Niels, who is going to live with me in Torino in a couple of days, says that he wants to have his belongs packed in one simple bag. A-ha: nonsense. Living in Florence for three years I have accumulated an incredible amount of stuff: books, clothes, games, bikes, paintings, a scooter, laptops, tables, all sorts of technology. This stuff -material stuff, really- reflects my personality; in some ways, it is even an extension of it. This is why I feel so strange knowing that it is now scattered around six different houses (err – and I take the opportunity to thank again my friends for their patience).


Material stuff reflects my personality, sure. There is another reason, though, why it is so important to me: it also captures a particularly happy period of my life. So now when I take up Bruti I remember the late evenings playing it with Dani; when I take that one glass of whiskey I remember the night when I was with Thomas and he knew he got into law school; when I look at the little school bus I remember of my improvised journey all the way to Denmark with Iris; and so on: you got the gist. Now – of course you realise I have been bloody sentimental about leaving my home in Florence, but I think that is for a reason. At the moment I doubt I will ever find a place so welcoming, so radiant, so relaxed as that. But then, who knows? When I got there in 2013 I had just experienced Brussels with Mindo, a truly marvellous flatmate and friend. So I was convinced I could not find anything better than that. In fact, half an hour after my arrival in the house Ada and I were fighting -literally fighting- over the consequences of Spanish colonisation in South America, leaving short of words both Jonas, who had rented the cheapest room but was forcefully assigned the most expensive one upon his arrival ‘because you are the last one who arrived and since we have already put our luggages in the other room it be a bit of a hassle to move them now, no?‘; and Dani, who had been accepted in the house at the last minute just because the girl who had been favoured over him turned out to be pregnant. It ended up going swimmingly: they are my closest friends now. So let us be surprised again.

Di capre che trombano

Premessa. Avevo scritto queste righe una settimana fa: stavo per metterle online quando eventi più importanti hanno preso il sopravvento e ho posticipato la pubblicazione. Posso ora confermare che ho effettivamente bucato anche questo appuntamento.


Dani mi ha inviato questa brillante recensione di un film in programma al cinema Stensen facendo riferimento a “capre che trombano“.

Il mio amico E. mi ha raccontato una storiella edificante che dice così. Ci sono due montoni in cima a una collina, uno vecchio e uno giovane. Quello giovane guarda a valle e vede un gregge che pascola. “Corriamo giù e facciamoci una pecora!” – dice al vecchio. E quell’altro risponde: “No, scendiamo con calma e facciamocele tutte”. Fino a prova contraria, i montoni sono bestie che hanno piuttosto chiaro come si sta al mondo. Fare le cose con calma è importante.

E’ una recensione intrigante: potete leggerne il resto qui. Il senso trovatecelo pure voi. Intanto tutto sembra indicare che aggiungeremo la serata allo Stensen alla nostra saga di eventi virtuali, o la lista di attività che nonostante le nostre migliori intenzioni finiamo sempre per bucare – le precedenti: Bob Dylan’s weekSerata su calcio globale e capitalismo finanziarioUno di noi: documentario su Socratescorso di restauro e manutenzione della biciclettaSagra del buco unto.

Estratti privati di comunicazioni ferragostane

From: Lorenzo
To: Dani
Topic: Gestione nostro B&B e review per Sarah
Date: 12 agosto

ciao old sport.

aline ha lasciato questa recensione per voi: Nous avons voyagé en Italie, et avons passé trois nuits dans l’appartement de Lorenz à Florence, c’était vraiment génial. Nous avons eu l’occasion de rencontrer son colocataire, Daniel et sa copine Anna, qui ont été très chaleureux. Ils nous ont préparé un dîner succulent alors que la tempête grondait et s’abattait sur Florence. Nous avons eu l’occasion de boire un verre avec Anna et ses amis. L’appartement était très beau, confortable et bien placé . La chambre de Lorenz est parfaite. Nous espérons pouvoir y retourner et goûter encore et encore au gingerello que préparent Daniel et Lorenz.

io di recensione ne ho lasciato una molto positiva per lei.
invece di sarah e amica cosa scrivo?


From: Dani
To: Lorenzo
Topic: Re. Gestione nostro B&B e review per Sarah
Date: 13 agosto

oh che carine.

Questa cosa che i francofoni scrivano tutte le recensioni in francese sbattendosene che il mondo nel frattempo ha scelto un’altra lingua mi lascia sempre perplesso.

Bah senti, ste due neozelandesi non è che ci abbiamo fatto impazzire. Con me non hanno mai parlato, anzi penso non avessero proprio idea di chi io fossi, ma io non ho fatto nessuno sforzo per cambiare la situazione. Lasciavano la loro traccia per casa con luci accese e vasca da bagno oleosa.

Anna dice “Friendly guest and easy to host”, ma con faccia scarsamente convinta.

Non so, non vorrei creare un caso. Magari di che sono ok ma senza sbilanciarti in apprezzamenti eccessivi.

Daniel et sa copine

P.s. quando ho visto la mail ho erroneamente letto nel subject “review per salah”. Questo per farti capire quanto questa ferita sia ancora aperta, ma ne parleremo…

From: Lorenzo
To: Dani
Topic: Ultime recensioni online
Date: 23 agosto


penso che Tahira abbia lasciato la casa ieri – tutto bene? buona review? – e Alba arriverà oggi. Ho chiesto a Nele di aprirle casa verso le 16.00. Potresti solo controllare che da qualche parte della casa ci siano lenzuola pulite che lei potrà usare? Grazie,


From: Dani
To: Lorenzo
Topic: Re: Ultime recensioni online
Date: 24 agosto

tranquillo sugar daddy, ci hanno pensato Anna e Nele.
Tahira and friend sempre molto sorridenti e anche ordinate, vai con gli incensi.

take care take care

From: Lorenzo
To: Daniele
Topic: Note qua e là
Data: 9 settembre

Old sport,

Tutto bene a casa?
La produzione del gingerello procede?
Alba si è comportata bene?
C’è qualcosa che io possa fare per farti felice?


From: Dani
To: Lorenzo
Topic: Re. Note qua e là
Date: 10 settembre

​Ti rispondo in ordine sparso.

Alba molto bene, tipa in gamba

Il gingerello. Abbiamo un litro di alcool in preparazione, metodo quasi-classico con lievi note di limone e menta. Ho creato hype tra i miei colleghi e dovrei riuscire a piazzare altre bottiglie ma siamo un po’ a corto.
Matteo preme per riunire un consiglio di amministrazione al tuo ritorno per decidere strategie e prospettive future.

La casa va benone. Ada è tornata in gran forma, ha pulito casa tutto il giorno ed adesso tutto brilla ed è in ordine, quasi come quando pulivamo tu io o jonas. Nele costante.

As for me, il curvitt [squadra di basket dove giocava Daniele, particolarmente nota negli ambienti sportivi locali per la sua attitudine alle provocazioni e ad atteggiamenti anti-sistemi] è morto e questo è stato un brutto colpo, anche se tutta la lega uisp sta tirando sospiri di sollievo. Voglio fare un altro surf trip.

Silvano [il vicino] chiede sempre di te, quando torni e che lazzarone che sei, sempre in giro. Di noialtri non gli frega un cazzo.

a bientot

Weekender: meet my Florentine family

florentine family

Can happiness be haggis, neeps, and tatties?

My ride took a bit longer than expected. What was initially supposed to be a short stroll with the bike away from my laptop turned into a two-month journey across four countries and very different feelings. I have, in fact, been thinking a lot about myself, for reasons both professional and personal—but then who hasn’t? It is just that there are people who tend to think about themselves it more than anybody else: generally, it is either those who have a lot of spare time, or those who tend to be egocentric. I am a bit of both.

Matter of fact, I am about to speak about myself and stuff I have done – once again.

First I have ridden my bike. Quite remarkably, I rode with my dad the whole way between Trento and Tuscany. Although we did not make it to Florence because of sheer lack of time, it was a good ride. We had lot of water, huge meals, and approximately 400 km down the way. My dad is still stronger than I am when it comes to long-distance ride, which is not surprising as he does not waste too much energy thinking about himself.

Bike Ride
I have also written. My articles have been published on Unimondo: some of them in Italian (Università, il dilemma dei finanziamenti privati; Mondiali in Brasile, l’importante è partecipare;Regno Unito: una lunga serie di sfortunati eventi; Mondiali in Brasile: dove è la festa?), some others in English (How Eurosceptic is the new European Parliament?; A new deal between the EU and Turkey on immigration rules). But I have gone international too: Iris, Jasper and all the other Orange fella will be proud as my articles have been translated in Dutch (Voor het eerst vuurwerk in Europees Parlement; EU en Turkije sluiten nieuwe overeenkomst over immigratieafspraken).

I have been to the Balkans. First I went to Serbia for a volunteering program. After last year’s experience in Slovakia this year I landed in a town only 33km away from Belgrande. Lying between the rivers Sava and Kolubara, Obrenovac has been badly hit by the floods of the last Spring. I spent two weeks working with a group of international volunteers in the houses that had been damaged by the water and the mud. I then traveled south to Sarajevo, for an immersive three-day in one of Europe’s most inspiring places on the occasion of its international Film Festival. Much more should be said about this experience, but I won’t – not here, anyway.

I have hiked, keeping up with the good tradition started with Manuel and Mindo. This year, after the 2012 and 2013 editions, we managed to put together the whole crew, adding Dani and Giallu, and sleeping in a comfortable refugee, Dolomiti del Brenta. In spite of what Jonas thought before we left, we never got lost, as the pictures of us looking desperately hopeless in the fog can confirm.

Finally, I have read some books. While I am still trying to nail down War and Peace, I have been disappointed by Canada entertained by New Europe, and intrigued by the Consolations of the Forest. The latter is probably one of the richest, deepest, and most honest books I have ever read. Those of you who are into nature, philosophy, and vodka should probably go for it.

And that’s about it. I am in Edinburgh now and will be here for a month experiencing the joy of the local cuisine, the excitement of the upcoming referendum, and the company of some old and new friends. I am planning to make a better use of the blog than the recent past. But if the days keep being as beautiful as today it won’t be easy to keep up.

Questa foto non l’ho fatta con il mio telefonino. Non l’ho fatta oggi. Non l’ho fatta io. Ma rende l’idea.

Apparecchia a tavola

Something to talk about: our vegetarian dinners. You can also call waiting for Mariana.