Lorenzo & his humble friends

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

Tag: firenze

Pédaler avec charme

I have received a few messages from readers complaining for the abrupt interruption of publications on this blog. To be honest, it is mainly relatives worried about my health – a reasonable concern in light of recent events and previously expounded theories. Unlike my blog and Aston Villa, I am still doing fine. In the last few weeks I have been traveling. Let me sum up so I myself can keep track.

First off to Spain. It is a shame I do not have a good camera, because there are so many vivid imagies I should have captured. Instead I only took a picture of a book which I found in a museum of photography. I thought it was funny that it appeared randomly open on a picture of South Tyrollean valleys. Anyways. I was in Madrid for work and I stayed in a room in Lavapies, arguably one of the city’s most vibrant, alternative, and popular neighbourhoods. My stay was courtesy of Pedro, whom I hope to meet soon. Then down to Sevilla, also for work: I could barely appreciate La Giralda, el Alcazar, la Torre del Oro, el Guadalquivir, which I had already seen in 2009 in a torrid day at around 45° when I was living in Granada with Anna. This time my mind was closed, much more closed than it used to be, so I only had a remote glimpse of the exotism, the monuments, the women, the fiestas. As a sentence written in a lost book, todos hellos parecian confabulates para arrastrar a los centavos mas alla de lo que los limited que podian proportioner una domesticate imagination.

Then back to Florence. Unfortunately I had to cancel my participation to the Florence Gran Fondo which took place today (sic), because I am away. However, I still managed to go on a couple of long rides with Giallu and Bjorn. It is probably safe to assume that I have ridden more kilometres in 2016 than in the previous three years combined. And it has become somehow addictive.

Cycling is really becoming a thing for me. I am spending too much money buying fancy outfits, too much time watching highlights of professional races, too much energy studying stories of old champions.

The video above is about the story of a Swiss rider, Hugo Koblet. And it is probably fitting, since I just moved to Neuchâtel to work on my PhD dissertation – hint: that’s why I had to miss today’s Gran Fondo in Florence. Here, again, I have to thank Jean-Thomas, who made my stay possible and provided such gorgeous looks on the lake.


And the whereabouts of Florence

In September I brought my road bike to Florence. (I wrote something about it already). Somehow unexpectedly, I then managed to use it very consistently until a month ago, when my muscles decided it was about time to stop working properly: after exploring the whereabouts of Florence and getting ready to travel further away, my riding adventure had to come to an abrupt halt. But I can’t complain: Tuscan fall has been kind to me, my bike and my occasional riding partner Giallu. These are some pictures I took while on the road.

For those of you who are wondering. Most of my acquantances have this bizarre idea that I do a doctorate, therefore I do not work. To the surprise of many, I still have regular working hours and this is the reason why I generally ride my bike early in the morning just before sunrise or late in the afternoon just before sunset. This is also the reason why, apart for some occasional fog and thunderstorms, I often got a stunning light to which, unfortunately, my mediocre does not fully pay justice.

Luci e colori di una Firenze d’inizio estate

Ricordi della Firenze di giugno con un intermezzo romano calato a casaccio. Per una volta tanto sono foto di luoghi più che di persone. Le riguardo ora che a Firenze non ci sto più [sic].

Wait just one minute here

It must have been the big mural on the wall, ‘Veneto Indipendente‘; or maybe those notes from out there; or the mountains making their appearance from far away. Whatever it was, I cracked down in tears. The last time it happened was a few months ago, shortly after Thomas left. Back then I started sobbing when I was in my Institute’s canteen: a rather embarrassing scene. At least this time I was on a train and nobody knew me. Or so I hope. The other passengers must have thought I had lost a relative or something. Instead, I was awakening some recent thoughts. Like the image of leaving Florence knowing that when I will be back some people won’t be there any longer. And the image of Jewish Maariv; the lights from the Opera House; the letters of hope and those of despair; the long walk like a group of hobos and the bus-ride we never got. It took some minutes to rebound, until I remembered we always find a way to fill our voids, happily ever after.



Momenti rubati

E così anche la mia seconda primavera fiorentina sta volgendo al termine. Alcuni ricordi: non necessariamente i migliori, ma quelli in grado di raccontare tante piccole storie.


Ogni tanto servono anche riflessioni personali e sentimentali e ti avviso subito, cara lettrice, che questa è una di quelle bombe sfacciatamente melodrammatiche che scrivo il venerdì sera dopo una lunga discussione a tavola.

Prima di tutti è stato Jonas e già il suo addio fu piuttosto melodrammatico. Tra pochi mesi Dani tornerà all’estero e questa volta sarà per qualche anno, se non per una vita. Ada partirà a gennaio e Nele anche. La maggior parte delle persone che hanno arricchito la mia vita a Firenze, da Martin a Fabio, Niels, Mariana, Anna, prenderanno il volo tra agosto e dicembre. Perfino i fiorentini, penso a Giallu, potrebbero andarsene. E io, che come sempre non ho ancora un programma definito [She said, “Where d’you think your going with that look upon your face / He said, “I’m going nowhere, would you like to come too”] non so ancora dove sarò. Forse dopo tutto anche io dovrò dire arrivederci a Firenze, questa città bellissima che mi ha accolto come una amica forte e virtuosa fin dai primi giorni. Da quando ho compiuto ventun anni ho sempre cercato di muovermi velocemente: non ho mai avuto difficoltà a stringere nuove amicizie e staccarmi sapendo che la vita è breve e va vissuta per tappe, senza fermarsi troppo a lungo nella stessa medesima situazione. E anzi, mi sono divertito a ricominciare daccapo anno dopo anno. Eppure questo posto, queste persone: non sono sicuro di essere pronto al distacco. L’unico modo di tirarmi su è una canzone che passa in questo momento alla radio e mi fa venire in mente una clip particolare: la emulerò, ballando ai tempi passati e quelli a venire.

Foto di un pirlotto che corre

There are times when I start off very motivated with an ambitious resolution. And then I forget about it. Then there are other times when I start taking my resolutions a little bit too seriously. I experienced the former situation when I forgot to run a race, which was one of my resolutions for the year 2014. Instead, I am afraid I am going through the latter situation now.

So in the last few months I got a little bit fanatic about running races. I started in December with the Firenze – Fiesole – Firenze (17k), then in April I ran the Firenze Half Marathon (21k) and the Maratonina del Partigiano in Sesto Fiorentino (13k); finally, I signed up and completed the DeeJayTen (10k, as the name intuitively suggests) which was held in May – yesterday, in fact.

The thing with these races is that there is a local NGO whose photographers attend every single event and take plenty of pictures of all the participants, even the least professional ones like me. With a contribution of 20 euro everybody can sign up and download them. Which I did, so that now I can keep track of the evolving savage expressions in my eyes in the pursuit of my resolutions.

Disclaimer: the second last is a picture of me taking a sip of Gingerello just after crossing the finish line of my last race. Woah, what a refreshing experience that was. If you want to know more about Gingerello, stay tuned and keep reading this blog.

So long

last ride

Post scriptum: now that he is gone, this song keeps Thomas alive in my mind. At first I thought it would have been lame to put it on the blog, not least because quite a few people assume we are a covert homosexual couple – for the records, we are not. But then I realized the song was originally dedicated to a dog. There is no better match, Thomas the sundog shall forever be pleased.

Step two

There is no step two

I am running the Florence Half Marathon tomorrow. Which might not be a good idea, for the reasons I am now about to explain.

I started off very ambitious, about two months ago. I changed my old running shoes and I even printed a personalized training table, which I never read because it was in German. I went running twice. And that was it.

Then around the last week of March I had my epiphany. Hei, I am actually running a half marathon in two weeks – crap. And so in the following five days I tried to catch up with the amount of training you are usually supposed to do in two months. On Tuesday I run for almost three hours in a row and I was just glowing. It seemed like such a good idea.

Turns out it wasn’t. I woke up on Wednesday with a pulled muscle, which got much worse over the next couple of days. Accordingly, I have not been able to run for the last four days before the race and I am not sure I will be able to do so tomorrow. But hei, I will try and I will go Barney style.


Until one week ago my objective was 1h 45′, but given the evolving circumstances I would still regard finishing the run in less than 2h a respectable achievement.