Lorenzo & his humble friends

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

Tag: slowcai

Camminata appenninica

Until this month of October I had never properly hiked on the Appennini. Finally, thanks to Nicola and the Slowcai I have gotten to know this group of mountains a little bit better.

We hiked from Passo San Pellegrino to Passo Cerreto in three days. Actually, the core group hiked from Lago Santo to Cerreto in four days: Federica and I only joined on Friday night. It was fantastic to arrive at Passo San Pellegrino in the night, park the car in the deserted village, hike with the lights to Rifugio Pradaccia and found a warm meal. As Federica told me, the cabins on the Appennini are simple and welcoming, a bit like those I visited in Switzerland. Less luxurious, but more authentic and cozy, than most huts on the Dolomites. The place is somehow forgotten, which is why it is so charming.

On Saturday we walked from Rifugio Pradaccia to Rifugio Battisti. Before us, the scenic mountains of the Apuane, which were the target of the last three years Slowcai expeditions – two of which failed, with no victims, the last one succeeded. The photos below record the wind and colours. Alas, they do not fully capture the usual light hearted spirit of this company that I adore (Nicola, Birgit, Federica, Francesco, Federica, Alessia, Michele, Francesca, Lorenzo, Ale, Carola). Also, I did not take any picture when we were walking in the beeches but that was quite cool. I am slightly ashamed to confess, but it made me feel like one of the characters of the Hobbit. Our destination, Rifugio Battisti, is managed by a group of people from Reggio Emilia in their 20s. They cook good food and paint beautiful paintings.

On Sunday we walked from Rifugio Battisti to Passo di Predarena, where we had a tumultuous lunch at Rifugio Carpe Diem (on a large road full of motorbikes). We left at 15:00 hearded to Bivacco Rosario, where we arrived at dusk – of course… We set up the tents (figure which one is mine) and the fire and had a good night. I missed sleeping it a tent, even though I almost froze to death. Note to self: buy a sleeping bag for cold temperatures.

We enjoyed spending Monday morning at the Bivacco. From there, it was a short hike down to Passo Cerreto. We rented a van to drive back to the point of departure and then took another three hours to return to Florence.


I am flying above the Alps this very moment and I am trying to remember the names of the places where I have been ski touring in March and April. Your have to know that it has been a tiring start of the year, both mentally and physically. I have been following the priorities set by my work and I have ignored some of the personal plans I had previously being following so rigorously. One of the few exceptions to this otherwise strict rule has been the luxury of ski touring, which I did over three weekends with my parents and with my Tuscan friends.

In early March I went to Rifugio Carlettini, 1300 meters high. I was with Nicola, Birgit, Federica, Paolo, Francesco, or the slowcai group that I met two years ago: do you remember? The first day we made it all the way up to Tombola Nera at 2413 meters; the second day I am not so sure any more (but I think we reached Cima Ravetta at 2266 meters). Those were two days of fantastic weather, loads of food, little snow. Ideas for future excursions in the area: Cengello, Lasteati, Cima d’Asta.


Then in early April I went to Cevedale together with my parents for one day only. The weather was incredible. We arrived on Cima Solda, which is situated at 3387 meters. In the future we will have to go all the way up to the top. For that to happen, we either need to leave our house in Trento at 3AM or get a cabin in South Tyrol.


Getting a cabin in South Tyrol is precisely what we did at the end of April, when we skied on the Glacier of the Similaun, or the place where the found Ötzi. We slept at Rifugio Bellavista, 2845 meters. As a sort of retribution for being too kind to me in the previous two excursions, this time the weather conditions were horrible: cold, snow, and wind. The first day we reached a mountain slope next to the Fineilspitze at 3400-and-something meters. The second day we went in front of the Giogo di Tisa but I cannot really recall the altitude.

Next time I will go up the mountains it will be Summer and, who knows, perhaps I will be with Manuel, Mindo and Giallu again.




Banff 2016

Subito prima di partire per la Svizzera, ho partecipato come volontario al Banff Film Festival World Tour – per il secondo anno. In Italia i gruppi di volontari si chiamano ‘Teen’: in tutte le città, sono generalmente giovani studenti delle scuole medie e superiori. A Firenze, però, l’organizzazione si è fidata di Carola del CAI. Eccoci qui, i teen fiorentini: un gruppo di persone tra i 25 e i 60 anni. Qui sotto quello che probabilmente era il miglior filmato in concorso – secondo me.


Yellow dot in a violet tide

I am adding a long awaited photo story of the months of January and February. This is an anticipation of what you can expect to find in the gallery below:

– two pictures from Berlin – these are courtesy of mr. Gionas von Kalben;
– a lot of pictures by/with Thomas. The reason is explained here;
– pictures of a homeless guy sleeping in our house before leaving for Spain;
– pictures of two male parents-for-a-weekend taking care of their energetic child;
– pictures from the stadium Astemio Franchi – relatedly, it has been a glorious week for Fiorentina;
– some ski pictures – it was about time;
– a picture of a new brand of Grappa we are about to launch.

Monte Sagro

It appears this year I have been better than the previous one in keeping up with my resolution of doing more ski touring. The main reason for it is quite simple: I read a book.

Books have a powerful effect on me. They get me trying to do things I would probably not have enough motivation to do otherwise. I already wrote how after reading Andre Agassi’s Open I started playing tennis – badly, but consistently, for the last year and a half. This year it was the time of Into thin air, by Jon Krakauer. A very fine book, somehow in between journalism and narrative, Into thin air details the chain of events that contributed to the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, when eight climbers were killed and several others were stranded by a rogue storm. I suspect you will hear more about the book in the upcoming months, for it has been turned into a blockbuster, Everest, which is due to come out in September 2015. However, the reasons why I read the book were completely unrelated. I read the book because I was looking for motivations to start using my ski touring equipment that I brought down to Florence one year ago and never used ever since. It worked.

Carola had been offering me ski touring excursions for more than a year now and I always had to turn them down, one reason or another. One week ago, after finishing the book I promised myself I would never say no ever again. And there I was, on a snowy Saturday afternoon, in a cabin above Carrara, just on the border between Tuscany and Liguria, headed to Monte Sagro with Carola and her group of friends – and what refreshingly wicked friends they are! Now, there are at least a couple of major differences between the story of Into thin air and our ambitions upon leaving for the weekend expedition. First of all, we did not intend to go for a 8000 – in fact, we never aimed higher than 1750 m. Secondly, we had no intention of sleeping out in a snowstorm – yes, we very much welcomed the comfort of a cabin. But maybe most importantly of all, we really had no plan of having eight people killed – in fact, we almost killed only one, and not quite. Considering the circumstances and our initial plan, we did pretty well.

Below are some original pictures of yesterday’s expedition. And, I must say, there are at least two shots that are quite stunning even in spite of my poorly developed photographic skills