Lorenzo & his humble friends

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

Tag: via ponte alle riffe 39


[dal lat. salax -acis, propr. «pronto a saltare addosso, pieno di libidine», der. di salire «saltare»], letter. – 1. ant. Che eccita la libidine, afrodisiaco. 2. Lascivo, licenzioso, piccante: serata salace in Ponte alle Riffe; Johannes se ne è uscito con una storiella salace. 3. Con uso improprio (per accostamento paretimologico a sale, salato), mordace, pungente: un commento salace; una tesi salace. ◆ Avv. salaceménte, in modo salace: una battuta salacemente allusiva.

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.

Sembra di stare a Roma

It took us six months longer than initially announced, but we are now moving out from our house and we are leaving Florence.

It is a huge change for me: this has been my life for the last three years. I cannot imagine a better place and a better routine than this. But as I have written previously, I am a bit like a bike: balance only comes when I am in motion. So off again.

Before moving to the future, I wanted to take a second to recollect some thoughts on the past. Daniele and Anna have been my point of reference since I moved here. I am not going to bore you with the usual sentimental rants: Daniele is a brother to me, full stop. Rationally, however, I can identify those things that brought us together: we shared the same silly irony, the cultural references (boris, stories about panache, impressions, suicidal bunnies), the desire to take up little nerdish things and get passionate about them (poker, bruti), the striving for new projects (gingerello, cineforum, hostels, dinners and presents) and plans for the future (morocco, dolomitesmaremma, poggio la noce, pelago – am I the only one to see a pattern here?). With him, just like with Matteo, it was a constant sdrammatizzare. (It is term that I won’t bother translating in English). Looking back at these experience I realize we always involved other people. It is going to be a lot harder without him, and Ada, Jonas, Meha, Nele, and Markus.

The house, of course, was special also because it came with a certain magic of itself. The last few days we were packing everything and cleaning up the storage room and the mezzanine. It was a bit like public works in Rome: any time we were moving something some strange memories from the past would emerge. I will write more on this in the next few days, as I will officially move out next week and I will spend some days in Ponte alle Riffe 39 alone with all my demons.

Before that, I am off to Switzerland for the hardest bike race I have ever done, with the worst preparation I could possibly have, and with a very messy road trip ahead. The red team is on the move again. I am very happy I am going to go.


Looking at this blog I couldn’t help but notice that there have been many serious posts in a row: So it might be about time to break this virtuous chain. What better opportunity than this to fully unveil the mysterious product I sneakily mentioned in May and June. Ladies and gentlemen: I am pleased to introduce the colour of genuine company, our late 20s and Florentine walls: Gingerello. It stands for optimism, gentleness, spontaneity, but also duplicity, envy, and, ultimately, amusement.


A more mundane description of this product would be the following: home-made drink with 35% alcohol in it and -guess what?- plenty of ginger, limited production, and exceptional branding. This is a collective endeavour of myself, Dani and dr. Biraghi – for the fun of it. We presented Gingerello to a selected audience on Friday last week. These are the pictures. If you like the idea check out our Facebook page or write me.


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


If you ask me to read Italian, it’s only fair I send you some German poetry – bam!
Jonas von Kalben, 2015

Wie jede Blüte welkt und jede Jugend
Dem Alter weicht, blüht jede Lebensstufe,
Blüht jede Weisheit auch und jede Tugend
Zu ihrer Zeit und darf nicht ewig dauern.
Es muß das Herz bei jedem Lebensrufe
Bereit zum Abschied sein und Neubeginne,
Um sich in Tapferkeit und ohne Trauern
In andre, neue Bindungen zu geben.
Und jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne,
Der uns beschützt und der uns hilft, zu leben.

Wir sollen heiter Raum um Raum durchschreiten,
An keinem wie an einer Heimat hängen,
Der Weltgeist will nicht fesseln uns und engen,
Er will uns Stuf’ um Stufe heben, weiten.
Kaum sind wir heimisch einem Lebenskreise
Und traulich eingewohnt, so droht Erschlaffen,
Nur wer bereit zu Aufbruch ist und Reise,
Mag lähmender Gewöhnung sich entraffen.

Es wird vielleicht auch noch die Todesstunde
Uns neuen Räumen jung entgegen senden,
Des Lebens Ruf an uns wird niemals enden…
Wohlan denn, Herz, nimm Abschied und gesunde.

Herman Hesse

Riffe 39

La scorsa settimana smaltivo le conseguenze del sabato notte passeggiando lungo il Mugnone, che poi sarebbe il simpatico rivolo di ochette, acqua e nutrie che scorre pigramente a venti metri da a casa mia. Penso sia stato allora che ho finalmente capito: siamo destinati ad andarcene. Per sempre. Ci sono stati momenti in cui abbiamo pensato che saremmo rimasti all’infinito ed abbiamo smesso di preoccuparci del domani. Ma ci sbagliavamo: oggi è già domani, come si intitolava un film mediocre di pochi anni fa. E mentre torno a fissare il Mugnone penso che dopo alcuni anni di relativa quiete il fiume dell’esistenza si prepara ora a lasciare il vecchio letto alle spalle per scorrere in una direzione nuova.

Non parlo della nostra morte, un fatto comunque certo e inoppugnabile, ma della mia casa a Firenze. Tutto sembra indicare che a dicembre 2015 ce ne andremo tutti e quattro, Lorenz-Dani-Ada-Nele. For good. Sono stati due anni bellissimi, forse i più belli della mia vita. Ora restano ancora sei mesi e poi via, prepariamoci a ricominciare ancora una volta tutto d’accapo.

Un fine settimana di giugno dei ricercatori in Maremma

The material provided will be applauded with great enthusiasm by your devoted followers“.

Tosan Kraneis, 2015


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.

Dr. Nefario

I regard myself as a very modest person and as an excellent chef. Unfortunately, though, my cooking skills occasionally abandon me for reasons that are yet unknown. The consequences can be disastrous, especially for the people who happen to be around at the time. This happened only once last year: that was when I invited Irene and Fabio for dinner. A bit of context here: unlike Fabio, who at the time was already a regular guest of the house, Irene had never been at my place before; and, unlike Fabio (with my greatest respect for him), Irene has this habit of behaving like a very polite person when she is with people she does not really know well. So at the end of the dinner, when I accidentally dropped on the table some brownies I thought I might had overcooked but I was hopeful they could still be good, upon trying one and still realizing the taste was awful Irene must have felt she could not really spit it out and she kept chewing the definitely overcooked brownie for a good minute or two. That went on without anybody really realizing until Fabio also picked one (“Ah, famme provà ‘sta delizia“), spitted it out right away and ran to the toilet screaming horrible slanders to the cook. Only then Irene felt authorized to gently spit her cookie too and declare it could, in fact, have been better.

Anyway! This episode remained buried in my memory until two days ago, when I watched an entertaining movie for kids (not that I do that often, but believe it or not I was taking care of a kid and watching Despicable Me seemed the most logical thing to do after the kid stormed my room, my house, and an entire park). The following sequence from the movie immediately stroke a cord.


I now like to imagine myself as Dr. Nefario and Fabio and Irene as two yellow Minions. I wonder if they would happily share this image too.