They’ve met by chance. And both fulfill their dreams – to change their lives by remaining in their native city. The result is a calm and ‘uncommon’ address in one of the most crowded Milan streets hosting a wine bar with a selection of draft wines and Italian gourmet produces plus a bike shop and repairer, Ciclosfuso.
Gianluca and Matteo: your stories in ten lines with a specific hint on how you arrived (and departed) from that Greek holiday…
G: I spent the two last intense years trying to understand what would be the development of my future life, knowing that I would have changed not only my professional sphere but also the personal one.
I have then spent one year to know how to make concrete the Ciclosfuso concept, by joining two apparently different worlds (wine and bike) and trying to convince my nearest world/people it was not a game but a life project.
M: 40 years spent in the sportive world, first by playing football and basket, then by teaching basket as a coach.
Then a casual meeting with Gianluca, two years ago in Greece. With an intense year studying the bike world across Europe and by discovering and tasting good quality Italian wines and good cheese/ham/jam products by local farmers. Meanwhile the research of an appropriate space where to locate Ciclosfuso, as the one we definitely found.
I love to look at poetry, in general, as gardens, countryside… open and natural spaces… How did you approach the poetics of biking while (or after) sipping draft wine in practicalities in a city like Milan and in a district like the one you’ve chosen (close to the frantic and very kitschy nightlife of Naviglio’s) ?
G: The contrast between the very speedy life in Milan and our strong desire to come back to ‘live our life’ and have some spare moments to share: that’s the best receipt.
M: In Ciclosfuso I have joined two of my biggest passions – the bike I use to use in Milan, my home town, and the wine, since always one of the fundamental ingredient at my table.
Imagine we’re sitting at a Ciclosfuso table within the next 5 years: will you be still there and how you will imagine it?
G: Yes, absolutely. But I may be seated at Ciclosfuso in Barcelona.
M: The idea is to develop Ciclosfuso as a franchising project. So that I may image to be in another European city, Barcelona for example!
As former manager and former trainer, how hard is it to promote this kind of activities and especially being entrepreneurs in your city now?
G: It’s the same kind of work but developed in different areas, not so distant from managing office projects as a manager.
M: The choice to combine bike and wine is a bit risky, but we are convinced that this formula will be a winning one. Milano seems to be sensible to these two different ‘souls’.
Which encounters do you normally have in your daily work routine? Please make a portrait of one of these
G: We do meet common people who want to chat normally and listen to our life stories.
M: We do welcome our customers all day long. In the morning, before opening Ciclosfuso, we go grocery shopping, then we clean up Ciclosfuso, and start to make everything ready for the lunch time.
What your city is giving to you and vice versa?
G: Fashion – Culture and job opportunities. Creativity.
M: I would rather say Milan, because it is also thanks to Milan we are having this opportunity and we hope to give back to Milanese some satisfactions.
Describe a fantastic happening you have had in recent time
G: The Ciclosfuso opening evening (June 10, 2015).
M: Until now, since just opened, the most beautiful evening was on the occasion of the opening.
Can you share your favourite cooking passion?
G: I do like cooking, and I like every kind of eating.
M: I’m a pasta lover!
Which is your favourite wine or drink?
G: White wine
M: In this period, I do like white wines with a certain structure. An example is Timorasso.
Which is your music or the book(s) with you now?
G: Cranberries and Harry Potter
M: Bruce Springsteen and Basket Zen
In which way do you try to live “slow”, if you like to do so, in a city as yours?
G: By riding my bike, when I move in Milan – also I order to have the right time to chat with people and look around.
M: By riding my bicycle.
Which is a talent you have and the one you miss?
G: Creativity, precision
M: I was/am talented in the sports – I miss the dialectic…
What have you learnt from life until now?
G: That we should go ahead/try new things and never be satisfied.
M: That we should always learn in our life!