Your life in a few lines, exactly from where it started
It started in a small village in Basilicata region (Italy).
My parents were often using to go in Roccanova, hosted by my mother’s haunt who once widow settled there in the Fortunato’s estate, the husband’s family (he was the famous South Italy political and economical theories fellow).
That house was full of portraits, of family memories and of any signs of the past. I have been conceived there and born in Naples.
I like to think that the estate determined my passion for history, the familiar bonds, the value of memory. Naples, then, made all the rest by obliging me to play with fire!
I had a very happy childhood with my religious but ‘enlightened’ parents, I studied first at the Jesuit and Barnabite religious schools and then enrolled and graduated in Law at University Federico II.
All my life was flowing in a very cocooning way, even if a certain risk-taker aptitude belongs to me and drive me even if it’s not very appearing.
Your engagement in culture – and in particular in contemporary art – is only equal to the great passion you have to put people in relation and together for the better and for charity reasons.
When did you discover yourself a mecenate, a collector – and a relations builder?
I do not truly see myself as a mecenate or as a collector, but only as a great passionated of life and therefore, as a natural consequence, a keeper and sometime a defender of what is beautiful.
Contemporary art, at which I dedicated big resources, has never been interesting as a form of investment to me, but only and exclusively as a territory to research beauty and humanity.
On the other hand, I really feel myself as a relation builder.
I have a good aptitude in mixing and unifying people sometimes very far and different, in order to create a motivation to reach all together a goal or a mission.
So far and in that same sense, also the passion for contemporary art transformed itself over the time and became a lever to communicate good causes.
Your beloved Naples, the complicated Naples, the city in which you actually live only in your spare time. What do you feel Naples gives to you and what do you give it back? And what about Cosenza?
For sure I live Naples as a very privileged citizen, by not working there and by just enjoying its better sides. In particular I love the intelligence of its inhabitants and the proximity with the sea.
Naples is the city where I can express a bit of my creative soul without taking myself too much in account!
Even with all its lacks and problems we are very aware of as Neapolitans, I think it is a city full of sparks, potentialities and ideas plus is gifted with a gorgeous cultural life and an intrinsic generosity.
Who is able to put himself to listen to it, in the folds of its imperfections, can find the dream of his life. And it’s not a small thing!
Cosenza, for me, means above all work and, so, discipline.
A talent you have, the one you miss
One I have is the capability to ‘feel’ the other in front of me, to get in a quick empathy with the one I’m talking with.
I surely lack patience.
I’m unsettled and intolerant toward any kind of wait.
You as a reader: which ways, which times, which places. Which is the book and the music with you now?
I am an omnivorous reader, any book can donate a small or a big truth.
When I’m reading I’m also impatient, discontinuous and intolerant.
It can happen I start a book, I leave it and then I take it back after a long time.
The book I have always with me, meaning that I never stopped to read it because to store it in a shelve would mean more or less to renounce to the knowledge, is Memoirs of Hadrian (a novel by Marguerite Yourcenar).
It can teach the prudence and, all at once, the braveness of being imprudent.
When it comes to music, I listen everyday to Battiato, or Guccini or De Andrè. Also Dalla and De Gregori. For jazz or classic music (I also love), I need to go in a club, a theatre, an auditorium or a church to listen to it live.
When I’m at home, surrounded by my four walls, I need words. Conveyed by a very human voice accompanying me.
Where do you go when you like to slow the pace, if you like to do so sometimes?
Yes, I like to slow down the pace sometimes, but I do not have to go in a precise place.
I just need to take specific agreements with myself and push less on the accelerator.
Sometimes this becomes a priority, either physical and mental.
After I’d slowed down, it can happen I go back over the past years and find astonishingly again some feelings which were only a little bit dozed off.
This said, when I really want to distance myself from the daily life, there is no other place but the sea. The sea gives me peace.
Which are your favorite food and drinks?
There isn’t nothing I do not eat happily.
Of course I have my favorites, as raw fish, oysters, bollito (a special mix of extra cooked meat served with stock and sauces) and, as any good Neapolitan, the ragù (extra cooked pasta sauce with a strong base of mixed meat) and the parmigiana di melanzane (stuffed eggplants cake with mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce)
As for drinks, I love a good red wine but I am especially an avid drinker of water.
I start in the morning when I wake up, I end before getting asleep.
I love to toast with bubbles, my friends know that.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Ah, I can’t imagine it.
I hope to keep the same enthusiasm I express now.
Where? I hope to be, maybe, in my city or in Paris. I’ve always dreamt to spend some years – two or three, not more – in an apartment located in Place des Vosges.
And to live like a flaneur.
But, then, who knows what in ten years…!
What did you learn so far from life?
I learned that we have never to entrust someone else for our happiness, it would mean to give a responsibility and a power to who does not deserve it. And, as someone told already, happiness is not a goal to reach but a path to follow. We started to walk.