(The transcript of the event was prepared by Riccardo Piroddi)
Donato Iaccarino, President of Pro Loco “Due Golfi”
Good evening everyone. We have gathered here this evening to present the new novel by Raffaele Lauro, “Dance The Love - A Star in Vico Equense”. Not long ago we received information that the protagonist of the novel and the guest of honour of the evening, dancer Violetta Elvin, will not be able to attend due to sudden indisposition. I am truly sorry about this, because I have read the novel and I fell in love with Donna Violetta. An extraordinary figure. For this reason, let’s start right away. If the Author may allow me, I find this novel even more beautiful the the previous ones. I would like to invite the Mayor to welcome the audience and start the event.
Lorenzo Balducelli, Mayor of Massa Lubrense
Good evening. I welcome you on behalf of the whole Municipal Administration and thank you for your attendance. I also thank the author for his wonderful book. The first book of “The Sorrentine Trilogy”, “Sorrento The Romance - The conflict between Christianity and Islam in the sixteenth century”, I read it all, the second one “Caruso The Song - Lucio Dalla and Sorrento”, not all, and the third one, “Dance The Love - A Start in Vico Equense”, I also read it all. I liked it for the way of telling a story of a special person, Violetta Elvin. I am very sad for not being able to meet such a woman this evening. A woman, who at the height of her success leaves everything for a man, for a land close to us, but, nevertheless, ours for its morphology, which is something that very few people would be able to do. Therefore, we thank her for an example, which she can be for every person. Thanks to Professor Lauro, also for his availability and closeness to Massa Lubrense on many occasions, which I don't mention, as I usually do, because he asked me not to. I have to leave you now due to other affairs: it is the fortieth anniversary of the foundation of the Massa section of Archeoclub Italia. I leave the floor to other worthy speakers, who will certainly know how to properly describe this book. Thank you!
Giovanna Staiano, Solicitor
Good evening and thank you. It is my pleasure this evening to speak and to listen about what other speakers think about this book. I will tell you about my impressions: I am very fond of this book. I read this book quickly and with passion, and it truly engaged me. I have to mention this: I also fell in love with this extraordinary woman. Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to meet her tonight, but there surely will be an opportunity for this in the future. Without taking away the merit of the previous works by Raffaele Lauro, this recent book fascinated me in a particular way. The story of a woman who had the incredible courage and strength to make such an important and radical choice. Back then not many women were able to establish themselves in dance industry, which was extremely tough and selective. She makes it and then resigns from it for love. An incredible figure, which struck me in a particular way right from her early years. She presents herself as a girl, as a woman, as a mother, simple, humble and authentic. She is not a careerist woman who tries to achieve results at all costs, although later on she achieves them without looking for them, just simply with her curiosity, her desire to discover the world, with her studies and her sacrifices. Her whole life was marked by a positive spirit and true feelings, those that made her, one could say, a lucky woman, but not really, because it was the way in which Violetta had set herself in the world. This is what struck me about this woman: the ability to enjoy such real feelings, and not only love, like the ones she experienced with Fernando Savarese, who falls madly in love with Violetta, discreetly and simply, and waits. If it happens. And it happens. He went to see her at the theatre, he didn't court her in an obsessive way. He was there, present, until Violetta decided to make him the man of her life. But there are other feelings described in this book. For example, friendship. Between Violetta and Zarko prebil, a choreographer well known in Italy, with whom in a famous telephone conversation described in the novel she exchanges wonderful words about the meaning of her life dedicated to love, love for a man, love for art, love for nature and everything that surrounds her. So for us the life of Violetta Elvin is a message: the ability to know how to choose in the right time what’s best for her in life. This is, certainly, a great lesson. Violetta has continued to love everything around her, day after day. And this is where the beauty is within the content that can be tasted in this text: the lesson of having to continue to love the most valuable asset that we have been given, life. A little anecdote that I did not know: Violetta’s wedding in Santa Maria della Neve, where I have lived for twenty years. She could have chosen the largest cathedrals in the world and, instead, at six in the morning, in silence, she marries her beloved Fernando in a small church in a small town. This also synthesizes Violetta’s life. Thank you!
Riccardo Piroddi, Publicist
“I could only believe in a god who could dance. And when I saw my devil, I’ve always found him serious, radical, profound, and solemn: it was the spirit of gravity, thanks to it all things fall. Not with anger, with laughter it kills. Come, let us kill the spirit of gravity. I’ve learned to walk: from that moment I let myself run. I've learned to fly: from that moment on I no longer want to be hit to move. Now I am light, now I fly, now I see below me, now it is a god to dance, if I dance”. Good evening everyone. The words I have just recited are not mine. If they were, I would be at the Olympus of thinkers of all time. They belong to a figure in the history of universal thought, of whom I will talk soon. I don’t need to introduce myself, you all know me. I still consider myself a young sapling, a son of this wonderful land, the land of Massa. It is no secret that I have been collaborating for years with Professor Lauro, therefore, in the work, which we present this evening, I know even the exact location of commas. Last year, when not far from here, in the square, we presented the previous novel of Professor Lauro, “Caruso The Song - Lucio Dalla and Sorrento”, I dedicated my speech to Donna Violetta. Tonight she was supposed to be here in front of me and among you, but she was not able to arrive and, in spite of this, with my heart in my hands, I want to say to her that I am going to offer to her not only my speech, but also my soul. On this occasion, I wanted to hold a speech in which to tell you the incredible story, of which I was the protagonist, at all stages that led to the publication of this novel, from interviews with Donna Violetta, in which I had the rewarding possibility to participate, like a novice monk aside William of Baskerville - Lauro, to quote my beloved Umberto Eco, to our friendship, which is a badge of honour that I will have pinned on my chest until the end of my days, to our night-time phone calls, often in English, during which we talked about William Turner, Dante Alighieri, literature and the latest international political events. I would like that, but as the Genevan philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau taught me, who talks about themselves never earns anything! And here, to honour this extraordinary woman according to the best of my few abilities, I decided to wear my best clothes, those of emotional and cultural education, and refer certain impressions awaken in me by this beautiful novel, letting me being lead by the hand by one of the highest spirits of humanity, that I love supremely, and of which I am an enormous debtor, the author of the words that I recited a moment ago: Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. And why exactly Nietzsche? Because, believe me, Violetta Elvin and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche have many features in common, and not only the love for dance. In Nietzsche, dance is a free and liberating activity. Along with music, it is an expression of that dark Dionisian element, as opposed to the bright Apollonian one. To show you these common features, I would like to begin from the event that suggested this path to me in the novel. Mount Comune, Vico Equense: in a breath of natural charm, the young Violetta immersed in visual ecstasy of the Bay of Naples, retraces, in a few moments, and I quote: “The large crater of fire, the prevalence of water, the consolidation of harmony, a work of art that even the staunchest agnostic would struggle not to define divine. From that point of observation of the world, the epic story of life, the birth of pagan Venus emerging from foamy waves, and the fate of humanity, everything became more clear, intuitively, without the need of explanation”. In that moment the young Violetta decided to take control of her life, to give it a new shape and a new direction. A new beginning, i.e. a regeneration. Sils Maria, Swiss Engadina: on a summer moonlit night, Nietzsche, while walking among the lakes that bathe the alpine resort, feels the hint of a theory destined to become one of the cornerstones of his philosophical doctrine: the eternal return to equal. “As there is no creator God who started a world consisting of finite beings, then the world has no beginning or end, it is eternal and consists of infinite beings”. “The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over again and again—and you with it, speck of dust! Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine”. These are Nietzsche’s words from “The Gay Science”, a work from 1882, which he wrote when he was about my age and in which he announced this very theory. Here, let us pause for a moment on that word: gay. It is the key that allowed me to trace parallels between the lives and poetic of Violetta Elvin and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. I picture Donna Violetta’s life as a gay life, precisely in the Nietzschean sense. Nietzsche writes “The Gay Science”, a work that represents the transition from the so-called stage of the free spirit to the mature summit of his thought, influenced by a physical place, by the drunkenness of contemplation of a natural landscape. Similarly, Violetta operates, in the same spiritual context, one lifestyle choice that will allow her to close a period, that of dance, and to open another one, that of love: Dance The Love, precisely. There is more, however, on which I built the comparison between Donna Violetta and Nietzsche, and it refers to my private and personal approach to the events of the two: my debt of gratitude towards both. Nietzsche was one of the greatest formators of my thought. I love Nietzsche because his philosophy is a joyous philosophy, a philosophy of spiritus construens, the spirit that builds, a philosophy of the future. I usually respond this way to the question that I am often asked, about what I love to talk about when I’m with a woman (conversations with women, for a man, are the most wonderful exercise in the dialectics of passion!). I love talking about the future. With women, I love talking about the future! Nietzsche taught me that. Nietzsche has freed humanity from the ruinous scale that metaphysics, from Plato to Hegel, deposited in the history of Western thought. His famous saying, “God is dead”, referring not only to the religious, but in fact more generally, to the metaphysical area, has become the sound of bells, which awoke humanity, opening its eyes to a new era. In “The Twilight of the Idols”, 1888, the philosopher explains in six points how “the real world eventually became a fable”, putting the most ironic, destructive and definitive tombstone on Western metaphysics. I recommend you read it, if you are prepared to debunk all your beliefs. There is a term recurring in many places of Nietzsche’s work: anti-life. It refers, in particular, to religion and old belief systems. My love for Nietzsche has sprouted thanks to this word, because I was able then to reveal what it was and what its opposite meant. A vital that abandons the old and looks to the future. The man, in fact, having repudiated previous mental systems, which forced him to moral slavery, to the anti-vital, having endeavoured and accepted the transvaluation of values, to use his terminology, becomes a vital being projected towards the future, towards freedom. Nietzsche showed what the man and humanity should aim for. Nietzsche was definitely a loving man. A philosophical system like his has as its base necessarily a massive amount of love. In life, however, from that point of view he was unlucky. He loved his disciple Lou Salomé, who refused to marry him, plunging him into a depressive crisis, which, however, was providential, as it inspired him to write the first part of “Thus Spake Zarathustra”. And then, although there is no firm evidence, the unhappy falling in love with Cosima Wagner, the second wife of the famous composer, Richard, with whom, by the way, she came here to visit the monastery of Deserto in the 80’s of the nineteenth century. A great man, a great spirit, a free soul, a benefactor of humanity! A thinker, whom the younger generation today, like mine, should look up to. In an age where many have gone before us without leaving even apiece of rubble with which to build our future, a philosopher who from the doctrinal point of view paved the road to the future, must be revered as a deity! Different than the myths served up by the media today! Now my speech enters the most sentimental part, the most difficult for me to say, because I fear that tears of joy might scratch my face and clog my throat preventing me to talk. I turn to Donna Violetta to try to clarify the reasons for this comparison of her person and her story to Nietzsche: Nietzsche: a vital philosopher, a dancer of the spirit, a man of love, a prophet of liberty, an oracle of the future. Donna Violetta: a vital artist, a dancer of the spirit, a woman of love, a prophetess of liberty, an oracle of the future. I have had the privilege of being able to listen to the stories told with her own voice of her amazing life as a child, an artist, a woman, a wife and a mother. The readers of this beautiful novel will get to know them through the wonderful pages that Professor Lauro has so beautifully composed. Therefore, I don’t want to keep you waiting. This speech surfaced in my mind a year and a half ago, when I listened to her talk about her and her story. Immediately, I linked it to the aforementioned philosopher. Before my eyes of an enchanted young man, she brought, as she did at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow or at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in our beloved London, the philosophy of Nietzsche. “I could only believe in a god who could dance!” Donna Violetta can dance, all right, and I believe in her. These reflections are an altar that I raise for her simulacrum, for her example, for her always young beauty. Her story is the real demonstration of that vitalism Nietzsche was talking about, sustained by love for life, for dance, for art, for a man, her Fernando, for a son, her Antonio, and for a land, our Sorrento and Vico Equense in particular, which blossomed as the most precious flower, the “Lady's slipper” orchid, the very shoe she wore in theatre, like the one that Venus sung by Foscolo in the “A Zacinto” sonnet made fruitful, or in which Dante’s Beatrice came to show miracle. The miracle of her own life, which she has given to this land and to us, its inhabitants. Donna Violetta, philosophically speaking, has made a revolution, not Copernican, as Immanuel Kant would say, but a Nietzschean one. She overcame the oppression of a dictatorial regime, for Nietzsche it was metaphysics, opening her wings towards freedom, towards life. She made the real world, that Lenin, Stalin and communism had built, become a fairy tale. She also operated and accepted the transvaluation of values, having the strength to give up, not like Nietzsche, something that made her a slave, but for her it was even more difficult to give up something she loved, dance, to embrace someone whom she would love even more. She conquered the real freedom: the freedom to love! And she herself became a symbol of freedom. To my enchanted young eyes, often veiled by poets’ melancholy, she is the shining sun, transfigured, transvalued in a Nietzschean way into the sun. “O Virgin fair, arrayed in the sun”, as Francesco Petrarca sung. As in poets’ muses, I see in her all the women of the world, all the mothers of the world. In her heart, there is the history of the world. “I could only believe in a god who could dance!”. Looking at her, so regal, so beautiful, so wonderful, I think of a woman who, I hope, one day can accompany me in life, and then, when I have her in front of me, regal, beautiful and wonderful like Donna Violetta, with trembling heart and trembling legs, like right now I’ll tell her, thinking about her, thinking about her example, thinking about the delicacy and affection that she has always shown towards me, that in the theatre of time, I'll dance my life: you, sun as a stage light and eternity as background! Thank you, Donna Violetta! Thank you, everyone!
Livia Iaccarino, Restaurateur
Good evening. I’ve known Violetta as an extraordinary woman, who came to “Don Alfonso” with her family, but I did not know all these facts that Raffaele Lauro made us discover. Violetta has always celebrated her birthdays at “Don Alfonso”. She used to come, especially on warm summer evenings, when it was impossible to breathe in Vico Equense and we in Sant’Agata gave her not only a physical, but also mental rest, because this coolness of Sant’Agata catches you, it overwhelms you. She was happy. As soon as she came down from the car accompanied by her family, and set foot in the avenue of “Don Alfonso”, she spread her arms and said: “I feel well here! This is the corner where I love to be with my friends and with my relatives.” We are in love with Violetta and Violetta is in love with us. It is easy to fall in love with Violetta. Enough to spend 10 minutes with her and she overwhelms you. She has a crazy sensibility, every gesture is special, and every gesture is an act of love. Also when she walks. Her every step is a thanksgiving to the Lord, because she has always looked to the heavens to thank for all that life has given her. This book has made me very excited, although I was not able to read it all, because I am in full working season. But I was fascinated by what I read. By the extremely touching events from her life. She is a truly extraordinary woman. Only a man with the sensitivity of Raffaele Lauro could have opened this safe, revealing the heart of this woman and unveiling incredible things. We call those books novels, but they are life stories. A novel, many times, is something like an end in itself, but the novels of Raffaele Lauro teach us a story written by people who lived it in person and, I assure you, it is a different story. Thank you!
Nicola Di Martino, President of “La Fenice” Cultural Association
Good evening, everyone! Talking about a book by Professor Lauro is always difficult because you do not know where to start. There are so many varied and complex levels that confound an excess of stimuli: points and counterpoints, harmonies and disharmonies leading to many ways of thought and reflection, among which it is almost a pleasure to be lost. Wandering and wandering, like an unrepentant flàneur plagued by Cafard syndrome that leaves no respite. Also in this last book, “Dance The Love - A Star in Vico Equense”, history is mixed with literature, local history mixes with the great world history in a mélange, or in a cru of a good ancient Bordeaux winery, preferably close to Chateau d'Yquem, so involved in the thoughts of the great lord of Montaigne. The minimal story of people, of outlying villages, like the Sorrentine Peninsula with all his humanity, is intertwined with characters (Lenin, Stalin, Queen Elizabeth, Violetta Elvin Savarese), places (Moscow, London, Vico Equense), mythical sites (Bolshoi Theatre, Royal Ballet, La Scala) in a deeply mysterious game, which determines, surprisingly, and never in a completely understandable way the minimal and major events of human life: forever! Incomprehensible, mysterious, deeply mysterious these events, like the facts of history, masterfully and with supreme irony represented by another great Russian, Lev Tolstoy in “War and Peace”: great strategists and great generals (Napoleon, Kutuzov) during a decisive battle on the ground obscured by fog and night believe they hold frontal positions, however, they are actually lined up from behind, and the victory goes to Napoleon, who acts strategically in harmony with the imagined position. And an increasingly mysterious work of history takes place in Napoleon’s siege of Moscow, with its fire, which inevitably affects the Russian campaign. That is to say, in adherence to Tolstoy, that history is made by great men, yes, but only when they are mixed together and, almost mystically, with the Great Spirit, or the great mystery of the world. This whole premise to affirm inevitable coincidences or, to use a Greek word, Ananke (the need to happen), which connects and weaves the fate of Violetta Elvin with Lenin and his death and sanctification; Fernando Savarese and his family, with unblemished desire to Vasily Vasilievich Prokhorov to baptize the newlyborn Violetta in a Catholic ceremony, in the climate of Soviet sacredness of January 1924. So, perhaps unconsciously, the spirit and benevolent mockery of the great Russian novelist breathe in the book by Raffaele Lauro. To stay a bit longer at the mysterious coincidences of history, what about the fatal attractions for the Land of the Sirens of the various Diaghilev, Massine, Nureyev and Violetta Elvin, to mention only the Russians in the great history of ballet? And here too, the author of the book sends us on other routes, other visible and invisible stories, where dreams and reality, history and myth, light and abyss mingle and shape destinies and lives that seem fables, yet, sometimes they are so dramatically real. A classic ethereal, diaphanous and incredibly beautiful fairy tale of Violetta and Fernando Savarese: amazing and beautiful because it is a real fairy tale of love. The love that moves and determines everything, with the main character, Violetta, who as inimitable artist plays the play of life: an intimate, discreet, light, dreamy, diaphanous and transparent presence on the stage of Vico Equense. Who has been able to see or approach her, except in the night shadows or in the morning while bathing in the sea, like a divine and ethereal beauty, a hypostasis, or like a Diana, whose ineffable vision transforms. And in this continuous scenic representation of the great étoile, in this dance of life and love, one can find a possible response to the incomprehensible choice of Violetta to abandon ballet. And the call to interpret (and only her, her divine figure) the eternal and continuous dance of life and love; to mysteriously illuminate the daily tragedy, compassionately, to soothe the evil and suffering, so ineluctably linked to the human being. And so that, inexplicably, with this bright glare of Violetta or of a verse from Virgil, which cross invisibly the everyday story of all of us, we can restore dignity and survive in this world. It must be said that Professor Lauro placed a scene in the last chapter, this sacred stage representation, like a great choreographer of writing, perhaps inspired by the company of Russian artists whom with an evocative magic he confidentially met while writing this story-novel: the return to the Bolshoi and the ninety-year-old Violetta floating in "The Sleeping Beauty". Entirely credible, quite possible, all real (a divine artist is a stranger to time): the notes of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the incorporeal lightness of Violetta Savarese. The kiss of Fernando Savarese and the warm applause of Massine, Nureyev, Maria Callas, Margot Fonteyn wake us up from the dream. “Dance The Love”, the dance of love, is the imperative that the mysterious and unknowable Supreme Choreographer says through prophet Lauro to Violetta. And it is a representation that continues, and perhaps will always continue on the legendary stage of the peninsula despite drop-outs and leaks of gods and demigods as Norman Douglas complained already a century ago. But one who has visionary eyes and mind influenced by the sacred local history of the myth cannot fail to see Rudolf Nureyev, Violetta Elvin Savarese flutter lightly, light in a Chagallian way, on the heights of Mount Comune and on the small Siren islands, Li Galli, illuminated by white moonlight on the silvery sea. Yes, they returned to live in our places, those gods and demigods. And this is a great hope that the eternal sacred can infuse and permeate our materialistic and secularized society. A society that is secular, materialistic and more. Under the surrounding, dominant seduction of the new demiurge: technology, with its silent totalitarian organization. This is also a reflection stimulated by reading the book. Lenin – Stalin - Violetta - KGB: Violetta was born in the days when the great theorist and precursor of the totalitarian state died. His ruthless and intrusive, effective and inhuman system was perfect. The novel gives the obsessive perception in pages and pages of fearful behaviors and real fears of being constantly spied upon by the omnipresent and omnipotent KGB. Who has not seen the terrible German film "The Lives of Others" (on the Stasi in East Germany); who is unfamiliar with the obsessive need for total control of the person and over the person wherever they are and act, by the totalitarian system, especially the Soviet one impregnated with a spy culture, and also of the need of control as an end in itself; those unfamiliar with the experience and high function exercised by Prefect Lauro in the years to the Interior Ministry may find Violetta's phobias of the KGB abnormal, incomprehensible and redundant. They are, instead, something terribly real, indeed, dramatically real. This is another merit of the book, because it requires us to meditate on this reality which, starting from the Soviet totalitarian system, has been quietly and subliminally encompassing the entire world. We are all daily and often in pleasant ways controlled by the new power of technology. The new demiurge wants us all devoted and following. And it is difficult to escape. Yet, it will be necessary that someone enlightened, in the manner of Aldous Huxley in the afterword to “Brave New World”, gives us critical education, able to make us heretics and wild in this new “civilization”. And being impossible and hopeless, it will be necessary and indispensable: “in spem contra spem”. The story of Violetta Elvin Savarese shows us a path of hope. Her dance, her art, her human divinity are there to testify for us not to surrender, not to be slaves, to continue to interpret the dance of life and love in silence, in discretion, in light and in the night of Moscow, London, Milan or Vico Equense. Or all other places in the world. A great hosanna, therefore, an endless applause to Violetta and a vivid and grateful feeling of affection for Professor Raffaele Lauro, who created this extraordinary piece. Thank you!
Raffaele Lauro, Writer
This is the third presentation of “Dance The Love - A Star in Vico Equense” and I must say that it is yet another crescendo of emotions. From that enchanting evening on the forecourt of the Church of SS. Annunziata in Vico Equense, in a thrilling sunset over the Gulf of Naples, the standing ovation on arrival of Violetta, the thoughts of Tonino Siniscalchi, Salvatore Ferraro and the extraordinary review of Angela Barba. The words of Mayor Andrea Buonocore, and of the Director of the Social World Film Festival, Giuseppe Alessio Nuzzo. That evening was immortalized in a video, which is available on Youtube and I invite you to see it. We believed we had gathered all possible emotions. However, we didn’t. We met on Thursday night in San Martino Valle Caudina in the solemnity of a crowded council chamber among explosions of emotions addressed to Donna Violetta, who could not be present there. There, a young solicitor, my friend, Golda Russo, a university professor, Cesare Azan, who held a masterful speech, the commemoration by Deputy Chief of Police, Prefect Matteo Piantedosi, and Gianni Raviele, the former responsible for the cultural division of TG1, they really involved all. But, in this third stage in Sant'Agata everyone feared that the room was going to be empty and, instead, the room is full of attentive friends and interested people, I thank you, individually, for your presence. Tonight, my surprise, and not because I did not know the quality of the speakers, was to listen to equally amazing speeches. I thank the Mayor, who is always kindly present. I thank Giovanna Staiano, who got emotional to read this book, as she pointed out several times. I thank Donato Iaccarino for the invitation to hold my event within the “Salvatore Di Giacomo” Award, as well as I thank Giulio Iaccarino, who had to leave and could only read the final piece of the novel. Giulio is able to give such power to the words I write, with his deep voice, so direct and so extraordinary, that it amazes me. I thank Livia for her efficient simplicity, she is a true queen, and as all the queens, she manages to give a memorable statement with only a few words. She talked about a safe that I opened. And indeed, Donna Violetta was a locked safe, who had never spoken of herself and didn’t want any outsider present at our conversations, except Riccardo Piroddi, who took care of recording the interviews. Riccardo, as you can see, is in love with Donna Violetta, it is a completely reciprocated love, because Donna Violetta has never taken a step without Riccardo. When she wanted to read the drafts of the book with the intention of correcting those political fragments, the ones in which I spoke of Lenin and Stalin, because of her KGB syndrome, which still haunts her, I was forced to send ambassador Riccardo to her to ask politely not to touch them, because, since I am a man of the institutions, a professor of History and Philosophy, I could not possibly omit those parts, which, as it has been repeatedly pointed out, represent the historical and political substance of the novel. From the safe of Livia Iaccarino to the Chagallian dance of Nicola Di Martino, whom I want to congratulate, and to whom I am grateful for the expressions of appreciation, “a choreographer of writing”, used in the speech. Riccardo Piroddi is the witness of this and my other narrative creations. As you can see, Riccardo is an extraordinarily sensitive, educated person, the one who every morning at 8.15 am picks up what I have written in the course of the night. I test on his body and on his soul the expressive ability of my emotions in writing. I recorded Riccardo on the phone, often moved by what he had read, because I send him emails with everything I write at night, from which he then draws a clear and more readable text. So I'm not surprised that he wanted to pull out of his magic hat precisely Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, because the story of Nietzsche is intertwined with that of my protagonist. The Russian characters of this novel deserve another book! I assure you that Riccardo cannot take it anymore, he is going to resign, because he takes care of historical research not only on the Internet, but also in libraries, because I want him to check everything, as my novels are based on history, just like those, keeping in mind the obvious differences, by Alessandro Manzoni. Everything that I invent on the narrative level, in dialogues, has historical foundation and verisimilitude. Allow me to thank this evening also my sister in law, Marcella, who arrived from Lugano with Raffaello and his fiancée. Marcella is the wife of my brother Nello, he is also close with Sant'Agata, Don Alfonso and Livia Iaccarino. I have a surprise for you. A writer must never lose touch with life and encounters with people. If you can keep your eyes and mind wide open, it can perceive the signals that come from gravitational waves, because brain is able to pick up these suggestions. I come back to Sant’Agata. My feelings of gratitude for this village are very high, not only because it is where my parents lived in their old age, in a wonderful period of their lives, with so many friends, the Ravenna in particular, but because there is a common thread that ties my family with that of Alfonso and Livia. The thread that is represented here, by my sister in law, the wife of my brother Nello who died in 2008, which formed, together with Alfonso, internationally, their images and their reputation of a great hospitality manager, my brother, and a great chef, Alfonso. So, in a conversation two months ago here in Sant'Agata with Alfonso, certainly with the presence of my brother from heaven, I decided to write one more work dedicated to Sant’Agata, which will come out in 2017, entitled “Salvatore Di Giacomo and Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi - Don Salvatore and Don Alfonso”. Don Salvatore, as he was called here, Salvatore di Giacomo, and Don Alfonso, the founder of the hospitality-gastronomic dynasty of Iaccarino. The book will be divided in two parts: the first one to be an epic of Sant'Agata up to the beginning of the twentieth century, the meeting between Don Salvatore and Don Alfonso, who had only just opened Pensione Iaccarino. The second one, however, entitled “Le peracciole”, i.e. the great garden-orchard on Punta della Campanella, facing Capri, belonging to Don Alfonso and Livia, is the natural symbol of their cuisine, their work and their mission. This is an important announcement, Mr President of the “Salvatore Di Giacomo” Award. I went to Agerola to see the Mayor, to retrieve documents. Sant’Agata won a game with Agerola, because Salvatore Di Giacomo stayed in Agerola for years along with composer Francesco Cilea and playwright Roberto Bracco. Then he came by chance to Sant’Agata, he met Don Alfonso, and fell in love with the strascinati and baked potato stuffed with quail and wild herbs. Thus, from 1909 until 1930, he decided to move to Sant’Agata for his long summer stays. The first part of the book will be the epic of the founder of the Iaccarino dynasty, with passing the baton from the founder, Don Alfonso to his 5-year-old grandson, Alfonso. Then, the second part, “Le peracciole”, the symbol of Alfonso’s international success, through a conversation in the enchanted garden between him and my brother Nello celebrates the friendship between the two, the extraordinary friendship between two figures of the Sorrentine Peninsula, which meet and help each other on the tourism scenario of the world. It will be a novel which evokes the feeling of friendship between Don Salvatore and Don Alfonso, and between Nello and Alfonso. In conclusion, I ask you to give a big applause to Donna Violetta Elvin, a woman of courage, a female example, a woman of love! Thank you, thank you everyone!
“La scomparsa di Rosellina Russo, persona da me amatissima e donna meravigliosa, come figlia, come moglie, come madre, come nonna, come cristiana e come cittadina esemplare, mi riempie il [..] Read More »
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A Roma, Senato della Repubblica, Sala Capitolare del Palazzo della Minerva, giovedì pomeriggio 27 giugno 2019, alle ore 17.30, sarà presentata, da autorevoli relatori, la sedicesima [..] Read More »
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