Lauro: My next literary work, "Caruso The Song" is dedicated to Sorrento through the creative miracle of the song "Caruso" by Lucio Dalla, the realtionship of love of Lucio and our city and the intertwining of two extraordinary artistic lives, of Lucio and of the great tenor, Enrico Caruso.

by Vincenzo Califano

He has just sent to print the historical novel "Sorrento The Romance", which will be available on bookstalls and on the web starting in autumn. He is back to work on a new narrative text dedicated to a song by Lucio Dalla, "Caruso The Song", which will come out in 2014. An erupting volcano, our fellow townsman, Raffaele Lauro.

The national politics, to which you have dedicated yourself so much in recent years, is degraded by devastating fires and our country is likely to become a pile of material and moral rubble. And you take refuge in the ivory tower of fiction? Are you trying to escape the reality? To avoid the present?

Absolutely not. I follow political events every day, with a mixture of anger and bitterness. Never with resignation. The word resignation does not belong to my human and political vocabulary. Of course, if the Parliament of the 16th Legislature had approved a tenth of my bills, we would not be at this point. The writing, however, is becoming a soothing, and almost a perspective for the future. The damage produced by the Italian political class is no different from those caused by the Turkish looting of Sorrento on 13 June 1558. My historical novel is a metaphor of the present.

Tell me about the future. In the event of early dissolution of Parliament, therefore, you would you be willing to return?

No person who has covered institutional responsibilities can leave the boat in distress. If the political and personal conditions allow me to work again for my country, I will not avoid a new commitment. Of course not to go to warm the seat of the Senate, but to finally accomplish the objectives of the so far missing reforms, which the Letta government does not seem to be able to deal with.

All your analysis and predictions seem to have occurred, in a pejorative way. Gambling has become, as you mentioned, a national issue.

On this note, the foolishness and not only political, but criminal responsibility of Visco, Tremonti, Monti and the current leaders, will soon have to be addressed by the courts of the Republic. People, exhausted with thieves and embezzlers of gambling, will attack the arcades and destroy the slot machines.

Have you already started working on "Caruso The Song"?

In early August. The work is progressing with great promptness. I am literally possessed by a demon.  The storyline is well defined. I have read and re-read everything written and published about the song, Lucio and the great tenor, Enrico. The charm of these two wonderful artistic lives linked to Sorrento is stuck in my mind. And in my heart. It was the providence to make them meet in the suite at the Excelsior Vittoria. Or a coincidence, for who doesn't believe in God. Artistic creation for me is an act of God, a miracle of Art and Spirit. Millions of people all over the world every day are moved to tears when they hear this melody of love, pain and death. Even those who don't understand the words. Inside Lucio's music there is love of life and acceptance of death, although premature and sudden.

What does this song mean in terms of Sorrento, tourism and the image of our land?

As I have already said: The ideal bridge, which was created between the two songs, "Torna a Surriento" and "Caruso", acts for Sorrento as the most extraordinary and unique in the world operation of tourism marketing. Whoever listens to the two songs, in Paris, London, Tokyo, Moscow, New York, Buenos Aires or Shanghai, they would find an irresistible lure to visit and stay, in the melody and in the description of days and nights of our land.  If I may be permitted to make a mythological inclusion, these two songs are the 'new sirens' calling from Sorrento. Inside them there are all the elements of our beautiful land and feelings which they inspire: the sea, the smells, the starry night, the moon, the lamps, love, life, joy, melancholy, the farewell and death. Tragedy and redemption. Passion and consciousness of limits. A legend.

What was your relationship with Lucio Dalla?

I met him as a young man when he wasn't famous and played at the Fauno Notte, through his great Sorrentine friend, Franco Jannuzzi, a wonderful and prematurely deceased man. I always followed and loved him throughout his artistic career. I met him again at the Town Hall, when we were honoured with the award "Sorrento nel Mondo" (Sorrento in the World). A happy and memorable occasion. A fraternal embrace.

A day after his death you have organised a celebration of a crowded memorial mass in the Church of the Holy Rosary of Capo di Sorrento. You gave a solemn and moving funeral oration, a memory of Lucio Dalla.

It was a mass of thanksgiving to the Lord for the gift of life of Lucio, his art and his encounter of love with Sorrento. A speech of gratitude for what he was able to offer to Sorrento and to the Sorrentines. My new novel depicts the sentiments expressed immediately on that sad afternoon in early March of 2012.

Sorrento, August 2013

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