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A Lombard who lives in Umbria and tells the Sicily of Commissioner Montalbano: “In Umbria there is only the sea, but for me it is not a problem, so I can live in Sicily when I turn the series”.

Alberto Sironi was our guest, and with him we had a chat on the occasion of the Fa ‘la cosa giusta, to discover all the secrets of the most famous commissioner in Italy. The director of the record – almost twenty years behind the camera of the series with an average of 10 million viewers – was trained at the drama school of Piccolo in Milan where, under the guidance of Giorgio Strehler, he began working as an actor in small theatrical parts. In the seventies he began collaborating with Rai as a writer and director: after a series of experiences as director, at the end of the nineties he arrived Commissioner Montalbano, based on the novels written by Andrea Camilleri.

 

Alberto Sironi

Now you live in Umbria: what is your relationship with this region?

I married a umbra and now I live here. Initially the Umbrians are a bit ‘closed – this must be said – but then when you get in confidence with them they are friendly people. I would very much like to tell a story set in this territory.

Her career began in the theater with Giorgio Strehler: how much did she use this school to make television?

In the six years I have been with Strehler, at the Piccolo in Milan, I learned a gym that facilitated my work on television; I also prefer actors who have done theater, it’s easier for me to work with them.

Tell us a secret: What does it work in this tv-series?

This success continues over time because the public loves the stories of Andrea Camilleri. Andrea tells the characters, describes the environments, tells a type of world set today, but that is actually a child of his world of many years ago. The stories thus become somewhat historical. We have removed the cars: there is no one in our films on the streets, they are deserted. Commissioner Montalbano has a car that was old since the first film came out. We have created a sort of magical world to support Camilleri’s way of narrating. This is what the audience loves. Another thing that appreciates a lot is the desire to live well with the Commissioner. Italians want to eat well, they love women and they need their friends. When the audience waits for the release of a Montalbano film, it is as if waiting to meet a friend.

Do you think the success of the series drags the literature or is it the other way around?

This is difficult to establish. Surely we have helped to sell more than normal publishing, but the character of Montalbano was already quite popular. Camilleri started writing in 1997, we started shooting a couple of years later. They are certainly two different ways, there are those who love the literary genre who the film, so it can not be established.

 

Montalbano is broadcast in over twenty countries around the world: did you expect all this?

When we started, nobody could imagine the success that Montalbano would have had in Italy and in the world. Today we shoot in 4K, a technically advanced system, but until a few years ago – by my choice – we were shooting in 35 millimeters: this allowed us to have a perfect product, with more definition and depth of field. In this way we have conquered the US market and beyond.

Have you ever thought about leaving the series?

I still like Montalbano, but I do not think it will last that much longer, maybe even two or three years.

Does he want to tell us some behind-the-scenes curiosity?

The first that comes to mind was when Belen Rodriguez arrived to shoot the episode in which she was the protagonist. There were people everywhere waiting for her: so we decided to have her arrive on the set a day late from the expected and on board an ambulance.

Will Montalbano ever marry Livia?

No, he will never marry her.

Giuliano Giubilei, Perugino DOC, journalist and former deputy editor of TG3, tells his Perugia, where he was born and where he took his first steps as a columnist for Paese Sera; the city with which it maintains a strong bond, despite the forty years of distance: «I have been living in Rome for a long time, but I will never forget the wind of Tramontana in Corso Vannucci. The relationship with these places has never stopped: a Perugino will always remain a Perugino».

 

Giuliano Giubilei

So I can only ask you this question: what is your connection with this region?

I was born in Perugia and, although I have not lived in the city for more than forty years, I have maintained a strong bond: I have a relationship with these places that has never stopped. In Perugia I had my first experiences, including work; I had my first friends and I lived my training as a man: after all, when I moved, I was twenty-five. A Perugino by birth will never become a Roman by adoption.

You are president of the Festival delle Nazioni of Città di Castello: how important are these kinds of events for the region?

They are very important, they make Umbria known in Italy and in the world. Three of them are fundamental: I’m talking about Umbria Jazz, the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and the Festival delle Nazioni in Città di Castello. These are the manifestations which make the territory alive and allow it to be appreciated outside. Each edition is dedicated to a nation and this allows you to bring in Umbria artists who otherwise would never have come. The festival is also very popular with foreigners, who in summer live in the Upper Tiber Valley and in other areas of the region.

How was this last edition of the festival?

A great success! Last year we celebrated fifty years with a record number of spectators and collections. Well, this year it went even better. The next edition will be the twelfth under my direction and we plan to host China. In the past only on two occasions, we came out of Europe, hosting Israel and Armenia. With China, we want to expand even further.

What does Umbria need to make the leap forward and get rid of the reputation of Tuscany’s younger sister, both in the infrastructural and in the cultural field?

I do not think that Umbria is the younger sister of Tuscany, it is not inferior to any other region. Regional policy has invested heavily in culture and in promoting various festivals and events; obviously it is always possible to do more. As far as infrastructures are concerned, the railway structure must certainly be strengthened: Rome seems far away, in addition to the fact that it takes two and a half hours to reach it from Perugia. In addition, we it is necessary to improve the airport: Umbria cannot be isolated!

Through your journalist’s eye, what is your opinion on Perugia and the region? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Its greatest weakness is its closure. I tell you an anecdote: I graduated in Contemporary History with Professor Fiorella Bartoccini, who was a prestigious name and she was leading figure at the University of Perugia. One day she said to me, «Do you know I’ve never been invited to dinner by a Perugino?» This is to make people understand what I mean speaking about closure. Among the strengths instead there is the concreteness and the solid character of the Umbrians.

Do you have any significative story related to your work and to Perugia?

I’d like to tell how I started my career as a journalist. In 1973 I joined Paese Sera: the newspaper had an office in Perugia. One day, while I was walking along Corso Vannucci, a friend of mine said to me: «I am working as a journalist at Paese Sera but I do not like it, would you like to take my place?» Obviously, I accepted without hesitation. Firstly, I dealt with news in the judicial area, eventually with local political issues. Perugia, in the seventies, was a very lively city, full of culture; there was a close relationship between the community and the foreigners who lived here. Unfortunately, it went through a deep change like all other Italian cities, but it should return to play the role of capital of an important region, both in cultural and social fields.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

People who visit it want always to come back, it is serene and characterized by landscapes shaped by man.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

The cold mornings, lashed by the Tramontana in Corso Vannucci.

 

«The job of journalist gives you the opportunity to tell stories and each story is different, it enriches you and brings something into your life».

Alessio Zucchini, journalist, correspondent of Tg1 and former conductor of Unomattina, takes a picture of Umbria, where he was born and where he keeps memories related to his family and his childhood friends.

 

Alessio Zucchini

What is your bond with Umbria?

I have been living in Rome for 18 years, but Umbria is, and will always be, the place of my family and my childhood friends. I do not go back as often as I would like, but it’s always in my heart. I was born in Umbertide and stayed there until the end of high school, then I went to Turin for the university and I came back to Perugia to attend the Rai Journalism School.

As a journalist and observer of reality: what is your opinion on this region?

I consider it as a happy island, a still peaceful place and a true explosion of colours. Of course, it must be said that it should begin to open its eyes a little: it should become more dynamic on some areas. It is closed on itself and the media do not help.

Do you live in Rome, from the outside how Umbria is perceived?

Obviously, as always happens, those who do not live in a place always find it very beautiful. The Romans, for example, have a positive opinion of Umbria.

Your parents have a radio, Radio Free Wave, so you have always lived in the world of information. Why did you decide to do this job?

I was born in radio. As a kid I used to spend Sunday afternoons with radio commentators, then I talked, recorded and mixed. I had a lot of fun. Obviously this also helped me to choose the profession of journalist. But above all it was my curiosity and the desire to tell the world. I’ve always been a curious guy with a passion for travel.

Is there a work experience that particularly affected you?

In my life I have done many jobs, from the waiter to the night porter in a hotel when I was studying in Turin, but journalism is the job that gives me the opportunity to tell stories every day. Every time you go out for a service or do an interview, discover something new: a life, a story, an experience. I could say that the last service I did was very engaging and a strong experience: I was in Libya in the detention centres for migrants. They are real prisons, claustrophobic places. When you come back from these places you are richer in experiences that you will hardly forget.

You were presenter of Unomattina, and correspondent too: what is the role you likes best?

The envoy certainly, because you can tell stories. But I admit that I like to vary, so the role of presenter, both of a television program and of the news program, were fun and interesting.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Charming, calm, sly.

The first thing that comes to mind thinking of this region…

Affections, family and friendship.

«From the green heart of Italy to the heart of everyone».

Serena Scorzoni is from Perugia and one of the most famous faces of Rai News 24. Enter our homes to tell us about daily news and, as a careful journalist, she couldn’t avoid taking a picture of her Umbria. A land to which she is very fond, but she has a critical attitude towards Umbria too “Politics have never had the courage to tackle the problems that isolate our region geographically. They don’t care about it, until they’ll face the harsh reality, I hope they’ll wake up”.

 

Serena Scorzoni

Serena, first of all: what is your relationship with this region?

My parents and my family live in Perugia. I therefore have an indissoluble link. Here there are my roots, but I decided to put myself away from the security of my land.

Thanks to your work, you tell the reality: how do you consider the Umbrian reality? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Umbria is a wonderful land, but like all things full of light, there are also shadows. I would like it to be more open and welcoming, less rough and closed. But it is for me the place of the soul.

How would you describe it, apart from the green heart of Italy?

Art, spirituality, food & wine, but also the tenacity and courage of the Umbrian women and men. I think of the many companies, our fellow countrymen who made themselves known in the world because of culture, science and  entrepreneurship. From the green heart of Italy of Umbria to the heart of all.

Several events, I think of the earthquake and the Meredith case, have offered a vision of Perugia and of Umbria not entirely true, or maybe yes: what do you think?

I followed closely the dramatic story of Meredith and the whole media circus that for years has told a part of the story. Of course, the crime has given a very negative effect on our city and our region. It tore a veil of hypocrisy on the idyllic image of Umbria. Since then, politics have not had the courage to tackle the knots that isolate our region geographically. I mean that everyone sat on a vision of convenience, until they’ll face the harsh reality. I hope they’ll wake up.

You attended the RAI Journalism School in Perugia: what would you recommend to a youngster who is thinking of  undertaking this creer?

My advice is twofold: wear comfortable shoes to tell the reality of the street and never stop learning what journalism means.

You worked for a long time for the Tgr Umbria: do you have an amusing anecdote – which you’d like to tell us, which happened during that period?

There is one about the live coverage from Gubbio on the occasion of  the “Festa dei Ceri”, I was literally thrown into the atmosphere of the event. If I think about it, I still laugh today.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Sun, heart, love… No joke: quality of life.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

The sunset on the Trasimeno Lake.

«Insist, persist, reach and conquer»

This is the phrase which represents Fiammetta Rossi most. She is 23 year old, from Foligno and she is studying law at University. Last March, Fiammetta won two golden medals at the University World Cup shooting in Malesya: one in the Women Individual competition, the other in the Team competition. “Insist, persist, reach and conquer is a phrase that my grandfather used to tell me and in which I believe very much, so much so that I tattooed it”.
Fiammetta – which is part of the Golden Flames Sports Group – is carrying on the tradition of family champions in shooting, after grandfather Nando and dad Luciano, starting by chance this discipline: «For nine years I rided, then something changed».

 

Fiammetta Rossi

What is it like to have two golden medals around your neck?

It is something unique. I trained a lot for this and Iam still working hard to succeed in my career and it is something which I believe in a lot. The beauty of this sport is that you retire late, you can practice even over 50 years, so I still have time.

Your father Luciano is the president of Fitav (Italian Federation of Shooting in Flight): so it was a destiny already written?

Not exactly. For nine years of my life I practiced horseback riding, then one day watching the London Olympic games I noticed a friend of mine who competed in shooting and I decided to try. I started by playing, I liked it and so I continued.  After all, as child, my dream was to be a policewoman on horseback: now I am part of the Golden Flames Sports Group of the State Police.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic games are approaching: do you hope to go?

I would really like. I’m in the team and I want to believe it!  My dream is participating in them: already the mere fact of being there repays the sacrifices you faced to get there. All athletes dream of Olympics games as the they remain and will always be the Olympics. If you win a medal there you enter the legend. I am working every day for this, making sacrifices and training constantly. I still have a lot to do.

Do you have any important appointments in the next months?

Next year I am participating in the University Olympics, so I’ll experience the Olympic context I already know that I will like it a lot.

A Little curiosity: where do you keep the medals?

I keep them at home, I must have them nearby. Every now and then I pick them up, cuddle them I look at them and relive the emotions that I felt at the moment of my victories and I think: «They are mine!»

Let’s talk a little about Umbria: what is your link with this region?

I love it a lot. I love its landscapes, the food and the green that relaxs me. I like everything about it. Travelling is nice, but coming back home is nicer too. I was born in Montefalco and I live in Foligno now, but I lo venature and animals a lot and I love being in touch with them.

 

You love animals: so, you don’t shoot at them?

I have never practiced hunting, but I respect those who practice it. It is an ancient art and I am not integralist in this regard. Also because, true hunters respect nature very much.

Can the shotgun give other satisfactions to Umbria apart from Diana Bacosi and you? Are there any promising young people?

In Umbria there is a very interesting youth sector and we are doing a great job with them. I am very confident.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Passion, tradition and well-being. Although three words are not enough to describe Umbria.

The first thing that comes to mind thinking of this region…

The house, my roots and love. I am a very traditionalist girl.

“I experienced the countryside from an arcadian point of view in the first part of my life; with a wish for innovation and above all, under a cultural outlook in the second one».

Maria Grazia Marchetti Lungarotti is a cultured woman: as it is easily understood, talking to her. She is courteous and kind as a woman of other times. Her passion for art and archeology, for wine and olive oil, and the rigor in her studies are the cornerstones of her life. A life also based on discipline: “I have never left much time for amusement and I have never been a “Latin mother.” I have always demanded a lot from my children and this has borne fruit “. In 2011 she was awarded the highest honor conferred by the President of the Italian Republic: Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
In 1987 with his second husband, Giorgio Lungarotti (they had already created the Wine Museum in 1974) opened the Lungarotti Onlus Foundation, of which she is the director, to promote and enhance the culture of wine. Among the activities of the Foundation, today, there is the management of the two museum complexes: the Museum of Wine and the Olive and Olive Oil Museum, dedicated to wine as well as to olive oil. They are private museums which host precious art collections and are visited by tourists from all over the world.

 

Chiara Lungarotti, Maria Grazia Marchetti Lungarotti, Teresa Severini

How did you come up with the idea of ​​ opening the Wine Museum and later the Olive Oil Museum?

I joined the Umbrian culture and its typical products, a combination that belonged to me. I am an art historian and an archivist: from my interests in the cultural field came the idea of ​​combining high quality production – which was started by my husband, an enlightened entrepreneur, first in Umbria to do that – with a rigorous and complex opening on the historical and artistic aspects related to wine: we speak about Umbria, but above all, about the Mediterranean area. The second museum, the MOO, was opened in 2000, when my husband had already disappeared, and it responded to the same needs to get out of a merely agricultural-productive perspective. In both of them, you can take a real journey through time to discover origins, mythology, imaginary, and other many aspects of the two products.

The New York Times in a review, called The Wine Museum: “The best in Italy”. It was a great satisfaction…

Not only in Italy, but in Europe. It is an unusual reality that proposes a 5,000 year journey through art collections including cups, jugs, amphorae, pottery, medieval, Renaissance and baroque ceramics up to contemporary ones, ancient engravings, as well as ethnographic collections. Both are family-friendly museums, also thanks to the cognitive paths dedicated to children.

For the town of Torgiano they are really meaningful.

Definitely. my husband and me wanted to promote an area of ​​Umbria, very beautiful in terms of landscape, but little known despite the proximity to Perugia and Assisi. The realization of the two museums was very demanding, but today the result is a specialized complex that gives voice not only to the territory, but, to the Italy of wine. This project underlines the tourist potential of our land.

Mrs. Lungarotti what is your bond with Umbria?

I am umbrian and not etruscan – she smiles – a naturalized “Perugina” from Gubbio. With this region I have a very strong bond, which is conneted to the land itself, to culture and to wine. They are the reasons why I have taken this path and I have achieved these results.

How do you see the Umbrian and the Perugia reality, in a social and in artistic point of view? 

I can see interesting effects and a real interest in art, music and culture. Umbria is a fascinating land, unfortunately back compared to other regions, Tuscany for example. We have a beautiful and compelling history, under many aspects. There are some periods of our history which deserve to be discovered such as Umbria during the phase of the Municipalities. In these days an exhibition dedicated to this historical period is taking place in Gubbio: “One day in the Middle Ages. Daily life in the Italian cities of the eleventh-fifteenth centuries”. We contributed through a substantial loan of art works by MUVIT to this event.

Is there a project by the Lungarotti Foundation that you particularly care about?

We have so many exhibitions and conferences. An idea I would like to realize is giving more expository space to the Etruscan period.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

Assisi and San Francesco that have made it famous, but Umbria must be more valued even in the historical and artistic fields.  This suggests major attention to the means of transport system, considering the difficulty in reaching it.

«After becoming part of the Albo d’oro of the City of Perugia, I want the grifo symbol of Perugia, to accompany me in my climbing. I want to bring the spirit of Perugia through Italy and beyond».

With these words Luca Panichi, born in Magione 49 years ago, he proudly explains the importance of the recognition received. He is a sportsman, a cyclist, a climber. A person who has never surrendered, not only after the incident in 1994 when he was 25 years old: he was doing what he loved most, the time trial of the International Amateur Tour of Umbria, when a car ran over him. Today with his wheelchair – tailor – made for him – he climbs mountains and he brings around Italy the message that the limits can be overcome. He presides over associations and is the vice president of the Paralympic Committee of Umbria. But above all he managed not to abandon his passion: cycling. Passion that is perceived chatting with him, so much that he asks me: «Do you have a passion for cycling?» I admit that I do not know much about it, but that I prepared to interview him. The first question is almost obvious…

 

Luca Panichi

How did you think of climbing the mountains with the wheelchair?

Good question! Immediately after the accident I went to a rehabilitation clinic in Germany, where I used to go up to the near village – which was on the hillside of the clinic – pushing the wheelchair with my arms. In this way I realized that I could continue to be a cyclist even if sitting in a wheelchair. When I lived in Florence, I went around the whole city and I went back to Careggi without ever taking a vehicle. The same situation in Perugia: I attended the university and never parked in the reserved places, I used to park the car in via Ruggero D’Andreotto – near the Giò hotel – and I reached the Headquarters of University. I have trained a lot until it  has become a sport for me.

What was your first climb?

In 2009 I climbed the rise of the Blockouse in Abruzzo, arrival of one of the stages in the Giro d’Italia: few meters from the arrival I was intercepted by Cassani and Bulbarelli, who made live the chronicle of the last meters. From this episode, every year, I organize a cycling stage with the arrival to climb. In this way I can continue to live my passion, cycling and bring my message: «Breaking the sense of limit».

Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Zoncolan, Stelvio and Gavia: there is a mountain that you would like to climb, but that you have not climbed yet?

La Marmolada and Passo del Mortirolo, but also the Colle di Portet-d’Aspet, which is a stage of the Tour de France. At that place, Fabio Casartelli died in 1995, just a year after my accident. I am very close to the Casartelli Foundation and every year I participate in the Grand Prix of Capodarco, a community that has helped me in my rehabilitation process, delivering the prize to the most combative athlete of the day.

What is your feeling?

I still feel like a cyclist when I climb up the hills. For me there was not a rift, it is a continuity of my previous sport.

What do you think when you are there and things get hard?

When I train I often say: “But who made me do it!” But then I think of the people who follow me, they are always an incitement. Honestly, for me it would be a sacrifice not to do what I do. It is a true passion!

Next goal?

In August I will take part in the Grand Prix of Capodarco, then in October I will try again the climbing of the Zoncolan, but in different climatic conditions compared to the first time.

Let’s talk about Umbria: what is your link with this region?

I am really in love with this region. Thanks to the bicycle I have known many villages and experienced many landscapes. It is wonderful to know other communities and discover places that you might not never visit. There is a bucolic environment that blends with the story, so as the characters who lived here. I think not only to St. Francis, but also to Fra Giovanni from Pian del Carpine, who was born in Magione just like me, a forerunner in the field of travels and Marco Polo too. Few people know them.

Walking around Perugia or Umbria – for a disabled person – is not like climbing a mountain?

Definitely. The Umbrian villages have their own configuration, but over time, some improvements have been done, in order to make these towns more accessible, such as Perugia itself. However, there is still a lot to do. The disabled people should maketheir own contribution, explaining what  has to be improved.

Why is it so difficult, in your opinion, to make everything accessible?

It is a cultural problem, but I think that a more balanced approach is necessary: the obstacles must be removed but the disabled people should help to improve the situation. The public institutions should be involved too, and, above all, the general attitude should be changed thorough dedicated projects, starting from the world of Education.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Romantic, charming and peaceful.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

Home.

«I would like to tell Umbria how Fellini did with his land in Amarcord»

Raffaella Covino receives the award at the Worldfest of Houston

 

«I’m all yours!» our chat begins in this way. Raffaella Covino, a director from Perugia, with his first work Dammi una mano, conquered the world, collecting 17 awards in Europe and America. A movie entirely produced in Umbria – between Perugia and Assisi – a movie on women, which has the lightness of comedy, but, for the issues it faces and for its narrative structure, is more akin to a noir.
Caterina is a young and successful psychologist. Her life is perfect: love, work, family, friendships are all she wants. But when her father dies leaving her full of debts and a boondocks scandal spoils her reputation, she loses her job and her husband leaves her. For the first time, Caterina is thus starting all over again to reinvent and rebuild her life. Raffaella talks about the land where she set the movie. About her land.

First of all: what is your bond with Umbria?

I was born in Perugia and I have always lived in this city. I have a close bond with this land and I always try to enhance its beauty, also welcoming the strangers who visit it.

Behind the camera, how would you represent this region?

It is a beautiful land, but not much represented on movies. I would show it without distorting its landscape and its potential. Umbria is a hymn to beauty and is an extraordinary location for any film.

Your film has won prizes and awards all over the world: which one are you most proud of?

The film has collected 20 selections and 17 awards. I am certainly very proud of the Special Jury Award at the 51st edition of the Worldfest in Houston. In this festival there were also Steven Spielberg, David Lynch and Oliver Stone. Americans have enjoyed the film and laughed a lot and I have already anticipated that they want to organize the world premiere of my next work. I’m also proud of the 4 nominations at the Nice IFF, the Nice International Film Festival, and the launch pad at the Italian Film Festival in Miami: Dammi una mano was presented next to Non essere cattivo and Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot, receiving many compliments from other directors. When this happens, you begin to realize that you can do it, that you are doing a good job.

How would you describe the movie with a sentence?

It’s a pretty and complete comedy. It has a consistency in history and makes people laugh. It makes you laugh not with the gags, but thanks to the characters’ features and their dialogues. They all laughed, especially Americans and French: they love Italian comedies.

 

In the film tells a boondocks scandal that has serious consequences on the protagonist: do you believe Perugia is still such a provincial city, or did you exaggerate?

I absolutely did not overstate, I told everything as it is, with a lot of realism. A small reality has its merits and its faults: it has the advantage of being a protected place in which everyone knows each other, but has the defect of chatter. A little like what happens to Caterina (Ilaria Falini), the protagonist, that a boondocks scandal spoils her reputation and makes her loose her job and her husband.

Tell us how a film is made without a budget, without a mega production behind it.

The film was produced by Each Frame in collaboration with Promovideo and Sound Studio Service, and realized thanks to crowdfunding and the participation of many Umbrians. In three years I managed to bring together Umbrian professionalism at the national level – two in all, Promovideo and Sound Studio Service, which materially produced and co-produced the film – actors, costume designers, set designers and communicators. Subjects who have freely gave their skills to create a quality film experiment from below, also designed to convey the beauty of Umbria – true co-stars of the film – outside the region. In short, we threw ourselves and we said: «Let’s see where we can get».
There was a path that I followed step by step: from the first crowdfunding, with which the € 5,000 needed to start work was collected, with the slogan «buy the ticket for the film that does not exist»; to the realization up to the distribution that, thanks to word of mouth, is filling the rooms. In Houston he also entered the American and Canadian distribution circuits, starting from the American circuit of Amazon prime, where it is already available. Everything must work in a film … and everything worked out. Being a first work is not perfect, but that’s okay!

What are your next projects?

I am thinking of a new movie, which will have higher expectations. We need funding and why not, even the intervention of the institutions. Moreover, on June 11th at Frontone Gardens in Perugia, we are going to celebrate all the awards won by Dammi una mano. We will also show the movie.

If Umbria was a film, how would it represent it?

I would like to describe Umbria as Federico Fellini represented his land in Amarcord or as Paolo Sorrentino brought Rome to La Grande Bellezza on the big screen. Tell a story and tell stories about the charm and beauty of a city.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Green, sunny and beautiful.

The first thing that comes to mind thinking of this region…

I often think of the beauty of the historical centers of the different cities of the region and I try to look at them through the eyes of a foreigner who sees them for the first time. They can appreciate what we have, which is often taken for granted.

 

«I do not see a concrete design, a global project that aims to promote the knowledge of contemporary art in its various forms».

Artist, university professor and art historian and much more, it is the professor emeritus of History of Art, Bruno Toscano, born in 1930. In the post-war period, with the Group of Six and with the Spoleto Prize (National Exhibition of Figurative Arts) he helped to promote Spoleto as one of the most active centers of contemporary art: a remarkable personality for the Italian art and the Umbria itself.

 

Bruno Toscano

Professor, what is your link with Umbria?

My parents were from Calabria, but I was born and I received my first education in Spoleto. Moreover, many of my researches are focused on different aspects of Umbria.

I read that you was the founder of the first Spoleto film club: today, what is your relationship with this art?

We founded, my painters friends and me, the film club immediately after the war, in 1949, as an act of freedom. We wanted to introduce many films that had been forbidden during the Fascism period. We decided to inaugurate the cineclub with “La grande illusione” Jean Renoir’s masterpiece against the war. In the program there was a lot of French cinema of the 30s, but also the Italian Neorealism, which was exploding in those years. Overall, it was a poor cinema, in black and white.

How was Umbria, from an artistic perspective, at the time of the Group of the Six (Bruno Toscano, Giuseppe De Gregorio, Filippo Marignoli, Giannetto Orsini, Ugo Rambaldi, Piero Raspi)?

It was a period of intense activity and very far from a provincial dimension. Critics and leading artists came together from the major Italian centers to Spoleto. In the jury of the numerous editions of the Spoleto Prize, which started in 1953, there were critics such as Francesco Arcangeli, Luigi Carluccio, Marco Valsecchi and artists such as Mario Mafai, Roberto Melli and Marino Mazzacurati.

How is our region today from an artistic point of view?

I do not see an effective and global project that aims to promote the knowledge of contemporary art in its various expressionsThe Ciac of Foligno is an exception, conceived as an observatory of wide visibility. But this is no t only a problem for Umbria. It is known that the decline has deep and wide-ranging origins. When knowledge is no longer considered necessary, the level of education and the interest in history and art are lowered. 

How did Umbria influence your painting?

My paintings are linked to the places that surround me. But these are not “views”, but rather a habitat full of stimulus and very engaging. There is something maternal in the earth that surrounds us, which can’t be represented through conventional figurative forms.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Divided between growing areas and abandoned areas; as a consequence, impoverished; despite everything, fascinating.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

“…fertile land of high mountain hangs …”from the “Divina Commedia” XI Canto.

«The purpose of a referee is to be part of the show and not to be remembered».

Fabrizio Saltalippi, 55-year-old from Perugia. He spent 39 years to referee the volleyball matches. He only has three months left until the retirement, but in his palmarès there are 500 matches in Serie A, 180 international matches, three European Championships and two World Championships. An authentic Umbrian excellence of this sport.

 

Fabrizio Saltalippi

What is your link with Umbria?

It is a very strong bond. I was born and raised in Perugia, and I still live there. Although I have been working out of my region for twenty years, both in Italy and abroad, I have never thought about leaving this city. I would not move from Perugia for any reason.

Last August, you were nominated to referee the inaugural match of the European Volleyball Championship in Poland: how do you face – psychologically and physically – such an event?

This match was important for two reasons: the first because it was the inaugural match of an European Championship, so it had a high-level media impact; the secondo ne, was the fact that Poland had the “brilliant” idea of ​​playing it – to beat the attendance record – in the Warsaw football stadium, in front of an audience of 65 thousand spectators. Such an environment, of course, puts pressure, so our training is very important and helps to maintain concentration and manage anxiety. During the game you feel responsible for what happens and hope that everything goes in the best way. On that occasion everything went smoothly, even though Poland lost 3-0 against Serbia. I remember that the first minutes were a bit ‘difficult, then began the routine and the game has turned into a normal routine match.

You are a veteran of these events, during three European Championships and two World Cup Championships you represented Italy: what do you think when you enter the field during these events?

I have never felt the stress and the tension before a match, but only the desire to take the field and the pleasure of having fun and entertaining. The task of the referee is to be part of the show, to give the opportunity to the public to enjoy a good game, all without being noticed. If a referee, at the end of the match, is not remembered, it means he that did a great job.

When you take off your uniform you take a break or you usually think about some eventual mistake or decisions taken during a match?

As soon as YOU take off your uniform there is a drop in tension and you get rid of adrenalina, but you do not stop thinking about the match. I usually have a critical revision of it. Regarding the fact of watching the video of the match, I focus mainly on situations challenged in the field because, if I made a mistake I need to realize it a sit helps to grow and to avoid repeating them, while, if my decision was correct, it is a personal gratification, and it helps a lot too.

The volleyball in Umbria, especially in Perugia, is getting good results, and it has many supporters, can we consider it an excellence of the territory?

Volleyball is definitely an excellence, just think of everything that Sirio Perugia has won in the past or what Sir Safety Umbria Volley is now doing. However, it is necessary to strengthen the minor series, starting from the foundations.

Such as the youth sectors?

Exactly This is essential. Young people are attracted, unfortunately distracted by football. Once a boy who was over one metre and eighty centimetres tall played volleyball, but now he can also play football. This sport is affected.

A suggestion to a young man who would like to start a referee career…

Loving this sport, almost more than a player, beyond the goals that can be achieved. Having passion, enthusiasm and the desire to become part of the game itself. The referee is not a detached entity, is part of the game and the show in all respects.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Green, unique, splendid.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

The architectural beauties. When I am abroad and people ask me where I live, I realize that few people know Umbria, so I explain that it is the land of the Etruscans, a civilization more ancient than the Roman one, I hope to intrigue them…

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