Actor, director, scriptwriter
Rome, in particular Villa Borghese
“Without any doubt, my two favourite places are Rome and Venice; I obviously know Rome better, as I have visited several times for work, to play and to promote my movies. (...) Venice is a dream and Rome is that dream come true. (...) Rome has everything, the people of a metropolis (...), restaurants that are always open, and a unique light. Should I pick a specific place, I would say Villa Borghese: it has a heart-shaped layout, it is a magical place.”
Balata dei Turchi in Pantelleria, Trapani
“The place I love the most in Italy is Pantelleria. It is the only place where I can truly forget about work and experience nature and the sea as I wish. One of my most favourite places is the Balata dei Turchi, on the south side of the island: just spectacular!”
“The place I love the most and that I would like Italy to grow fond of is Milan’s Conservatory. Once a convent, its structure made of long silent corridors built around a cloister seems to hide stories and secrets that are five hundred years old. I spent my teenage years amidst the columns of the courtyard, listening to the music coming from the windows and spying the construction of stages and summer cinema talks (...). My dearest friendships and experiences, they all started there.”
“Venice, Vicenza, Asolo, Marostica, Bassano del Grappa…The beautiful Veneto where I have spent two weeks…and each day would welcome the discovery of a new place…”
The woods between The Castle and the Villa Comunale of Lucera (FG)
“The Place I love the most are the woods between the castle and the Villa Comunale in Lucera, Apulia, which is in a state of neglect. I went to Lucera the first time many years ago, together with the person I love. In time, I have learned to know the places, the language, the little secrets, and today it is, for both me and my family, a special place. (...) The abusive building of the 1970s has contributed to worsen the situation right outside the walls, and several problems lie unsolved, fostering questions and worries. Lucera is, however, a precious place to know and discover.”
Journalist, anchor, writer
La Marinedda Beach, Trinità di Agulto (OT)
“Amongst many places, I would like to recommend La Marinedda Beach (...) It is a magical place, a bright beach, less than a kilometre long, surrounded by red rocks, and mostly popular between Sardinian families, and which in the last thirteen years I have observed changing very slowly, but... hopefully not irreparably. It would be great if FAI could adopt it and protect it.”
Il Monte, Rocca Malatina (MO)
“Should I be the ‘godmother’ of a place of the heart, I imagine it would be some place small and near, around the corner, perhaps on our Appennino. At the moment we should adopt all the places that have been affected by the earthquake...I am thinking about Mirandola with its Castle Pico, or the dome of Santa Barbara in Mantua, only to mention a few. I would love for FAI to protect “The Mount” in Rocca Malatina, a small monument with a tower and a beautiful entry vault from 1000 A.D. Unfortunately it seems that all that is not a Roman ruin is a little neglected, while there are many small aesthetic masterpieces, magical and mysterious places, destroyed by neglect and by approximate, careless reconstructions, that are sometimes really ugly. There should be the intervention of someone who would make evident the importance of these small, beautiful places, made of very little...a tower, some stones..It is somehow what we have been recently trying to do with our Slow Tour, a very slow journey discovering the smaller Italy, very rich with places to love such as ‘The Mount’” !
Church of San Michele in Insula in Trino, Vercelli
“This year, too, my recommendation is for the small Church of San Michele in Trino Vercellese. Last year we gathered many supporters, and I am sure that this year we will manage to find many more votes. It is an enchanting place, immersed in the green of Alessandria’s countryside. This is the place of my childhood, and thus the place I love.”
"Piossasco, the place I love, is the town where I grew up and where my parents still live. It has many things to be proud of. I have wonderful memories here, and I used to come and play football in the hamlet of San Vito with my friends. Even though I now live away, Piossasco Jazz Festival ‘Note d’Autore’, has brought me close to it again, and it is a good occasion to let this hill on the border with Piedmont be known".
Small Church of San Pietrino in Boissano, Savona
“The Place I Love is the small Church of San Pietrino in Bossiano, in the Savona province. Atop of a hill, it represents a perfect meeting of nature and spirituality. It linked to my childhood memories and I wish it would be preserved for the future, with all its evocative beauty.”
Burri’s ‘Cretto’ in Old Gibellina
“Alberto Burri’s ‘Cretto’ is a concrete mould lying amidst the sunburnt Sicilian hills; it freezes the devastating moment in which the 1968 earthquake in Belice that destroyed the city of Gibellina, amongst many others. The first time I went there, it appeared between the hills of the valley as a white veil covering a corpse. It is a desolated, silent place, where everything seems unreal and which is very hard to find.”
Sicily and in particular the Turks’ Staircase in Realmonte (AG)
“I love many places, especially on my Island. (…) I am thinking about my beloved Turks’ Staircase, with its unreal light. However, I would like to recommend all the historical libraries scattered throughout Italy, which are getting harder to find. (…) They are historical goods born for the common good and which are worth preserving.”
Writer, scriptwriter, dramatist
Colle Casale Castle, Chia (VT)
Colle Casale Castle, known as “The Tower of Chia” is the place I love, which was also loved by my master, Pier Paolo Pasolini, who wrote in his minor poem “Poet of Ashes” (1966-67): “…I wish I were a writer of music, to live with the instruments in the tower of Viterbo which I cannot buy, in the most beautiful landscape in the world, where Ariosto would have gone crazy with joy in seeing himself recreated with so much innocence of oaks, hills, streams and chines, and there compose music...”. Pasolini then managed to buy that small medieval paradise, where the highest tower around Viterbo rises.
Vernazza and its dry stone walls, La Spezia
“Vernazza is the place I love. It has always been, even before the flood which wounded it to death in 2011 (...). Vernazza has resurrected, but it hasn’t started living again yet. Some restaurant, some shops, have reopened, but there still is not a single grocery store that could grant a minimum degree of autonomy to the inhabitants. (...) The money that has been collected haven’t shown up yet, but the reparations had to be done straight away, and they are being done. Even better than before: the dry stone walls that are reappearing in town are much prettier, much neater. Perhaps when you are used to live surrounded by beauty you just can’t do without it. (...)”
Salina Island, Messina
“The Italian places I love are very many, but last year I took a tour of all the islands in front of Sicily, an incredible beauty…Salina has remained in my heart.”
Places find a place in the heart also by means of the way in which one has experienced them; they need to be filled with life. Verucchio is for me one of such places.
Actor, director, scriptwriter
“In Italy, I have visited Venice, Florence, Milan, Sorrento, Positano, Capri, but the place I love is Cerano, a town 30 minute south of Milan, where an Italian friend lives. This non-touristic location is the one I loved the most because it allowed me to understand what is like to live in Italy and to witness Italian life through the eyes of a person my age.”
Nazzano’s Educational Park, Roma
“Nazzano’s Educational Park, is an enchanting place a little more than 45 Km from Rome. I have very strong affective ties with this place as it was created by my father, who worked hard and long for its creation; (...) it is area which conserves an immense natural heritage. It is an example of safeguard and valorisation of our heritage which I wish could be replicated”.
"In Italy, there isn’t one place, but many. The richness is unique. I travel around the world but there is nothing more fun than playing in Italy, where there is a constant rediscovery of things and places.”
Valle Theater in Roma
“The Valle Theatre is the place of my artist’s heart. This is the place I want to entrust to FAI fori t to preserve it, protect it, and return it to its quite semidarkness. (…). This was the place where one night, waiting for the curtain to open over something the public thought they knew, six lost characters walked the stage. They were asking to be represented, with their truth, the truth of their lives. It was 1921 and Pirandello changed modern drama. Everything happened in that sacred place.”
Finale Emilia, Modena
“The place I love is Finale Emilia, whose artistic heritage was so horribly damaged by the earthquake".
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Panarea Island, Messina
The hamlet of Portovenere, La Spezia
““(…)The medieval hamlet of Portovenere. It is a fishermen’s village in the heart of the Cinque Terre, a natural nativity scene, intimate and romantic, with a very old Abbey at it top, which is suggestive of mystery and magic, returning our imaginary to pirate adventures of lost times. This challenge for this hamlet should be to fight the intrusive development of commercial activities, which fit poorly with local taste and architecture and which are threatening to distort its orginal vocation. (...)”
“I live in Venice’s Lido, a strip of sand 12 km long, a beautiful place which is unfortunately threatened by concrete moulds and by a dock hosting 1500 boats, which will kill the ‘protected’ beach already disfigured by the Mose. (…). Should it not be brought to life as soon as possible, the undergrowth will win. It is the place I love and I am not giving up hope about the possibility to save it.”
Antonio Ricci and the editorial staff of Striscia la Notizia
Author for tv
Villa Adriana, Tivoli (RM)
The seabed of Giannutri Island, Grosseto
“The place I love is the seabed of Giannutri Island. (…) It is simply different, yet very exciting. Part of the Island is already part of a protected area, but the constant passage of boats and the numerous yearly visits to the Island determine change and threaten the marine balance.”
San Pietro al Monte Abbey, Civate (LC)
“The place I love is some kilometres away from my Lecco, and it is San Pietro al Monte Abbey, in the municipality of Civate. It is a true jewel of Lombard romanic architecture set amidst woods and glades (…) It is a masterpiece that sadly could be endangered by the opening of a cement quarry, and this worries me very much. Let us help San Pietro, which was born in the 1st millenium, to keep living for a long long time!”
San Fruttuoso Abbey, Genua province.
I am very fond of this place because this is where my parents came for their honeymoon, and who knows: I might have been conceived there! When I visited the abbey I got there by boat, during an exploration of the Ligurian coasts organised together with the Liguria Region, whose account can be found on the website “Portolano-Anfibio” www.SailingLiguria.eu. Arriving by boat, the landscape opens slowly, and by going up the hill a little one can find this marvel, which FAI has pristinely restored. The history of the Abbey is troubled and peculiar: at a certain point the people rebelled, chased away the monks, and established some sort of direct republic that, has a matter of fact, ruined it all! Thankfully, in the 1980s the owners - the Doria family – donated everything to FAI, which started a complex philological restoration and returned this jewel of Romanic-gothic Ligurian architecture, where nature, walls and culture literally melt together, to the community. It is a truly interesting monument, completely absorbed in its environment, which every tourist walking by San Fruttouso should visit...As a matter of fact, Alessandro Capretti (my FAI escort/guide) and I observed the tourists going to the bar to buy ice-cream after swimming, and gave them a proper “pep-talk”: tourists, come on and walk the ten steps that go from the bay to the Abbey! Before or after a swim, you can escape from the madding crowd of the beach to enjoy some silence, fresh air and culture!
The small jail where Saint Francis was imprisoned, Perugia
“The place I would like to save is the small jail where Saint Francis was imprisoned when, as a young man, fought in the war between Assisi and Perugia. It is a small house within the four lanes of the motorway, and I don’t know whether it is still called like that. The road is very busy (…) and there, between the two lanes, it appears a small house of bricks and wood, impossible to visit, it can only be seen by car; it is impossible to stop without putting one’s life in danger, or creating a queue of enraged drivers. Well, that little house is the place I love.”
Actor, director, scriptwriter
Historic centre of Naples
A place of the heart for me is the historic center of Naples. When you’re there, you’re surrounded by all different styles of architecture. The university is there, and the Phonotype Recording Studio, run by the Esposito Brothers, where the first records were ever pressed. And it’s around the corner from Don Alfonso’s *Taverna del Arte*. I shot a lot of my film, PASSIONE, there, and found myself continually drawn to it. I tried to go somewhere else, but returned there. There is a roughness to it, and a beauty, alive, evocative. Kids are always playing soccer in the square, and there are great small shops, from butchers to coffee places, with some of best coffee in the world.
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Actor, director, scriptwriter, film producer
The hamlet of Salci, Perugia
“The place I love is the hamlet of Salci, a jewel everyone, even time, has forgotten. An old mediecal town quite close to Città della Pieve. (…) In its current state the town of Salci is completely deserted, a ghost town (…), a place to save to bring life back to the castle, its roads and the other buildings surrounding the palazzo Ducale and the Church of San Leo. (…)”
Scalo di Palaedo and Scalo di Manarola, La Spezia
“I have two places I love: the Scalo of Palaedo and the Scalo of Manarola, located in Manarola (SP) in the Cinque Terre.”
Baptistry of Castiglione Olona
The Italian place that impressed me the most is the Baptistry of Castiglione Olona, in particular the frescoes by Masolino representing the Stories of the Baptist.
Copyright Photo: Kira Perov.