I was left alone in Milan that summer. A handful of cars parked under the house and my Chinese neighbor who went out and entered the apartment at the landing beyond the usual times. That year I had pulled straight until the last week of August: a website yet to be fixed, some extra cash to spare and the pleasure of enjoying the warm quiet of the almost deserted city before leaving for the big trip. Destination: Cappadocia.
But success is what happens to everyone once in their lives or in the worst nightmares. Bulging backpack ready on the couch in a horizontal position, holding the passport and that think in not knowing what toss pocket. The phone rang and on the other a woman’s voice announced to me in English that No, my plane for Turkey would never leave Italian soil that morning because of violent demonstrations of popular dissent that succeeded in the main urban centers of the country . I am so sorry.
The end of the shortest trip I’ve ever taken, therefore: the unmade bed to the sofa in my house and in the distance only the mirage of a refund within 60 days of the ticket cost. What to do now? Standing staring at the backpack, the most precious relic now desecrated, the narrow passport in a sweaty hand, the mobile phone has vibrated in the other. Sender: Luca. Message: “So, do you account among the guests next weekend? Let me know as soon as my mother notice “.
Luca and I studied together at the Polytechnic. Then he came back in Pignola, a village of Lucania, to marry Luisa, girlfriend ever, and live happily ever after. They were days that tried to contact me by email and on the phone to offer me to celebrate 10 years of graduation, and now fate had decided for us.
No Turkey and yes to Basilicata. Amid such improvisation, one certainty: Bla Bla Car, slow solution and low cost, the prayer of happen with fellow travelers who do not speak too much or little and the driver …
The driver is called Xavier, Southern Doc, he has dreamy eyes and a relaxed smile of someone who knows who is in every place and situation.
It is volcanic, loves music and an endless list of things, people, ideals and food, in particular speaks to me of Hanged caciocavallo, a tradition of its parts, and soon a project to be launched, a world of values and tastes that once tasted not he forgets more.
And down of extraordinary anecdotes stories, ancient customs and costumes for the duration of the trip culminated in a call for a one-day stop at his house to watch and enjoy the ritual of hanging and celebrate as it should be the beginning of deserve summer holidays.
So I, Luke, Luisa and the whole family of Saverio including old people and children find ourselves loaded with food for a picnic in the woods. Xavier carefully chose a corner and set the scene. The brace was smoking floor and hanging from an oak branch lying below him, Provolone: round, genuine and tasty, ready to melt cheese like no other. All around: a chorus of voices shouting “hang it”, the joy of the feast of enthusiastic young people and elderly storyteller, the pleasure of being, the music of a bygone era and a mind that, after all, is not so bad.
Two weeks later, lying on the sofa in my home, I was still wrapped in the magic of the land and the scent of Provolone Hanged. I then called Xavier to tell him thank you again and know more of that bizarre project to revive the world the experience of hanging even at home.
After two days, the courier handed me a box with a pole to hang a fragrant sweet provolone, along with honey, truffles, pepper Crusco and a bottle of Aglianico DOC.
The Sunday after Carla a photographer friend, a colleague Alberto and his girlfriend Sandra journalist, were guests from me. Together we staged the ancient rite of Provolone Hanged dissolving a fragrant bruschetta. In turn we have conjured stories and distant landscapes and agreed on one point: it’s amazing what can happen from an unexpected seemingly negative if only we decide to surprise us by life.