Imagine a quintessential Tuscan landscape: infinite hills dotted with vineyards and olive orchards, an impressive entrance through a long colonnade of cypress trees that leads to a medieval hamlet dating back to the 14th Century… You’ve arrived in Locanda dell’ Amorosa, a veritable gem of rustic luxury near Sinalunga. If you’re in luck, you’ll be greeted by a tall man with an unmistakeably noble bearing – that will be Marquis Carlo Citterio, the owner of the Locanda.
I'll be editing the film about the renaissance of Southern Italy for the next four months and it's highly unlikely that I'll have any new stories to tell. So, in order to keep the 8 Million Steps blog and the facebook page alive, I'll post a memory or two from time to time. This one is celebrating the incredibly rich cultural legacy of the "Sud".
(Texto español abajo) It’s been a terribly long time between blogs… I feel a bit like when I was a child on a school excursion and I didn’t write to my parents. For a good reason, because I knew that I was likely to return before the mail arrived, but the point was to write.
This time, I didn’t write because the nature of 8 Million Steps has been changing from day to day and I simply had no idea of what was going to happen next. I know people who’d have turned it all into a
Italy has a way consuming you entirely. You lose the sense of time as every day presents new adventures, fascinating conversations, gargantuan feasts and spectacular landscapes.
We’ve been perpetually on the move, staying in different hotels every night, so it’s been difficult to find a moment to take stock and write it all down. Finally, today we’ve stopped for three days in Lecce, a barroque town in Salento, the southern region of Puglia; as always, there are plenty of di
(Texto español abajo) First day in Sicily, a mad dash from Palermo airport to a small village near Milazzo for a dinner organised by Giuseppe from Slow Food. An amazing dinner at Desio restaurant, run by three siblings, Nino, Andrea and Adriana – a seizmologist, a lawyer and a designer. My bubbly Italo-Bulgarian assistant Samantha and I are treated to a degustation menu worthy of a three-star establishment. The quality of ingredients and the impressive presentation come as a
(Texto español abajo) After spending two weeks in Japan with my children, and another two shooting a short film in Penang, I am back in Seville. The time seems to be evaporating into the void... days and weeks pass by almost unnoticed while I am pondering next steps. It seems increasingly improbable that I’ll ever be able to resume a punishing schedule of walking 25km every day. This is not about giving up, it’s about accepting the reality of my physical condition and adaptin
(Texto español abajo) You’re right, this is not a picture of Mount Etna or Vesuvius, I have strayed from my scheduled route. I am in Japan, spending some quality time over the festive season with my children, Noriko and Carlos, in the vicinity of Mount Fuji.
8 Million Steps is still stranded. I’ve always feared that something like this would happen. I have walked 1.5 million steps and, suddenly, I snapped like a spring in a clockwork. I should have listened to my daughter M
(Texto español abajo) Since my last blog from Provence, written over a month ago, walking has become gradually impossible. I have tried to endure the excruciating pain in my lower back, I have walked on in the spirit of "mind over matter", but I’ve come to a halt. I can’t walk at all now. Resting is not really my thing so I did some filming instead. Maia joined me and Victorine in France and we shot at least two episodes, one of which features three legendary restaurants: L'O
(Texto español abajo) I am in Provence. Just saying it transports me immediately to the days when I studied art in Brno (Moravia), when Provence was far away, a figment of my imagination, a paradise on earth inhabited by artists in search of divine light. At the time, I was particularly inspired by Cézanne, Gauguin and Matisse. I remember spending hours on end in the library, until the dazzling colours got the better of me and I truly believed I was there, overwhelmed by the
(Texto español abajo) I am in the region of Languedoc Roussillon which, according to the tourism publicity, enjoys 300 days of sun per year. Obviously, I picked the rest. It has been pouring non-stop for days, causing a major calamity – huge tracts of land have been flooded, including vineyards that have been just a few days short of harvesting (how cruel!). That’s not the kind of water I came here for. I came to explore the Canal du Midi, an extraordinary feat of engineering