[Luca]: "It's always so exciting to write on the journey journal.

A whole year studying and I used to think about when I'd have been "far away ", really free... mobile phone off, head "off" and I desire of deleting anything that is part of an ordinary life.

My fears, my tales, my silences will live in these pages, I hope to be able to write because it takes a great courage to spoil the perfect white of a page"...

"I never travel without my diary .
Everyone must always have something incredible to read on the train."
- Oscar Wilde -

 

12 august Caserta (ITALY)

My fourth inter rail is starting... how long has it been since that far away July 1999 when, with Takx, two unskilled and reckless guys, though with a great spirit, left for a great adventure!

Five years later I feel wiser and I realize it when I give the first piece of advice to our chef: Gabriele (a cuisine student!).

[Gabriele]: "Here the board chef. I hate catching the train at night but today I will make an exception. I know I will have to live through some very hard days but I will try to be always optimist".

13 august Venice (ITALY)

We start, for the first time, with an Italian stage: the romantic Venice.

I love strolling around the narrow lanes, tasting the ancient air and atmosphere, listening to the sound of the water billows by the Venetian canals...

We can't forget the "chickens", I mean the huge pigeons who eat so much corn given by the tourists, they are so fat that they can hardly fly.

As if it isn't enough they also snob our bread-crumbs...

[Luca]: "Poetry is in the air and neither pigeon shit or millions tourists can graze her infinite restlessness...

I meet my friend Vale again (called Yaya) and we visit together the: "Biennale di Venezia", an exhibition of avant-garde paintings and sculptures... that weird modern art that you can't understand and makes you think: "I could have done this as well "!

[Valeria Rizzotti]: "It's so weird staying here and listening to all the little noises of this small square, the tourists and the crowded roads are so close yet here there's just silence... you hear the old lady who is climbing the wood steps with effort, voices in the house, home discussions, a television, a piano is playing, Luca snoring leaning against a door... sparrows tweeting"...

We are waiting for the train which will bring us to Belgrade...

We are very worried because we have heard that this city might be not very safe...

 

14 august Belgrade (SERBIA)

Everything started in a quite summer afternoon in Caserta when perchance, in a travel agency, I heard a guy booking a flight to Belgrade... Isn't there a war over there? So... after crossing four borders in one night: here we are!

We stay at Zeleznicki Hotel, a hotel for railwaymen, of course, inside the main rail station!

The first image that this city gives us, torn apart until some years ago by the Balkan war bombings, is a mix of huge grey buildings typical of the Communism era and real gipsies' quarters, as the Brazilian favelas... Serbia is the only Country that admits them as citizens...

Strolling around we meet a couple of nice Australians: Bret and Liz and a 62 year-old Serbian man: Slobodan.

[Luca]: "That man was cool, he knew about music and cinema. He said he had known Fellini, his wife and a certain Franco Fabrizi... While we were all sitting in a bar, in the city center, drinking a beer he went home to listen to my CD! He didn't come back".

Beograd is still unknown for us to be judged, we have just smelt it and it looks like real "Eastern Europe".

In the main square we meet a group of local guys and organize a football match for tomorrow!

16 august Belgrade (SERBIA)

[Luca]: "Bombs? This city looks so quiet...

Everything goes on very well, we have changed our departure ticket four times so far! But this time for good because "the show must go on".

Every morning, when we deliver our room key at the reception, they always prepare our bill... "No thanks, we will stay one more night!" our usual answer".

The football match against the Serbians has been exciting! We were loosing 3-0. Our team: Gabry as goal keeper, Roscio defender, the foreigner Bret midfielder and me as forwarder.

Our Australian ace draws and, at the end of the first half, we are winning 4-3. In the second half: no game, 9-5 for us. (Scorer: 5 goals me, 1 Roscio and 3 Bret). The poor Serbian guys were so sad, they really wanted to win against the Italians in fact they soon challenged us at a basketball match tomorrow...

During the evening we meet Joana, Danijela and Ana. This girl, at the end of the evening, decides to introduce ourselves to her best friend. That's why we catch a bus, at 1.30 am, to go to a place forgotten by God...

We walk about 45 minutes along dark roads, without light, dirty lanes, lonely paths that penetrate directly into real woods, isolated parks lightened just by the special moon light!

I will never forget it. I wish I could transmit through these pages at least a bit of what I felt in those moments: fear because it seemed to me I was living the scenes of the horror movie: "Blair Witch Project" penetrating into those dark parks and peace of the senses talking to Ana and her friend: a huge secular tree, similar to a baobab, fairy!

 

17 august Belgrade (SERBIA)

[Luca]: "It's 9 am... another hard day has just begun and we hope it will never end because tomorrow, at this time, we will be on a train to Budapest".

We are in a lost suburb in Belgrade at an Ana's friend... I would have never imagined that this place, considered dangerous and hostile, would have turned into a paradise... in a house of local people, known perchance, friendly people, so far from us... sometimes I'm ashamed of owning what I have... we don't appreciate anything anymore... for them, a trip to Budapest done some weeks ago, has been a marvellous memory, we don't appreciate anything anymore!

[Luca]: "At her friend's, Ana shows us her world... poor, sweet and intense... People are very cultured and pay attention at the most important aspects of life... such a rare thing.

Belgrade reminds me of the relationship that can exist between the human beings... One Country, only one population... but they've been fighting each other for so long.... Why? For a territory, for a church, for a past...

People's warmth is the wizardry of Belgrade... We are their dreams and they are our sins; these people have a truth in their eyes deeper than the wells where we throw the coins. I admire them, they admire me"...

18 august Belgrade (SERBIA)

[Luca]: "A wonderful part of our trip is over... Belgrade has overcome all our expectations... I don't have much to say but the sadness I feel today is the most important gift that a city could give me... It's the placenta that surrounds the mystery of every birth...

In silence we are going to Budapest...

We will be in discussion with ourselves again once there and with a culture that, at first, you are afraid of and then you love it... Go on with the following emotion... We are here for that!"

 

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