Retracing Wandering Italia: from Nocera Umbra to Bocca Serriola
Three long, exhausting stages, far from what I imagined about Wandering Italia, i.e. from the Great Italian Trail and nature. Three stages covered mostly on busy roads, under a scorching sun or in the rain, battling with a series of problems and the stress of having to re-plan the whole journey. And then also the reflex that stops working…
Many thoughts, even dark ones, went through my head in those three days, even the desire to give up, I admit it. But I also learned a lot from myself and from the people I met on the road and who, little by little, indeed became the essential part of my journey: cars that stop at the roadside to cheer me on; first an older man and then his daughter who ask me about the trip; a good game of cards and a couple of hours spent in the company of the older men of Costacciaro; a farmer who helps me in every way to plan the route and, even if very early in the morning, would like to invite me to his house to drink his wine.
And then Celestino, who travels more than thirty kilometers just to come and bring me the charger that I had forgotten at his place!
So what did I have to complain about?
Little by little, I remember, the awareness grew in me that I would somehow be able to face everything and, above all, the certainty that the unexpected was not to be met as a problem but as a gift: somehow everything would be resolved and, in any case, I was heading towards a destiny that always and only had wonderful things in store for me.
In Pianello di Cantiano, in the evening, I had a new illumination:
“I now realise the serenity I feel in having reduced my needs to a minimum: eating, drinking, sleeping, and talking to my family are the only real priorities, even taking a shower has become a secondary thing; everything else is a plus and the only concern, once these primary needs are met, is to try to fill the day with everything as best as possible, everything that can make me feel good, that makes me grow, discover. But, thinking about it, shouldn’t this be the essence of life itself? Once basic needs have been met, i.e. physiological ones (hunger, thirst, etc.), of security (having a roof under which to sleep, being in good health, etc.) and those of belonging (family affection, friendship, etc.) to what should we aspire if not to be well and grow as a person? And if in modern society the satisfaction of basic needs is almost taken for granted, therefore not satisfying, why is there still this growing dissatisfaction even though we would have all the time to try to get the best out of life? Perhaps because it’s increasingly difficult to do what we’d love to do, and so impossible to find our fulfilment?”
I felt energetic and heartened, kissed by the luck that I had chosen and that, little by little, led me to live on the essentials, adapting to everything (even sleeping on the porch of a church or not washing for days) and facing my days with the certainty that they would still be fantastic: a gift, like life itself.
We should never forget that…
In 2018 I embarked on a journey, on foot and alone, from the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise towards Trieste, going up the Apennines and facing the Alps. If you want to find out more about this incredible experience, you can find Wandering Italia – A journey to regain your life on Amazon, on Kobo and in PDF.