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Depot Videointerview

ELIO (Stefano Belisari) ## Milanese from Milan, 54 years old, singer

Video / 1
MILAN’S STRENGTH
It’s always been the same, I think, for thousands of years. It is a center, a large crossroads where everybody meets. I am probably one of the last specimens of a Milanese born in Milan and raised in Milan. But if we go back to my grandparents, they came from central Italy. The people whose grandparents and great-grandparents were born here, are perhaps only four or five. But if you are looking for the people who have made the city great, only a few were born here. Most came from outside and then they fell in love…

HERE THERE IS EVERYTHING
Even if in recent years they attempted to massacre it all, here there still is everything: commerce, culture, industry… Lots of work… Everything.

NICE PEOPLE
Lots of work and a lot of nice people. Although in recent years we tend to think that the Milanesi are always angry, nervous, stressed, and in a rush, the Milanesi are actually the ones who have always welcomed everyone.

LEAVING
The fact that they are still here now is a sign, for you but also for me, that it is very difficult to leave because in fact this is a city of great charm.

NOT ALWAYS AS IT SEEMS
Of course, we must also say that it is less beautiful and efficient than other people, those who live outside, think. I see friends who come here and think everything is great and so I have to tell them, ‘Look, it’s not all that great…Look, that stuff doesn’t work….’

SOULLESS CITY
The main problem is that in recent years the city has lost its soul and now it definitely must regain it.

MILAN IS NOT AN OFFICE
One thing that happened in the last fifteen years is that the city has been seen as a huge office where you arrive on Monday morning, angrily get things done, and then wait for Friday at five o’clock to run away. The Friday night stampede… All queueing up on their way out. Now I think things have slightly
improved.

FATIMA, MY MILAN
My sites are those of my childhood, thus not very beautiful places but I like them. The neighborhood where I was born and raised. I’m speaking of the south side, an area that is called Fatima, which takes its name from the local church of Fatima. There are some meadows, some houses…

WHAT ARE THE MILANESI LIKE?
They seem a bit unpleasant, however, they are sensitive and very anxious types. They are like those cats that seem assholes at first but then come and brush up against you. They mostly don’t learn from past mistakes.

THE CITY OF SKYSCRAPERS
It has nothing to do with our city. Absolutely nothing. In fact I haven’t seen any rush to get the apartments in the skyscrapers. The Arabs and Russians go there, if they will ever get here, because I haven’t seen them yet.

THE MOSQUE: YES OR NO?
I am fatalistic and I think also realistic, meaning that the changes are so enormous that it is not that one can think: ‘No, it can’t be done’. It will happen as it happened in the past. This is why I say that we never learn from our mistakes. Studying history makes you realize that what is happening today actually happened a thousand times in the past, it is the base of our habits. If you study you realize that these habits are not ours, they are customs, attitudes or ways of doing things that we got centuries ago and that we incorporated in our culture. Exactly what I think we should do today.

A WHIM TO SATISFY
I performed on the stage of La Scala, what more can I want? Celebrating Mass in the Duomo?! I’m already satisfied.

Video 2
OUTSKIRTS BOY
I was born in the Corvetto district, but when I was little my parents moved to Vigentino. However, still in the southern outskirts of Milan. When I was nine, maybe ten, in fact when I was in elementary school…

THE MUSIC DISCOVERY
…The Scuola Civica established courses in the outer areas of the city, I guess because there was someone intelligent who thought: ‘Let’s educate the kids that grow up out of the center’. And I seized the moment because I was very attracted to music, I really wanted to learn.

COURSES DOWN THE ROAD
I initially attended the music courses of the Civica near my home, then after a few years – let’s say when I was around 14 years old – these courses moved to the main buildings, which back then were in Porta Vigentina, not very far from where I lived.

MILAN AND THE LITTLE ELIO
That Milan was clearly filtered from the eyes of a 10-year-old, 7-year-old, even 12-13, so everything was beautiful: the policeman directing the road traffic, who greeted all the children…

FREEDOM IN THOSE YEARS
What I remember is that from 2.00 until 7.00 pm we were out without dads and moms around, we were free, something that seems impossible today.

MILAN TODAY
It is like one who fell ill with cancer, who recovered, and now is slowly and painfully trying to get back to normal life. I hope that the city has learned from its mistakes and that won’t repeat them.

THE WORST MISTAKES
Those of the era of the post-PSI mayors who, seen through the eyes of today, look like cultured monsters although they were certainly corrupt. Even those who came afterwards were corrupt, and were even more ignorant and less interested in the city and citizens.

TODAY IT IS A BIT BETTER (MAYBE)
In recent years the mistakes committed at a time of havoc in the city today will not be committed again. It seems to me that we’ve seen small signs of change in the past four years.

THINGS TO CHANGE
I would act for what concerns the culture, because it is my field and also because it is much more important than what people think. Let’s say that the city was Italy’s cultural soul. It was, now it is no longer so, even if it certainly has the means to return to play this role.

STOP TO CLOSED THEATRES
It would be enough to start from awareness… If citizens were aware that it is important not to close the theaters, the cinemas as happens more and more often.

MILAN 2016, WILL YOU VOTE?
I always vote even though with more and more effort because we have to swallow always bitterer mouthfuls. I continue to do it because I’m aware of the the efforts, the blood that it took to get here today, free.

Categories
Depot Videointerview

CHIARA MACI ## Milanese from Agropoli, 32 years old, food blogger

Video 1
LEAVING BOLOGNA
I arrived in Milan in 2006 to do a master’s degree after graduating in law in Bologna. My challenge was to change city: I wanted to go away from home and from Bologna, so I started to look for a master’s course. The one I liked most was in Marketing and Communication and it was in Milan, a completely unknown city to me.

THE CITY OF STRESS
Despite being very close, because Milan is an hour’s train ride from Bologna – to the Bolognesi, as for all the people in Italy – Milan is the city where people are always in a hurry, who work a lot… ‘How much more the Milanesi work compared to the Romans… ‘, more or less the usual clichés that people here at 20 years old… I was 22, it was 2006, and I decided to go to Milan. I rented a flat in Corso Como, the only street I knew in this city.

THE STREET OF NIGHTLIFE
The street of nightlife, I was 22, and I said: ‘Oh well, I’ll live there’, and there my journey in Milan started. First the master, then the internship – the classic path in Milan – and after a while I was hired by a company. And so I went to work in Rogoredo, for Sky.

THE MILANESI AND CAKES
I was the one who brought cakes to the office every morning. I was in women’s team… I think the women from Milan deserve a separate chapter.

ALL ON A DIET
All on a diet, strongly fixated, and struggling with work for 20 hours a day. I was the more genuine and down-to-earth one. I still remember the first cake I brought to my boss, a very skinny woman. She looked at me as if I was a Martian and said: ‘Is there butter in it?’, And I said, ‘What do you mean? It is a cake, of course there is butter in it.’ She didn’t touch it.

FIRST IMPACT
At first I didn’t think it was the right city for me, I hated it, there were times when I really hated it, because Milan to me was the combination of many factors: leaving home, being alone, working alone, earning nothing… Many things together associated to change.

I LEFT IN 2009
I stayed until 2009, when I decided to give everything up.

BECAUSE…
My bosses… It was because of the job, the fact of being thrown into a huge company where I was part of a team of women whom I would have never thought would work so hard.

THE DESIRE TO COOK
I wanted to cook at all costs. It was in my DNA.

A FAMILY IN THE KITCHEN
Being born in Agropoli, in the Cilento, with a father from Lecce and a mother from Bologna who is a sommelier and sommelier professor… I have been a sommelier since I was 18 years old, as my whole family. My father is a doctor, all the others are doctors, but at home food has always meant everything. We talked around the table while eating, every family problem was discussed at the table in front of food.

MILAN’S DISCOVERY
I think the really important thing about Milan is this, and it is not easy to understand. Let me explain: I have always thought of not being great in the kitchen but…

POWER CAKE
When I arrived in Milan my colleagues pointed out to me that making cakes, inviting people to dinner, even ten at a time, was important. They pointed out that it was a special thing, my special thing. They made me understand that I had something more… I was famous for my cheesecake, my apple pie… I always brought something good to the office.

MY SPECIAL LUNCH BASKET
I was the one who brought a particular lunch basket (schiscetta), because they all had salads. I kept bringing couscous, quinoa, strange things with particular vegetables which I prepared the night before. So I brought not only cakes but also a strange schiscetta to the office.

Video 2
BOOKS AND COOKING
I locked myself at home in Bologna for a year and I got myself the Alma books, the cooking school books and I began studying the techniques, to cook a lot, to perfect my cooking. Then, when I realized that for me it was time to go back to Milan, I came back.

A JOB THAT DIDN’T EXIST
I chose Milan because it was the only city that could allow me to do the job I had in mind, which is not a coded job. If you ask me what I do I say freelance. This was the project I had in mind: to cook and write about cooking, but I didn’t want to be a journalist, I wanted to go around restaurants, and ‘criticize’, meaning tasting, understanding, judging. It was a combination of many different jobs. The point is that a school that prepares you for this didn’t exist nor could I confront myself with someone because this job has no history.

MANY BLOGGERS
When I arrived here there were already many bloggers, I wasn’t the first one, but I had a clear idea, and this city, I think, gives you the opportunity to put certain things into practice. And here are the companies I started to work with.

MILAN 2010
I came back in 2010, but I already spoke the language of marketing because I came from a big company and, since I spoke that language, Milan was very easy for me.

FOOD AND MEDIA, ISN’T THAT TOO MUCH?
I believe that all this will surely lead to a natural selection in the next years because now there are many people in this business. The world is full of food bloggers, every day more. People understand who to follow and who to choose, and this is true also for what concerns the chefs. This disproportionate wave will almost certainly come to an end…

INFERNAL LIFE
Being a chef is a difficult job, it’s very hard. I would never do it, chefs live an infernal life.

BETTER MASTERCHEF THAN THE BIG BROTHER
For what concerns television, I think it is deeply wrong to communicate to the kids that cooking schools are the right choice if you want to work in TV. Many young people were led astray by this thing, and today many of them enroll in these schools that now see a boom of enrollments because everyone wants to become the new Rugiati or the new Borghese. But I find it wonderful that young people are passionate about food, of course without getting to the extreme of the seven-year-old who makes stuffed chicken because that I find absurd. Speaking of normality and common sense, which should always be the basis of everything, I think that it’s better if kids become passionate about food rather than the stupid programs of which there have been many in recent years, I find it smarter. I prefer if they get excited about Masterchef rather than The Big Brother.

CHEFS ENFORCED BY TELEVISION
I don’t know. The chefs who are now on TV were already important before, so I don’t think so. I would have some doubts about the young ones, who were helped because they didn’t work twenty years in kitchens. On food bloggers, I say it now and I’ll say it for life, and this also applies to fashion bloggers and travel bloggers, as long as they can improvise there will be thousands of them. But where there is no substance you can see it, people are not stupid, indeed.

Video 3
ALL CRITICS IN MILAN
It is a peculiar city with regards to food because here, in Milan, everyone is a critic. It’s funny… I can see it even with a lot of people I know that have nothing to do with this environment: they no longer go to the restaurant to enjoy the food and the evening, to relax…

EATING IS RELISHING
Food now is seen as something to be photographed and analyzed. Before people ate and relished the taste, now many people no longer do so. And as long as those working in the field do it I can understand, but I find it absurd when I see others doing that. You see them at the restaurant taking pictures and commenting: ‘I’m not sure if this rib is cooked well, it seems a little red inside’. They are all hypercritical towards food. Fortunately, I think it’s a fleeting moment. It will end sooner or later. I hope…

GREAT CHOICE
Milan is the city that also has the largest selection of restaurants in Italy, so it is normal that here customers are knowledgeable. Do you want to eat Peruvian food in Milan? Here’s a Peruvian restaurant.

ONLY HERE THE TRUE CHINESE…
Milan is the first city where I ate good Chinese food, given that eating good Chinese in Italy is almost impossible. I couldn’t live in any other city in Italy only because of the choice of restaurants that Milan offers.

MILAN, ITALY, WORLD
In Milan I feel I personally don’t envy anything from foreign countries. In any other Italian cities I always feel limited by provincialism and closed-minded attitudes. Milan is the city that allows you to stay Italian, however, with a much more open mind.

ALWAYS A STEP AHEAD
I was walking down the street and on the ground I saw the advertisement for the election of the mayor of Milan. A communication campaign also on the street, I feel free to say that these things happen only in Milan. There is so much innovative communication. You can imagine how important this for me, since I work with social networks and the web. It’s not important, it is essential! It is the only Italian city where in a little while, and I expect it at any moment, people will go to the restaurant based on Instagram followers, as in New York. And probably it will happen here soon.

FAVOURITE PLACES
I am very fond of Brera, in some way I grew up there. Whenever my friends come to Milan we always go for a walk in Brera. I got my place right near Leonardo’s sluice, at the corner of San Marco that I find spectacular, very beautiful.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO EAT?
The last place I found is where I went last week with some vegetarian friends from Bologna who asked me: ‘Is there a vegetarian restaurant in Milan?’. Guys, in Milan there has been everything for years, vegetarian, vegan, etc. There is everything here. We went to a beautiful place called Capra e cavoli, where I had never been before. That’s the beauty of Milan, you are in Isola, you enter this place, you turn around, and it seems an open-air garden, well-furnished, something completely different to the places in the area. And if one wants to go to eat American food, there you go, you have a place for that. I like that. Being able to choose a different place every day is priceless. And the same when I have guests from outside Milan, indeed I must say that I enjoy the idea of being able to say: ‘What would you like to eat? American? Thai?’. You can’t do it anywhere, but here there is a place for everything.

Video 4
WHEN I GROW UP
When I grow up I would like to continue to do what I do now. Obviously I’d like to have a little more time to be a mom and I think I’ll stay and live in this city, I don’t think I will leave Milan. Unless I decide to go abroad, but I don’t think I will… And as an adult, so probably in a few years, I hope to wake up and still have exactly the same idea. With some more children, perhaps.

THE BORING FOOD STARS
The thing that bores me the most are the food stars, the ones who it doesn’t take much to make them feel they accomplished it all.

WAR AMONG BLOGGERS
I am very well-liked. A little because I started to work as a food blogger in a certain way… Then because I was the first one to put on TV the ‘blogger’ caption: I have always been proud of this role when all were ashamed to seem as parvenus, hybrids between journalists and a housewives. Being a blogger was seen as something strange at the beginning… I am on good terms with everyone and many, I swear, come to me asking for advice: ‘How much should I charge for this job? Could you introduce me to this company?’. But I’m aware of this war among bloggers, especially among newcomers.

MILAN’S DISHES
Cotoletta, risotto… You know I don’t often cook the cotoletta? It’s one of those things that I like to eat at the restaurant, but not because I don’t like frying, because every place where you eat it in Milan makes it different. And so I like to eat it in every way. I prefer it thick and I have my restaurants where I can go and eat it the way I like it. But I am absolutely omnivorous and I know how to cook the Milanese risotto and the osso buco well.

OYSTERS? NO, THANKS
I eat everything but oysters. By constraint, more than once, I ate them during the TV program Cuochi e fiamme, so I did my part. That’s it, that is the only thing that I don’t eat.

ME ON A DIET?
I’ve never been on a diet in my whole life.

Categories
Depot Videointerview

CAROLINE CORBETTA ## Milanese from Milan, 43 years old, art curator

Video 1
VERY BEAUTIFUL AND VERY DIFFICULT
I oversaw the programming for the Expo Gate during the year before the Expo, and it was a great but difficult year because I remember that at the time we didn’t have the widespread approval that eventually, thank God, arrived.

A YEAR IN THE TRENCHES
I must say it was a year, you know, in the trenches. In fact, every morning I told myself: ‘Now I wear my helmet to go to work.’

EXCELLENCE ACROSS-THE-BOARD
As the Manager of the Expo Gate I left my comfort zone as a contemporary art curator and I dealt with multidisciplinary events. We hosted a bit of everything, from the association that promoted cycling mobility to the Accademia della Scala laboratory, we hosted both young artists and a great industrialist like Renzo Rosso, the Fondazione Piero Manzoni and the Fondazione Feltrinelli. In short, we hosted a lot of Milanesi and Italians who in one way or another recognized the uniqueness of Milan’s excellence.

THE CITY HAS CHANGED
It was like a wave that grew higher and higher… Milan rose on the crest of that wave and now we are in a fantastic period, the city has really changed.

CAREFUL WITH THE SOUFFLE’
But now, as I often say, we must pay attention to the soufflé effect. It is beautiful and delicious, but it could collapse at any moment.

MILAN, BACK TO LOVE
We must continue to believe in Milan and its enormous potential. It seems trivial, but behind the pessimism against Expo, I could see that 9 times out of 10 it was about the skepticism towards Milan’s potential and its value. Among the many positive things that Expo brought to the city and the country was to make the Milanesi fall back in love with Milan, to make all of them believe in the beauty of the city, in its ability to produce excellence and to be at the level of many other cities we always consider as something unattainable. For years we sold our city for much less than what it is worth.

CIRITIZING IS TYPICAL OF ITALIANS
Criticizing is an Italian flaw rather than of the people in Milan, in my opinion. We are always criticizing ourselves, we don’t know how to value ourselves, as if we were afraid of something.

THE CITY OF OPPORTUNITIES
People who manage to find a fulfilling job eventually understand that Milan, compared to many Italian cities, offers more opportunities. That is the truth. Therefore you can only have a positive relationship with Milan. However, even if I was born here, I also have a relationship of love and hate with Milan.

POLLUTION, POTHOLES AND…
I still hate it because of the pollution, the potholes, the tram tracks that are no longer used and remain there for years and are very dangerous for those who travel by bike or scooter.

MILAN’S SPIRIT
Where did I find that spirit that Milan has? When I saw, while I worked for the Expo Gate, the film Il posto by Ermanno Olmi. It’s a film made in 1960 and you will say, ‘What does today’s Milan have to with the Milan of that time?’. In my opinion Milan today has many things in common with the Milan of the 60s, the time of Milan’s rebirth, design, industry, creativity and the many possibilities for those who came from outside – like the protagonist – to find a job. That’s Milan in my opinion. There is a wonderful scene in the film where the protagonist and his girlfriend go out to lunch and cross Piazza San Babila on runways, bridges placed there because the square is totally gutted by the construction of the first subway line, MM1, another example of the extraordinary engineering and architectural talent. Albini made a masterpiece of design, beauty and functionality. Watching that film years ago I found myself thinking: ‘That Milan… everything could happen, everything still had to happen, before the degradation…’. Instead, watching it now, I said, ‘Look, Milan still has that potential’.

GIO PONTI AND PIERO FORNASETTI
Milan must go back in its history, also made by outstanding figures like Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti, representing its eccentricity within a project, not an end in itself, not pure oddity, but precisely the ability to have a purpose, to be strict and have visionary skills. We’re not all boring in Milan…

Video 2
THE MOST EUROPEAN CITY IN ITALY
The rest of Italy probably makes Milan the most European city in the country. I still see it, which is obviously due to its geographical position. Yes, it is definitely the city bridge between Italy and Europe, between Italy and the world.

AND THE CENTER OF CONTEMPORARY ART?
In Milan, from an artistic point of view there is a lot to do, in Italy Milan is definitely the capital of contemporary art. Here are the most important galleries of the country which are recognized all over the world. The young artists, those who don’t go abroad, all tend to come to Milan and want a studio in Milan. But we still live in a paradox, and you don’t know how hard it is to say it: we still don’t have a real contemporary art center. A space like that must be created, to connect more and more the various spheres, not only the visual arts but also design, fashion… I strongly believe that the contemporary world is more and more heading towards a mix of disciplines… The pure artist will no longer exist, but various characters who, starting from their field, will take the best from each artistic and creative field.

THE CREPACCIO EXAMPLE
My Crepaccio is an example of how Milan, in the end, is a very open, contemporary, European city, because in 2012 with two young girls, one from the Accademia di Brera and one from the Naba…

EXHIBITIONS IN A RESTAURANT
…We started organizing exhibitions in the window of a restaurant that faces the street. This is important, if you go in you don’t see anything of these exhibitions, and then, to organize exhibitions in a restaurant, in a bar, was the wrong thing to do, because – as in all areas – even in contemporary art there are codes. It was something, how can I say, cheap… people wouldn’t do it. If an artist were to tell you: ‘I exhibit in a bar’, then everyone said, ‘look, don’t do it. It’s wrong, it will never be taken seriously’. It all started as a joke, a very serious joke, as I always like to say. I felt the need to give visibility space to young artists.

AT LUNCH WITH CATTELAN
That window, over which Maurizio Cattelan and I started joking during a lunch at the restaurant, I thought might become something serious. Maurizio gave me the name of the space, Crepaccio (Italian for ‘crevasse’), since the name of the restaurant is Carpaccio, in Via Lazzaro Palazzi 19. It was a perfect name because the window is 30 cm deep. I invented this motto: I throw the young artists into the crevasse and those who survive will have the opportunity to move forward in the system, those who don’t make it… Oh well, better find out sooner than later. At first, we had an exhibition every 15 days.

FROM THE WINDOW TO THE BIENNALE
The thing developed, meaning that that from the window we started to occupy the street with impromptu performances and installations. The artist Yuri Ancarani also did an exhibition with his students and former students, and then things got out of control: we went to the Venice Biennale.

Video 3
ART, ENERGY AND THE NEW MAYOR
Milan needs a dynamic contemporary art center where – in addition to the exhibitions – there is a whole range of activities that can make it a point of reference for the local scene and beyond. There isn’t something like this. However, it should not be something imposed by the institutions, it should come from the energy from below, because there is this energy, this energy is boiling, simmering, the institutions in a very delicate and sophisticated way should be able to interface with this energy and make it grow, without suffocating it. That’s very difficult, it is a difficult task but I hope that the next administration will be able to do it.

NEW SPACES
The Hangar Bicocca, for example, about which everyone used to complain saying: ‘It’s too far away!’. Yes, it is true, we Milanesi always hang out in the center, since Milan is a small city, which is odd because there are huge cities where people do everything everywhere, but this is one of our paradoxes. The Hangar Bicocca is an extraordinary space.

THE TREE OF LIFE IN PIAZZALE LORETO?
Moving it to Piazzale Loreto seemed an extreme proposal, meaning that it would seem a little off the scale. I can’t imagine another area of the city that could accommodate it. If the Expo area, as I hope will happen, will be relaunched, it must obviously remain there.

MILAN TO SEE
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is an extraordinary place because of the Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio, but also for the Cartoons of the School of Athens by Raphael and a number of other wonders. The Branca tower to see Milan from above and to see that Milan is not far from the mountains, to see just how the skyline of Milan changed. The room where Fontana’s Neon is in the Museo del’ 900 where you can see the whole of Piazza del Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, which is a tourist place, visited by everyone, but seen from above and from another perspective it becomes something else.

THE MILANESI ARE…
We are open to the new but we don’t buy it, meaning that we take things with a grain of salt. So not the new just because it is new. Manzoni said that the Milanesità is that innate or acquired attitude to be able to distinguish between the useful and the useless. It must be said that being a Milanese doesn’t mean being born in Milan, but you can become a Milanese coming from anywhere in Italy or the world.

WORK THE SYSTEM
Milan gave me a lot because of its different realities, Milanesi and not, but I mostly worked with realities from Milan, during the Expo Gate I confirmed what I hoped for: there is a great desire and ability to network, from the non-profit organization to the big foundation, from the entrepreneurs to the emerging creatives… There’s this desire to create a system, on which only a few are betting, that we need to develop.

AND THEN?
My future is brilliant. This is the only way I can look at it. Recently someone told me: ‘Now you are ready for an international museum’. ‘No way, I’m here in Milan and I will continue to build in Milan’.

Categories
Depot Videointerview

XABIER IRIONDO ## Milanese from Milan, 45 years old, musician

Video 1
I was born in Milan in ’71 in the Isola neighborhood. The memories I have of my childhood are of a very gray and very foggy Milan. Isola is an animated neighborhood, with its narrow alleys, it looks almost like a village, a village within the metropolis. I remember that when we went to the center it was always like taking a trip… Isola is one of those areas that have undergone major transformations, it is border district that was once attached to the city… From Corso Como it expanded up to the Comasina area. At one point the railroad cut this neighborhood out of the rest of the city and so the Isola’s inhabitants remained cut off from everything else.

MANY WORKERS, SOME THUGS
The inhabitants worked at Siemens or Pirelli, which was a little bit further, in the Bicocca area. Let’s say that the Isola condition of being cut out from all the rest favored a very strong increase in crime. That was before the war, but especially since the war onwards.

MILAN’S ROBIN HOOD
There was also a sort of Robin Hood named Ezio Barbieri, who was a criminal, a thug, he is still alive, class ’22, who stole from the rich entrepreneurs who had made a lot of money with the black market and redistributed it amongst the poor people of the district, he was obviously protected by the district.

TOUGH AND SPECIAL ISOLA
When I was a boy, in the 70s, it was a tough neighborhood, a bit like Baggio or Quarto Oggiaro in the 80s. In fact this neighborhood has always been special because it has undergone many urban transformations, not just the most recent ones. For example the axis of Viale Zara-Fulvio Testi, which leads out of town, starts from Piazzale Lagosta…

THE MOJAZZA CEMETERY
Once this square was the site of a cemetery, the Mojazza cemetery. In this cemetery Beccaria and Parini were buried… With the new urban axis in the ’30s this cemetery was swept away because the Monumental Cemetery was built and the most illustrious citizens were transferred there. The poor ones, those ended up in mass graves, disappeared.

THE ISOLA TRANSFORMATION
The transformation of Porta Nuova has already been in the air for forty years. The mayor Aniasi’s town plan dates back to 1975, so that area has waited forty years to be re-converted. This is because since the war, with the bombing destroying many buildings, empty areas remained and hosted the former Varesine, a big fairground that was right where the Unicredit skyscrapers are now. On the right of Melchiorre Gioia, going towards the Porta Garibaldi station, there was another large square where circus tents and stuff like that were set up.

I DON’T LIKE IT NOW
I don’t like it because it upset the balance and the neighborhood dynamics that were, in my opinion, a heritage of the inhabitants themselves. The revaluation of rents and property prices implied that many people who were born in the Isola, especially the older ones, left the neighborhood because they could no longer afford to stay there.

THE VANISHED BALANCE
I think that a bit of the magic that was in this neighborhood, made possible by the socialization between the different social classes, has been lost. Now there still is a strong level of socialization, but it is tied to the new premises, ethnic restaurants, bars, nightlife. Like in many other parts of the city. Where the development was essentially linked to economy and production, whereas once socialization was based on primary dynamics.

I’M STILL HERE
I stayed in the Isola. I lived in another area for a while, in the north, in the Bicocca-Niguarda area, also a working-class neighborhood. Then I came back about twenty years ago and I still live here.

Video 2
MILANESE AND BASQUE
My Basque part is very strong. Although I was born in this city, and I feel I am a Milanese, I am very attached to that territory, northern Spain, the Basque Country, to my family, and I’ve gone there all my life and I’ve never I missed a year.

MY DAD, A PELOTA CHAMPION
My father came to Milan to work. He was a professional pelota player, and in Milan, in the 50s, the Sphaeristerium was in Via Palermo, in the Garibaldi district. This, the fact that the Basque Pelota was a very popular sport, and many artists such as Walter Chiari, Giorgio Strehler, all friends of my father at the time… My mother met my father because the Basque pelota was a popular sport. In the evening people used to go to see these players who threw a ball at nearly 300 km / h in these baskets…

1953, STARIGHT TO LA SCALA
My father arrived at the Central Station and the first thing he asked all the friends who went to pick him up, and who already played pelota here, was ‘Good, let’s take the metro: take me straight to the La Scala Opera House’, since my father loved the opera he definitely wanted to see it. His friends looked at him and said, ‘What metro? In Milan there is no metro!’. He said, ‘How is it possible? It’s such an important city, so international…’.

TO THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW MILAN
I say it is a lively and welcoming city with a strong personality, qualities that it has always had because it has always developed through transformations, the trips that people made to come here to work and learn. (To those who don’t know Milan) I also tell the more normal things, fashion, design and all the specialties of Milan. The things that I tell everyone are the more special ones, the more hidden ones, that may not be so evident to those who have just got here.

MILAN’S STRENGTH
Undoubtedly its ability to change also through the inputs that come from the outside, by the people who come here to live. But also the ability to absorb the best of all the stories and professionalisms with this magic of ‘doing’.

MAGIC AND CONDEMNATION
This being in constant motion, in constant transformation. This is what is magic about this city, and perhaps also its condemnation.

AWAY FROM HERE
I could choose to leave, but I stayed because… Well! First, because I felt attached to this beautiful and also damned city. And then because I had already developed my profession, so here I had all the contacts and relationships.

THE JUNGLE SOUND RECORDS EXPERIENCE
In the 90s I attended the Jungle Sounds Records, which is in the Navigli area, where all those who represented the music scenes and groups of the ’80s in Milan were. I’m speaking about the Afterhours, the band I play with, but also the Ritmo Tribale, the Casino Royale, Karma … Many revolved around this recording studio and rehearsal room, which was then also a good container of ideas. At the time I had to choose whether to go and live in the Basque Country or in Paris, and I chose to stay here in Milan, and I think it was a wise choice.

Video 3
A GENEROUS CITY
This city gave me a lot, even when I developed this strange and a bit crazy project: opening a shop to sell musical instruments, and more.

A CRAZY LABORATORY
A laboratory where every Saturday musicians from completely different fields performed: from electronic to blues, from folk to rock, free concerts and performances.

A SMALL VENUE
The place was small, it could accommodate up to 30-40 people. There were also evenings with only 10 people.
2005-2010, LEAVING MY MARK
I wanted to leave a little mark in this five-year plan from 2005 to 2010. That made me realize and feel that this city really is moving.

ATTENTIVE AND CURIOUS
Always ready to receive even bizarre and special things. Because when you organize, for example, a dance show which showcased bare Butu artists and people stop in front of the shop window, and some curious ones go in just to understand and find out what is going on, I realize that this city is open to many challenges.

THE STATE OF THE ART
Rock, already an old type music, has had a series of changes, there are new entities…

THE LOGIC OF ‘DOING’
I believe in the logic of ‘doing’, right? The Milanese has it, the new Milanesi have. It is a city that can offer new possibilities because it has always been like a building site for artistic and musical ideas…

THE MONTE STELLA EXAMPLE
The Monte Stella was born from all the rubble, because the idea of transformation and change has always existed in Milan. In particular, in the specific case of the Monte Stella, it was dictated by a need: not only did we find a place to dispose of the rubble, but we made a small mountain in a completely flat area and we changed it. We built sewers, supplied it with electricity to make it become a place where the Milanesi people can go and enjoy a city hill with lots of woods.

SPECIAL PLACES
I think The Last Supper is one of the places of excellence in this city, a truly magical place. I encourage everyone, even the Milanesi who have never visited it, and there are many, to go and see it. It is a truly special place. Another special place is the Martesana canal.

DIALECT
No, I don’t speak it, but I understand it. In my family we spoke mostly in Italian, Spanish and Basque. My mother spoke Milan’s dialect but my father was not so ready…

Video 4
YES TO THE MOSQUE (AND NOT ONLY)
This city is growing more and the more international it will become – it surely will – the more we will have to get used to the fact that there isn’t only ‘our’ religion, the Catholic religion, but also the other ones. Therefore, this city has to offer appropriate places and spaces for them. People can’t think that the Milan of 2020 or of 2025 is the same as Milan in the 50s or 60s.

A NEW CHALLENGE
Perhaps thinking that doing is important – it has always been – but that we must also stop and relate to others to figure out what really needs to be done. The engine should not be doing at all costs, but relating to others to do what’s good for everyone.

PISAPIA’S SUCCESSOR
I hope and wish that we can find a convergence for which we find a progressive person like Pisapia, one that is able to promote a new season in the life of this city.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE?
I think the crisis has brought and given strong signals for a radical change: the Milano da bere (Milan to drink) no longer exists, not even the Milano post da bere. We must completely rethink Milan.

STARTING FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD
I think the network of associations and realities linked to the territory are a good starting point. They can help us regain possession of the neighborhood and its history.

A CITY MADE OF VILLAGES
This city is made of many neighborhoods, many villages fused together in the last 150 years. This side of Milan must be brought out, we must share it with the young people, the people who come here for the first time, that every neighborhood has its history and strength. The cinemas for example, Talking about the Isola: in 1910 a cinema was built in via Garigliano, it was called Cinema Sociale. It was one of the major theaters of the city, a little peripheral but active until the ’70s. Especially in the ’30s and after World War II, it was transformed into Cinema Zara, it had its glory. This cinema theatre had nearly eight hundred seats inside, and so it was an important social gathering place. This cinema then became secondary and in the 70s, it became the first hard rock hall in Milan: it was called Punto Rosso Hard Rock. All the hard rock or heavy-metal bands of the late 70’s early 80’s past through here, even the first punk bands who managed to arrive in Europe and Italy. It had its history, its strength, then the snowfall in ‘85 brought the roof down, so the place was abandoned and eventually occupied and it became the social center of Via Garigliano, the headquarters of Casino Royale, where for years parties, shows, alternative cinema were hosted. This is to say that every place of this city can be transformed, it is important not to imagine that the final spirit should always be that of real estate speculation that has always triumphed in Milan.

AN EXPERIENCE ABROAD
I have lived in this city for 45 years, and so now it might make sense to move somewhere else for one, two, three years.

Categories
Depot Videointerview

RAUL CREMONA ## Milanese from Milan, 59 years old, magician and comedian

Video 1
MILAN, PORTA ROMANA
I was born in Piazza Ferrara, near Piazzale Corvetto. Like my parents. Piazza Ferrara continues with Via Bessarione, Piazza Gilberto. Once it was a small village… I moved not far from there, today I still live in Porta Romana but closer to Piazzale Libia.

THE MAGIC BOX
The gift was from my grandmother Giuditta, who died young, at 59 years old. I don’t remember much, I remember that my brother and I ran and went up to her, she lived in a banister house, on the top floor. Today I wouldn’t make it all the way up, I opened the refrigerator and drank all those sodas, Ginger, all those things that were fashionable in the ’60s. The Cedrata, the Giommy, Chinotto… ‘You boys come up here to drink, not to see your grandmother’. And then we would run off…

THE CYLINDER, THE CARDS AND THE BALLS
In ’64 I found this box, Arco. It was all black with a stamp on it. Inside there were a cylinder, the cards, the balls… The magician’s tools… I was amazed by this box.

THE LOST AND RE-BOUGHT BOX
Over the years that box got lost but I found the same type at a junk shop, I bought it back. It was the same one by Arco. ‘Take it, take it. It’s a gift’, years ago. Another time, much more recently, I had to pay a hundred euros for it.

IL CIRCOLO DEI MAGHI
At 17 I joined the Circolo dei Maghi, a clan, and today I’m the President.

THE FABBRICA DELLE CAMPANE
We have very beautiful headquarters, the Fabbrica delle Campane, at the Isola, in Via Thaon di Revel. It is beautiful because it is a 19th century environment, with bricks walls and a small stage.

SALES REP AND SHOWMAN
When I worked as a sales rep I was the entertainer at all the company parties. The company was called American Dental, it was based in Genoa and the owner was Furio Belloro, that I remember with great respect because he was a very good person. We sold dental products, products that we imported from Sweden and America. I worked as a demonstrator together with the reps, I showed the products.

AND NOW…
It always ended the same way… At the end of a meeting, the owner stood up to said: ‘And now, to end our party, here is Raul Cremona with his show!’.

IL CAPPELLO SULLE 23
Then one day I ended up going to the Rai TV show Il Cappello sulle23 directed by Mario Landi, with Paolo Mosca, Federico Monti Arduini and Rosa Fumetto. During the theme song as Raul Cremona I did my tricks, I entertained the stars who arrived to the show. One day Barbara Bouchet was there as a guest, another day it was Agostina Belli… In short, personalities. During a meeting at some point one of the sales reps looked at me in a strange way… ‘Excuse me, can I ask you a question?’. ‘Yes sure’. ‘Is there any chance you were on television last night with Barbara Bouchet?’. And I said: ‘Yes, why?’. ‘What are you doing here? Go, go… go to Barbara Bouchet’.

THE TURNING POINT
It was the hint of a change that would take place shortly thereafter. So much so that I resigned. I was very lucky because my dad, who was a character, and my grandfather as well, never created problems. I don’t come from a middle class family in which limits and duties were heavy. Never heard things like, ‘You need to become…’, ‘You have to do like we did…’.

DAD AND GRAMPA WERE BARKERS
My father was a barker, my grandfather was a barker… My grandfather was a popular character in an extinct Milan, that no longer exists… he was a phenomenon.

FAMILY OF ENTERTAINERS
Tradition has it that those sellers, before the war, sold also shows, costumes, special clothing… In addition to a number of useful – more or less – items for everyday things. For example, a defogger for car glasses, which was nothing else than sliced soap wrapped in aluminum. As you pass it over the glass, try it, the glass doesn’t steam. It was that kind of a job.

THE DUOMO AS A STAGE
My father had the permit for the center, it is important to say this because it meant that he had Piazza del Duomo, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, as a stage. So, as a child, my family took me to Piazza del Duomo to see my grandfather talking to all the people around him… I wondered, I was six years old, what my grandfather’s job was.

Video 2
THE MAGICIAN’S INCOME
My father was happy when I told him: ‘I’ll be a magician…’. My father, however, at some point asked me ‘the’ question: ‘How much do you earn?’. I told him what I could get and then he replied: ‘Well, so do it!’.

DAD’S SECRETS
After all these experiences, I worked a lot with my father, I stole from him all the things that were in that square, all about the psychology of people… In the meantime I practiced my magic tricks, the classics ones, the Egg’s bag, the Chinese rings, the handkerchief that changes color… I had in my hand, or in my pocket, three or four games that I used here and there. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, Raoul Cremona!’. I enjoyed that.

THE STEP INTO THE DERBY
One evening, orbiting around the various clubs, I ended up at the Derby. In ’83 its crisis was beginning, it would then close in ’86, but the legendary Ms. Bongiovanni kept telling me: ‘Here we don’t want magicians, no magicians here, we do not want them…’. One evening, however, she could not take my pestering anymore and she said: ‘Go up on the stage, go’. I stayed a week. I remember all the people who were with me on those nights: Claudio Bisio, Antonio Catania, Paolo Rossi, Giorgio Porcaro… Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo who played the acrobats!

THE MAGICIAN AND THE COMEDIAN
At first I was just a smart magician. I went on the stage, took the handkerchief, it changed color… Then I started to tell a few jokes…

BETTER SAY SOMETHING
The idea of wearing an elegant suit with the Chinese rings and make a silent three minute sketch was not for me… Once, I’ll always remember, I put the rings down, I grabbed the microphone and said, ‘Hello!’. I didn’t know what to say, but I knew it was better to speak.

THE MAGIC OF HUMOR
Mine was a humoristic approach to magic because I realized I could not be very serious… I had to, and I wanted, to be brilliant and funny.

LIKE SILVAN? NO, THANKS
And I in fact what did I do? I watched the rivals. There were many who spoke like Silvan: ‘I will choose a spectator in the audience…’. I said to myself ‘No, you can’t do that!’.

KEEP CHANGING
Then I change again, I’ll make a joke, the joke becomes a sketch, the sketch becomes a character, the desire to get out of that body… to invent another one, to invent tricks and also to destroy the classical repertoire.

ZELIG, MY HOME
When I landed at Zelig I could finally experiment all these things, in front of the audience, for two hours… Let’s try!

THE BEAUTY OF THE CURTAIN
In another place that no longer exists that was called Non solo musica I asked the owner to put up a curtain. ‘Do it because it is beautiful…’. He put up the curtain, but I didn’t know what to do: ‘Now how do I justify this expense?’. When the curtain closed he would say to me: ‘It closes, it opens but nothing has changed, you keep doing the same things’. Then at home I worked on it, I started to sing, another mutation, I sang Frank Sinatra…

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, FRANK SINATRA!
The curtain opened and… ‘You Make Me Feel So Young, You See The Pearl Of Fluffing Eye And Suddenly…’. People looked and said, ‘What? Is he crazy?’. However, the curtain opened and closed…

IL MAGO ORONZO
Now it’ll open again and so I said: ‘I have to do something else’, let’s do characters. The first one was the oafish magician, Mago Oronzo.

I NEVER FALL IN LOVE
I have a pretty destructive attitude towards myself, meaning that I don’t fall in love with the things I do, I’m cold about them. I look at my things, I don’t see the good things, but I see only the bad ones.

MILAN’S AUDIENCE
The Milanesi, like all audiences around the world, must be educated. Those years when cabaret was very popular the audience was educated, Zelig’s audience has always been this way. These last few years things have changed, the idea that each of us can be a leader through the media vehicle is a bit limiting for those who perform on the stage. Because there is not that kind of respect… I mean, who is on stage is not there because (he is a fool or a miracle survivor).

LIKE MY GRANDFATHER
My technique is doing things like my grandfather, as a barker, would have done. What would he have said on that occasion? If Claudio Bisio bothers me, I tell him what my grandfather would have said ‘Allora, Ciccio t’è rott i ball’ (Milan’s dialect for ‘Don’t break my balls’). But I can’t say it in Milanese, I have to say it in Italian, and how does it come out in Italian? ‘Listen, have you ever tried to walk on the gutters of a building? Why don’t you try, so you make us happy’.

MILAN’S CYNICISM
Being Milanesi means having a kind of cynicism that others do not have. My cynicism appears through a clear and frank Milanesità…

SOME EXAMPLES
I’ll tell you a joke that makes you understand who the Milanese is. There is a child who falls in the Naviglio and a guy saves him. The father comes and says to the guy: ‘Te ste ti che te salvà il mio fiol?’. Was it you who saved my son? And he says: ‘Yes’. ‘Good. Where’s the hat?’. This is the Milanese, the Milanese always looks at the useful side of things and comes up with dry cynicism. ‘Kids, please don’t play here. Go play on the freeway’. These are not jokes, these are natural emanations of the Milanesità. ‘Here, go down there where there are open drains’.

REGRETS
I’m full of regrets but I’ll never list them, who cares. There’s not a comedian in the world who would not want to have even more… One would like to become a popular comedian in Lombardy, another one would like to become popular in Italy, the one that has become popular in Italy would like to become popular in the world…

THERE ARE TWO RAULS
There are two Rauls: one speaks negatively and the other one is positive, one says, ‘what a shitty world…’ and the other says, ‘you’ve been lucky, what do you want more than what you had?’. So what is the right choice? It is always in the middle. Nothing good comes from saying to people: ‘I was unlucky, because I would have had more opportunity if… Take that guy, for example, is not worth a shit frankly, but how the hell did he do it… He makes all these films… What the fuck! And someone like me?’. If we go for this game, we’re going to ruin our lives. What we need to tell us within ourselves is: ‘Antonio, Silvia, Giulia, Raoul… You were lucky!’.

WITH MY MAGIC WAND?
More than making people disappear I would make habits disappear, wrong attitudes, this bureaucracy, this inability to understand and manage, to be fluid. Is it possible that, let me give you an example, in the municipality offices there are already electronic identity cards but there is only one machine that makes them? Is that possible? If I had a magic wand… Puff! The folders would disappear and the machines would appear.

A NOVEL ON MENTALISM
Now I’m writing a book entitled Il Grande Zirmani, about magic, about a clairvoyant who lived in the last century and I took the trouble to transcribe the repertoire and understand it. And I discovered that he was a charlatan, everything he claimed to have – powers and visions – are really just bagatelle, magic tricks that I disclosed in the book giving everyone the opportunity to become like him. By reading this book you will know that you don’t have occult powers but that you will have the nerve to use them… it comes out in March published by My Life.

MY DEAREST MILAN
Milan is a city that was sadly devastated by bombing and so my favorite places are imaginary… That hill behind San Giovanni in Conca, which makes you understand exactly where the Bottonuto was, a sort of Trastevere in Milan, demolished in the 50s – after the bombing – for the construction of the great Via Larga. It makes me think when, back in time, San Giovanni in Conca had a different façade, it has been moved to where the Sormani is. Piazza Missori was a little bit narrower, there loomed a range of restaurants, theaters that are now gone, that ended up in the Cinque Vie. So I stand there in Piazza Missori, I look at Via Larga, and closing my eyes I make a 100-year leap. At the end I say to myself: ‘Is it all a magic trick? Raul you are a magician and should understand, it is a sleight of hand, it is an illusion…

Categories
Depot Videointerview

FABIO TREVES ## Milanese from Milan, 66 years old, bluesman

Video 1
BORN IN MILAN
I was born in Milan, in the Macedonio Melloni clinic. I’ve lived here for more than 66 years. So, even though I speak little dialect, I am a Milanese.

UNDERGROUND MUSIC
My blues is an underground blues that makes you feel the pulse and the clatter of the underground.

THE MANCHESTER’S LION
In 1977 John Mayall, the great father of British blues whose nickname is the Manchester’s Lion, was supposed to come to Milan…

IL PUMA DI LAMBRATE (LAMBRATE’S COUGAR)
…therefore a journalist wrote: ‘All right, but don’t forget that here in Milan we have Fabio Treves, il Puma di Lambrate’. This nice nickname stuck for all these forty years, it accompanied me, and I must say it has also brought me luck, because a lot of people in the street recognize me and say: ‘Hey! Hello Puma’.

LAMBRATE ON MY MIND
Lambrate is the starting point of my long blues path. The first gigs on the benches were at the Lambro park that was obviously in Lambrate.

GOOD MUSIC FROM FATHER TO SON
I started to like music because my father was a great music lover. He was a particular character, one of the first competitors of Lascia o raddoppia’, renowned neurologist and psychiatrist, a great lover of movies, good music and quality readings.

FROM BOSSA NOVA TO BLUES
In short, at home we listened to good music. I mean both Toscanini who led the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bossa Nova, jazz, Miles Davis, bebop, the traditional and also blues… So in the ’60s, when the beat arrived in Italy, the first pop, I felt there was something familiar in it.

ONE THOUSAND POINTS WITH JIMI HENDRIX
At the Carducci, my high school, those who came to school with Jimi Hendrix’s ablum, in 1967, gained more points than those who listened to Morandi, Caselli or Celentano…

FINARDI AND I, THE BLUES BROTHERS
I boast about my nearly fifty-year-long friendship with Eugenio Finardi, who is my ‘blues brother’. He was known as ‘Eugene l’Americano’ because at the student competitions, where each school sent a representative, he made a good impression because he sang in American, he is an American native speaker, while we imitated the sound of the language singing ‘Auonna gonna, beibi beibi…’. He was already a blues rocker, whereas I showed up with my harmonic and played Hoochie Coochie Man for minutes. I’ve never won a contest, of course.

THE RIVER LMBRO IS THE SAME AS THE MISSISSIPPI
I jokingly say that the River Lambro is my Mississippi.

BLUES IN MILAN
It’s the blues of the typical neurosis of the metropolis, the blues of the old warehouses of the factories that remained there.

JANNACCI’S BLUES
Blues is also in the characters Enzo Jannacci used to sing about, another friend of mine who passed away. Gigi Lamera for example, who lived behind Baggio, that in order not to tell his wife that he had lost his job he dressed up every day and pretended to go to work ‘Ben annodata la cravatta dell’Upim (Well knotted Upim’s tie)’.

THE MILAN I MISS
That’s the Milan I miss. The characters like the Ganassa, the gambler, the dandy, the loser, those are blues characters because blues tells the story of everyday life.

MY PLACES
I have three favorite places: Piazzale Susa up to when I was 10 years old, Piazza Piola-Città Studi from age 10 to age 20, and from 1972 on Loreto-Lambrate.

BAGGIO’S CASSOUELA
And then there is the Osteria La Grande Baggio where I can call and say, ‘Would you make me the Cassoeula?’ Finding a restaurant in Milan that makes the cassoeula is impossible now. ‘How would you like it? Good and greasy? Or low-fat?’, he asks me. ‘Make it your way’. He is Bob lo Smilzo (Italian for ‘Skinny Bob’)…

THE METRO’S EXCAVATIONS
One of my strongest memories dates back to the ‘50s, when I saw the first underground works and I went there where the retirees watched what was happening in the yard. The workers were digging and you could not see the bottom in Corso Buenos Aires.

CHINATOWN
Every city has a Chinatown: San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles… I don’t understand why Milan shouldn’t have one. You can’t act like a snob, a racist, as if you were better… And it’s always like that: if you accept, you will almost always be accepted.

Video 2
AMBROGINO D’ORO (AND BLUES)
The fact that I was assigned an Ambrogino d’Oro by an administration that recognized my commitment, my stubbornness into spreading the blues culture – because it is a true and proper culture – has made me very happy, of course.

1974, THE TREVES BLUES BAND
I was lucky. When I started in 1974 and decided to form the Treves Blues Band the situation in Milan was that of progressive rock, avant-garde jazz, of political songwriting, songwriters flourished everywhere… And then there was me, and I played blues. ‘What do you do? Jazz?’. No, blues. ‘Oh well, the same thing…’. This was Milan in those years.

BLUES IS OVER
The beginning was difficult, people told me ‘Are you putting yourself into blues? Careful, in a few months, not years, nobody will care about blues anymore’.

THANK YOU RENZO
But no, I was lucky and I found my great great mentor, one of the few who believed in me since the beginning: Renzo Arbore. He invited me to the Altra Domenica in ’78, Quelli della notte in’85, Doc in ’88.

AFTER DEEP PURPLE, THE ROLLING STONES?
A few months ago I got the great satisfaction of opening four Italian concerts of Deep Purple, who have always been one of my favorite bands, and I said to myself, why not? Dreaming doesn’t cost anything, never say never. So I got in touch with a dear friend, Chuck Leavell, who in the past 20 years has played in all the Rolling Stones’ tours. I told him: ‘You know that I opened the Italian concerts of Deep Purple?’, and then I said: ‘We are available, you talk to the guys… If you ever need a band that plays twenty minutes before you…’. He said: ‘Look, in life never say never’.

Categories
Depot Videointerview

FEDERICO BRUGIA ## Milanese from Milan, 49 years old, film director

Video 1
I was born in the Magenta district from which I soon moved to the Navigli, my favorite part of the city where I still live.

BETTER DIRECTOR THAN POPE
As a kid I dreamed of doing exactly what I do now, apart from the period – when I was very young – when I wanted to become Pope or orchestra conductor… The choice came fairly early (to become a film director), more or less when I was 12-13 years old, when my father got me a small Super8 camera. In short, that’s what I wanted to do and what I ended up doing.

THE BEGINNING IN THE 80s
I was born in ‘67 and I started to work very early, when I was 18-19 years old, doing my own thing. I finished high school, I started studying at DAMS at the University in Bologna, and had postponed my military service that back then was compulsory. I remember that I had signed a contract for a major production house of the time, the Brw. One day they wanted to send me abroad for a project, but the problem was that at the time if you had to do yor military service, or civil as in my case, you could not leave the country. Therefore I had some problems making my let’s say professional life that had already started coexist with all the commitments that I hadn’t completed yet: degree, military service, etc… Milan helped me a lot because at the time the city was undergoing an explosion of creativity and energy. We’re talking about the city of the Plastic, fashion, design, which was beginning to come out, and especially the city with energy that now it has lost a little.

POSSIBLE DREAMS
It was a fantastic city where if you had a dream and the perseverance to carry it out, it was easy (to make it happen). Not that things were simple but, if you wanted to sow, the ground was very fertile.

DJ + RUNWAY SHOWS = DIRECTOR
I liked working as a DJ, and so I started to propose soundtracks for fashion runway shows in Milan. This way (I thought) I could enter the world of fashion, I could begin to take my super 8 movie camera with me and film things – backstage, curiosities etc … – and then try to sell them. (I could ask the customer) Do you want to buy it? Do you want to put in your shop? I almost never lost.

MILAN AND NEW IDEAS
In the 80s and 90s Milan was definitely the Italian city that more than others – perhaps along with Bologna, but for other things – favored the development of new ideas for advertising, videos, music. Rome is where the cinema industry is and for someone like me who wants to make movies maybe… But I think that both now and in the past it is the city that fosters all forms of innovative new expression.

SPOILED MILANESI
(The others) are a bit hard on us, meaning that they treat us as if we were spoiled, they feel they can safely say: ‘Oh well, you’re a Milanese: life is easy for you… ‘.

HERE WE DO THINGS
But in the end facts count the facts are in Milan. This is what the great merit of the Milanesi is. Things get done in Milan.

FASHION WITHOUT ANY ENERGY
The best memories I have of the famous Fashion Week, which was a bit like Ferragosto in the rest of the country. In Italy people talked about Ferragosto, in Milan about the Fashion Week, where things happened. There were parties, people weirdly dressed, limousines, it was difficult to find taxis… If it was raining when Giorgio Armani’s fashion show was on, it was better to stay home. It was impossible to go out… This has been a bit lost, I don’t know why and I don’t want to say unseemly things. The fact is that there is no longer that attention and internationality. It is so perhaps because today a fashion show can also be watched on the Web, and so there is less acclaim, I don’t know. Certainly it has slowly lost a bit of energy.

MILAN AND THE CRISIS
Milan has to rethink itself because, when Europe and even Italy do it, this city must do the same. Then, if it is true that Milan is a city that has always given opportunity, that freed potential, that has that famous breeding ground, when there are issues that don’t involve only Milan but the entire world, Milan responds as it can. It’s small, it’s cozy, however it has problems to solve confronting itself with the new world.

HOSPITALITY IS OPPORTUNITY
As in all the industrial cities there is the problem of hospitality, the problem of integration, the problem of dealing with a changing world and being prepared to seize opportunities. Here, I hope that Milan will welcome not only the problems to solve, but also the opportunities that these problems can somehow generate.

ARE THERE PEOPLE WHO WERE BORN IN MILAN?
I think one day it would be nice to say Milan is a bit like New York. Woody Allen years ago said: ‘Why, are there people who were born in New York?’.

THANK YOU MILAN
My bond with Milan was decisive, I am grateful to Milan, and then who knows? If I was in New York I would have maybe accomplished even more, or maybe less.

Video 2
Milan is a city that doesn’t sell itself, it is not like Venice or Florence or Rome. You see Milan and you say ‘no…’

IT’S NOT… BUT IT IS… WONDERFUL
But Milan is actually wonderful and I miss it when I’m away. My area, the places I know… Every time you land at Malpensa or Linate you want to go back… because it is not like landing in New York, however, it’s Milan.

GRAY IS BETTER
You find me in a moment in which I am very happy because I don’t love sunny Milan very much and now it is starting to drizzle, to be the dark in the morning… Gray Milan is something you can’t explain, it’s pure poetry… Milan is like a poem… I am reminded of Vanoni’s songs, I don’t know how to explain it. The Navigli, the fog, the mala…

STOP THE CLICHÉS
The idea of the Milanese, of the industrialist, the idea that is a bit vanziniana – with all respect for Vanzina – that thing that we were sold, and that was true because there was a time when Milan was also like that, in short, Craxi’s Milan… Here, that thing no longer exists, that is the imitation of the cummenda… Not a detestable cliché but a ridiculous one.

THE WORLD BEHIND THE FRONT DOOR
I live in the Navigli district and to this day I keep discovering things… In those buildings that overlook the Naviglio, you open the front door and inside there is a courtyard, then you see an alley and then another courtyard and finally you get to the other Naviglio… This is hidden Milan, also this one is a cliché, though it is true that hidden Milan is behind doors, in the courtyards…

A MAGICAL PLACE
I share with my wife the love for a place in particular, where among other things we wanted to get married, the church San Bernardino alle Ossa, which is beautiful and is located in the university area. It’s a little gem…

SKYSCRAPERS. NOT BAD.
With the area of new skyscrapers at the beginning I had a somewhat unfortunate relationship, meaning that I didn’t like it at all… Now I must say that the more I go through that area, at all hours of the day, and recently I’ve been there often for site supervisions, the more I like it.

THE NEW DARSENA? MAH!
The Darsena is a place that historically, so I’m not speaking about the aesthetics but about local history, has nothing to do with what has been done, it has nothing to do with it. Moreover, what has been done, in my personal opinion, it is not something amazing. From my personal taste point of view, however, like many Milanesi – so my opinion is supported by many other people – I think it hasn’t made Milan any more beautiful.

THE BIGGEST MISUNDERSTANDING
Thinking that Milan is only a place where people who design clothes, design objects, beautiful things… The misunderstanding of its superficiality, Milan is a thousand other things.

GRASSI’S AND STREHLER’S CITY
Let’s talk about this. Milan was the city of Grassi, Strehler, the Piccolo Teatro. It is not just fashion, there is a very deep side of Milan.

CINEMA IN MILAN
It is very difficult to make films in Milan. It has been established that the films should be made in Rome, in Milan one can only make advertising.

THE NEW MOVIE ON BERLUSCONI
My (new) story (for my new film) has something to do (with Berlusconi) because it is about the free television of the 80s, the end of free television because new things were happening in Milan. It happened that a gentleman that everyone knows created a TV channel and bought small television channels scattered throughout Italy, the small free channels. So it is about the passage from provincial Italy, which made its shows with amateurs imitating Adriano Celentano and danced around, to today’s Italy where the same thing happens but on a national scale. Because today we call it X Factor but once it was called Pomofiore…

Categories
Depot Videointerview

ENRICO BERTOLINO ## Milanese from Milan, 55 years old, comedian

Video 1
DIVING AT THE CORRIERE DELLA SERA
I was born in the Isola district, which is one of the oldest districts of Milan. In the past it was an abandoned territory named ‘Isola’ because it was surrounded by canals, which eventually got covered. My father told me that he used to bathe in Via San Marco, where today are the headquarters of the Corriere delle Sera, in Via Solferino.

NAPOLEON AND OTHERS
The Isola is quite an emblematic district because it denotes the absence of an urbanistic plan… Napoleon in the 1800’s had made a very interesting plan because it led Milan to become the new Amsterdam. The canals were supposed to arrive to Piazza Cairoli, where the Castle is where there were supposed to be customs. It would have been a city that would most likely have had a remarkable development. The problem was that Napoleon had heavily invested in the Russian campaign, and there was no more money. So rather than investing he took away works, paintings and even a little spirit out of Milan. He took away the spirit of Milan. Then slowly (the city) recovered because ours is a city accustomed to being dominated. We had everyone here: the Spanish, Austrians… And everyone left something: the Spanish left the plague, and in fact we have the Lazzaretto. The French left little, if not a few words in the dialect. And also the Germans and Austrians… Radetzky forgot his favorite cutlet here: the schnitzel. It has become the Cotoletta alla Milanese so if now you go to Brazil and ask for ‘camarao’, shrimps, they answer ‘the Milanesa’, since they are breaded. If Radetzky knew about this he would get a herpes.

NEVER BEEN RACIST
Milan didn’t have an easy and consistent integration process (with those from outside) like Turin, for example with the Fiat, but here the signs saying ‘not renting to Southerners’ never existed.

BOSCO VERTICALE? NO…
I made my own campaign, well campaign… I produced a piece of cabaret on the Bosco Verticale. It is an architecturally interesting example, but 12,500 Euros per square meter, with plants that you can’t even choose, seems a bit too much… The other day I saw the workers who clean the windows coming down with ropes. It is part of progress, however it could have probably been better integrated in the urban fabric. Near the Bosco Verticale is Piazza Gae Aulenti, but there are also the Aler buildings, the old Total buildings from the 70s, there is a bridge that many times has been declared unfit for use and then suddenly accessible: the overpass Don Eugenio Bussa.

MORALITY AND FASHION
One city can’t become the moral capital just because it is the fashion kingdom. Fashion and morality are two concepts that, in my opinion, are a bit contrasting. Milan in ’92 wasn’t actually a moral city, this is where the whole tangenti (bribes) scandal started.

THE CHINESE AND US
The London Chinatown is a flagship, it is a source of pride. Here Via Paolo Sarpi is the district where the Chinese ‘work hard all day’. But that’s not all it is, it is a culture that has established here and that is trying to integrate. It is obvious that the Italian, Lombard, restaurateur or the hairdresser when they see that the Chinese are open 24/7 they say ‘That’s not fair, that’s not good’. Not good? We have to adapt, life changes.

BYE BYE THEATRES
Milan is losing pieces of culture. The theaters have been forgotten. One became a place where you can eat, Eataly, I’m speaking of the Smeraldo, the striptease theatre of Milan, where stripping shows were still hosted. Then there was the Ciak, where among others I also made my debut, that today has become a building with many apartments. Others become garages…

OLD TIMES’ TALENTS
As comedians our talent shows were in the clubs in Milan. The Belsit, a tavern where managers came with their lovers, where executives made out with secretaries… Then there was the Corte dei Miracoli, on the waterfront of the canals, where if they didn’t like you they threw empty beer bottles at you. I luckily had another job, I did it as a hobby. It was hard for those who were supposed to make a living out of it and had to work in the small room of the Ca’ Bianca, for example, with 30 guests. It was not easy. Today the talent shows are very well organized, at the time we had to make our own talent shows and it could happen that, at the end, the owners paid us with postdated checks. Obviously, after the waiters were paid. First the waiters got paid then, from 2.30 3.00 a.m., it was our turn.

FIRST GIGS
I remember the saddest ones: on March 8th. On that date the comedian has an audience made only of women who, if you were not funny or you made a sexist slip, they would whistle and throw mimosas at you. Unbearable flowers because after a while they make you develop an allergy even if you don’t suffer from it. Then I remember the gigs where out of 30 people in the audience 25 were Russian. I remember sweating to make them smile, then – at the end – one got up and said, ‘Sorry, but they do not understand…’. ‘Vadaviailcu’ (Milan’s dilact for
‘Fuck off then’)’.

Video 2
I’d like this city to keep that kind of pride that in part came out with Expo.

THE FUTURE
The sense of belonging more than pride, because in Milan pride is often confused with presumption.

SALA MAYOR?
Sala for example could be a good profile but the problem could be that then he might have to deal with those politicians that never give up.

THE LEFT?
The left doesn’t exist anymore. The left is like the restrooms, which are down the hallway on the left…

PEOPLE FRINDLY CITY
In the next five years I would like the city to begin developing the mentality according to which everyone who comes here brings something besides their presence. So I think this city could become people friendly, although it must be a bit more women friendly because in my opinion this city must value women more.

MILAN AND CHANGES
I would like to see Milan back to peacefully adapting to changes. The metro lines of this city, for example, are good, among the best in Europe. They made the line 3 and 5, but between 3 and 5 there is 4… Then about the Lilla line, the one that was built to get to San Siro Stadium, now they say ‘Well then, the Stadium will close’.

YOU DO IT…
Milan is a city like any other, where we’re all willing to say: ‘Yes, well, good. This is right’. But what do you do? ‘No, you have to do it, it’s not that I do it, you do it’. When you tell people that we are the state they say ‘You are? Then get to it’…

THE NEW QUATAR’S ISOLA
The beautiful Isola neighborhood, completely renovated, 40 percent with the investment funds of Qatar… So if one day they bring camels, throw down the sand, we shouldn’t complain… Who has the money invests it and makes things, we must be cosmopolitan. If they invest the money they want something in return and that is integration.

YES TO THE MOSQUE
Why not? But without swallowing up other traditions.

RENZI AND HIS USELESS OPTIMISM
Renzi with his optimism, I call it useless optimism, when there are bad news he’s never here: he is always in China or elsewhere. He sends out the others… All news must be given, not just the winning kind.

BERTOLINO SANBABILINO
The sanbabilini in the 70s had the most beautiful women. The girls with seamed stockings, those with the Hermès scarves. Coming from the underclasses I was excited about these things. Then I found out that some of those who were the historical leaders, the gurus, supported themselves by stealing car radios. One of them died as he was stealing a car radio in Como, he was shot, and then I said: ‘But where am I?’. My brother, however, was more the Autonomia Operaia type, and at home it was a mess, we both got threatened on the phone. My mother used to say, ‘Now now! Get it over with…’. We made a sort of Democrazia Cristiana at home so as not to disturb the family… It wasn’t anything political… It was a world in which we tried to belong… My luck was that my brother is a literature professor six years older than me. He pulled me out by giving me a book to read each month.

BOOKS AND THE ACCIDENT WITH THE VESPA
He gave me Vasco Pratolini, Graham Greene, Vitaliano Brancati, Hemingway to read… At the end of each month I had to make the summary of the book so ‘you stay home and you’re not out with those idiots with Vespas’… Eventually I got myself a scooter and two weeks later I crashed.

‘WHAT DID I TELL YOU?’
When I got back home with the chain in my hand, the only unscathed thing of the scooter, my father looked at me and said, ‘So?’. ‘Dad, I had an accident…’. ‘Well, what did I tell you?’. What did I tell you is a phrase that the Milanesi like to say, always. ‘Eh cosa t’avevi dit me? T’è vist che dopo succede come dico io?’. They almost enjoy guessing the negativity… just like Inter fans do.

GIARGIANA, WHO IS HE?
Giargiana is one who comes from outside the city and pretends to be integrated. And then there are others, the sgagnamanuber. In the old Milan when they didn’t give nicknames they said ‘Hey you, sgagnamanuber (handlebars biter, geek, Ed.) si fallo de menta’ that was a mint flavored pacifier for children that you could blow as a whistle.

VADAVIAELCU’! SAID MY GRANDFATHER
My grandfather, for example, to say fuck off… (You need to know that) the guy was still of that ancient elegance of the bocciofile, where people after swearing said ‘Pardon’. He used to say ‘ehi tu vadavia il passe bum di articioc’. Articioc is one of the words that Radetzky left us. Articiok, in French and German, is artichokes. ‘Go and give away the most delicious part of the artichoke’, which is the bottom, the ass. It was an elegant way to tell someone to…

Video 3
MILAN FOR PITITINGA AND I
My commitment continues thanks to this substrate, earlier I was talking about Smemoranda… Fondazione Smemoranda has given me so much in these 10 years with Pititinga. We built a kindergarten, the center Smemo Educationau. A football field, the sports center Smemo Giacinto Facchetti, we named it after Facchetti. And then we built houses. The Milanesi are generous people, in this city there is a very high rate of volunteerism.

HELP THEM WHERE THEY COME FROM
I once asked a friend, an entrepreneur of the Lega: ‘Are you willing to contribute?’. He told me: ‘Look, you are a friend, but with all the problems that there are here in Italy we should help our people first’. ‘But you don’t recognize Italy, you are from Padania’. ‘No, Padania is a nation inside Italy, is a bit like San Marino…’. ‘Okay’, I said, ‘But let me tell you something. If I help them over there with the money that you give me, they won’t come here’. ‘Well, this is a good motive’, and he gave me 3,000 Euros. You always have to understand the psychology of people.

THE BRAZILIANS AND THE MILANESI
If you look at Brazil and the Brazilians, making a comparison, (you see that) they are intelligent people but – as they say – are a bit preguicoso, lazy and indolent. In their indolence, however, they survive just fine without us. And this makes us angry… When from Milan we go there we say: ‘Well, here we must do this, we must do that…’. And they say, ‘Esta bon, esta bon, todo ben’. Then we leave, come back after six months, and nothing changed: ‘But, what did you do?’. ‘Oh no choven’, it rained’. Ok, they don’t do anything when it rains… ‘Guys, in Milan it rains too. We wouldn’t have skyscrapers, houses, if we didn’t work in the rain, come on!’. Some have milanesizied, going through a bit of a shock… now they are incazzosi (Milanese for ‘nervous, irritable’ NdT). In Brazil, if you walk into a bank for a transaction you can easily have to wait three hours. And these ones now say: ‘So?! So?!’. They have become Milanesi like us. Before they sat down and watched soap operas.

I LOVE NAPOLI
I love being in Naples. I went three times… I did conventions in 2002, then Impazienti with Max Tortora, and recently – last July – I spent a month there with Rai2. Now that they made the Caracciolo promenade in the morning you can go for a run. It is clear that when you go down in the morning to run there is some strong Neapolitan and the gulls that look at you, shaking their head, saying, ‘Where the hell is this one going?’. ‘Where are you going, what are you running for?’. The Neapolitans in my opinion… (Let’s say) making a Milan-Naples comparison, what I discovered is that we are efficient and run everywhere to get things done. They are effective, they do things.

YES TO REMORSE NOT TO REGRETS
We must start getting into the perspective of living with remorse and not with regrets. Doing things. I did so many stupid things that… I agreed to do shows that were not good for me, I was in s conflict with some work issues… I worked 11 years in a bank but I knew that was not my future, I worked many years in training and consulting but I was still not happy… And now I would like to do new things. This stuff here, this restlessness, it is typical of someone who reaches a certain point and wonders… When I was younger, at 20 years old, I thought a 55 year old had to be settled, responsible. But I find myself with the head of a twelve year old, however, with a 6 year old daughter, who keeps me down to earth.

VEGAN COMEDIAN
(Bertolino) is one that does a bit of everything, some theater, television… A little neither fish nor fowl. I’m the first vegan comedian: neither fish nor fowl.

I’M A BIT OF A MANIAC
I’m really getting old with regards to manias. When I see a light switch that is not positioned as the other ones I go back and put it in place because they must all be aligned. That stuff is a psychosis, is objectively one of the first forms of schizophrenia. If you know it you occasionally try to correct yourself, right? Precision, meticulousness with time make you obsessive… obsessive-compulsive.

NATIVE AND ADOPTIVE MILANESI
I can see when someone is an adoptive Milanese because they are too cheerful. The true Milanese is never really joyous, it is not in our DNA, we have that feeling of guilt if we do nothing… So if one is sitting on a bench looking (up) he or she is an adoptive one. Someone who sits on a bench usually looks at the time and says ‘Fuck, I’ve got to go’, because taking a break makes them feel guilty. And others say to him: ‘Well? You’ve been here half an hour, go to work’. ‘I am retired’. ‘And so go to work’… Because that’s the idea. The adoptive ones are recognizable also because they are still enthusiastic. They are still hopeful. The Milanesi are almost hopeless. They do things, but (thinking): ‘Sure, But you’ll see… you’ll see…’. There are those who are healthy carriers of bad luck, those who say: ‘What a beautiful day’. There are days in Milan in which you can see the Grigna mountains. There are days when the Phon blows and you say, ‘Look what a beautiful day it is! What a beautiful day in Milan’. ‘Sure, but it won’t last’.

Video 4
MILAN’S DREAMS

One is the integration of the people in this city. The other dream is a decent road system. I dream of cyclists who behave well as car drivers do with them, because sometimes cyclists ride in the opposite direction, talking on their phone, you high beam them and they tell you to fuck off. And you think, ‘No, wait…’. Okay that’s right because the city should be more alive, bike paths should not end up like in Via Melchiorre Gioia, with Hungarian trucks that run you over, but what is good about bike paths is also the rider’s behavior.

MARVELS IN THE CITY
What amazes me in Milan every day is finding good people who don’t ask you for anything, or honest people, when in fact there is this strong dichotomy between the honest who is stupid and sly who is intelligent. The honest is not stupid, the honest is honest.

THE CITY TESTIMONIAL
Everyone who lives in their city must be the city’s first testimonial. If one says: ‘It is a shitty city’. So why don’t you leave? ‘I can’t, I’ve got a mortgage’. And so stay here… If you stay here, roll up your sleeves, if not… leave!

IMPORTANT ENCOUNTERS
I won’t mention them in order of importance, they are different… Meeting Giacinto Facchetti and his family who live in Cassano d’Adda, I became friends with Giacinto… And even with Mariolino Corso, we still see each other. Another great encounter that marked me was the one with Gino Strada, a high-profile person, an Inter fan. He gave me a beautiful… At the time notoriety made me think for a while I could do everything. Well, he helped me because he brought me down to earth. I worked in his markets for Emergency, he gave me the incentive to start a non-profit organization.

THE POSITIVE ICE CREAM MAN
I wouldn’t know about others… One is an ice cream man from Messina who has an ice cream shop near my house, at the Isola. They did many things to him, when he arrived, to boycott him. When he put a chair outside they gave him 1000 euro fine. And he kept going on. He opened two more shops and now has three. This man keeps a smile on his face, his wife who was ill, he had many problems, however, he goes on with a smile and always puts out the scarf ‘Forza Messina’ on his ice cream shop. He hires people from all races and is always positive, when he could not sell ice cream in the winter he began to make soup. And to those who came to lunch he said: ‘When one wants to warm up and then sees an ice cream they go for it’.

MOVING TO BRAZIL
It’s important never to confuse tourism with life, when I go there and stay in Brazil for 15 days, bubbles already start to come out… Then I see how they talk or walk slowly… Living there? No, guys. The beauty of going there is taking a trip, going there, staying a while there and while here. Keeping the roots. The roots are never to be cut. And my roots are in Milan.

Categories
Depot Videointerview

GIUSEPPE CRUCIANI ## Milanese from Rome, 49 years old, radio host and journalist

Video 1
A FOREIGN CITY
I arrived in Milan in November 1999, I’ve now lived here for 16 years. I came for a job interview at Radio 24, it was very cold. Milan for me, until then, was simply the place where, sometimes, I had come to see La Lazio playing at the Stadium. The city immediately seemed alien to me.

LIKE TOTO’ AND PEPPINO
The first impact was like the classic one of Totò and Peppino arriving by train…

A BIT ALLERGIC
Going to Milan, the idea of starting a job in Milan, at the beginning upset me a little bit… Let’s say I was a bit allergic to the idea.

FROM BARONA TO THE NAVIGLI
After six months I made peace with Milan, that is when I got my own place. At the beginning I lived in the suburbs with my relatives because I didn’t know if I would have stayed yet. I was in the suburbs, in Barona.

AND THEN I FELL IN LOVE
Then I got a place on the Navigli, I started to adapt to Milan, and then I fell in love with it. Just like that.

GOING BACK TO ROME?
I don’t think so. Once I was offered to move back, I thought about it… In fact, I didn’t sleep for a week and so I realized that I didn’t want to leave Milan. Then I have my daughter who lives here. Milan really became my city, Rome now feels foreign to me.

FEW FRIENDS, SUCCESS AND PARTIES
At the beginning I saw very few people. My friends in Milan, people who had moved from Rome to Milan. I’ve always worked for the radio, so I never needed to frequent the Milan that counts, I began to frequent it after La zanzara, the program that has become famous. A cult. Then I started to go out a bit more, not to the salotti, but to parties.

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT MILAN
In my opinion what’s great about Milan has always been the total absence of an accent. Whereas in Rome there is a strong Roman accent, Milan is completely anonymous, extraordinarily anonymous, meaning that the Milanese doesn’t exist, there is the Pugliese or the Sicilian who became Milanesi, there are all kinds of accents. Now, also in Rome it happens, however you can feel a strong Romanità in bars, in places, in the street… The Milanesità, on the other hand, is sulfurous, it is almost nonexistent. And I like that.

A HUMAN SCALE CITY
This city, in my opinion, is a great place to live in, here I live like I never lived in any other city. And I lived in Sicily, when I was little; I lived in France, in Lyon, when I worked for Euronews; I lived in Paris for a year, and of course I lived in Rome. And I can say: Milan is the only city on a human scale where I happened to live.

HERE I FULFILLED MYSELF
It’s the place where I did what I wanted to do and where I got, let’s say, my small success, or at least it is where I fulfilled myself.

DESTINY IS STRANGE
Destiny is strange, so when you arrive you want to leave… If in the first months someone had told me to go back to Rome, I would have left immediately. But I found myself in Milan, in the place where I did something that will remain in the history of the radio, I hope.

LA ZANZARA AND FREEDOM
Some people see La Zanzara as a place of perdition, vulgarity and foul language. This is ridiculous, this thing doesn’t make sense. I don’t even know what foul language means, I don’t even know what vulgarity means. A word in that context has a completely different value than in others. So I think it is about envy and the desire to do the same thing, to want to be free and not having the possibility to… Because the essential tone of the program, its originality and peculiarity, its uniqueness that can’t be reproduced in another context, is that it has become a great place of freedom, where we can also make fun of the director, name him on air. You know, naming your director on air, your editor, saying his full name and sometimes joking about it, is not an easy thing to do.

LINUS AND RADIO DEEJAY?
We talked, we agreed on a few things, then I decided not to go. For the time being it wasn’t right to close a chapter. This chapter at Radio24 isn’t closed yet, maybe it will be soon, and then we’ll see. At one point while I was talking to Linus at Radio Deejay I realized that what I’m doing now hasn’t finished yet. And I told him. But we are on great terms, you must never look back on things, I made a decision and that’s what it is. For now.

Video 2
COMPLAINTS AND ADMIRERS
There have been many situations in which there have been complaints, part of Confindustria is not happy with the language. But, you know, we are lucky to have a very composite editorial direction, there isn’t only one editor, there are many editors. Therefore there are always some admirers, as long as they are at least the 51 %, it’s fine…

JUST SEX AND PROVOCATION?
It’s not that we chose to set the program this way, because two years ago it was different. Today it is different again, in the future it will be different. Now the program is seen as a place where we talk about sex freely, where we use a certain language. But it isn’t like that. In two and a half hours there is a bit of everything: the high and the low. We try to make more or less serious interviews, always with our tone. Maybe we talk with a porn star about squirting … But that is our goal: to talk about the reform of the Senate and squirting soon after. It is not a simple thing, I understand, but that is our attempt.

THE NAKED TRANSSEXUAL IN THE STUDIO
I also risked the closure of the program that time: the editor didn’t like the fact that alongside with the names Radio24 and IlSole24ORE there was a naked transsexual showing his willy… Then many noticed more the dimensions than the event itself, that is, the combination of Radio24 with a willy. That was noticed only by the editors who didn’t like that combination. But we hadn’t organized it on purpose, the few times I organized something on purpose was always a failure. That’s why one should never organize things. She, Efe Bal, came to talk about the usual things, the legalization of prostitution, then she began to undress, to touch me. I clearly… In that moment you have to be lucid to get involved in what is happening, or pretend to be aloof, almost disgusted, which of course I wasn’t. But I realized that if I had participated in this thing I could have been in trouble.

IS TV A CLOSED CHAPTER?
On television it went how it went, at Mediaset, but the very fact that people remember… That someone still remembers the name of a program that closed after only one episode, Radio Belva, already means something in my opinion.

A WONDERFUL DISASTER
Radio Belva was a wonderful disaster, a wonderful disaster in organization, schedule, everything, also a disaster in the managment. But I remember it as a night of great fun, eventually there was a final consultation with the leaders of Mediaset… I laughed a bit because I knew that the program would be suspended. I’m not saying that I was happy, but I was sure that a night like that could not have a follow up. In the end, the next day, when they suspended the program I was almost relieved.

CRITICISM WORTH FRAMING
There aren’t many programs that the day after they close have a full-page on the newspapers with critical comments of all kinds, even about the language, the reason why the trash talk shows have failed, why they can no longer be proposed, why Cruciani and Parenzo will never do anything else in life… I hung them on the wall, I framed all the pages of criticism of that program.

TV NOT RADIO
I understood that it isn’t mandatory to work on television, but that we must do only the things that we like, only the things that we 100 % believe in. I hope to do so. I’m not demonizing television, although I am a man of the radio, but one must find the right project, the right things. At that time, one of the things I regret is that almost everyone was telling us that it was inevitable to make a program on TV when the radio program was so successful, it made people talk because we made jokes. That’s what we should have opposed, what we should have thought about. I didn’t have the right people to help me, I was carried away by this thing, then I thought, oh yes, let’s do television as we do on the radio, making a mess, but the rules are different.

TALK SHOWS AND BOREDOM
I don’t watch them because they bore me. I like Formigli because he always has an idea behind it that is always different from the others, because he is different, sometimes he does something original. I also find incomprehensible this absurdity of Tuesday night when two talk shows contend each other an audience that before, when there was only Floris, was 12 to 13 percent, and now they divided it into equal parts. I find this really incomprehensible.

THE MOST SUCCESSFUL PRANK
The prank involving Odifreddi was the most successful because a priest hater who prostrates himself before the Pope who calls him – our fake Pope who called him – for a controversy about the Holocaust that now no one remembers… And he keeps speaking and doesn’t let the Pope speak. He’s so full of himself that he was the only one speaking. At one point he even asks the Pope for the preface to the book, crazy.

SUING THE RADIO
He sued us for impersonation, defamation, anything… But fortunately the judges rejected it twice. Filing a lawsuit on jokes is like suing the radio. Like suing the history of radio, it would be the most ridiculous thing in the world.

MILAN’S NIGHTS
My nights in Milan are at the same restaurant for many years, always the same people, home, I don’t drink much, I don’t do drugs and I don’t like cars. I like women, but everybody does.

Video 3
MOSQUE HERE, CHURCH THERE
In theory building a mosque is better than having people who you don’t know where they end up praying. But the idea of having 20 mosques in Milan and not even a church in Saudi Arabia is not beautiful. A bit of reciprocity should be observed. I hope Salvini will run for mayor in Milan, so we will have a good fight. I think he should present himself as a candidate in Milan.

SALVINI IS SCARED
So far Salvini got himself elected to the European Parliament. He does the national leader of La Lega, he goes aroundfor polls, but the electoral strength of a person as a leader must be proved on the field. Milan could be a good chance, but I think he’s afraid to lose. If you are a Leghista and you lose in Milan then it’s over.

OK TO GAY ADOPTIONS AND MARRIAGE
I’m in favor of marriage and adoption. In my opinion they’d need to change only one article of the Civil Code, a small article, and say ‘all dispositions are valid also for people of the same-sex’. I am married and separated, yes. I support it with all the limitations of adoption that are for heterosexual couples… A child can easily grow up even with two men or two women.

ROME’S BAD SIDE
I can’t stand the concentration of Romanità, a group of five Romans bothers me. I don’t know why it gives me an idea of vulgarity, because it is not about vulgarity, it gives me an idea of the noise… Rome is a city where there is a lot of noise, and I can’t stand it anymore, the noise.

A VERY STRONG ACCENT
Rome is a city with very strong accents in which the tone of the people and of their being Roman is very strong. Either you live with it or you go mad.

AN EASY CITY
You can’t help to measure yourself with this thing, in Milan. It’s like living in a totally anonymous place, in which there is no strong character, there’s not one thing that during the day you feel is a burden. Or that excites you. For someone like me, who thrives on adrenaline, if I had to deal with the city I’d go crazy. The city has to be work-friendly, on a human scale, in which you have no problems.

THE OFFICE AT THE SPA
Who told you that? Yes, I am a friend of those who many years ago created it, before they created the spa. Yes, for a while, now less, I didn’t have editorial meetings at the Spa, but meetings where we decided what to do on the radio. It’s true, at the Terme di Milano, which may seem ridiculous.

THE BIGGEST FEAR
Growing old in a bad way, getting fat, not training like before, running. In short, all those normal and bourgeois things.

THE FUTURE
Someone has to bring me back to having ambitions, because I think I have done many things…

HONESTY AND TRANSPARENCY
I base all my radio on a very simple rule; intellectual honesty and transparency, meaning that I don’t have filters of any kind and I have no one to tell me do this or that. I do whatever comes into my head, and that’s that.

THE BIGGEST REGRET
Turning down a lot of money… A few years ago I turned down an offer of a lot of money. From one point of view that was a big screw up…

SEX AND BOREDOM
I could have avoided many things, many sex relationships, for example, but I didn’t avoid them. Many relationships I had with women I had out of boredom, to cover moments of boredom…

THIS IS WHO I AM
I’ve always said this is who I am. You know that sketch of Verdone’s driver’s license… I have always presented my license and also my identity card. That’s just me: I cheat, I am unfaithful.

LOVE? NO THANKS
I’m not one who says bullshit, I don’t say you’re the only woman, I madly fell in love with you. I say it is almost impossible for me to fall in love and usually I cheat. And I don’t want permanent relationships.

UNBALANCED WOMEN
As a single you meet some deranged woman, who is unbalanced and doesn’t understand this point… And who is possessive, I hate the feeling of possession.

RECKLESSNESS
On the radio I often do reckless things without considering the consequences, but I think that’s the strength of this program and perhaps one of my strongest features.

A NICE PLACE IN MILAN
I’m fond of the Naviglio from 15 years ago… the part of the Naviglio that leaves the city, the place where I always go running, the part towards San Cristoforo. The part leading to the Barona district, the one I was telling you about, where I was at the beginning. I’ve always liked that place.

Categories
Depot Videointerview

NESLI (Francesco Tarducci) ## Milanese from Senigallia, 35 years old, pop singer-songwriter

Video 1
MILANESE SINCE 2007
I’ve lived here since 2007, August 2007. But I’ve been a resident for much less, because I’m lazy and I’ve only recently officialized my change of residence. But I’ve frequented the city for a long time, since 2002 or 2003.

ESCALATION ON THE A14
It was like an escalation on the A14, meaning that from Senigallia I moved to Rimini, from Rimini to Bologna and from Bologna to Milan.

FOLLOWING MUSIC
I followed the flow of the music I liked and so that was my path. I liked moving from Senigallia to other cities, I liked taking a lot of trains. I think I took… I could run for the Guinness World Records… (Travelling) was beautiful because it was a way to open my mind, to live new experiences.

TORN ROOT
Senigallia was my city when I was a kid, then when I started to have this strong passion for music, the root was a bit torn and I put it wherever I went.

MILAN AND ITS CONTRASTS
I think it represents the opposites: cold but hospitable, great but small, it gives you the opportunity to do many things but it is livable, not like a metropolis that crushes you… It is full of contradictions and I’ve always perceived it this way. At first I was afraid of this, but in the end Milan made me balanced.

MY HOME
I immediately felt I belonged here, so much so that when I’m away for too long, (travelling) I always tell Brando (Nesli’s producer and manager, ed) ‘we should live here, this is a beautiful city’, then at the end we look at each other and say: ‘What are we talking about?!’. Milan is my home. When I’m not here for a long time I feel decentralized and so I have to come back.

AN ITALIAN IN MILAN
I am an Italian who lives in Milan. I put it like that, because adoptive Milanese, I don’t know, I don’t like it with regards to the Milanesi. Marchigiano resident in Milan not, because I don’t really feel I’m a Marchigiano. So I feel more Italian, I adapt to the place where I am. I am a liquid person, I adapt and I get used to the container. Milan is the only (city) that could represent me.

A CITY TO GROW UP IN
I am very individualistic, I think it’s fundamental in order to be focused, to be free and to make the right choices. Neutral and detached independence, this is what I need. It would be good for all Italians to live (for a while at least) in Milan, because it is a city that takes away that sense of attachment to the family, that unhealthy aspect that people can do without.

ALWAYS IN THE NORTH
I always lived on the North side of the city, I don’t know why, maybe… I don’t know! I went clubbing everywhere, but I chose to live in the North. Earlier in fact I landed in Niguarda, from Senigallia – a very beautiful and quaint place – I ended up in the towers of Niguarda.

MILAN’S OUTSKIRTS
It reminded me of the outskirts from the film La Haine. It gave me that feeling and I landed there. At the beginning, I have to be honest, I was traumatized. Where I come from, in Senigallia, buildings have a maximum of four floors, I was on the 13th floor in a 15 storey tower, a mini skyscraper. It was extremely traumatic at first, but very formative. From there I moved to Bovisa, where I lived in a basement that was not meant to be lived in, it was like a laboratory, there was no bathroom – we had it built – there was no kitchen and so we put in an electric one, there was no furniture… It was a very artistic place!

DEEP BOVISA
The other guy, who was my manager at the time, was never there and I lived alone. And I swear there was nothing, not even a socket for the TV. At home there was a rickety and out of tune piano, that I persisted on playing hoping to learn something, but it was out of tune… That’s why I always have a problem with semitones, of false notes, because I always played an out of tune piano. The floor was made of black rubber, like the one you find in kindergartens, a very strange place. There was no washing machine at home, and the dry cleaner’s was in Via Imbriani, full of the North Africans from Viale Jenner. On paper, one should have not been so excited about it, though – I swear – when I used to go to do my laundry on a Saturday morning, with the sun cutting across Via Imbriani, I thought it was the most beautiful place to stay in.

Video 2
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE
If you aren’t detached about Milan, or if you think you will do everything right away, if you get swallowed up by the charm of the venues where you go to work… but if you want to have fun you will have fun in great scale.

ONE STEP AWAY FROM THE CLIFF
Again, back to what I said about independence. You have to be the master in that. I tried everything but I always had the gift of being good at stopping one step away from the cliff… But I like to get there.

A DREAM TO LIVE HERE
I always start from the assumption that I had a dream for few: music. In this case Milan is the place to be, as Rome is for cinema. If you want to do music everything is here, after a great success there are those who go away from Milan and take farmhouses in unlikely places… But in the first part, during hard work, I’d stay here. I’d be at the top, because in Milan everyone has their nose up, if you keep your nose up you see a lot of beautiful things.

IT’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN…
It’s beautiful when things go well, it is beautiful when you have money to spend, it’s beautiful when you have friends, it is beautiful when you go around… but if you feel low it isn’t beautiful… Everything reminds you of your low time: from the colors to the fact that you can’t manage to do things. However, Milan is expensive.

FAILURES AND GHOSTS
This run-up to independence is tied to a strong motivation, otherwise at the first hurdle you go back home. I I’ve had two or three of these moments, so I almost said ‘I’ll go back home’. That form of failure and defeat was too great, so I said to myself that I’d rather live as a ghost in Milan. The first time I was in Bovisa, where there was no washing machine nor bathroom, which a fan gave us, it was a shitty time… But I believed in it so much that I didn’t want to take it out on the city… my failure was not the failure of the city… I was not like those who say ‘damn Milan, I came and I wasted my dreams’. No, actually I started right from scratch, from Bovisa, from a great quantity of cockroaches, because it was full of cockroaches…

THE CHOICE
I had a choice. I chose to stay here, to take up residence and to feel a Milanese.

ALL SIDES
I had the opportunity to experience all the sides of Milan, taking it with pliers or distance but it allowed me to live and to make all the experiences it had to offer me.

THE SOUVENIR LA FINE
Yes, the song La Fine was exactly the picture of this consideration: ‘I do this, then in theory I should leave, that is, here the dream and the pursuit of dreams, the attempt has failed.’ That video was for me like a souvenir of that moment, of the city… From a recording point of view it was unnecessary to make, it cost 500 euros and it was recorded in a truly punk way.

THE TURNING POINT
That was the moment when I had to choose whether to leave or stay, so that was the turning point. That same song helped me to make the decision, the evolution that the song had. In my mind, however, when I recorded it I thought that was the moment of the end of everything. Goodbye.

Video 3
GUN SHOT
As a kid I had this unfortunate experience, which in those years often happened to those who did military service: they gave them a weapon in their hands, they could not hold it and so they fired a shot… the same thing happened to me. I was not military, but the dynamic was more or less the same.

DESTINY AND THE MOSQUE
In Milan I live in a neighborhood where there are many more foreigners than Italians. The mosque? This is a curious thing … Because I had a friend who lived just in front of the mosque of Viale Jenner, and when I was still living in Senigallia – watching the TG4 where Emilio Fede commented on the images of the crowd in prayer in the street – I said ‘what a mess for those who live there that find their way blocked…’. After four years I was living right there… So never say never in life.

IN OR OUT
You can get a place with three roommates, you can come and go but it will never be like being here. That’s the step to be a bit rooted down. Then also having acquaintances related to work to live it and to not feel a stranger. It is a long process therefore if you are out, you’re out. What they say about the circles in Milan is true, it really is, the ring road marks your position, in or out. Then once you’re here it doesn’t mean that it’s over. You might be inside that circle, but there is always another one.

AN ADULT IN MILAN
Here I lived the part of my life that built me the most, that made me an adult, a ‘man’. When things go wrong, you don’t live Milan, you don’t go around showing off.

THE WORST MILAN
If you do not have a penny in Milan you stay at home. You experience the worst Milan. The traffic, the hours in which it is a mess, the one where you see people having a good time.

I WISH
To keep going on my way to the top, but without getting too to high because if you get to the top then you have to go down because of physical reasons.

RAP, FICTION OR REALITY
I’ve always been very objective and critical towards that world. I knew that much of what was told was fiction. My folly, and I talk about it a little bit in my book, was that in a part of my adolescence I wanted to live everything that was real. I didn’t want it to be fiction.

LIVE TO WRITE
Because I said, if you say it, it means that you don’t do it, if you do it you don’t say it. It was a fine line, but important, so I dedicated myself to do it and then to say it. I always said, if you haven’t experienced something extraordinary you can’t think you will write something extraordinary…

MUSIC, I SACRIFICED EVERYTHING
Since a young age I always wanted to realize this dream and I must say the truth, in the end I did it by sacrificing everything and everyone. I say this without shame: from family to friends…

PASSING TIME
I suffer the passing of time and if I could I would freeze it. If they told me to sign a pact to stay young, I would sign it. I became very superficial about certain things, my imagination goes on the aesthetics… on white hair, on stuff like that.

AT FOURTY YEARS OLD?
I don’t see myself becoming very different. Fuck, I hope I won’t be much different…