The year 2009 will mark the 20th anniversary of when pickaxes crumbled the Wall, and the world that had believed in Socialism and its realisation disappeared. This marked the end of an empire which from Berlin extended to the shores of the Pacific; the “sun of the future” suddenly set, and geographical maps, flags and nomenclatures suddenly changed. Today, 20 years later, what has become of those countries where the hammer and sickle once reigned? What better way to understand than to make a slow journey across the other half of the planet, a rucksack on ones shoulders and one train after another over the boundless expanses of two continents, encountering degradation and splendour, delusion and enchantment. A journey from Eastern Europe to Russia, from China to Vietnam, Cambodia and Tibet, is also a journey through time, memory and the experience of they in Italy who cultivated the dream of a revolution, only to see it finally slip through their hands. Today, two authors who differ in origin and political parabolas – one who firmly believed in the possibility of politics and even in the force of utopia, the other who found precious little to cling to – join forces in a confession and dialogue: with irony and levity as though from the wreckage, a new hope might emerge, or maybe only another journey, the dawn over a new horizon.
He has more than thirty-five years of activity in the institutions of Tuscany to his credit. While quite young, in 1970 he was elected mayor of Cortona and in this capacity met and became friends with a French colleague destined to become a protagonist of European history, François Mitterrand. Later he became President of the Province of Arezzo and, for fifteen years, regional alderman. A lover of cinema and good literature, he loves to travel and, when he can, devours kilometres on his bicycle. His first two books, Le nuvole non chiedono permesso and Antartide were great successes with the reading public.
A journalist and writer, he has worked as editor and correspondent for various newspapers, from “Il Giornale” under Montanelli and “il manifesto”. Today, he is editor in the information agency of the regional government of Tuscany. His books include, Gli occhi di Salgari (2004) which won him the Premio Castiglioncello, Il poeta e i pirati (2005), and Beatrice (2008). On the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, his latest publication, Un nome (2006), was read and discussed in many Italian schools, then becoming a play, and soon to be published in Israel.