#Italiadestate: the flavors of the vineyard, my vacation with Magna Gina


Bimba dei Anni 50, I used to spend a holiday in Loranzè, in Canavese, my cousin Gina’s guest, for all Magna Gina. We reached Ivrea with the Aosta, a small train with old wooden carriages and completed the journey with a short stroke.

Magna Gina, a widow and a young son, filled me with attentions and delicacies and involved me in her very active life. She woke up early and went to the washroom powered by a canterie brook that was doing my company at night and with her rinsing my clothes climbing over a rock to be at the water level at 8 am I was already wet. Magna Gina then wore me dry clothes and then with gerla and baskets of supplies she left for the vineyard. At the end of the trail, when I was climbing, I was already tired, and poor Gina, silver hair and golden heart, made me into the gerla and carried me to the top of the hill.

The path was a climb to the Earth’s Paradise: around me there were trees full of fruits of all kinds and I just had to stretch out a hand to pick up the mulberry and bamboo leaves, apricots, plums, small pears, white peaches, Figs, avoiding the bees that were buzzing in the heat. The vineyard was covered by terraces with water-gathering tanks that housed frogs and toads, while green and blue dragonflies squirming among the bushes of the thousand flowers spinning in everywhere.

At the top of the hill a large gate supported by pillars, bearing the inscription “Villa Marra” and next to “Parva domus magna quies”. The entrance was preceded by a staircase opening on a plateau on which the mansion was standing. It was a simple construction, without electricity and no convenience but for me it was a treasure trove: on the ground floor there were the kitchen and dining room while the bedrooms were on the upper floor.

The furnishings were old, if not antique, and for this it was doubly fascinating to start from the oil lamps to the yellow collections of “The Sunday of the courier” that I was browsing kidnapped. Around the house there was a court with the top of white rosellines under which the table for lunches and snacks was fitted, the water pump, the fish of the red fish that I ingested with the wastes of the hosts that the old Parish priest gave me.

The ladies who were sewing or chatting sat on a rooftop terrace, a balcony on the Canavesan plain as the men spent their afternoons playing bowls in the playground at the bottom of which there was a stone cave with seats and The coffee table with bread and salami and fresh vinegar.
On the side of the courtyard there was the chicken coop with hens of various breeds, and my favorite were the “Americans” who lay small eggs and on which a gallant king was reigning. On the back was the hazel, where there were squirrels and ghosts: my cousin Giuseppe was afraid that they were afraid of my talk and that I would only have been able to see them. It has happened very rarely.

All this kingdom was governed with a firm hand by Magna Gina: it was laborious like a bee and every creature of the vineyard, every flower, to each person she was giving her cure and affection that still warm the heart of those who lived with her today.


Getting to be the first Italian woman to win a gold medal at the World Arts Championships at the age of 16 is an incredible goal. But the true titanic enterprise can succeed in reconfiguring over time. And continue to win, no matter who the new opponents, no matter what the difficulties are. Vanessa Ferrari knows this very well. She, class 1990, who grew up in the province of Cremona and became a small big star of tricolor sport, made Make it possible a true philosophy of life. Or rather, a magic formula, to keep repeating every day in front of the mirror and beam, challenge after challenge, workout after training, medal after medal. The result, for her, is a spell of grace and power that for years has left the whole world open.

In my case it means first of all so much workout and so many sacrifices. And so much commitment and a lot of constancy, because the results never come by chance. Artistic gymnastics are a sport that starts very young, and professional athletes usually stop very soon. This means that to get to the highest levels you have to make a lot of kidnapping: spend whole days at the gym, have little time for yourself, go on vacation just a few days or sometimes do not get off at all, except for the commemorated parties. All in the face of a result that is never guaranteed to be one hundred percent. But that is the case: if you want to have the hope of getting there, you have to believe it all the way, and behave accordingly.


I started at 7 years, which is already too late for this discipline. From a tiny time I saw a gymnast at the beam, and I asked my mom to do the same sport. But in my country, Soncino, in the province of Cremona, there was no artistic gymnastics team, so he enrolled me in dance. After a while she realized that she did not do it for me: so when I was about seven years old she started taking me to Brescia for my first training sessions. My mother is of Bulgarian origin, and has always had a great passion for sport. A passion that has been absolutely able to convey.


From a small one it seemed like a game, of course. I enjoyed it like a madman doing bugs here and there, and that was enough for me. Then, growing up, I was called for the Juniors National I was 12 or 13 years old, and at that time I began to understand that I had the chance to become a professional athlete.

Without a doubt the gold medal at the 2006 World Championship in Denmark was one of the finest joys. It was the first gold in history for an Italian athlete, and I was very excited, although I was still too small to fully understand the meaning of what I was experiencing. For the rest, personally, it was a great pleasure to see how I was able to face the disappointment of the London Olympics. It was a very hard time for me, but the following year, in 2013, I was able to win silver at the Antwerp World Cup. And then in 2014 gold to the Europeans of Sofia. Here, these were two beautiful moments: when you are little you all have little expectation towards you, and when you win is a triumph; But then growing, year after year, the pressure increases, not to mention that you start competing with athletes much younger and more carefree than you. Continuing to reconfirm is undoubtedly the most difficult thing to do. And so when you can, it’s a bit odd feeling.

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