Giovanni Alberto Orlando, 58, has worked in counterintelligence and counter-terrorism and managed a company for airport security. Then he changed his life: “Now I have no masters and I am free to devote myself to my passion, I am a supporter of happy degrowth, and money, as an object of saving or accumulation, literally makes me horror”
If you open the internet page of your association, you are greeted by the sound of a donkey bray. “A bray will save us”. This is the motto of Giovanni Alberto Orlando, a 58-year-old former carabiniere who put his uniform in a wardrobe to move to the Balearic Islands where he manages Asno Balear Ibiza, which takes care of reintroducing a kind of indigenous donkey. “I do not miss my job, now I have no bosses and I am free to devote myself to my passion”. The donkey, in fact, has always been an animal that has undergone the charm of the 58-year-old from Varese, both because of the dual value of a humble and devoted animal, “whether because of the sacred aura of when he was ridden by Jesus, or because it is the incarnation of stubbornness, rebellion and shameless sensuality “. A passion that took even more body when Giovanni discovered the Spanish archipelago, almost 40 years ago.
I do not miss my job. I fell in love with these places in the eighties
“I first came to Ibiza in the early eighties, falling in love with it at first sight. Since then I have continued to come back, even living permanently for longer or shorter periods. More than just Italian I have always felt homo mediterraneus “. And just in Ibiza and Formentera the former carabiniere was able to give vent to his passion for donkeys, he became aware of an ancient donkey race originating in the Balearic Islands but now almost disappeared, so as to be included in the Spanish breeds in danger of extinction . A decline began with the mechanization of the countryside and the exodus of the rural population of the sixties. “Today, it is even more important to reintroduce this breed to allow it to clean the undergrowth and reduce the risk of forest fires”. The Balearic Islands, in fact, according to the data of the association Asno Balear Ibiza, suffered 69 forest fires in 2016. “The forest mass of Ibiza is in a serious or extreme risk zone”, continues the former carabiniere, telling how the management through extensive grazing on the island of Ibiza can help to reduce the fuel load in the forest, reducing the risk of fires.
After a degree in law, the choice to live between Ibiza and Italy dates back to 28 years ago, when Giovanni took leave from the Carabinieri, where he carried out counter-espionage and counter-terrorism functions. For the next ten years, the 58-year-old from Varese set up a company with which he managed part of the private security at the Milan Linate and Malpensa airports. Today, set aside the uniform and the uniform as an overseer, the days flow in a paradise of sun, sea and people from all over the world. “Now I live on rent and I have finally supported my long-standing passion for nature and the environment. I would never ever return to Italy permanently. My partner is resigned, but I go to visit her every month “. Even if the one-way ticket for the archipelago is always ready in your pocket.
Today it is even more important to reintroduce donkeys to clean the undergrowth and reduce the risk of forest fires
It is told about a flight from Ibiza to Milan, the former carabiniere, now used to having the only flaw the return flight to Italy once a month. “I became a fervent advocate of happy degrowth. Money, as an object of savings or accumulation, makes me literally horror. Everything related to materialism and consumerism is now part of my antecedent and totally outdated life “. How the idea of aging in Italy belongs to its past existence. “During the institutional service I solemnly swore six times fidelity to the country and to the Constitution. In truth, I think I have already given abundantly “.