Italian Tour: Verona, Venice – ‘Come cade la luce’ launch
Right at the beginning of February, I held a weekend course called ‘An Introduction to Creative Writing’ in Verona. More specifically, we were located in a wonderful ‘co-working space’ called Mero and More, in Via Gianbattista Morgagni.
In Mero and More, all sorts of creative activity take place, from dress-design to leather work to photography. As such, it was the perfect venue for a new creative adventure.
My thanks to Paola Mero, Chiara Negri and Anna Mainenti for the invitation and for making us all feel so welcome. Twelve students signed up for the two-day writing course and we had the very best of times.
The participants had all made a leap of faith: their first language was not English, but they were prepared to dive into the waters of uncertainty, and swim around in another language for a while. Our aim was to discover, and to use, those tools of creativity that they had not explored in their mother tongue.
The atmosphere was intense: all were dedicated and open-minded, and each of them wrote and wrote, freed from the constraints of the familiar.
We also held the Verona launch of ‘Come cade la luce’ (The way the light falls) in Mero and More. Somehow, it felt appropriate to chat to a very lively audience, surrounded by bales of fabric, work-stations, drawing-boards and all the trappings of creative work.
My thanks to Paola Simeone, PR, and, as always, to the indefatigable Federica Sgaggio. Without her, none of this would have happened.
My first visit to Venice, some thirty years ago, was in July and what I remember most is the stifling heat, the humidity and the sweating, heaving crowds. St Mark’s Square was, back then, a kaleidoscope of coloured umbrellas, bobbing above the throng, as guides led their groups of tourists around the sights of this magical city.
This time, in February, taking the vaporetto from the train station to the stunning Sina Centurion Palace Hotel, it was like another world.
A world made of fairy-tales and green-churning water.
It was an ordinary Monday, there were no crowds, and only the occasional citizen was preparing for Carnevale. I was in Venice for an event centred around the publication of ‘Come cade la luce’, but an event that was, more importantly, a fundraiser for ‘Amici di Angal’, a not-for-profit organisation based in Uganda. Among other projects, Amici di Angal has established a hospital there, dedicated to providing essential care for pregnant women and their babies.
My thanks to Pierfrancesco Marsia, Management of Amici di Angal, for the invitation and to Francesca Visentin whose help throughout the entire book tour was much appreciated.
We were welcomed to the Centurion Palace by the Press Officer, Micaela Scapin, and by the General Manager, Paolo Morra, who could not have been more hospitable.
We had a wonderful evening, and sat out after dinner on the balcony overlooking the Grand Canal. The chilly evening didn’t matter. The view, and the company, more than made up for any kind of imperfect weather.
Sometimes, I have to pinch myself.