Saturday, May 31, 2014

How to handle Tommy - Instructions

After the Rome-Athens-Abu Dhabi-Lahore-Abu Dhabi-Athens-Rome, this was the message I found on the dining table when I entered home (Oh gosh, I completely forgot I had to take care of Leo and Tommy - for the first time by myself - for a few days!).

A bit more detailed the famous Handover Note - but how can all what you need to know about Tommy, arduously learnt in eight long months, be summarized in just one page? And, moreover, how can I even be expected to be careful to his clothes, please?!

The opening ‘I hope you had a nice trip back’, and the Ovetto Kinder and the Nutella on the table just sweetened a bit the pill. Somehow I felt like in un ragazzo padre... 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What would you do if you had five hour stop-over in Athens?

Rome-Athens-Abu Dhabi-Lahore-Abu-Dhabi-Athens-Rome.

What would you do if you had five hour lay-over in Athens?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

Leo & Vega

Fa uno strano effetto vedere tuo figlio giocare con i giocattoli di quando eri bambino: un po’ di commozione e… un po’ di gelosia…

Sunday, May 25, 2014

If you can lift yourself up after each fall

If you can lift yourself up again after each fall,
and start again with the same smile…

“Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!”

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Do you remember Quimo, the pony of La Bourboule? Well, let me introduce you Pippo, the pony of the Porta Venezia Gardens. And please, note Leo: riding with one hand only!

(Hey, who are those two intruders on the background of my picture waving their hands???)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Three generations of Marchisio (4)

Dalla serie: I Dialoghi dell’Assurdo*:

- È a forma di pioggia.
- Che cosa, Leo, è a forma di pioggia?
- La pioggia. È a forma di pioggia…

(*) From the series: The Dialogues of the Absurd:

- It’s rain-shaped.
- What, Leo, is rain-shaped?
- The rain. It’s rain-shaped…

Thursday, May 22, 2014


The reportage of our Tuscany tour continues. Pisa...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Marchisio Family in Siena

Piazza del Campo

Week-end in Ottobre con amici in Val d’Orcia a mangiare cinghiale e ribollita e bere Chianti, lo ammettiamo, è un po’ cliché. Ma che ci volete fare: l’Italia è bella e (finché possiamo) ce la godiamo…

All’Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore

Monday, May 19, 2014

Leo, what would you like to be when you grow up?

The hairdresser.

Last October Ingrid came to visit us and brought Leo a little yellow pot to be filled with some soil and a few grass seeds. A bit of water, and this was the result after two (two!) days. And the more you cut them, the more they grew.

(By the way, what do you think about this haircut à la Balotelli?)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tommy - October 2013

Tommy guarda, osserva, scruta, registra. Non ride, non sghignazza, ma sorride, discreto, quasi sottovoce.

Tommy occhi neri, che ti penetrano, ti bruciano, ti lasciano un segno.

Tommy piccolino, minutino. Tommy furbetto.             

Tommy ama la mamma e adora il fratello.

Non usa il ciuccio, non ha mai messo il dito in bocca, ma in mano ci sono sempre Chat-Chat o Mouton.

I pranzi e le cene sono una battaglia. E la sveglia biologica suona sempre alle 6.45 - estate, inverno, lunedì e martedì come sabato o domenica.

Tommy muove la testa a ritmo della musica, come un reggaer, ma senza treccie. E poi ti guarda, e sorride…

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

La prima 'media' di Tommy

We documented Tommy’s first baby food a couple of weeks ago.

And today we document Tommy’s first blonde*.


Well, let’s say the expression is rather different from that of the first pappa

(*) Compare with Leo’s first pint… 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tigrotto di Mompracem

We always thought Leo was a leoncino (a lion cub). In fact he is a tigrotto (a young tiger)...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My little family

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran... now China. This is the image I always bring with me - on my desktop, in my thoughts, in my dreams. This my mental shelter, my safe place, my ultimate motivation...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Autocandidatura ad una maglia per Brasile 2014

Il lancio di Pirlo, i polmoni di Gattuso, la disciplina tattica di Cambiasso… e, se devo dirla tutta, non sto male con la maglia azzurra*!

Appello al CT: caro Prandelli, nonostante i molti viaggi, sono riuscito a mantenermi in una discreta forma. Rimango a disposizione nel caso l’Italia abbia bisogno di un centrocampista duttile e di qualità a cui affidare le redini del centrocampo per quest’estate.

Attendo fiducioso le pre-convocazioni...

(*) Al torneo IFAD di calcetto a Febbraio. Resoconto nei prossimi post...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Chinese (table) etiquette

As a famous HSBC commercial depicted, the Europeans believe it's a slur on your host if you don't clean your plate. Whereas Chinese feel you're questioning their generosity if you do it.

Of course nobody tells you that. For us it’s a sign of courtesy (and the result of years of severe education) to finish all what we have in our plate. Unwittingly condemning ourselves to have it re-filled twice, three times, four times, endlessly… until you finally collapse!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Kumbum Monastery

The Kumbum Monastery, founded in 1583 by the third Dalai Lama on his way to Mongolia to teach Buddhism, is the second most important monastery after that of Lhasa in Tibet.

It was built around the ‘Tree of the Great Merit’, a sandalwood tree that - according to the legend - indicates the spot where Tsongkhapa, the founder of the ‘yellow hat’ sect of Tibetan Buddhism, was born.

The highlight of the Monastery is a golden-tiled temple erected precisely around the Tree of the Great Merit.

In a way, somehow, a leap back into Ladakh

Friday, May 9, 2014

At the airport

Please, do not disturb...

Thursday, May 8, 2014


As un-charming, impersonal, anonymous are Chinese cities - at least, those that I visited during this short trip - as green, peaceful, relaxing are their parks. Real oasis of peace in those cement oceans…

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

China - Cities


 Nanchang, Jiangxi

Xining, Qinghai

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


After almost three years and half diligently serving Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran, as of May 1 I have been given the responsibility for the China portfolio.

Not the portfolio I thought I deserved (Maldives, outposted), but you can’t have all in life. And after the recent events in Afghanistan (the attacks to a restaurant where we used to go when in Kabul, to a hotel where we stayed just a few days before two gunmen broke in and killed nine people, and to a guesthouse close to the one where we stayed several times), perhaps time had finally come for a change.

This change brings a mix of feelings. On the one hand I am somehow sad to leave three countries to which, for different reasons, I got attached. On the other hand I am attracted by a country which I feel I somehow belong to.

In the next posts some pictures of my recent trip to China, a few weeks ago.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Grands-parents & petits-enfants

Costruttori di castelli di sabbia

Who are the best sand castles builders on the beach?

Easy: Matteo & Hortense!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

If everybody had an ocean…

Le Cap Ferret, popular beaches for surfers.

Of all ages…


Imagine a windy day by the ocean, the low tide, the beach completely desert.

And now imagine two kids in that…

Thursday, May 1, 2014