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I have always been fascinated by other places, since I was a child I was enchanted to read and watch the stories of the great Walter Bonatti.

I had discovered them by chance in some inserts of a weekly at that time and I was struck by them.

With the same brown velvet zuava knee length pants and a red shirt I would see him now on the Ruwenzori now on the Kilimanjaro to then end up in the Amazon or in the Himalaya.

And I dreamed of becoming an explorer myself not only to visit remote places but to savour those full and enveloping silences that only a solo trip can give you.

Then, growing up, I ended up doing a different job from that of an explorer but I continued to cultivate that dream and that passion and life gave me the opportunity to travel a lot and so I could finally hear those enveloping silences that helped me become the person I am now.

Unfortunately, however, Covid has arrived with its load of pain and death and for those like me who suffer from “Wanderlust” these are even more difficult times.

Mussomeli by Arturo Di Simone

Waiting, therefore, for better times I thought that in my beautiful Sicily and in my beautiful Mussomeli I could give myself a little adventure at zero km.

And so on May 4, the first day of phase 2 of the lockdown, I put on my beloved trekking boots and I went to one of the most pleasant places I know: the medieval historical centre of the town where I live.

Mussomeli by Arturo Di Simone

It is a sort of Medina, a maze of narrow streets that descends gently from the quarter of the sixteenth-century Chiesa Madre to the San Giovanni district.

They are sparsely inhabited neighbourhoods and the signs of abandonment are evident but there is a primordial beauty.

Everything becomes slow, time no longer exists and the old stones of the walls and paving stones seem to breathe and you can hear their voices.

Yes, the stones speak and if you open your heart they will tell you the story, of so much history that has passed through here.

You can see the life that once flowed slowly here. You can see the sweat and wrinkles on the faces of the peasants and you can hear the cheerful voices of the children.

Mussomeli by Arturo Di Simone

You can see the departure of the desperate people, who left their homes and their hearts, with cardboard suitcases to seek their fortune in distant lands.

And then I feel the air entering my lungs, I feel my heart beating and if I close my eyes I slowly blur the images of the past and start to see in a sort of rendering the future that I hope will animate these streets and alleys. I see an inhabited neighbourhood, flowers in the windows, craft shops, small shops, people walking and I see tourists who, with the slow pace of travellers, cross these streets and entertain themselves with the locals.

Mussomeli by Arturo Di Simone

Yes, this is the future I imagine, urban regeneration, widespread hospitality, homes, restaurants and experiential tourism.

Our villages are precious treasure chests, they enclose our past and are just waiting to become our future, I am convinced of it.

#we’ll make it

Arturo Di Simone

ITA Arturo Di Simone è originario di Mussomeli, un viaggiatore appassionato di fotografia e letteratura di viaggio, è il Presidente dell'associazione "Futtitinni Sicily Experience", una realtà che promuove la filosofia del turismo lento nel suo paese a curiosi e turisti.  ENG Arturo Di Simone is a native of Mussomeli, a traveler passionate about photography and travel literature, he is the President of the association "Futtitinni Sicily Experience", a reality that promotes the philosophy of slow tourism in his country to curious Italians and tourists.