Voices of Menaggio, the Finale
As I am getting ready to leave magnificent Lake Como, I could not end this artistic journey without writing about Caffè Centrale at Hotel du Lac, set along the western shore of Lake Como and offering panoramic lake views. Caffè Centrale has been part of my daily routine of bistro experience, an important ritual to start the day reading the local newspaper, La Provincia, while learning a little more Italian while people-watching in Piazza Garibaldi.
This brings the reason why I have been writing about the Voices of Menaggio because there is an important human element that every human being desires - the need to be seen and to be heard. This has nothing to do with leading extraordinary lives accomplishing great things or being famous in some way. It's rather simply being in this diverse world, the human aspect of life sharing our common humanity while celebrating our differences.
During my daily routine at Caffè Centrale, I was able to converse with the people working there and among them were two young men, le due Manuel, with whom I had a chance to exchange about their lives. I asked Manuel from Tremezzo, who is 19 years old, about his dreams and aspirations. He reflected for a moment and then came back to me expressing his wish to become an excellent chef like his father, to have his own restaurant, and to travel the world learning about other cultures. Manuel from Menaggio, who is 18 years old, didn't have quite a clear idea but no doubt it will be related to the world of hospitality. The owner of Hotel du Lac, Filippo, has a great team of young & dedicated workers, including his own daughter.
Across the Piazza Garibaldi, there is the Tourist Information Office where a very dedicated young woman, Valeria, impressed me with how she would answer very patiently any inquiries for information. I also met during my stay, Joseph Donnola, a talented free-lance Look Maker from Milano who gave my dear friend, Afaf, a very special haircut to enhance her beauty. Joseph has a great number of famous clients under his belt. Finally, there is Julian, alias Paolo, at Paolo's Restaurant who was kind enough to accommodate the five of us the night when Fabio & Fernando joined Afaf and me for my solo exhibition, an unforgettable surprise. The cuisine at Paolo's restaurant combines the tradition of Italian cuisine with the innovation and creativity of its chefs, a team of 3 musketeers in the kitchen.
This is the end of a great chapter of my artistic journey in Lake Como filled with the voices of nature, that of the natural world and human nature. I can already hear the voice of Lario calling me to return next year...!