If we're good, Gerano takes us to South Africa, Canada and America.
We are looking for Town Ambassador candidates for the Aniene Valley in the Rome Metropolitan Area project and we have arrived in this small village that can be defined as a spot in the absolute green of nature.
I arrive in Gerano one sunny morning and the first thing that strikes me is the narrow road that leads to the town hall. It scares me a little, I've seen too many scenes with cars getting stuck in the narrow streets of Italian villages and I don't want to end up among the unfortunate.
Then I see a traffic light at the beginning of the hill and I queue up. How strange: it is the first traffic light in the entire Aniene Valley. An absolute record.
Maybe there's something after the alley, or maybe I'm entering a labyrinth.
In fact, when it's my turn and I can pass, a large square opens up after the bottleneck, then a large parking lot in a side street under the town hall, and then a path that continues towards the other villages of the Aniene Valley.
I think this traffic light should become part of the image of Italian villages. It reminds me of the pedestrian one along the calli of Venice.
Everything in the village is alive and active, we are in the days preceding the Santissima and the churches are open to welcome the faithful.
And everything is ancient except the municipality which is a stone building and large windows overlooking the green mountains. At first it seems out of context, but then the ground floor portico makes it integrated with social life and it is a formidable point of view.
The pillars frame the panorama of the valley and each painting opens up to new perspectives of light and colour.
I go up and to my surprise two mayors are waiting for me, Danilo Felici from Gerano and Enzo Aureli from Pisoniano. Enzo embodies the perfect spirit of the slightly disenchanted and sarcastic Roman who is recognized in Italy and abroad.
Danilo is the opposite and his welcome is perfect and he is accompanied by the commissioner Maria Rita Censi who, like all women, is immediately super efficient.
Gerano has an ideal candidate, Katy has chosen to move from the United States to Gerano with her Italian husband. I had met her husband at a Slow Food market where he sold their rosciola oil and where he promoted their camping site complete with a natural swimming pool.
But if the choice seems almost inevitable and Katy perfectly matches the Town Ambassador we are looking for, an international person who deeply loves the country where she is or where she comes from, Maria Rita opens up many other possibilities.
“Here in Gerano we have a family of Canadians who come back every year and who are very attached to their roots.” Very interesting, but it doesn't end there: "I am in a chat with Geranese who have moved to South Africa and who ask me every day what happens in our area".
Connections with South Africa, Canada and America: if we weren't in the Aniene Valley I would really think I was in a capital of the world.
Gerano Caput Mundi!