The Natural Time Machine: A Journey in the Italian Alps
The timing and the weather was good for taking a drive not so far from Milano, to the place that we chose to say the last goodbye to our little Adrian. This place is so deep inside my childhood memories. Tremalzo. It’s a small, tiny and beautiful location in Trentino, in the Italian Alps. Before bringing you there, I’ll give you just a little of my history with it.
My dad bought a piece of land there back in ’73. The place was a completely empty landscape, except for pines, flowers and cows. My mom found out that she was pregnant with me there. And just months later I was born there.
We usually spent a lot of the summer and the winter in Tremalzo, plus many weekends and special occasions. It was good for me, since I had some problems with breathing, to be in fresh and clean air. Summer was a time of peace and rest. Taking long walks with my granddad, looking for mushroom and pretty flowers. In the winter, it was all about fun, skiing and playing with local friends.
I truly grew up there, surrounded by wilderness and animals. I remember a school trip to a farm outside of Milano, where my classmates were surprised I’d already seen a cow- and I already knew that cows produce milk. I was used to going every 2 days, let’s say, with an aluminum bucket to buy some fresh milk from the farm there. I also remember the completely different taste of the milk.
I spent a lot of quality time with my mom in Tremalzo: in the summer, under the big bed, she read stories to me like “The Penguin Outside of the Water” or “ The Wizard of Oz.” Some days we played cards all day long. At that time, I didn’t need much to be happy and enjoy myself.
On our recent visit, I found my tree house still slightly standing, that I’d built when I was 11 with a close friend, Michele. It was our safe spot, just a hundred meters behind our houses, in the forest, hidden by trees. It’s where we spent a lot of time doing teenager stuff: smoking first cigarettes, looking at Playboy and swapping stories.
I really have thousands of moments I can share from that place, things that happened and things that never happened. Every time I go back to Tremalzo it’s like a time machine, where my memories take a big breath in the past- but with the eyes of the present. Every little corner or spot I revisit I can find something about it from ten, twenty, thirty years ago.
In 2008, I decided to bring my dad’s ashes there because it’s the place that shows our relationship the best. It’s where we had the best moments together. I asked Mel if she wanted Adrian to be there too, and so it is.
We chose the best place I know there, with an astonishing landscape in front of us: the green pine mountains, the rocky backdrops, dipping valleys and the lake of Garda just in the distance. Adrian will be there forever, looking at the beauty of Tremalzo with his grandfather, at peace. We brought him home.