Again – Day 6

In the era of web x.0 (x>3), I am not sure about how much business travel agencies can do.

You can plan you travel, just standing in front of your PC and phone, alternating mobile apps and website queries.

This is what I’m doing today.

Kids are not babies anymore, so we can finally move from “vacation” to “travel” mode.

Once set the dates, it’s a matter of finding the right flights combination.

And that’s where it gets tricky.

In order to plan the flights, you need to know the itinerary. But a different flight combinations could lead to a cheaper result, so you may need to change the itinerary….

Then, where to start from? From the itinerary or from the flights?

I decide to start from the “what to see and what to do“. No timeline, just places and activities.

I also decide to go visual, taking all the different piece of maps, searching the web for suggestions for family travels over there and drawing notes and comments directly over the maps.

I would like to lay a big roll of paper on the table and glue all the maps on it; then, use post-it to highlights places to see.

It would be nice.

But most likely with a very short life.

It would be buried under tons of drawings my creative kids produce on regular basis; maybe also involuntary hidden in impossible places, for the rest if its life.

Losing the whole work would be too easy…

So, I decide to do it differently.

The Geek way.

Luckily, in the department I work in, I am The Tester, which means I am among the few who has a laptop/tablet touch.

Therefore, I copy and paste all the different piece of maps into my OneNote.

Then, I draw notes and comments directly over the maps, with the digital pen.

Old Style – New Tools.

It is immediately saved to the cloud and replicated to all my devices.

It’s kid-mess-proof.

Unless they login to my iPhone X through the Face ID, which seems to have some flaws…. (

Just kidding 🙂

I don’t have it.



Next step will be to pick up the options we don’t want to miss and then work on the itinerary, together with some flights combination. Narrowing the number of places to visit will make it easier to find the right combination.

We’ll see.

Now it’s time for the ice.

Not for a caipiroska, unfortunately…






Again – Day 5

Giulio needs a new pair a of shoes for indoor football.

My mom is here helping during this recovery time, so we can go to the sport store and buy them.

Nowadays kids have a wide range of options, when it comes to sport shoes. But today, size-wise, it’s not our lucky day, so we have only two options.

“Which one would you like more, sweetheart?”

Giulio looks at the nice orange Adidas first, then moves his eyes to the white Nike.

The latter has two letters and one digit on its side: CR7. Of course, they are more expensive.

“These one!!!!”

Of course…

Sales discounts will start next weekend and it takes me a while to convince the guy that he can apply the 20% off also a few days before it.

We head back to the car with a big smile on our faces. I think mine is bigger than Giulio’s one.

For two reasons.

First, I am happy he won’t slide on the indoor ground anymore, with a very good pair of shoes. I believe CR7 is just marketing, but good shoes help improving performance anyway.

Second, I am back in time now.

When I started playing basketball, in the early 80s, I had “normal” gym shoes. At that time there were not many different kinds of shoes. And they were extremely expensive (Euro was still very far away, so probably cheaper than the current one….but for those years they were relatively expensive).

So, I have still clear in my mind the day my parents brought me to the small shoe store in La Spezia: it sold sport shoes only, nothing else. A really peculiar one.

We entered the shop and I asked to try those white and blue shoes, on the top-left shelf.

Actually, all basketball shoes were just white in the 80s, eventually with some light colour in the brand logo: nobody dared to put on the market fancy bright yellow or red shoes.

I can still almost feel the excitement while I was wearing them for the first time.

That day I got my first REAL basketball shoes: the mythical Top Ten

From that moment on, I have been wearing only proper shoes when playing sports.

Someone could argue “with no difference” on performance, but they are only haters 🙂


Again – Day 4

I went through this mind process after my previous surgery.

It’s simple. You search for improvements, even the smallest one, day after day.

This gives you the feeling that something is happening and you are one step closer to the total recovery. A little bit like

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

So, right after the surgery, everything was difficult: sleeping, seating, walking, moving, turning and anything else involving even the tiniest movement of the leg.

We have two steps between the dining and the living room and getting there was a kind of difficult.

What about socks? Mission Impossible!

Then…. you start seeing some little improvements: seating gets better (even if you can’t stay on a chair longer than a lunch-time), socks raise up to “Mission Difficult”, living room is not a challenge anymore, sleeping on a side is still a mirage, but it is getting better.

Overall, trend is good.

Then you watch the football match and you think your knee is not that bad…you could probably do better with one leg than all these 11 players (plus trainer) with their two legs!

Ok…maybe not…. but it is not that far from their actual performance…. 😦

Actually it is not worth any additional comments, so let’s move on and work on the Super-hero crew.

Did you know that a new guy joined???

Ladieeeeeees and gentlemeeeeeen…..

……… Pleeeeaaaase welcooooooooome……

…….Mr. BATMAN!!!!


Again – Day 3


Giulio has a football competition today: it’s the first time he plays a tournament inside and I cannot miss it.

The car can get very close to the entrance of the Sport Center and I can walk up to the the gym.

Matches are very nice and seeing the improvement of these 8 year old kids week after week is impressive: from



look-and-(sometimes)-pass & run-without-the-ball.

Good job trainers!!

We spend the whole morning there. It is quite crowd and my straight leg is a good exercise for all the kids running in and out the gym hall, jumping over it. I try to bend it whenever I see a kid coming, but I am not quick enough (yet). I get only one hit, which is actually a very good result 🙂

Some fresh air and back home again.

Today I am looking for a book to read, a good one.

It is always the same feeling: having the time to read is quite a treasure, so you want to find the right book.

Fb helps.

I am scrolling the fb app on my phone when I see a post of one of my friend: it’s about a book that I didn’t know of, whose title is quite catching.

I immediately go to Amazon and read the little intro

I need to download the sample!

I eat the sample in one bite and with 1-click I buy it: it is now on my Kindle.

I am transported in new worlds, paper-real and paper-real-virtual.

The more I read the more I deep dive into a universe made of avatars, virtual relationships, escape from the real world, quest for the Easter egg, 80s video-games, virtual reality, difference between poor and reach, also in the virtual planets, life in a stack (see book cover above).

(Thank you Giuliano!!!)

In the meanwhile, Super-hero crew is getting bigger 🙂






Again – Day 2

I’ve been a little bit into planning here.

I knew about the surgery quite in advance and I knew also about the recovery time. Nothing to be happy about.

I needed then to figure out how to not to loose all the training I had so far.

After the surgery, for sure I could not run for a while, so I had to work at least on the upper body.

Have I already said that there is always a first time?

It was one of those.

I needed to buy dumbbells. But which weight was good for me? 2 Kg? 4 Kg? 15 Kg? I had no idea.

We have a gym in the office, so one day I went there and tried some of them: I was in jeans and blazer and I can understand why the other guy there was looking at me in a strange way….

….but I did it: I figured out which weight range was good for me.

As it always happens, when you enter a new world you really find a new world: you can find thousands of different dumbbells in internet… gummy, steel, configurable, in a box, without a box, with a holder, without a holder and more and more and more.

I bought the one I thought it was a good compromise between price and what it looked like a good quality.

So, in my Day 2 I started exercising.

Weights are heavy, did you know that??? 🙂

It is a good way to workout, but of course it is very (VERY) much different from running and shooting the ball into the hoop…



Again – Day 1

The pack of pain killers that the nurse has put in the bag for me is a clear sign…

…yes indeed.

But it’s bearable, even though annoying.

A couple of weeks ago Netflix notified me about Stranger Things Season 2.

I held on, fighting my curiosity, to save the new episodes for this recovery time.

And now it’s time!!!!!

Last night I watched the last episode of Season 1, just to refresh my memory.

Today it’s Ep1 S02.

I think the strength of this series is the good combination of 80s movies, Stephen Kings characters and worlds, kids friendship and fears.

The constant thrill keeps you in a friendly uncomfortable state in front of your iPad, with the noise-cancelling headphone on and, in the night, maybe a small light switched on.

Day 1 is also the day of rest: no much walk, a lot of ice

It is the right time for some super-hero battles: two of them are already on the battle field, more are ready to come!!!

It is also the day of Danish traditions: duck, sweet and “normal” potato and ris a la mande. What a dinner!!!!

Jule Øl as well, of course….

Shall I watch another episode? Better not…let’s leave it for tomorrow….

Football match Sweden vs Italy brought already enough horror into the night…



Again – Day 0

After almost 4 years I am going to enter an operating room again.

Last time was

This is the first time in a different country. Protocols are different.

We are at the hospital at 7:30 AM.

After a while, a nurse comes and simply asks “Luca?”

It’s me. It’s my turn.

She brings me in a changing room, where white trousers, shirt and socks are ready for me.

There’s something more…and she asks: “Did you shave?”
My mind goes through all the papers they sent me before the surgery, but it was not mentioned.

“Ehm..not really”

“No problem, just take this razor and shave from here (thigh) to here (half calf), all around”

“Sure” (big smile)

There is always a first time, and this is my first time in leg shaving. Pretty nice experience. Just pretty… Just an experience…

Once ready, I leave my clothes in a locker and wait for the surgery in a room with some magazines. I take the opportunity to improve my Danish.

Rom blev ikke bygget på en dag” is the learning of the day.

The doctor comes and we have a quick chat. Then he says “We agree here that it is the RIGHT knee”

“Sure Sir!”

And he marks my right knee with a cross.

He leaves. It’s good to have such an agreement before entering the operating room 🙂

I continue reading.


There is no escape. I need to go now. I go.

As usual, operating room is icy cold.

The bed is there, waiting for me.

Three, four, maybe five doctors were dressing up.

They give me a blanket.

One of them, calmly, tells me that he is going to put a needle in my hand. He almost asks for my permission to do it. Not happily, I consent.

He starts injecting a first medicine, that would have made me dizzy. I don’t feel anything. At the same time another doctor applies the oxygen mask and another one raises my leg.

Now I feel dizzy.

Then the “actual” anesthesia comes.

I feel very dizzy. It’s difficult to breath in the mask. I try to calm down and before I really succeed, lights fade down and I quickly fall into the dreamland.

After a time impossible to measure, I wake up in another room.


My Mom and Susy arrive immediately.

Nurse asks me if I want breakfast: yes, I am hungry. A Danish breakfast is on my table very soon.

As soon as anesthesia effects fade away, I dress up and wait for the doctor. He comes and explains how the surgery went, detailing the recovery process.

Ready to go back.

11:00 AM we are back home.

My knee has the bandage and I don’t feel any pain.

I can walk probably better than the day before… but I know that it won’t be the same tomorrow.

The pack of pain killers that the nurse has put in the bag for me is a clear sign…





You may think it is a post on the best #10 football players in the history: Pelè, Maradona, Zico, Messi….
(ok, ok, Totti too)

But it is not.

You may think it is about our fantastic 10 kids (this is very nerd 😊)

But it is not.

You may think it is about number ten, which is the sum of the first three prime numbers, of the four first positive integers (1 + 2 + 3 + 4), of the square of the two first odd numbers and also of the first four factorials (0! + 1! + 2! + 3!).

But it is not.

It is instead about you, Susy.

It is also about us and about how great these last 10 years have been.

It is about how our life is like a roller-coaster, not a normal one, but a special roller-coaster that builds up just in front of us: you never know what’s next. But we know it’s safe. And it’s pure adrenaline, excitement, fun.

Now, fasten the seat-belt and take a ride in our last ten years.

(you don’t know how difficult it is to find a picture where we are all together!!! 😊)

Hands On

Breakfast time.

“Kids, today is a great day!!”

It took me a while to organise this day, but when something is worth, you don’t stop until you get it.
“Hands on” could summarise my philosophy (or at least part of it 😊). In other words, if you want to know something deeply, you need to touch it, to experience it. To feel it.
I have been selling Windows and related products for many years and the best way to do it was to install and test them, continuously, from beta…let’s say alpha… version to the final one; I needed to fiddle with them, with all their settings.
Now I am in the Wind Turbine business.
Maybe I cannot install and test them directly.
But for sure I have to touch and experience them. I have to feel them.
In the last 20 months I’ve visited many factories around the world and I have seen the high level of engineering that is required to produce them. I could see how a blade is created; I could learn how a generator is built up; how a big, huge steel tower is made.
The time had arrived to see the final product: a wind turbine in a Wind Park.

Not just see it. Climb it.

“Daddy, what happens if it falls down”
(ops….) “Well, dear, I would probably die….but it is very unlikely it will happen: we are the leader in the market and our turbines are excellent”

While I was telling these words I couldn’t stop my mind visualizing the image of Windows Blue Screen….but I didn’t mention it to the kids….

So, 10:00 sharp the team of 5 colleagues was ready. And excited. And somehow a little bit scared:

“Which model of turbine are we going to visit?”
“The tall one”

First stop safety equipment: helmet, glasses, vest and of course shoes.
Then, we drove to the Wind Park.
We actually ended up in a farm. The turbines were there, you cannot miss them! But we probably expected a gate or something similar. Around us there were only tractors and excavators.

After a phone call we understood the entrance was on the other side. The view was not that different, indeed:

This is simply the power of green energy: wind turbine and cows can live together one close to the other one. Regarding “feeling it”, the cow’s smell was not exactly what I meant….
For sure, this bucolic environment contributed to make the visit even better.
Standing right under the turbine is amazing: you can see and feel its power. Almost 100m high. It’s huge.

We dressed up with the safety equipment plus the harness. Being watching Falling Skies and wearing a “harness” is a kind of strange… 😊
A little demo on the use of the harness and all the hooks it included and then we were ready to go up.
You can climb.
Or you can take the lift.
94m ladder?
If you are thinking about the lift you took during your last stay at the Grand Hotel, it is not that one.
It is more like a small cage where two people can barely stay. If they fit, they cannot move anyway.
The slow rise to the top took some minutes. You cannot miss the fact that you are arrived: it is a sudden and noisy stop, with a lot of shake.
A couple of ladders and finally I was inside the nacelle.

I visited one in the past, but it was on the ground.
Up there it was different: better not to think that I was walking almost at 100m over the ground; the slow movement from one side to the other, due to the wind, was there just to remind it. And the wind was not that bad.
The Service Technician, our guide, told me all the important info about the components that were in front of us and the way he usually works there.
Then he opened the two windows located on the ceiling.
“Give a look!”
I slowly raised my head outside the squared hole in the ceiling and the view was breathless:

He calmly and comfortably went to the other window and sat outside, locking one of his hook to the safety ring on the roof.
In the meanwhile, the whole team was up.
The next step was to walk on the top of the nacelle.
Let’s do it.
Maybe I just wait a little bit.
I need to concentrate more….
Of course, I knew since the very beginning that standing up on the top of the turbine would have been the challenge of the day.

Ready. Go.
Just to recap.
First step: head out.
Second step: seat outside with the legs inside the window.
Now the third step was waiting for me: leave the safe hole and stay completely outside, on my knees.
Outside there, you need ALWAYS to be locked to one ring at least, so if you want to move you need to lock the second hook to another ring in the direction you are moving to, then unlock the first one and so forth.
The forth step had then two options: do this unlock and lock by crawling….or be brave, stand up, walk towards the next ring, bend, lock the second hook, stand up, walk back to the first one, bend, unlock it and continue. Walking.
I think crawling is good just for pub crawling, so I decided to stand up.
The point of view was different from there.

Amazing. Speechless. Inspiring.
Then our guide suggested me to walk to the border and look down.

Amazing. Speechless. Inspiring.
….but…. “Is that small rectangular stuff our car??!!??!?! OMG!!!!!!!

And what about those ants?!?!?!!? Oh…they are our friends, the cows!!!!

But overall, I was not scared. On the contrary, I didn’t want to come down: it was so peaceful that I could have being seating there for hours.

But time flies….. so it was to time to go back to the ground.

At that moment, I was sure all the interesting part was ended. It is actually in those circumstances that something unexpected happens and your fun level skyrockets! And so does adrenaline!

“Would you like to take the lift or climb down through the stairs?”

How could you say no to such an invitation?

I locked my special hook to the ladder, opened the trap-door, looked down and….I could see the ladder all the way down to the basement: 94m!!!!!

I double checked the hook….

The descent was as worth as the stand up on the top of the turbine, no doubt. It looked like the end down there was not getting closer. But after many minutes it did: I actually was so much focused on the ladder and the way I was climbing down that I lost completely the time/space dimension. After a while I looked up and I saw a very far away trap-door; I looked down and I saw a very far away ground: it was like being in a parallel universe.

This day just once more confirmed the “Hands on” principle.

Regardless it is about job, personal life or free time….

do it

experience it

get your hands dirty






DepartureDay – 1


Susy started to talk about the CISV experience for our kids since before they were born: Emma was actually still in that comfortable and floating status inside mom’s belly when I learnt about it….

CISV is a great concept:

CISV International is a global organization dedicated to educating and inspiring for peace through building inter-cultural friendship, cooperation and understanding.


Our innovative, fun, non-formal peace education ‘learning by doing’ programmes begin with our original and unique Village programme for 11-year-olds.

Emma turned 11 this year… so this is THE year. THE year for the village: 1 months spent together with other 50+ kids of the same age, coming from all over the world, supervised by grown up guys; and most important thing…. far away from parents.

We had the first meeting in November last year.

There were a few options for the location and we decided to apply for Mexico.

Application was accepted.

Village means also job for the parents. Kids are part of the national delegation, which is composed of 2 boys and 2 girls, plus a leader. As they will spend 1 month away, they need to create the bond, to get closer, to become friends.

This can only be achieved through time spent together; we organised many sleepovers and meetings during winter and spring time. CISV was founded in 1950… could parents do it without a Facebook group?!?!!?!?

I remember the first sleepover, where each of the four kids had the balloon over the head, saying “do I really need to spend the weekend with these 4 perfect strangers??? Are you kidding me????”

At the end of that weekend the situation was slightly changed, but still very far away from the idea of a team. And friends.

But kids are amazing and after all the four sleepovers and a few more meetings, they have become friends and a real team.

We, the parents, were very proud of them… but it has been a second job that required a strong commitment.

We worked together to make it happen.

We needed to organise a huge amount of things: from the sleepovers, to the gifts (for staff, other kids, hosting families) to the Danish flag and all the ingredients for a Danish cake; we tried to find ideas which could bring the Danish spirit and tradition to the Village. It turned out that our creativity came up and we actually did some very good things, like the LEGO pixelation of H.C. Andersen (great job Morten!):

Living in Billund helped a lot with the very traditional LEGO bricks and merchandising 🙂 Being the organiser of TheBigMatch helped too:

We went through many things. We spent a lot of time and energy. We also spent one day to pre-fold, cut and then finally fold almost 500 booklets.

We spent a good day in front of a BBQ baking pizza:

In November it seemed very far away.

Now it’s tomorrow.

Are we ready?


I mean, luggage is ready and closed. Hand luggage too.

But what about us?

Well, Emma is sleeping, indeed.

I am not. I am here in front of this screen, thinking how excited I am for Emma and, at the same time, how difficult staying one month without her will be. For the first time, summer holidays without Emma.

You could always talk to her by phone, you may think…. Wrong assumption. We could not. We won’t.

There will be very few communication options (written, no calls), only through the leader. Full stop. This should minimise the homesickness…

I am sure it will be that kind of experiences that will make her do a big step into the life’s adventure.





Appointment is at 16:00 at Billund Airport.

I work from home today: I don’t want to risk to get trapped into the traffic jam and miss this important moment.

Emma and Giulio have been playing wonderfully for the last few days; today it is the same.

We close and re-open luggage many times: put in that missing thing, move that other thing from the checked in luggage to the hand one…. are you sure you put the very, really, super important stuff in that bag????? OMG…..

Time flies.

15:00. We close luggage for the last time.

Load it into the car.

Everybody is ready.

Everybody is excited.

Everybody wants to hug Emma, before getting to the airport.

…a few tears show up, wiped only by the strong belief that it will be great.

It’s a kind of feeling similar to the one I experienced in the moments right before stepping into the red dot at TEDx or free falling from 30 m. at the Tivoli Park: I chose to be there, I wanted to be there, but in those precise moments excitement and “fear” merged together in an explosive mix.

Time to go.

At the airport our friends have already arrived: we all have the same expression in our faces…..

As we agreed in the last meeting, it is better to make it short, very short to avoid a drama show in the hall.

So, the last check to the luggage, a couple of pictures and the last hugs.

The CISV Danish delegation heads to the counter for the check in

and the CISV Danish delegation’s parents head to the new bar in Billund to support each other 🙂

Bye bye kids, have fun and see you in one month!



DepartureDay +


We decided to leave for holidays the day after Emma’s departure: roadtrip to Italy, so Giulio would be in a different environment and hopefully would not miss the sister too much.

We wake up early, load the car and head South.

We get a few messages from the leader, showing that everybody arrived to Mexico 🙂 The first 2 nights are spent with a host family: Emma is smart and she remembers her mom’s phone number, so we start getting whatsapp messages from the family.

We are very happy: most of them are pictures showing smiling and happy girls.

We go on for two days communicating in Spanish with them; at the end we get also an invite for Mexico…. why not?!?! Let’s see….

Since when they arrived to the Village, whatsapp messages stopped and all of us are continuously checking Instagram private group to see if anything new popped up.

Only a few pictures indeed.

We write an email every Saturday: we tell Emma what we are doing, but without exceeding in describing too much fun and without showing that we miss her too much. Of course, we don’t receive any answer the following Sunday-Friday.

But that was the agreement, so it’s fine.

We also thought that having only a few info about the village will make Emma’s stories even more exciting and interesting. I really can’t wait to listen to them.

…even if I can foresee it:

“Hey Emma, how was it?????? What did you do????”

“Good, nothing.”