At a slow pace in Cilento, towards a new notion of time | Where you travel

Text taken from the section Restart by Andrea Bariselli on DOVE July 2024

“What a fishing boat collects in one night, we do in 7 or 8 years of boat travel. Can you imagine?” This is what Vittorio, a tall, gentle-featured fisherman who works along the Cilento Coastin Pisciotta. At night, in the light of the stars and the moon, when the sea is very calm, the anchovy fishermen of Menaica go out on their gozzos and throw artisanal nets, called “menaiche”, into the sea.

These nets catch only the largest anchovies, allowing the others to slip through the mesh and continue to grow. This sustainable and thoughtful method has been practiced for centuries. Here, everything is slow but incessant, like the lapping of the waves. Vittorio's sentence immediately introduces the protagonist of this land: the time. It's the secret ingredient that makes everything good, everything beautiful. It flows at a pace that seems to come from another dimension.

In a world that swallows everything up in a frantic race towards endless growth, Cilento time has found a way to transform people, the landscape and thoughts.

The spectacle of the sea to stop the race

I think about all this one morning at dawn in late May, while from the center of Pollica I go out for a walk and, leaving the city, I go up towards Celsus. Around me there is only the chatter of birds, centenarian ladies already busy preparing some unknown delicacy, and the air that smells of the Mediterranean scrub. Then I turn towards the city and a soft sun envelops everything, even the sea.

For a moment, I feel as if all this were endless, as if it had always been this way and always will be this way. But if I think back to the fisherman's words, I understand that this wonder is in danger. We must learn to see and listen, slowing down. Otherwise, in this mad rush, we no longer even know what we are losing.

How can we fill ourselves with gratitude being spectators wondering if we are in a hurry? How can we make room for something bigger if our head is always full of so many little things that pollute our thoughts?

The longevity algorithm preserved in Cilento

It was by observing the people who live in these places that I understood the secret that makes them among the oldest on the planet. It is no coincidence that we are studying here what is defined as “the longevity algorithm“Because let's be real: we all want to slow down. But when we do, we realize that it's harder than we expected and often doesn't even go the way we planned.

Our lives are now perfect water skier metaphor: everything seems to work fine only at high speed. But if
the boat stops, we sink. And that often scares us. The slowness, the reconnection with oneself, the feeling of time and life passing, are basically a little scary.

Zen and the art of fusilli with frames

Then one day I find myself Castellabatemesmerized by the observation of an elderly lady named Maria Carmela, who, on the pastry board, prepares the “fusilli with frames“. A dish passed down from generation to generation, characterized by long, hollow pasta prepared with a typical ferretto.

At one point, as he continues to produce little pasta-shaped masterpieces, he looks me straight in the eye and says: “Today, there is almost no one who knows how to make them like that, you know? Children don't seem interested in learning this art. And I'm old, all this will die with me.”

We have lost the sense of context, we live deafened in our lives shot at full speed like a cannon shot. We live in confusion and confusion is never a good basis for learning. To notice something you need time, attention, contact and have enough energy to process it. How can we become aware of the complexity of what is
What happens if we are exhausted?

The value of life? In a dish of artisanal pasta

We no longer know how to appreciate the value of Nature on us. It is not enough to put a plant in the office to feel better. It is a bit like persisting in painting the interior walls of a house that is about to collapse. But Cilento offers us a valuable lesson: recover the the meaning of life through the slowness. Here, time has a different value, a rhythm that invites us to reflect and live in harmony with nature.

To slow down is to find yourself, to rediscover the traditions and appreciate the beauty of the present. Cilento, with its untouched magic and ancient traditions, teaches us that the true value of life lies in the ability to live with awareness and gratitude. But it is not just about telling, it is about living – or tasting – like a delicious dish. Cilento-style fusilli.

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“Today, being revolutionary means removing rather than adding, slowing down rather than speeding up, it means valuing silence, darkness, light, fragility, gentleness.”. Franco Armino

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