I’ll tell you a story – Federico

December 2021
To Gilberto and Renzo, crucial and discreet presence

It is not the Meeting that needs me, it is I who needs the Meeting.

A few years ago, at the meeting of restaurant volunteers, a friend reported this phrase, which perfectly describes my relationship with the Meeting.

For one of those circumstances, that to most seem random ones, which instead are Providential, I found myself 21 years old at the first edition of the “Meeting for friend- ship among peoples”, today better known as the “Meeting”. I had gone there a few days in a tent with my sister from Trento to attend a concert held by the Zafra group.

Through that hint a world opened up: Russian dissidents Bukowskj and Maksimov, Testori, Pastro, Congdon, Beloradsky, Le van Mao.

So I entered the great history of the Meeting and I never left it, making it one of the decisive and essential points of my life (I think I have not missed, even for a only a day of presence, any edition).

For years I came to the Meeting with my family, my parents as long as their health allowed, my friends, accompanying people who had been invited.

The key moment happens in 2006: adults are required to accompany the young uni- versity students during the Pre-meeting. For the first time an imposing question arose to me: But what really prevents me from adhering to this invitation”? So, I decided to suddenly answer to the request and at the beginning of August I show up at the workbench to start the adventure. I end up working in the secretariat, where there are no boys, but only adults and yet begins a great story of relationships, of volun- tary meeting that has never stopped and that sees me 62 years old every year more enthusiastic and grateful.

The following year, and for four years in a row, I found myself with a large number of friends from Trentino Alto Adige to create the Trentino Restaurant, a magnificent enterprise that left a deep trace in those who made it and also in the people of the Meeting - after more than ten years there are still those who remember it and ask “When do you come back”?

Since then I have always returned, giving a catering sector with Renzo, Gilberto, Peter and all the friends with whom we meet year after year, building solid friendships that often born in a surprising way. With Alessandro in the secretariat, with Renzo at the catering warehouse, with Lucia for a place that was not there at the guests’ restaurant, with Javier at the restaurant table and many others until this year, in a totally unexpected way, with Mimmo, accompanying himself all day for six days in serving the great work that is the Meeting.


May the Lord give long life to this cathedral of our day, built by a great and lively, albeit humble, people!


Paolo, Trento