Wine, Literature and Music

word traveler

Imagine these three things at once. Imagine yourself sipping a glass of red Barolo wine, and reading your favorite book while listening to a song that has been the soundtrack to a cherished part of your life.

And now imagine yourself in Italy, in a beautiful village called Barolo, Piedmont, enjoying the fourth edition of the Collisioni Festival, a summer celebration of music, literature and wine. Every year Collisioni presents important authors and artists from different parts of the world, in a wonderful and dreamy atmosphere and in a setting that is definitely worth a visit, at least once in a lifetime.

This is the opinion of Patti Smith, special guest at Collisioni, who during a magical summertime afternoon shared her passion for Italy, and her thoughts about art, environmental issues, politics, and of course music. I couldn’t wait to see Patti Smith. I’ve been listening to her songs forever, but curiously enough have never attended any of her concerts. So I’ve always wondered how it would feel seeing her in person. From a few feet away, I can tell you that she is friendly, down to earth, interesting, smart and very passionate. It felt like I didn’t need to agree to what she said to appreciate her.

And now project yourself fifty years ago. It was 1962 when a twenty year old boy from Minnesota told the world that a new wind was blowing, blowing through poetry and songs. A wind that would soon become a hurricane, and, most importantly, the voice of young people trying to imagine a different future. Bob Dylan was in Barolo, too, the only Italian date of the legendary American singer-songwriter during the summer. I can’t describe my feelings when he sang Blowin’ in the Wind or Like a Rolling Stone.

And then there was Don DeLillo, speaking about his last (latest) books, Boy George, Vinicio Capossela, and Zucchero, and many other artists from Italy too.

Music and books among the vineyards, tasting local wines from the many small cellars that offered glasses of Barolo, Dolcetto and Barbera along the way – overall, this was just a perfect weekend.





“Time seems to pass. The world happens, unrolling into moments, and you stop to glance at a spider pressed to its web. There is a quickness of light and a sense of things outlined precisely and streaks of running luster on the bay. You know more surely who you are on a strong bright day after a storm when the smallest falling leaf is stabbed with self-awareness. The wind makes a sound in the pines and the world comes into being, irreversibly, and the spider rides the wind-swayed web.” from The Body Artist


“Yet you could feel a vibration in the air, a sense of hastening. It had started with the moon, inaccessible poem that it was. Now men had walked upon it, rubber treads on a pearl of the gods. Perhaps it was an awareness of time passing, the last summer of the decade. Sometimes I just wanted to raise my hands and stop. But stop what? Maybe just growing up.” from Just Kids


Yes, how many years can a mountain exist / Before it's washed to the sea ? Yes, how many years can some people exist / Before they're allowed to be free ? Yes, how many times can a man turn his head / Pretending he just doesn't see ? The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind / The answer is blowin' in the wind.