Enzo Maolucci and Agnese Baesso: two famous survivors
I don't watch the reality shows, but I did follow in part Survivor, which wasn't that bad. The sixteen contestants, eight men and eight women, had to spend 50 days on two deserted islands near Panama. They were without food, clothing and tools, and they had to try and survive, behaving at one's best. Among them, down there in the
middle of the ocean, there was also Agnese Baesso, a carpenter from Bardonecchia, who I met years later at The Book Fair in Torino. He told me that he had had to get through a fairly tough process of selection, having to pass physical tests of running and swimming. Once they had arrived on the ship in front of the coast of Bocas del
Toro, the participants then had to organize, just like that, on the spot, a shipwreck. On deck there were two rafts, the backpacks and crates of wood, and they had to plunge in fully-clothed and swim to shore. In the occasion of us meeting, I gave him, a little too late, a copy of my 'Piccolo manuale di sopravvivenza','The handbook used by
nineteenth-century explorers': 'The Art of Travel', a book by Francis Galton, that I have translated.
Some years ago I happened to meet again the singer-songwriter Enzo Maolucci, who I knew in the 70's and of who I had been an admirer. Today, he is involved in survival sports and experimentation at Salgari Campus, at one time a place that was the inspiration for the characters of 'Sandokan' and 'Corsaro Nero'. Nowadays, in amongst the tents, the bungalows, the lianas, the Tyrolese and Tibetan bridges, the slipways, the stairways, the pathways through mazes, the archery and javelin areas, the climbing walls, many youngsters and grown-ups play the leading roles in adventures that develop co-ordination, skills and adaptability.
As a souvenir from my visit to Salgari Campus Enzo had given me this great T-shirt, which is part of the memorabilia available from them.