Matteo Grazzini

A Childhood memories from Porto Ercole, positive vibes from Casentino

The sea in Argentario, the house in Porto Ercole, her friends, colleagues and fans all over Tuscany, her passion for Florence and Casentino, volunteer work and social work in Arezzo, the prison, where she has often been to visit Adriano Sofri, in Pisa. Paola Turci’s Tuscany is made up of a thousand different aspects and a thousand colours, not all linked to the world of music. This Roman-born singer-songwriter has in fact had a close relationship with this region since she was born, since she was little and used to spend her summer holidays in Porto Ercole, developing a passion for the sea and sailing that she has never given up.
Paola often leaves her home in Rome to come to Florence, combining her musical commitments with socially useful ones, from the incredible stage at the Mandela Forum for an event for Emergency to the smaller one at Filigrane 2009, as guest of the Region, or presenting her latest album Attraversami il cuore at the Feltrinelli bookshop to her fond fans. We met her in the musical intimacy of SalottoLive, the brilliant all-Florentine creation where Paola’s intense voice finds its maximum expression, much to the delight of an enthralled audience.
She has fun answering our questions, attempting pretty successfully to speak the Tuscan vernacular that she has learnt from friends and colleagues, like Francesco Magnelli, the creator of Stazioni Lunari, or Francesco Bianconi of the Baustelle, who wrote La mangiatrice di uomini, one of the tracks on her last album.
How did your relationship with Tuscany start?
In my cradle. When I was two years old Palmarosa, the concierge at my house in Porto Ercole, used to call me cittina. Every summer she would either call me that or boncitta, and so I learnt more Porto Ercolese than anything else, nearer to my roots than Tuscan ones.
So you feel more a Tuscan of the sea than of the land?
Yes, even if the wonders of Tuscany were then to amaze and bewitch me.
So, as a Roman, you don’t sense that Rome-Florence dualism where art and cultural are concerned...
When we talk of art there is no competition and the wonders of Tuscany are incomparable, as is the beauty of Rome. I often come to Florence for the emotion it gives me, while Rome is my home and every day it makes me feel in a way that no other city would do. But when I am in Florence, I take trips out to the Casentino or Valdarno area and discover truly moving places.
Who put you into contact with the world of volunteering in Tuscany?
I have a very private relationship with Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, contacts with lots of boys and girls and discovering volunteer work was a consequence of these happy relationships. You meet one person, then another and another and you end up in contact with a whole community. Through the ex Mayor of Caviglia, Enzo Brogi, I ended up with the Ucodep in Arezzo, which helps developing countries. I went to Vietnam with them a few years ago and still support them today. I remember that trip as an experience that taught me to be more careful not to waste primary resources, with a sensitiveness that at times is missing in the West.
What does the short-term hold for Paola Turci?
After Attraversami il cuore I am preparing the second of the three albums that are part of my project. It should be out in the spring and I hope I can do it, because three albums in one year are an ambitious, difficult project.