DESTINATION europe fresh interpretation of objects, but the same message – beauty is important. Who are the people you admire, whether well-known or from your inner circle, who influenced your choices or brought some challenges? There are many people. But I’ll mention two I can think of. In general I really admire people who have a dream and who do their best to accomplish this dream. I’d like to mention one man, my neighbor Gennaro. He has a family of six children. From the time I became his neighbor he has changed 20 jobs. He managed to support his family and he was always happy. Not much money in his pocket. However, he definitely is a model for those who are rich, but unhappy. The second man of inspiration is Enrico Mattei, an ordinary man from not a rich family. In the beginning of the 1900s Italy was a poor country. Many people were migrating to the United States and other countries. After WWII this man turned out at Agip, the company that was created by the fascist regime. It wasn’t a big worldwide company then. Mr Mattei had a choice of either shutting down the company or doing something else. He decided to take this company into the club of energy players. It was amazing to put Italy in this place, because at that time we were considered mainly an agricultural country. Mattei turned the company into the well-known ENI that is considered as a state within the state in Italy. That allowed us to become part of the G7 and join the club of other industrialized states. He travelled abroad, approached the leaders of the Middle East and offered them an informal dialogue, promising them not just royalties, but a 50/50 approach in production benefits from oil. He established more than business relations – but built strong personal connections. So this man made 20 world monitor a huge contribution into his own country, which allowed us to become part of the industrial world. It still gives us significant respect and prestige even now. So, Italy is not just about pizza people. There are many engineers, chemists, geologists, technicians, and other highly qualified specialists. I guess we need to consider teachers, people who actually taught us something. Do you remember valuable advice or a conversation with those who developed you in your career or helped you to step out and help you get to the point you are today? I cannot exclude the great authors and philosophers like Seneca, advisor to Claudius, the great Roman Emperor. He said: “There is no favorable wind for the sailor who doesn’t know where to go”. First of all, you have to set your objectives and then follow the selected direction. It should be a very simple mechanism though very often we lose the direction. Therefore we don’t catch a favorable wind. Can you share any funny stories from your career path, so every time you look back on them you laugh? I can tell you about my DAY ONE of joining the diplomatic career. I was always expecting a fancy life. I didn’t know then that a young diplomat can easily die from starvation (Mr Ambassador laughs). I was invited to Quirinale for a ceremony to be assisting a foreign delegation as a young diplomat. According to protocol, the President of the Republic leaves the Residence’s office. It was a very beautiful building. It was a Residence for the Pope, Italian King, and still serves for the head of the state. In the end of the diplomatic talks you have a formal dinner. This is a dinner with chandeliers, the best wine, the best silver, and you can feel the splendor of history while you observe the tapestry and paintings all around you. In a dinner of fifty-something people you surely are the last to be served. They start from the foreign head of state, then your head of state, etc. When you finally get your pasta, they start with the toasts and you cannot eat. The waiters are very elegant looking. But as soon as the toasting ends, the waiters start changing the course. They come and take away your pasta without any hesitation. You try to fight for it, but the chief of protocol drills you with a look and you cannot do anything about it but just let your pasta go. The same thing happens with the following meals. So, you just have to stay hungry and suffer. If you had a time machine and you managed to go back and see yourself at the start of your career, what advice would you give to your younger self? There is a book about the memories of the Roman Emperor Hadrian written by Marguerite Yourcenar. The book mentions how you need to think twice before you take any path or direction. Enthusiasm and passion are important, but sometimes they lead you in a wrong direction. The most complicated question for everybody to understand is ‘who you are’ and ‘what do you want’. As an old philosophers said: “Be careful what you wish for”. It might turn out to be the wrong wish. You are probably familiar with DC comics or some American movies. If you were provided a chance to become a super hero, have some superpowers, who would you prefer to be and why? Just for the sake of supporting this fun and comical question, I will gladly answer. You might be surprised, but I would not necessarily like to be a good hero. I like bad heroes like the Joker, the enemy of Batman. He makes everyone afraid and receives a lot of attention with just one move or action (Mr Ambassador laughs).