It was the late summer of 2009 and from my uncles 'cellar, Vini Sultana
, all' dusk, I watched the vineyard and the olive grove planted long ago by my far-sighted grandfather. There the sunsets are quite bewitching, perhaps due to the softness of the hills and the countryside of Pachino, perhaps due to the ancient charm of the ruins of old farmhouses, perhaps due to the relaxing permanence of the Iblei in the distance. And there, probably also influenced by the many wonderful years spent in scouting, I thought I saw tents among the olive trees. No, it was not about any abusive camper but simply of my galloping imagination in the throes of having to combine something for my future subsistence ... I was in fact completing my course of study in philosophy and soon I could have the title of Doctor Magistrale in Contemporary Philosophy, degree theoretically "qualifying" for teaching. Except for then to discover (but it was already in the air for some time) that they were joking: you should still have access to the Active Training Internship, ie the replacement of the old Schools of Specialization for Teaching that should have been, in fact, replaced by the Degrees Magistral. Today my determined former university colleagues discover, at the age of forty, that the joke continues, because today the (expensive) achievement of the TFA would seem to have no value. At the time, I sniffed in time that something did not square, therefore, between the study of Heiddeger and Searle, it began to flash more and more often in my mind that I should look for an alternative to the idea of seeing myself in the near future of hopeful students in a high school classroom.
So I decided to try to set up a campsite among the olive trees of my grandfather
. Only that land and the one next to that I would later purchased, of course with the money of dad, were and remain agricultural: so I would first have to set up a farm with all the necessary structural and professional requirements (fortunately I had already behind the 'experience of a couple of harvests ...), and then request an agrituristico clearance to the Provincial Inspectorate of Agriculture thanks to which the City of Noto would have issued me the authorizations necessary for its realization. Simple, no? I thought so too...
Those were also the rampant years of the famous Rural Development Plan 2007-2013, subsequent to the golden age of abuse and waste of previous donations of European funds: people who required funds for an agricultural warehouse but that ended up "financing" the construction of the mega luxury house long desired or "young entrepreneurs" who invested the several tens of thousands of euros fell from the European sky to run around on a flaming Mercedes. Controls on costs, on the part of Europe, (rightly) became more capillary and therefore it was no longer easy to see the coveted lost funding. Although I had all the papers in order, it was added the decisive factor "freezing of European funds"
(so hermetically defined by the experts) because of "delays and bureaucratic errors" by the staff in charge of the Sicily Region. In the end, in relation to that RDP, the sums paid were, due to certain "bureaucratic problems", a negligible percentage compared to what was granted by Mamma Europa. It is therefore surprising that the former President of the suppressed Province of Syracuse, Nicola Bono, presented to the Court of Auditors requesting an investigation relating to 200 million euro disappeared into thin air
... Moral of the story? I have lost years of time waiting for these funds to "unblock" (no agronomist, technician or regional official was able to define what would still have to wait). So thanks to Dad, the Italian Army General fresh fresh retirement, I was able to continue independently in the implementation of the project, regardless of the PSR "frozen". If between the lines should not strangely be found, without the money of dad I would not have concluded anything.
After five years of bureaucracy
, between confusion over the temporal versions of the laws of reference, offices poorly updated and not accustomed to the use of information technology, references of responsibility between non-communicating bodies, I finally managed to have an unexpected amount of "cards" in hand to allow me to sleep almost serene. Yes, because still, after seven years, I would not mind inserting another pair of pieces to the mosaic of the authorizations. In an agricamping even selling a coffee to a guest is not a trivial matter: you should theoretically have coffee plantations.
Initially I considered the agricultural frame, within which I was forced to stay to deal with receptivity, a ball at the foot because of the many limitations. In reality it turned out to be a lifeline, because the agricultural tax regime concerns a series of facilitations
and possibilities that in my case have proved absolutely vital. For details I refer you to the advice of many good accountants ... The first five years are said to correspond to the crucial period that determines the survival or failure of an activity similar to mine: I managed to stay afloat thanks to exceptional contingencies, such as the essential support and economic contribution from my family members, which allowed me to re-invest almost entirely the annual proceeds of the business. I would not swear that with my only "skill" I would be able to grow and give strength to my business. The reality is that I was and remain a privileged social.
My collaborators have always been trusted friends: in other words, there has never been a single euro left. Between us there has always been a relationship of extreme trust, among peers: I have never looked for "employees" but "members of fact"
. This climate has allowed us to optimize the available economic resources, to agree on investments and to establish with serenity how much and how to compensate them. My commitment would have been to continue to invest in the business, because with a bigger cake the portions would have grown for everyone. If this "trust" and complicity were lacking and we had exclusively applied the logic of our immediate and selfish usefulness, without disposition to small sacrifices and opportune compromises, the fiscal costs would not have been sustainable and compatible with the growth of the activity
. And I am not referring to irregular assumptions or illegal employment, simply to the flexibility in this regard that the agricultural tax system allows.
Obviously the company does not have the economic strength to guarantee them an annual salary, being a seasonal activity, but the path is traced...
Hand in hand, even considering the natural position in the agricultural tax regime, if there were also one of the contingent conditions that occurred after the initial investment, the best forecast that could have been achieved is an annual insufficient profit to guarantee investments of substance (unless you are in debt, trying your luck), yet adequate to support a single seasonal intake. In other words, no growth would have been impossible.
Fortunately, today the real economic potential of the company is very different, but the daughter of riskier choices at least and of small contributions of "corrective capital", after initial investment, not strictly resulting from entrepreneurial activity. The business continues to develop because it is economically sound and consequential factors such as a higher inflow of guests resulting from increased supply and increasing reputation gained (through online reviews, but this is another story of love and hate that I will be pleased to tell you in another occasion) are coupled with the fundamental contribution of the "human capital", that is, of the beautiful people with whom I have been surrounded, the true engine of the Agingamp Sophia.
If it is real the will of the Italian State to find a solution to the long employment crisis that grips our unhappy times, I am convinced it is necessary to facilitate the emergence of new businesses and really allow them to grow without getting sticks in the wheels from the same State . In these first seven years of activity I can boast of having given a breath of oxygen to a dozen people, then families. Certainly I have not radically changed his life, but together we have laid a solid foundation or, badly that I go, tested a working method
. A new business similar to mine, for the first five years of life should not waste too much time and energy to chase a complicated bureaucracy, but think only to pay more than adequately their "employees" and reinvest a good percentage of turnover in order to improve and implement the conditions for their growth. These companies, even more so if they started a bank loan to begin with, should therefore be totally tax free (no tax, no tax, no withholding tax) for the first five years
, provided they hire staff and continue to invest. From the sixth year, if everything went according to plan, the company on duty would have no difficulty in starting to pay the State the due, which would thus find itself with much more substantial income deriving from a solid company and with some unemployed in less among its own citizens. Instead of the hen tomorrow, today the state is satisfied with the potentially potentially rotten egg.
IDIOT TOURIST TAX
While there is talk of reducing the tax wedge and aid to companies as an incentive for job creation, the local political scarcity decides against the trend to increase the rates of the tourist tax. We should roll out a perpetual red carpet to the tourist who comes to spend money to sleep, eat, visit museums, crowd the bathing establishments, because (one really has to be intellectually gifted not to understand this…) if businesses survive, not only can they easily pay already expensive IMU, TARI and various surtaxes but, consequently, they can pay their employees so that they themselves pay their mites...But no! Tourist, do you want to come and visit what pertains to our municipal area? Then we punish you! Here's a nice tax (in our case) of 2 euros and 50 cents per night (for a maximum of 6 nights) if you are over the age of 14 and do not belong to any of the exceptions provided...
HOW YOU REFURBISH THE MUNICIPAL BUDGET AT THE EXPENSE OF TOURISTS. ONLY THAT BY LAW IT CANNOT BE DONE…
Since 24 November 2022, the Municipality of Noto has seen fit to "remodulate" the tourist tax to restore the municipal budget. From a range that until last summer ranged from €1 to €2 for a maximum of 4 consecutive nights, the City Council, through Resolution No. 57 of 11/24/2022, was "forced" to increase it from 2, €5 to €5 for a maximum of 6 nights.
Proportionate and gradual?
Obviously the problem does not arise for those who are willing to pay 200 or 300 euros a night in the center of Noto or for the VIP on duty. However, for a couple of students who pay 20 euros to stay in a tent in July, an extra 5 euros represents 25% of the amount, as well as for a family with two children over 14 who, in the same period, as far as regards, you would realistically pay €39 for the overnight stay and €10 for the tourist tax. Do they seem few to you?
At the turn of August, in the...
CHRONICLE OF THE CLEANING OF MARZAMEMI BEACH AND LETTER TO AN IDIOT
On May 17, 2022, the students of the Erasmus "Think Green" project, organized by the association "Attiva-Mente" of Modica, together with the boys of "The Tree of Life" of Pachino, met to clean up the beach of Marzamemi, in the Spinazza district, collecting everything that does not exactly fall into the categories of shells, sand or algae.Armed with bags and gloves, they then beat every square meter of public beach, filling numerous bags with all kinds of waste (it seems evident that bathers have erroneous beliefs about the biodegradable properties of glass and plastic). Gaetano and I, as companions, crashed into the pleasant collection activity and, between a broken sink pipe and an empty bottle of discount beer, from time to time we took the opportunity to take some photos (him) and enjoy ourselves in strokes in a more than free style among the waves of the sea (me).Everything seemed...
THE SENSE OF OTHERS - REFLECTIONS ON AN ERASMUS
In 1994 Anthropologist Marc Augé published one of his most important and influential literary works: "The sense of others. Current anthropology". Close to the philosophical thought for which "the identification of oneself occurs only in the relationship with otherness", he wrote about how the attempt to understand the Cultural Other was a reflection of the search for one's own cultural identity.In a world that travels swiftly towards supranational political structures, I found I have much less in common with my neighbor than with a Romanian girl or a Georgian boy... In the years when nationalisms are sadly making a comeback, we can still really talk seriously national identity? In other words, are we really sure that the average 20-year-old Russian cares about Putin's "sense" of national identity? This is a purely theoretical discourse, considering the regime's propaganda.I have...
FROM "PANI I CASA" TO "SCACCIA": GENESIS OF A SICILIAN PIZZA
U pani i casa
I have vivid childhood memories in which we "went down" to Sicily, in Pachino, to spend the long summer holidays with my grandparents, during which I had the pleasure of attending one of those social rituals with an ancient flavor several times, handed down for who knows how many generations, common to most Sicilian rural families: the preparation of pani i casa.
Until the end of the 1980s, at my grandparents' house, with the help of my mother first and my uncle then, the pani i casa was made weekly, then much more rarely, up to the almost complete abandonment of the habit (probably due to the spread of bakeries more and more close at hand or, simply, to the evolution of different ways of life). In my grandmother's story there is the nostalgic tone of the ancient, of the flavors of the past which, by dogmatic definition, were better than those of today... My mother,...
ONLY PROPAGANDA? REFLECTIONS ON AN INVASION
I write this third post on the war in Ukraine as a pretext for my personal need to investigate, to understand an event after which the world will certainly be, in one way or another, radically different. The difficulty, ever since concrete winds of war began to blow last year, has been trying to intercept the most "objective" information possible. The metaphor is the recent Bucha massacre : not only do the Russians deny that their armed forces are responsible but even claim that it is all Ukrainian (and Western) hype to discredit them. Putin's "special operation" would have been triggered at the request of the Russian speakers of the Donbass, with respect to whom Kiev, since 2014, would have even planned a genocide: at this point I would rather tend to believe the OSCE observers, of whom I have already written in a previous post, whose narrative is substantially different. If we wanted...
FROM THE ATTRACTIVE OF NATO TO THE ALLEGED GENOCIDE IN THE DONBASS
This "post" is the result of my personal need to better understand the flood of information and opinions that are investing us in these days on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In particular, I tried to understand if the expansion of NATO is really the main engine of Putin's actions, if it is right to force Ukraine to a possible future as a buffer state and if there really has been a genocide of Ukrainian citizens in the Donbass of Russian ethnicity.
BORN BETWEEN LIGHT AND SHADOWS
NATO was formed shortly after the end of the Second World War, with an implicit anti-Soviet function: the isolation of West Berlin in 1948 by the Red Army, which forced the Western powers to organize an airlift to supply it, was the decisive fact at the birth of the North Atlantic Alliance. In the text of the Treaty there is however a constant self-subordination to the United Nations (of which,...
UKRAINE : JUST PRETEND TO KNOW WHAT NOT TO DO
The thousands of people who last night, February 24, 2022, crowded the squares of the main Russian cities to protest against the invasion of Ukraine , aware of the risk of suppressions and arrests (which took place on time), are carriers of the strongest critical and ethical stance of these unfortunate days. It is the evidence of how much the arbitrary historical exploitation, dangerous because if they became accepted customary they would justify any ambition of "D'Annunzio" (including the Chinese claims of Taiwan ), are considered insane even by a good portion of the Russian population. The urgent question to be resolved concerns the rules of relativism .
Speaking only of what I have direct memory of (having personally experienced all the media narrative), I wonder what is "ethically" the difference between the invasions of Kuwait, the abuses of Milosevic, Assad or Gaddafi,...