And that’s what happens as you leave Galleria Campari after an hour-long tour... or was it one hundred and fifty years and counting?
But that’s not how the story ends.
It continues for you, a young lady studying fine arts. You’ve been preparing yourself for this all your life, ever since when you were young. Back then, you were blown away as you browsed through the pages of your art book, the one that took you from Michelangelo’s Moses to Depero’s second Futurism wave in the blink of an eye.
But there’s no time to get lost in the memories of old readings. You check your clock: it’s late. The Galleria is already closed, but not the Gardens.
And so, the tour goes on.
You step out in the cold, still October air.
It’s just you
immersed in that
perfectly kept greenery
You keep walking. A voice behind your shoulders jolts you. – Signorina, we’re about to close. I don’t want to rush you. Art is patient and knows it needs time. But please allow me to give you some advice for a marvellous ending to your tour. Take this... The keeper kindly hands you a tablet. You observe it with surprise.
You thank him, turn around and look: the Gardens are still there in front of you, immersed in green. You stop to listen to the rustle of leaves. A moment later you realise that the keeper has gone.
But you don’t spend much time thinking about it as your eyes are all for the device now. You sit down on a bench, immersed in the quiet of someone who has found peace after a storm.
The small screen turns blue. A whirlwind of pictures, videos, black and white memories, futuristic graphics, posters, works of art, brands, glasses and colours captivates you.
Everything begins with
who created the red aperitivo in 1860. There follows the first factory in 1904 and the Camparino café in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan in 1915. Not to mention all the artists who became an integral part of the enterprise: Hohenstein, Dudovich, Depero, Cappiello, Fellini, Nespolo. And then, towards the end of the century, the first acquisitions: Cynar, Crodino and Cinzano, the formula of the Turin vermouth from 1757. Then the Campari calendar comes along, followed by SKYY vodka, crystal-clear like the San Francisco sky. Another historical brand, Aperol, joins from Padua, carrying with it the historical Spritz drink, which takes off from Veneto to reach all over the world.
And there you see it, in front of you.
A massive marble sculpture proudly standing at the heart of that maze of symmetry.
You get a notification on your tablet. The screen switches on again, you start reading.
Now you are in the eye of the storm. All around, the world indistinctly blurs into a boisterous whirl, while peace and balance reign at the centre.
Lost in the sinuosity of the lines and this deep sense of the infinite, you catch your breath for a moment. The world goes back to its place, where it has always been. Infinito Campari appears in front of you, in all of its majestic silence. You look at your watch. Oblivious of everything, it has kept ticking incessantly. Now it’s late, time to go. Home is waiting for you. While you head to the exit, you take a last glimpse of the sculpture and let yourself be enraptured one more time. While you turn your eyes, in the distance, outside the hedge maze, you see the figure you spotted earlier.
Or was it the keeper, after all?
The man looks at the young woman walking away and sees her putting down the tablet before taking the exit. He feels satisfied.
Even today, just like the past 160 years, his legacy won’t be lost.
It’s late for him too, so he’s forced to leave. The Gardens are now closed. Not a problem, he says to himself. He’ll return the next day, as he’s done for over one hundred years.
On the other hand,
he’s Davide Campari
he’ll be here tomorrow too. Always ready to welcome the curious people who are willing to embark on a journey of discovery. Enraptured by hidden secrets, they’ll let themselves be inspired by the infinite that lies ahead, waiting for them.