I have just met an extraordinary person: Gillo Dorfles, an internationally respected intellectual of the last century whose highly interesting book, entitled “Dal significato alle scelte”, I read years ago.
Gillo is now 104 years old, and he carries those years splendidly. In spite of the passage of time he is still driving his own car, playing the piano, and -above all- viewing life with an almost childlike enthusiasm that inspires in me a good natured envy.
His amazing vitality represents a slap at my comparative indolence and laziness.
Professor Gillo greeted us with warmth, listened to us with interest, and spoke with total clarity. When I sat at his piano and began the aria from ‘Manon Lescaut’ (“Donna non vidi mai”), he stood next to the piano absorbed and moved. At the end he even thanked me with such enthusiasm that I felt embarrassed. And to think he lived in the home of Arturo Toscanini- who knows how many celebrated and exalted singers he must have had the opportunity to hear live!
How strange is life: This man has been vacationing at Lajatico, my home town, for more than fifty years- ever since his father bought a house there- and yet I had never met him!!!
But where was my head during those years in Lajatico… and where has it been until today? I could have had countless opportunities to meet him, hear him speak, and learn so much about a century already past- a century that left us multiple problems, understanding the origins which could provide more hope for a solution.
How strange life is! The previous owner of Professor Gillo’s current home was Faliero Bocelli, a distant relative of my grandfather!
Time and intelligence exert an irresistible attraction on each of us. Professor Gillo, with his extraordinary intelligence, seems to have discovered the secret of making time stand still. From the height of his 104 years, upright and solid as an oak, and ever dedicated to understanding the world, he represents for me an example of how to live, with verve, every moment of this marvelous adventure called Life.