Frab's Advent Calendar # 3: Sali e Tabacchi
For many people of my age, Sali e Tabacchi was that pleasant place where strong, contrasting and unique smells were released as a child. Tobacco and perfumes, scratch cards and chocolates made it a favorite place where you happened to go once a week to do small errands, with the accomplice and quiet security of the blue and white sign that stood out at the entrance.
Sali e Tabacchi, the magazine with an ever so fitting title, is still exactly that same thing: a journey into the truly authentic senses of Italy. With an excellent rhythm between written text and photographic spaces, the real alchemy of this magazine is represented by the ability to choose the mix of stories that are called to tell the theme of that issue. It is an incredibly authentic magazine, not stereotyped, meticulous and precise in describing the tradition and rituals typical of Italy.
The first edition (available WHO) was dedicated to "spirituality" and investigated stories of the occult, esotericism, witchcraft, but above all the increasingly strident relationship between modern individualism and its remoteness from any religion.
The second edition (available WHO), launched at the end of 2021, has the title "Creative Madness", and is emblematic of the same creative madness behind the magazine itself. Its purpose is to tell a country through the innovative and brilliant eyes of characters considered by the public to be crazy or on the verge of madness. Finding the beauties of those who live beyond the ordinary, this is the real purpose of this issue.
The introductory article is the dedication to a type of figure that our country knows well, firmly anchored to our idea of a city or village, representative of those things that "are always there" and that, even if unwelcome, remain in the collective imagination local: the "madman" who goes around shouting displaying bizarre signs. The article is dedicated to Vittorio Gorini, a Perugian character who left us in 2006 and whose magazine gives us the opportunity to retrace some fragments of his life. The almost animalistic madness behind characters of this type is very common, and leaves room for a profound question: where is the border of madness?
The pages continue on the blurred boundary between arts of all kinds, the Basaglia law and the limits of recognition of those who are publicly branded as "crazy", but who have a unique driving force inside. An energy such as to view and tell us through the arts, creativity and genius worlds not identifiable by a drowsy eye to reality, relegated to contemporary worldliness.
Among the creative geniuses who find space in the magazine, perhaps the one publicly considered more normal is the cartoonist Altan, called to tell in an interview the completely random genesis of Pimpa: a cartoon for children that has become an alter ego of the adult illustrator.
Among the other prominent names of the magazine there is that of another character that the whole of Italy has known well and whose story is certainly a little more over the top than that of Pimpa. Giovanni Lindo Ferretti, a punk animal like few have seen Italy, who enters into a profound connection with the interviewer Giulia Cavaliere and explores the meanders of a life on the edge that he finds in the carnal affection for the earth, for localism, to little things, the fulfillment of a life of excess. The interviewer and I am amazed by the "I have not listened to music for twenty years" by those who have driven the punk genre scene in our country for decades.
More than a magazine, Sali e Tabacchi is a geographical atmosphere, a human dimension of Italy. It connects the woven threads from what seems to us everyday life, but it is tradition out of common places and rules.
We are pleased to present number 2 of Sali e Tabacchi in Rome in the Contemporary Cluster Spaces on Saturday 4 December 2021 at 6.00 pm (you can find the event WHO).