Personal data

First name Mario
Last name Ferrari
Year of birth 1960
Marital status Happily married to Anna, architect, since 1986
Son Sebastiano (1991)
Daughter Camilla (1993)
Occupation Manager


Hobbies and interests

Alpinism, trekking, mountain climbing

I always feel happy when I'm in the mountains, an environment that simultaneously satisfies my body, my mind and my spirit.

It is a feast for the Senses: the nose delighted with the fresh air, scenting of pine and fir trees; the skin kissed by the sun rays (or by the raindrops of a summer storm); the eyes enjoying wonderful panoramas; the ears relishing a silence broken only by the sounds of the Nature or by the words of a friend; the legs reawakened with the pleasant fatigue of the climb; the hands satiated by the sensual contact with the rock.

The mind rejoices in the Adventure, the exciting uncertainty that does not let me know if the weather will remain good for the entire day; that leads me to places where I've not been yet and where I could get lost; that makes me wonder about the difficulties of a climbing route; that makes me feel strong because I think "whatever happens, I will face it."

For the spirit, finally ... well, walking in the mountains - especially alone - is the closest thing I can imagine to a mystical moment, it is my way to feel in harmony with the Universe.

Mountaineering has been one of my favourite activities since the Sixties, when I used to spend part of the summer holydays in the Dolomites with my family.

I like skiing, hiking and trekking, but what I really like is rock climbing. I'm not a strong climber at all: I know my limits and like to climb where I feel at ease. Usually I lead on III to V UIAA grade classic routes in the Dolomites range, especially Sella, Sassolungo, and Odle.


Travelling

I love to travel. Not only as a way to have fun or to relax in a nice place, but mostly as a wonderful opportunity to explore different cultures by meeting different people, exploring the places where they live, tasting their cuisines and getting in touch with their arts and their history.

I live in Italy, a place blessed with charming locations (seaside, mountains, lakes...), a lot of fine arts, many historical sites and very good food, so I obviously spend most of my holidays in my own country. However, I have also visited about thirty different countries, in Europe and in the other continents, usually with my family. Travelling is a great way to make the children understand that differences are a value, not a problem.


Music

Music plays a major role between my interests. I love listening to it, but even more I love to play it. I mainly play piano and keyboards, usually with Mezza Pinta, a garage band which I am a proud member of.

The Mezza Pinta's repertoire is made of covers of famous rock and soul songs ranging from the Sixties to today.

Once or twice a year we perform for free during beneficence events in our area.


Cooking

When I come home from work, cooking is a very pleasant way to detach my mind from the worries of the day and relax before dinner. Slicing the vegetables with care, preparing a good sauce for the pasta, filleting a fish... those manual tasks are a pleasant relief after the mostly conceptual activities of my workday.

And my reward is the pleasure of sharing some good food with the people I love: family and friends.

Once a year - since 2008 - I perform a two days cooking marathon, preparing a eight or ten courses meal for the closest friends. Every year I choose a theme: geographical (food from a specific count or region), a kind of food (e.g. fish), an historical event (reunification of Italy, foundation of EU). It is quite a hard work, but also a lot of fun and an intriguing way to challenge myself with new recipes and with the ambitious goal of emulating the grand chefs (which I admit I'm still quite far from!).


Reading

My love for books is one of the many debts I have toward my parents, who had the intelligence to offer their children a wide range of novels that were perfectly suitable for their age. They made us discover that reading was not only a pleasure, but in many cases a lot of fun too.

Raised with the Three Investigators, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, when the time came for more mature novels and essays, reading had already become an important part of my life. And the books I "had to read" as school tasks never represented a problem.

As for food, also my literary tastes are very broad. I read classics and contemporary novels, thrillers and many essays about different topics. When I get asked what's my favorite book overall, I'm always in a big difficulty because there are so many books and authors that I'm fond of.

In my bookshelf Stephen King and Ken Follett live together with Dostoevskij, Borges, Huxley, Carroll and many, many others. I have also a wide sci-fi section, where Asimov, Brown, Heinlein, Dick and other famous writer of the so called New Wave Science Fiction age (from the Sixties and the Seventies) share the place with worthy books by less famous authors.

I read "The Lord of The Rings" three times - and I will do it again - so I imagine that it can be considered one of my favorite books :-)

The other one I want to mention is "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid", the wonderful essay by Douglas Hofstadter. This book is so interesting, so well written, so intriguing and so fun to read that I always find difficult to describe it. Let me quote Martin Gardner: "Every few decades, an unknown author brings out a book of such depth, clarity, range, wit, beauty and originality that it is recognized at once as a major literary event.".


Cinema

Cinema is a relatively recent interest for me.

Well, I've been watching films since I was a young child, as the most of us, but the awareness that Cinema is an Art came much later, in 2004. After surgery to my back I was forced to spend about a month at home, mostly lying down, and there was not much I could do except reading and watching films. I started borrowing DVDs from the public library and discovered many gems I had missed, and so I began digging deeper and deeper in the past and watched most of the masterpieces of all ages.

Like it had happened with Lego® Robotics a few years earlier, I was feeling the impellent need to fill a gap, and started studying Cinema to understand what to watch and how to get the most from those movies. I've been a sort of "serial film watcher" for at least five years, and now I feel definitely less unskilled about films, directors and the 7th Art in general.