Stories – Italy

Home/Stories – Italy


Camilla is a young girl who significantly changed her life. After her graduation at the “university of Turin” she left her life behind herself and she moved in a community to life freely in contact with the nature.

Can you share with me your life changing story/situation that was breaking point for you?

What pushed me? It was like inside of me there was a “voice” that said to me “what are you doing?”.

During the day I was able to make it shutting up but at the end of the day, when I was in my bed ready to sleep the voice kept speaking again saying me that my passed life was not what I really wanted to be and do, but that I was looking for something more.

I was in Turin, and during my university career my questions become bigger and louder. I thought there was not another way to live my life.

How did you overcome/or solve this situation?

Almost six years ago, I was dreaming about live with many people in the nature, doing social projects, making my own food, this dream was inside of me from already 2 years.  So, I shared with one of my friends what I wanted to do and he promptly share his experience with me. He said that there were already people who lived like that in communities, called “eco-villages”. So, I have been lucky because the solution to my questioning came straight to me though a friend who share with me his knowledge.

After that I took my decision and I left my parents and affects behind me and my house to follow my dreams: live in the eco-villages.

When I firstly came in one of them, I learned there are many eco-villages around Italy, 40 are the biggest, that are distinguishable by their aim, or “citizens”, or activities. Be aware about so many opportunities gave me the strength to keep following my dream.

I changed drastically my life 3 years ago.

Would you do in the same way or would you do something different nowadays?

Actually, one thing that I am thinking about is not to jump immediately into the University’s world.

If I could keep my experiences and knowledge, I would change drastically my choices about my studies. In my life I wanted just to take some time for me to understand who we are.

In my opinion, after high school, you do not have time to think about your life and what really you want to do. We do not even know who we are, and the society force us to be aware about who we want to be.

But after all, I happy even like that. Because I took my decision after I graduated at the university, but some people understand who they are when they are over 60.

What is the next challenge that you plan?

At the present, I am focusing on my dream. My biggest challenges are two:

– the first one is that: me and some other people, we are looking for a new terrain. Because where we were before, we started a “intentional community” and we are 70 people, so we need a biggest place to build our activities. We would like that this place become a social and cultural centre.

– the other one: is a big personal challenge. It is about a feeling that I have inside me, I really want to bring our community into the high school. Precisely, I want to bring one of our communication method “Il Cerchio” which consist on a fully open discussion and listening with your heart.

I really want to let them know this method, I am still not sure how and when I will do it, but I want really do it. Because, I remember when I was in High school and how I felt lost and alone, because I did not feel that someone could really understand me, like I was the only one who have this problem during their teenage.

In my community when we speak through the “cerchio” method I understand that we are all the same: we have the same fears, the same dreams and aims. This communication allows you to understand that we are all linked.

What is your favourite motivational quote?

“Be the change that you want to see in the world”. I have a lot of dreams and I always push myself to reach them. But I want always to remind to myself that if I push myself to change everyday myself, in some way, this will help the world around me.

Interview Guilia Cicoli from “Still I Rise”

Giulia with Nicola and Sara founded the association Still I Rise. She is in charge as a programme director in Samos and Kenya, programme manager in Syria and Turkey and she is responsible for the advocacy sector.

Can you share with me your life changing story/situation that was breaking point for you?

2015 was the year where there was the peak of the immigration flux in Italy, Greece and all over Europe. The deaths in the sea were high, and these percentages and numbers were always in my mind. So I kept following the news to see if someone would do something about this situation.

how did you overcome/or solve this situation?

In 2015 I had a very flexible job and, because of that, I got the chance to have 2 free weeks. I started looking for an opportunity to support and help the refugees and immigrants. At that time, associations that worked with refugees were very uncommon, it was really difficult to find opportunities to go abroad to help people, in some rare cases you could find Facebook pages where they warned you with a document about the refugees’ situation. At the end I find an opportunity and I arrived in Greece, in Samos, the first 2 weeks of March 2016. At that time, there wasn’t the agreement between Turkey and Greece, so the borders where still open and each day hundreds of people were moving between the two countries.

In Samos most of the local people were trying to help the refugees through the donation of clothes, foods and water; at the harbour there were several professional people, such as: doctors, people for the cloths donation and so on. What I clearly remember was the warehouse where I have been hosted, in the city centre of Samos, directed by some locals women who helped people thanks to the tourists’ charity. The locals helped refugees by themselves without formal institutions or organisations. At the beginning immigrants used to stay in Samos between 3 days and 3 weeks, after that a ferry, with an overage of 600 refugees, would take them to Athene and finally they were able to move freely around Europe (for example: Germany took more than 1 million Syrians during those days).

At the end of the weeks in Samos I went back to my routine. In the meanwhile, some volunteers stayed there and I kept in touch with them. Even though I stayed one year in Italy, after my abroad experience, my thoughts were always in Greece because knowing that you are doing something to help others could be in some ways self-centred but you could help not just the people in needs but also yourself to feel better.

Now is almost 3 years that I’m in Samos.

Would you do in the same way or would you do something different nowadays?

In my opinion, it’s easy to look back and say “I could do things differently”. But I live my life reminding myself how I felt during my past and that the decisions I took in certain moment are right because I felt like this in the past.

In my life and in my experience it was extremely hard to decide to come in Samos in spite of all the other decision in my life because you have never the certainty to leave one life for another with the confidence that everything will go how you planned them. There is always a big question mark that everything will go incredibly well or badly, there is inevitably something to which you have to give up, and like this went for me. Before coming here (Samos) I took one year and several nights awake because everyone would like and wait for the best situation to move in unknown scenarios. For example, you keep questioning yourself about if the circumstances will change in better, or if you will be at the level of the situation). It was a jump in the darkness because I left from Italy when I was 30 years old, I had a job, a family, friends and very few money and to start my experiences I tried to push myself with reassuring question and other plans to have a possible escape route.

What is the next challenge that you plan?

There are several, here there are always challenges. Actually, our association’s plans (Still I Rise) had been messed up by the COVID Pandemic but we had just achieved the aim to open a centre in Turkey that after 3 days has been locked down due to COVID. So, now the challenge is to make everything ready for the reopening in September because we want that this centre will become an International School. We are trying to establish a stable school for children refugees, in poverty and need.

We want to create a stable school because in Greece we have just a school that teach with non-formal methods just for the emergency situations of the refugees’ camps.

Every time, it seems incredible to fight in Europe for the right to study.

What is your favourite motivational quote?

Even though I do not really believe in the motivational quote, there are some people’s actions which can be really inspiring. However, one sentences that I keep always in my mind is “when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duties”. It is what inspire my action, because in Samos there are so many refugees that the situations in clearly illegal, there are almost 6.000 people in a camp that can legally host 600 of them.

In our routine we think that our rights are guarantee in all over Europe. However, it is not like that. For Example: have a cure if you are ill, have a house, travel freely or have at least 3 meals per day, go to school for free or have water to drink and wash yourself. In the world if you have a “piece of paper” who declare that you come from the “wrong” place you have no rights at all.

Stintino Holidays

Can you share with me your life changing story/situation that was breaking point for you?

After years of uncertainty as regard both: my university and working perspective, but also because of my father’s health condition with who I spent most of my time helping and supporting him, I understood that in life I could do everything.

What really opened my eyes was my father’s heart attack because suddenly, I helped him to stay in life in any manner. So, I comprehended the peak of one life’s value, so all the things around the pure life appear to be shallow while before were heavier.

So now I can focus on my priority: myself and the people around me. I always look for people creative, positive, and down to heart that can improve my abilities and capacities.

How did you overcome/or solve this situation?

My economical, familiar and health reasons, my career and life instances have encouraged me to build several ways. When you have more ways to follow its easier to understand which of them you want to pursue and follow. Until one day, maybe I can focus on one only of them because during the years I tried all and understand that the one I chose is the best for myself.

My life’s philosophy is to follow the dream and aim high and if you fall you do it amid the stars.

Would you do in the same way or would you do something different nowadays?

Going back with the same consciousness obviously I could lose less time. But the fact is that the hard moments in my life have created the awareness to push myself in my future, so I guess it has been a necessary step to overcome.

What is the next challenge that you plan?

At the moment I want to carry out my personal projects:

  • My tourism project, writing “a new page” of this book
  • Working on my personal branding: pushing my professionality to an upgrade, by promote myself.

In addition I would like to find new collaboration, so I am looking for biggest company/reality/association.

What is your favourite motivational quote?

“do, act, jump in” because in the meanwhile that you are thinking about something you are doing it so just think less and act.


Forgot Password

Do not have an account? Register Now