Here we are with the awaited interview of the two big of ESN Italia, on one side of the ring the President-in-Office, in his second term but always ready to fight.

On the other side, our VP is fresh and in the middle of her first term.

Oh no, it's not The Ring but let's put some Hype into this double interview!


Battery of questions for both and let's see which of the two will excite us the most!


Let's start with the VP!


Hello Gaia, you are the Vice President of ESN Italia, you are a volunteer from Modena and what you do in real life we can easily read from your CV. 

Could you tell us who you really are?


Gaia: I am an incurable dreamer, I love food, the sea, people, music, sunsets seen from my favourite beach, and beer. I believe in the power that each of us has to change the world and make it a better place. I like to travel a lot and over the years I have been lucky enough to live in 3 different countries, visit more than 20 and explore hundreds of cities. Despite everything I love Italy, its culture, its lifestyle, and its people. I like to read but I struggle to finish the books I start, and I like to watch the movies but I struggle to remember them. I am very close to my parents and my brother, I share everything with them and they are my inspiration. Did I mention I love food?


Perfect, even though we've been going a long way. Let's try an exercise in synthesis. We've all read your candidacy, more or less, and during your Question Time I assure you that some of us have also committed to keep our eyes open, but now can you really tell us what prompted you to launch into this adventure? Quick and concise, this is not a debate.


Gaia: The desire to bring about change and innovation.


The challenge of synthesis has been overcome. Let’s keep going. It's been several months since you took office, so experiences are starting to pile up in your Board Member baggage. So, open your suitcase and tell us which episode - to date - has turned out to be the most beautiful and which, instead, the one that created the most difficulties for you.


Gaia: Beginning from the end. The handover period was definitely very difficult, before then I had never gone through such a stressful period. On the other hand, I struggle to think of the most beautiful experience because I live almost daily of small satisfactions, and for this reason I recognise that I am very lucky. 

Surely it makes me happy to know that what I am doing is appreciated by my teammates, and in general by the members of the Association. 

Often a simple "thank you" or a "nice job" makes me very happy. 


Okay, we've talked too much about ESN. Let's get back to you. Favourite movie and why (#nospoiler)?


Gaia: I just realised that I am one of those horrible people who do not have a favourite movie... if I have to think about a movie that I would watch several times, it comes to mind "Call me by your name" by Luca Guadagnino. It speaks of a spontaneous but delicately complicated love, and it has a photograph that drives me crazy.


Interesting, I see that we are opening up, therefore, having obviously broken the ice and being now in confidence (considering that you hear more from me than from your family) we can get a little more personal. What is the Gaia you don't usually show?


Gaia: The Gaia I don't usually show is the fragile and emotional one, but she is also learning to be seen more often.


We will keep a seat at the table for this version of you!

And after this quote of other times, it takes a boomer question: Island in the Caribbean but without resorts and other people, only fauna and vegetation. You must stay at least one year, presumably extendable to two, 3 objects that you carry with you.


Gaia: Donna Giorgi and Gabriele Ruggiero.


Particular choice of instrumentation, without a doubt.

So let's go back to the mainland & Back to ESN. 

Uncomfortable question: throw three blades at whoever you want without indicating a name but only why.


Gaia: Blades are for the frustrated, I only throw glitter.


Maybe the blades were better, at least in most cases after the 978 showers you have that certainty that they go away. 

Since you do not like blades and you are a proponent of Km0, “Apple of Discord”: Your favourite person in ESN and the one in real life. Who and why.


Gaia: Donna Giorgi and Gabriele Ruggiero.


We are almost at the end: tell us the Big Dream that you keep in your drawer and that you never shared with anyone.


Gaia: My dreams are very big and I cherish them very jealously, but an ESN dream is that one day our Association will become a truly welcoming and inclusive place for anyone who respects and reflects our values.


Romantic and reserved. A thought, then, to the good Gerry. What you never told your president.


Gaia: We tell each other everything, maybe too much. I love you, but you know it.


Bonus Track: "In the Mill I'd Like...


Gaia: ESN Italia is financed by MIUR (Italian Ministry of University and Research)”


It doesn't rhyme, but it's poetic. Very well dear, thank you for your answers and you can sit down to see how your President is doing.

I don't think I'll have the same “white gloves” with him.


Good morning President (#ironictone), You are - instead - a well-known personality, a volunteer from Siena who has covered a thousand roles and worn a thousand clothes, we know the legends and anecdotes but... in a nutshell could You describe Yourself for who You really are?


Gerlando: Who am I? I am a very ambitious person, who does not set limits and who always thinks in the long term. I must say that much of who I am today was formed by the experience I lived in Siena and I can say that this has enriched me both in terms of knowledge that I spend in ESN Italy today and other transversal skills that I apply in everyday life. I always carry my local section in my heart and I owe a lot to it.


We did not make You swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, but we take the answer for good. Just as we considered Your second candidacy as good, which we know… we have read even less than the first: after all, it is the drama of Question Time that reveals the truth. 

Now with a fresh mind and without the pressure of the election period, can You also tell us what really drove You to embark on this adventure? Quick and concise, as well as Your colleague.


Gerlando: The awareness of what I did in my first year in office and where I could improve. In the first year, I had the opportunity to understand concretely the role of the President and therefore I felt the desire to finally be able to put into practice what I learned. I knew I could do more, do better and do a lot to make this wonderful association grow even further.


Perfect, at this point we can also address each other informally, after all, we have known each other for 8 long years. 

Time has passed, now this ship is yours and you should know quite well its rudder, tell us - therefore - as the sea dog of the Board which you are, the most beautiful experience of this second term until now and the one that instead has created you the greatest difficulties.


Gerlando: The most beautiful experience is certainly the one linked to the possibility of interfacing with the world of institutions, even and above all on a daily basis. Each time is an indescribable emotion, a mixture of expectations, fears and precautions that are making this experience of mandate really exciting nevertheless.

Lastly and recently, a phone call received from the Quirinal and of which I still feel the emotion when I think about it. The most difficult experience is not linked to this mandate but to the last one, that is, learning to understand how to coordinate a board deeply different from that of a local context to which I was usually accustomed before making the experience of the national Board.


Okay, for you too, let's put the ESN theme on hold for a second and go find out who Gerlando is instead. Dry question: singer and favourite song and why (#thenyousingittousinpalermo)?


Gerlando: My romantic side would choose “Dillo alla luna” by Vasco Rossi while the current one is “Mon Amour” by Annalisa. I would choose both because both describe these two sides of me, the first one more romantic, that I almost never show, while the second more suited for an audience, well known to everybody. I'm willing to sing them both at the first opportunity.


We are just waiting to hear your performance… we have already prepared our earplugs.

As I said, we've known each other for years and we know each other well, but our readers may not. So, also for you the question “What is the "Gerlando” that you usually do not show”?


Gerlando: The side of me that you see less is certainly the most reflective and thoughtful, compared to the exuberance and reactivity that I show on a daily basis. For now it is a side that I still reserve for the people with whom I have a deeper bond, but perhaps the occasion of this interview can be the first step towards a transition to the public domain.


Speaking of public domain… I feel like saying that with those yellow ties that you often show off you are more boomer than me, therefore, an equally boomer question: island in the Caribbean but without resorts and other people, only fauna and vegetation and our VP who is already wandering on its shores. You also have to stay at least a year, you don't know about the second one; tell us 3 objects that you would carry with yourself.


Gerlando: So, if the VP is also there I would certainly take some equipment to build a bonfire on the beach, around which to talk and make deeper reflections... Then a nice hook to go fishing and no, no knife, I don't want to be misunderstood, so I would go for a nice tent to let my dear VP sleep too.


In short, a President who lives for his VP. That's very romantic. Back to ESN. Uncomfortable question also for our President: throw three blades at whoever you want without indicating the names but only why.


Gerlando: No more ballets. Those who need to understand will understand. Evil blade, I regret that.

You must go ahead and not always think about the past.

Keep your feet on the ground, you have so much potential but you still have to work on yourself.


Km0 (never let yourself be breathless) and Apple of Discord part two: tell us your favourite person in ESN and the one in real life. Who and why.


Gerlando: Federica Tanzini and Sara Tagliabracci. They seasoned my path in ESN with positive moments and with them there is definitely a unique synergy, even outside ESN.


Vita Vera: Antonello Caporaso, already booked as a wedding witness.


We are almost at the end: tell us the Big Dream that you keep in your drawer and that you never shared with anyone.


Gerlando: I would like to work in a Ministry as a public official and I would very much like to live the "Palaces" for the great stimuli they arouse and for the possibilities of helping others through the political actions carried out inside them.


Here we go, the last question for you too: tell us what you never told to your Vice President.


Gerlando: Hello Gaia, I met you when you entered and I fell in love with your eclectic personality. Sometimes I scold you because you get a little too out of line but I love you very much and I hope to see you grow in the coming years, when we will no longer be in ESN because you have infinite potential.


In short, the love declaration that we saw at the beginning has finally come to life on this stage. More than on a ring, we are almost in front of the altar.

So, waiting for Antonello to be called, do not disappoint me. I know that you will give me the answer that we all expect:

"In the mill I'd like to have...


Gerlando: Inter wins the Champions League."


Well, after a very bad jinx, I'd say we're at the end.


Our Vice President wins for conciseness. Some would say that it was an obvious result, the others are lying.

That being said, thanks to both of you and have a good mandate continuation, I am sure we will still see some beautiful things, after all… there is never an end to so many things!


Translation by Emanuele Romano and Lorenzo Ciotti