Wednesday 19th October 2011, Alessandria, Italy.
I first met Marco on a residential photography course in Cortona, Tuscany. He is quiet and gentle and told me that he was scared of me for the first few days because I strutted around on my own, drinking and not talking to anyone else. To be honest, I was petrified to be there among so many artists. By the end of the week we'd grown quite close and I eventually asked him to take part in Wearelucky.
We made plans to meet in Alessandria, his home town, which is an hour or so south of Milan. N and I argued throughout the journey and when we arrived she went off to sleep in the car, while I went to get the money for Marco. I was still at the cash machine when Marco pulled up. I gave him the cash and we went for a drink (Marco a coffee and me a beer). After, we took some photos and N joined us for another drink. I asked Marco where I could buy some local wine, but he said he had a better idea and told us to follow him. He drove through the suburbs, into the vineyards and farmland of the surrounding countryside and up a hill towards a huge vine-covered castle. Marco parked his car and we did the same. He explained that the castle belonged to his grandfather – he'd bought it for his entire family – and Marco had various relatives living there. He disappeared and returned with a huge key – about a foot long – and ushered us down the stairs into a dusty cellar full of expensive looking wine, where he picked out a bottle and handed it to me.
Questions & Answers
1. What have you decided to do with the money?
I'm going to sponsor a child. I'm hoping that it could even save a life and have a long lasting effect.
2. Has it changed the way you think about giving?
Yes, I think it has. My father taught me that I should give to the poor. But this experience – for the first time in my life – actually made me think deeply about giving. It shouldn't be something I do, just because everyone else does or someone says I should. I learned that giving should be an important part of my life.
3. Why do you think we feel good about doing something for others?
Maybe it makes me feel less guilty about being born lucky.
4. How did the people close to you react when you told them about taking part in Wearelucky?
My girlfriend is the only person who knows. At the beginning she was suspicious, then she realised it could be a great way to do something good.
5. What question should I be asking you and what would you like to ask Wearelucky?
You should me asking if now I am happier than before. I would answer, "Yes, I am.....are you?"