Until the denouement of the 1970s, my unwavering conviction held that I would perpetually tread the path of an architect. Regrettably, such a conviction appeared idiosyncratic to me alone. My compatriots persistently opined that my vocational destiny lay within the realms of journalism and photography. Indeed, for an extended duration, I had been engaged in collaborative pursuits with diverse travel and sports publications, orchestrating means to traverse the globe gratuitously and financially underwrite my penchant for rather opulent athletic endeavors. Engaging in pursuits such as aviation, sailing, deep-sea diving, and mountaineering were scarcely synonymous with pursuits of fiscal frugality.
Henceforth, I conceived the vocation of a photographer endowed with the ability to articulate cogent articles. The underlying concept was to narrate tales through visual compositions, thereby transmuting articles into quasi-manuals for those intent on purposeful travel. Travails imbued with the ethos of climbing or mountaineering, maritime expeditions facilitated by sailing vessels to explore nations from an aquatic vantage, or airborne escapades to behold vistas from an aerial zenith, each constituted endeavors that deviated markedly from pedestrian athletic undertakings.
Subsequently, an OPPORTUNITY presented itself. One fortuitous day at the Venegono aeroclub, a recurring visitor, one of the test pilots from Aermacchi (the entity responsible for manufacturing the jets of the Frecce Tricolori), accompanied by Artoni, the then PR overseer with whom I was acquainted, materialized. Boldly, I initiated a discourse, proffering the notion of a photographic undertaking aboard their jet. Alas, my proposal was met with a rebuff. Ad hoc, I concocted a cinematic narrative for RAI, discerning a modicum of interest. Undeterred, I persisted, proposing an exclusive for Canale 5 to outpace RAI, scheduled for broadcast during the coveted 9:00 pm (Prime Time!!). The prospect elicited considerable enthusiasm. Alas, my lack of familiarity with a bona fide film camera and an absence of influential connections within Fininvest beyond the purview of a congenial yet fundamentally secretarial acquaintance, presented formidable obstacles.Several days later, Artoni conveyed that Aermacchi exhibited a pronounced interest. A state of exigency ensued. Hastening to Fininvest, I navigated the labyrinthine channels and, courtesy of a mutual acquaintance, was introduced to Dede Cavalleri, the News overseer. To truncate a protracted narrative, three months of intricate telephonic negotiations culminated in my serendipitous occupation of the cockpit of the MB 339, wielding an Arriflex SRII film camera. My initiation into its usage transpired through an intensive, albeit cursory, tutelage at the domicile of its proprietor, a confidant. The resultant film resonated triumphantly, garnering accolades even in the form of a telegram from the Italian Air Force. Canale 5 inquired about additional prospects… a serendipitous revelation!