They taught me to call my father “Babbo”. Looking up the definition of the word “Babbo” I found: “a childish manner or an affectionate way to call a father.”
Nothing could be further from what I had in mind. Ever since I was a child, that word made me shudder. It fully reflected the image that my father wanted to give of himself. An austere man, stern and shy. He hardly smiled and moreover never indulged in affectionate ways. For me “Babbo” meant, strictness, duties and hard work, above all scholastic.
For a restless rebel like me, it was a huge effort. However, the desire I had in my heart was to be loved by him, above all by him, just as I was. It was a battle. Then I realized that he too wanted the same thing. My maturity and his old-age literally demolished the walls that separated us, and we both let go of the defensive masks we wore.
I started to photograph my father to get to know him better, and the inevitable happened: I began to love him more than I ever knew possible.