“At sea he sought freedom.” A moving portrait of Berlinguer the sailor

Berlinguer“He always held the helm in the Stintino sea. And he would go out all the more willingly if the mistral was strong, the sails swollen with wind, when all the other goiters stayed on shore. Because in the sea he sought freedom and in the wind he sought challenge.”

Enrico Berlinguer was born in Sassari, Italy, in 1922, and was secretary of the PCI from 1972 until his death 30 years ago in Padua, Italy, on June 11, 1984.
Enrico Berlinguer was born in Sassari in 1922,
was secretary of the PCI from 1972 until his death in
30 years ago, in Padua,
June 11, 1984.

So begins the beautiful interview with Bianca Berlinguer conducted by Simonetta Fiori in the latest issue of Il Venerdì di Repubblica, in which the Tg3 director tells personal and little-known sides of her father Enrico. Like his great love for the sea. Or as the “goiter school,” as is well understood in the following interview.

What did it consist of?
“People went out in the fishermen’s Latin sailboats, and each age group had its own gozzo. Older people went out with older people, and children between twelve and thirteen years old with their peers. First they taught you how to man the sails, how to hold the rudder, how to feel the wind. I learned it from my father.”

That of the sea is also a school of life.
“Who knows. He loved the sea, especially when the mistral was beating hard. It was a characteristic of his: when the wind came up, he would go out. Especially in the afternoons, with Paul, his much-loved cousin.”

But was he loading you on board with him?
“No, as long as we were small, mom prevented them. “Don’t you dare take them with you….” Two or three times she took a big risk. I still remember one dramatic episode, a black storm sky, and us at home waiting for them. Mom phoned Uncle Aldo Berlinguer, Paolo’s father, asking him if we should not send help. “But before anyone moves … come on, they’ll make it on their own.” They returned late in the evening with the sails torn.”

The sea as a great love.
“Yes, he went so far as to say that if he could have chosen how to die, he would have preferred to die at sea. And my mother jokingly remarked: and in fact you tried several times. Above all, the sea represented freedom. When he was secretary, the boat was the only place where he did not have an escort. And his was an armored life.”




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