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January 2009
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villa ada

villa ada

Villa ada, a park inside rome. The most beautiful. More wild, with a whole local ecology. Here my friend use to come. She use to come to study, first. Then to practice kung fu. Tang lang, wing chun, hung gar, shaolin. Villa ada had seen it all ... From her. But more was waiting. Eventually she met david (who use to study in the same kung fu school, but left to study with mantak chia) and off she went with the internal arts. Tai ji, ba gua. But you should't think that my friend was alone in her use of this villa. Legions of people have used it as a gym, a tatami, or more often as an alcove.

In its wild side hippies and bums use to sleep at night, surrounded by their, unpleasantly loud, dogs. And those are not the only dogs that live here. Historically 2 packs of wild dogs use it too as their house and hunting ground. As squirrels and hares in great number live here. With time my friend even got known to one of those packs. Coming here always felt to me like going to her house. For ages i mainly went here to meet her. But it was also here that i went with my first girlfriend (who use to come here with her first boyfriend...), and my second, and... .

Villa ada use to be divided into a public part and a private part. The private being symbolically closed by a fence. Behind the fence a horse manor, an ambassy, a secret house of a cinema star (that was discovered when the fence was taken off, and the whole villa made public) and the most wild side. Ancient pillars from roman time. Remainings of roman villas. The best place for walks. Or for privacy. Things where not always safe (nor would i bet now are that different), and two times did someone try to rape my friend. Not a wise idea, indeed. We use to practice taoist meditation together. Then later she moved into prayer before switching to judaism and leaving rome for jerusalem. Some of my most pleasant memories are tied to this place.

I remember coming here with a true love. That day, a sunday if i recall, the villa was empty. No kids, no fathers with sons, no martial artists or girls that run trying to comply to an unhealty image. It was only me and her. It wasn't raining. The weather was fine and warm. And everything was perfect. Every now and then a shout would come from the not near street, with honks too. We counted three. Then after 90 minutes some longer noise. That day all three did we win. Me, her and the italian soccer team.