Not long from now, she’ll be turning fifty, and for me, she’ll always be an extraordinary point of reference, an inexhaustible source of energy and fresh ideas. She was born a stone’s throw from the Madonnina, on Via Dogana 2, but is now based in the Risorgimento area, at 29 Via Pietro Calvi. We’re in Milan, a Milan where she has seen a huge evolution, especially regarding the thing that is closest to her heart: the history of women.
We’ve gone from the female model of the half-naked “letterina”, the TV game show valet whose only virtue was the provocative sexuality of her body, to an ever-increasing awareness of the inner aspect of women, their spirit, their intelligence, but women who, it seems incredible to say, are still struggling to be truly equal to men. She does this in an extremely precise way, which I really like: not only does she claim to be equal to men, but, on the contrary, she recognizes the importance of the differences between women and men, takes them into account, cultivates them and puts them into practice through relationships, and a focus on poetry, literature, and philosophy.
I’m talking about the bookshop, Libreria delle donne, an institution that is part of our country’s history, and Milan’s above all. The name is a bit forced, because here you find more than just books. You find ideas, new people to meet and get to know, hands to shake, a coffee and a sip of wine, and sometimes actual dinners, because there’s also a kitchen, dedicated to Estia, the goddess of the hearth. And there’s more than just politics. There’s poetry, literature, historical and contemporary art, pedagogy, life, and laughter. And sometimes even a few tears are shed.
The Libreria delle donne is a vibrant place that makes you live, because it makes you think.