The stories

The Sardinians in Milan at the time of Covid

The circle of Sardinians and the link with the land of origin
giovanni cervo (foto del circolo culturale sardo)
Giovanni Cervo (foto del circolo culturale sardo)

In the year in which everything has stopped, life has exploded again only at the moment of returning home. "After the long stop, last June we kept the small hours to be able to satisfy all the requests of those who wanted to come to Sardinia". Chronicle from the Sardinian cultural circle of Milan in the year of Covid: the first thought of President Giovanni Cervo is for those who paid the highest price to the pandemic. "Unfortunately, the virus took away three of our members, in addition to the president of the Sardinian club of Vercelli, Dino Musa, and - only a few weeks ago - the president of the club of Saronno, Luciano Aru. Not to mention the many who fought and that fortunately they have recovered and of those who are still engaged in the battle ". Small story of a large family that has accompanied thousands of emigrants since the 1960s and helps them to keep alive the bond with their homeland. "In those years the circles quickly passed from one to three and vice versa: two were born from the split of the first, due to the politically tumultuous climate of the time, while the third referred to a type of emigrants who were not part of the working class , they were more professionals, people who worked in banks, lawyers ", explains Cervo, born in Carbonia in 1947 from an Olbiese mining father and a Sicilian mother and who came to Lombardy in 1962. So, the last club, that of middle-class Sardinians, he died on the death of its president, while the other two, made up of people of proletarian extraction, joined in the early 1970s. "My experience in Sardinian cultural circles began in Cesano Boscone in 1979, then I arrived in Milan and have been president for five years".

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IN FIGURES The number of members of the club based in piazzale Santarosa (but previously it was in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele overlooking Piazza del Duomo) varies from year to year and is around 800 members, but the base of people they turn to the association, albeit occasionally, is over 4,500. Activities, of course, have been paralyzed by the pandemic. "One of the last public meetings was that of February 2020 which was also attended by the regional councilor Alessandra Zedda, it was dedicated to transport". And the theme of transport has always been at the center of the thoughts of those who frequented the club. "I remember that in the seventies returning to Sardinia was a challenge, we had to camp in front of the Tirrenia offices to get a ticket and hope to find a place. Someone, even among the emigrants returning from abroad, tried their luck at the port of Genoa and often after a night spent waiting he had to go back because there was no way to board ". Hence the decision to intervene. "In the beginning we negotiated with the companies to get some concessions, quota places, then thanks to our federation Phases we got some advantageous agreements". This is why at the end of the first lockdown, after months of seclusion and with the naive belief that the worst was over, many turned to the club to spend their holidays on the island. "Suddenly the desire to go on vacation was unleashed, after traumatic months the desire to relax and leave everything behind prevailed. This is why after long weeks in which our activities had stopped, in June and July we resumed We worked late hours to prepare the estimates to send to all those who asked us for tickets to come to Sardinia ". However, one of the group's objectives is not just to facilitate transport. Before Covid, there were frequent meetings dedicated to theater, music, archeology and books. But among the most valuable services was that offered in case of health emergencies. "In recent years it has often happened to receive requests for help from Sardinians who had to come for treatment in Milan or from family members who needed a place to sleep while their loved ones were in hospital. owns mini-apartments at affordable prices ". So far, no emigrant has contacted the club for emergencies related to Covid, such as sudden quarantines away from the island or families kept away from the virus: "If there was this type of need we will be ready to do our part", reassures President Giovanni Cervo.

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