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ANDREA DI BARI

Andrea di Bari needs no introduction. He has written the history of Italian climbing in the ‘80s, with performances which at the time were near the best ones in Europe. After a decade at top levels, he moved from Rome to Terni and here he opened a store under the famous Ferentillo cliffs; he finally stopped to think after a phrenetic activity, culminated in the repetition of roughly all the difficult routes in central Italy. Andrea is an intelligent and sensible person, that is why he has given up climbing a bit to concentrate on social commitment and philosophy. He has recently started climbing again with renewed passion and he often visits Sardinia, discovering the size of long routes and wide walls.

Where do you live?Andrea di Bari
I have been living in Terni for the past thirteen years, in a house on a hill surrounded by green open spaces and a beautiful view.

Do you love your homeland or would you want to live somewhere else?
I would need to know the entire world in order to consistently answer your question. With regard to Italy, which I know very well because I have been round a lot, it definitley is the place that I prefer in this period of my life. I obviously miss the sea a lot, but you cannot have everything, and anyhow I make up often with the beautiful Sardinian sea.

How did you discover Sardinia?
When I was small. My mother is Sardinian, she was born in Ozieri, therefore we came to visit our relatives. I must confess that I am proud of my Sardinian blood.

Do you come back often?
At least two times a year in the past four/five years.

Do Sardinian rocks have something special?
The rocks are beautiful and most of all virgin, and this makes them undoubtedly fascinating, but the surrounding scenery is what charms, amazes and suprises me each time, because there are places which are still uncontaminated. I don’t want to exaggerate, but sometimes they leave me breathless. This gives rise to many strong, deep and useful meditations in me.

What if there wasn’t the sea in Sardinia?
It would be half as intense.

Would you like to live on the island?
Very much, but its isolation would make things difficult for me from a practical point of view, since one of my ambitions and activities consists in social commitment, and living in Umbria, a region set in the heart of Italy, allows me to move easily and reach the north or south in a few hours, or even better, to reach Sardinia to climb. I would like to live like Fabrizio De Andrč, who spent some months on the mainland and the rest of the year in his beautiful “agriturismo”. Unfortunately, this solution is not possible at the moment because there is not enough money, although me and my wife would love to do so.

Which place impressed you the most?
I must honestly say there are many, Goloritzč with its Aguglia, punta Giradili, the Gorropu Gorge, Codula di Luna, the Villasimius beach, I still remember an incredible sunset at Capo Sandalo on the San Pietro Island, the Jerzu “tacchi” which remind me of John Ford’s “Stagecoach”, and I have never visited the siuth from a climbing point of view. I would really like to climb in Isili, especially now that I am again climbing at a fairly good level.

Is there a route which is worth a trip to Sardinia alone?
Do you need to ask? Hotel Supramonte. Maybe someday we will go there together, just to take a look around. Obviously alternating lead…

And a route that you would like to repeat?
I haven’t made up my mind between Gullich and Mediterraneo. Maybe Gullich… No, I guess I would repeat Mediterraneo. I am a bit confused maybe I could repeat both in the same day, so I won’t need to think about it anymore. We could do that together, after Hotel Supramonte, always alternating lead, ...what about it?

Where wouldn’t you return?
I cannot answer to that, someone may feel hurt…

What would you do if you lived on the island?
If I had the money, I would climb all the time, sometimes diving, maybe when I am too tired to climb, so I could rest while learning something new.

Do you believe that too many routes damage or increase the value of an area?
Straightaway I would say that they increase the value of an area, but if I consider Sardinia I believe that they could cause some damage, it always depends on the standards used to open the routes and on the environmental attitude of those who visit the cliff.

Do you think that there is enough space for everybody on Sardinian rocks?
I truly hope not.

And how long will this last?
ASpeaking from a purely selfish point of view, until a man called Andrea Di Bari will be alive.