For many of us, Rome represents an experience overflowing with historical brilliance, artistic beauty, architectural advancements and military achievement. The Romans are proud of their city’s ancient history, though the contemporary Rome with its corruption, political intrigues, economic problems and chaotic traffic leave them often unhappy.
Old cultural traditions, various age-old customs and norms are still kept alive as part of the every-day life of Rome. “Rome has to change. There are so many things in Rome and in the whole of Italy that I would like to change, if only I could”, Daniele bursts out.
“But one person cannot change the whole society or the mental system of people, the way they think, the way they are and behave. I do respect my countrymen. I only wish they would not resist change so much, but would be more world open and interested in learning from other countries and cultures.”
Exploring the world
“As I myself did not want to get stuck with this stagnant way of life in Italy, I decided to move to Hollywood and make a living there. The American lifestyle is much more easygoing, relaxed and less controlled … at least this is my experience.”
“When I am in Los Angeles, I do not miss Rome as such, but I do miss my family here a lot. I am always happy to come for a visit to Italy to see my mother, sister and nephew. They mean the world to me. We are extremely close with one another, and my greatest wish is to find a way for us all living together in Los Angeles in the future.”
Daniele himself loves exploring different countries and he is well travelled for his young age. He speaks proudly of the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers in front of us at the Piazza Navona. The fountain designed by Bernini (1651) features four figures, each representing a river from a different continent - the Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio de la Plata. This strong symbolism of water, the fluid and liquid world of the unconscious, the supernatural, means a constant rebirth and awakening for Daniele.
Life is a journey
“Movement, flow and change are important for me. I am open to life and to constantly learning new things through personal exposure and experience. I am not afraid of throwing myself into new adventures all the time as that is the only way to learn and grow as a human,” Daniele describes his approach to living and co-existing with other people. “I’m my own worst enemy”, he declares and explains himself by saying that for him everything is possible, and the only thing that can stop him from being successful is he himself.
Altogether Daniele makes a modern and mature, yet modest impression on other people. His absolute strength is that he is very likeable and has excellent manners. He does not only sound smart and sensible, but as somebody who is fully in charge of his own life and definitely knows what to do with it. Meditation and spirituality provide him inner stability and calmness and that helps him achieve his goals in life.
Reflections on free will
“Free will is a deceptive image” reads in a tattoo on Daniele’s body. The meaning of this statement for Daniele is that ultimately he knows he has no choice other than to watch the choices he thinks he is making, but he is merely a watcher, a witness of what is happening in front of him.
“Whether it is a matter of a deceptive image or not, one day soon I would love to see the Northern Lights in Finland”, Daniele says and brings the interview towards an end by asking: “By the way, did you know that the effect known as the Aurora Borealis is named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas?”
Read also the first part of Daniele’s interview.
Text: Mika Launikari based on an interview with Daniele La Leggia (Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy on 19 December 2015)
Photos: Daniele La Leggia