“My grandfather inspiring my European Career”

A story from Silvia,

A mobility stake holder located in Italy


The first time I heard about Europe, was when I was a child and my grandfather told me about his international career as professional cyclist. He was a cyclist during the Second World War and immediately after, until 1951. One of his main victory has been the one of the European Tour in 1954, just before deciding to quit his profession. His descriptions were enthusiastic! How many differences and how many similarities he had the opportunity to appreciate travelling around Europe at that time. He had the opportunity to assist at the creation of the European Citizenship as a concept.

Those stories had surely an impact on my personal and professional career.

While growing, I have had the unique chance to understand the importance to learn from each other and especially from people that are different from you, as for provenience, language, religion, sexual orientation, and so on. It is why, since I was young, I wanted to travel to discover, to learn, to grow. In 1989, I was teaching Italian in Paris. What a wonderful experience! Since 2000, I am member of the pool of trainers of Council of Europe to promote active participation, human rights and human rights education to live in a better world. But what is the most important is that since 1992, I co-created a local association in Firenze, with the aim to promote mobility as a tool to grow, to learn and to discover own potentials and other points of view. After 23 years and thousands of people that have attended a mobility experience, I still believe that an international mobility experience should be compulsory for every person. Everyone should have the opportunity to wear – at least once in his/her life – different glasses to observe the same reality, to learn the importance of living together in peace.

I wish I were able to spread this message among my youngest colleagues and that my organisation di Firenze will continue in the future to promote international mobility projects and actions for people to learn and grow as persons, professionals and European Citizens.