Sentry of the South

Sentinella del Sud
so-called because it blows from Libya which is south-west of Zakynthos, the reference point for the compass rose. He holds his spear at his side and rests on it, tired of his centuries-old vigil. He wears a helmet and cuirass, which identify him as a warrior. e has guarded the south entrance to the city for many generations. The Byzantines and Frederick II came from the south. The papal legates also came from the south several times for long negotiations. Today the new Milanese come from the south, those who helped to build the city in the past and who will help to transform it in the future. The sentry is there on guard, his weapon is not his spear but his eyes, a precious repository of memories. Like a mirror, his eyes reflect the figures who pass through the city, who enter it and leave it, are recorded in the marble and etched in the city’s memory, each one leaving a mark. The sentry takes note. “My bread is in my spear, my wine is in my spear, I drink resting on my spear”, wrote a poet and soldier, six centuries before Christ, when the Gauls were in Milan, and the map of Italy existed only in the memory of merchants and adventurers. In the vigil there is bread and wine, there is everything. This is the sentry who oversees those who are passing through, those who give shelter to foreigners and share their bread and wine, the medicine of life.