The only thing I am sure of is that I am Italian. Or at least I was born there and I still believe it is my country, despite many attempts by some powerful people to make it worse and worse.

I also think that I am a humanitarian. Or probably an aid worker. Wait, maybe I am a philanthropist. Sure enough, I am kind of an idealistic. It seems like I am more or less the whole Thesaurus. To describe my job, I travel the world, from one war to the other, from a natural disaster to a refugee crisis, trying to alleviate the suffering of people affected. Not that I bring bad luck, I am part of that big machine that tries to fix big things: what I call the Humanitarian Circus.

So I am both Italian and a humanitarian. I am not sure what is worse!

I have to admit that I am sure of something more: my name is Mario, I always wear sunglasses and I like both pasta and pizza… I told you that I am Italian!

Introducing Humanitalian

This is not a blog where I will brag about my good heart, all the countries I visited, or how many people I meet: if you think I will go in that direction, please tell me! I just want to speak openly, and often wryly, about life as a humanitarian. This includes many things: comments on aid policies and programmes, interviews with professionals, life as an expat, tips on how to enter and how to survive in this world, and finally some suggestions on where you can spend your well deserved R&Rs!

Sometimes I will try to be politically correct, sometimes I will be so honest and sarcastic that many people will think that I am an a**hole. Whatever you think, please let’s start a discussion: comment or drop me a line by email, I am open to everything, from criticism to fake flatteries!


It is probably time to tell you something more about me. I find it easier to talk through some of the cities that I visited or where I lived.

Where I would like to spend my retirement – Bordeaux

The highest restaurants per population ratio in France, good wine, a walkable city centre and cheap and excellent oysters. What else?

The most romantic – Prague

It seems like Italians are romantic. Well, walking by night in the centre of Prague towards the castle in all those small alleys made me believe that I was living in a fairy tale. Big plus if it just snowed.

The centre of the world – Jerusalem

The Western Wall in front of you. The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque on top of Temple Mount. The Holy Sepulchre a few hundred meters on the side. I understand why some people come back from this city with the Jerusalem syndromeEditor’s note: I did not.

Ordered chaos – Phnom Penh

Hundreds of tuk-tuks flowing around you on both sides and both directions. Even then, it all seems to have some sort of order, some sort of unwritten rule that will make everything looks as if it was less chaotic than what it really is.

The regret – London

I lived there for one year, but I feel that I should move for five or six more years to fully understand it. It is incredible how you can find everything in this city. Including someone taking photos of Piccadilly Circus with a XIX century studio camera.

History – Rome

An open-air museum. The largest and most complete open-air museum in the world. I love Roman history. I am Italian. I think that it is enough to make of Rome my favourite city history wise.

The sexiest – Tel Aviv

Wonderful beach, amazing nightlife, multicultural, beautiful women and men. My Berlin on the Mediterranean.

Best vibes – Sevilla

No words to describe Triana, la Giralda and the whole city. Wonderful people and friends. I do not understand why I still did not move there!

Where I need to go – Montreal

I have to watch a game of the Habs at the Bell Centre, full stop.