Melthelmi, L'Ultimo Tuffo, a review by Alessandro Ulivari
Before reading the book by Alessio Gasperini entitled “Melthemi L’Ultimo Tuffo” (Melthemi The Last Dive), I thought I was faced with a book of travel: indeed this is a book full of pictures of wonderful places, waves, kite, beaches etc. But I was wrong, because in this book there is more!
Kite surfing is just the “fil rouge” of this book, a great passion of the author obviously, but also the opportunity to demonstrate the approach of Alessio to the most terrible aspects of our lives like social injustices, paedophilia, slavery in the past and nowadays; and this is, in my opinion, the most relevant aspect of this book, because we can understand through the reading the author’s sensitivity, the lively intelligence of a man (who is also a commercial manager with a Degree in economics) who tries to get back to childhood every time he rides the waves, tied to his immense wings, like a modern Icarus; and the fantastic thing is that he succeeds in doing this, through the very strong emotions that this kind of sport gives.
In this book the reader can also find some funny information, like how the American people named Vada beach - a beach near Livorno, named here very proudly “white beach” due to the chemical substances released by an industry. They identify it as the Chemically Altered Beach, demonstrating less romanticism and more realism.
Another humorous episode is the description of the difficulties that kite surfers suffer every time they try to take the plane: for instance its bulky material, the tremendous doubts about what kind of wings and board to bring, etc.
The last chapters are a bit sad because of a health problem which unfortunately seems to be taking Alessio away from his beloved kite for a long period. By the way, the author asks the reader for help to find a correct sentence to replace those who think the impossibility to make kite surf a poor thing: “A man without a dream is a dead man”, but at the end of the day even Alessio demonstrates that he is a dreamer with the last words that close the book. “Mare, a presto!” (Sea, see you soon!).