I have always lived with the myth of Pippo Testa, the commander, who is also my father. Because of his character and talents it wasn’t always easy, but I can say it was formative.
When, as a teenager, I started sailing, anticipating homework and questions, and finishing the school year at the Industrial Institute earlier, I got on board as the last of the sailors, without the slightest privilege. There was also a romance aspect to it, because I would leave to look for it, spending maybe three or four days waiting in Malta. Back then, there was much more fishing in the Sicilian Channel.
The decision to accept that life, being away for six or seven months a year, came at the age of eighteen, although it actually took place in two stages.
At a certain point, in 2004, I wanted to show I could do something else. It was between me and me and him.
I opened two shops in the Disney chain and then became the distributor for Southern Italy.
I gave vent to my sense of initiative, as I had already done at the age of eighteen when, together with some friends, I had run the pizzeria at a lido. After Disney, there was the idea of creating the first example of street food in Catania. It was called Lapatatina. We studied for six months how to adapt an Ape Piaggio for the production and sale of crisps, using only fresh, peeled products. Piaggio, which had relocated production to India, was stunned by the idea.
In the end, however, the call of the sea and the family was stronger and I became a partner in the Testa family, fully embracing their ambitions and challenges.
I have carved out a commitment of my own, one that I hold dear, that of general manager of the Catania Futsal Club. It’s a five-a-side football team, entered in the B series national championship, based in the Librino district. I am proud to offer something good, healthy and educational in a difficult situation. That’s why, along with the football courses, we also offer after-school care and a refund of basic necessities to those who enrol their children.