• A portrait of Giulio Gelardi, THE MANNA MAN, by Giulio himself

    “When I came here thirty years ago, and the manna trade was considered dead, the first thing that came to my mind was to try to produce the manna directly, from the tree extremely clean, in a way to sell it without having to process it industrially. Suddenly, I walked past a tree and noticed that there was a tiny stalactite. I ran back, my mum was sewing, I took a spool, tied the thread around the trunk, together with a drip running down the stalactite. When I returned the following morning, I found a stalactite one meter long. That was the right method. Many take it as a laxative; many others especially in the last years, take it as a depurative. Through the incision I understand the age and the condition of the tree. It’s a way to have a direct relation. At a certain point the tree says: ‘Stop it … I am not going to make any more manna’. It’s not the missing manna that I care about. I just feel like I haven’t understood the tree and what was going on. I feel like I acted as a stranger, not as a friend.”

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