Маттиа Дженини об Италии, любви к путешествиям и работе фрилансером

7 Янв, 2018

Интервью с итальянцем, который переехал в Таиланд, кардинально изменив свою жизнь. О пасте, иностранных языках, образовании за границей, 10 лучших местах для посещения в Италии, а также об учебе, работе и многом другом на английском языке.

К моменту выхода интервью Маттиа уже работает в Таиланде, создавая героев компьютерных игр и приложений.

Ciao, Mattia!

Come stai oggi? This is what I always remember in Italian 🙂

Today I’ve prepared some questions which people on my website might want to know about you. And I propose to start right now!

Tell our readers a few words about yourself, your interests, hobbies, work etc.

Mattia Genini 1First of all, ciao to your readers and thanks for this opportunity to talk about my job, my life and my country.
My name’s Mattia and I’m Italian, I live in Italy since 27 years and 5 months that as you can imagine it’s also my age. I consider myself very lucky since my main interest and hobby are also my job: I’m an Illustrator and Graphic Artist. I’ve always been attracted by art and creativity in general, I really can’t remember when I started sketching on paper but what I know is that so far I’ve never stopped. However, I also love travelling and practicing sports like trekking and running. In my valley there are plenty of paths and natural places to spend a weekend breathing pure air and enjoying an amazing view from the top of a 2000m high mountain, or even higher. There are mountains but also beautiful lakes and little islands, but I’ll talk about this in the next answers!

You are from Italy and as all Italians you surely know one super-secret: how to keep eating pasta and stay slim, right?

Funny question! I must admit that a lot of Italians eat pasta every single day (I personally do), at lunch in particular. I guess that pasta itself is not dangerous for your weight if you get a normal portion, while the sauce might be. And there are infinite types of sauces, so the secret is to choose the lightest ones, or the best choice is to go for a walk or run after a big and tasty dish of pasta.

Could you tell us more about your favourite places in Italy? What are the best spots to visit, what is the best season to come to Italy and finally, where can we find the tastiest ravioli, spaghetti, pizza, lasagna, tiramisu etc? It may seem a bit crazy but sometimes it’s better not to keep to the beaten track, but just turn to the smallest street where the natives enjoy their usual cup of coffee instead and suddenly find that special place. Do you agree with me?

I totally agree with you, the best places to eat are often harder to find and located in small streets. Before answering your question I should say that Italy is divided into 20 regions and each one is a total different mix of food, dialects and environments. Even people can be very different. So it’s not easy to choose my favourite place, even though as a tourist I was amazed by Rome in particular. I love visiting places that has evident traces of history and Rome is the best place to breathe this type of atmosphere. And it’s not just about the Colosseo, the town is rich of ancient buildings and monuments famous for being home to historical events and movies.

Can you list the top-10 places to visit in Italy?

I’ll list 10 places and some are towns, some are regions:

  • Roma (Lazio)
  • Firenze (Toscana)

3) Venezia (Veneto)

4) Puglia

5) Sardegna

6) Trentino Alto Adige

7) Cinque Terre (Liguria)

8) Verona (Veneto)

9) Positano (Campania)

10) Torino (Piemonte)

And a special position for my valley, valle Ossola, where you can find small medieval towns, mountains, lakes, delicious food, good air and nice people. Another special mention for Isole Borromee, some small islands in the middle of Lake Maggiore very close to where I live and close to Verbania, where the life if so good that there lived Emma Morano, the oldest woman in the world, she died in 2017 at the age of 117!

I know you travel a lot and have wanderlust. How do you arrange your trips, where and when do you buy tickets, and which places do you choose to stay in? Many travel bloggers know that if you want to buy the cheapest air tickets, you should do it at least within 6 weeks before the X day. Moreover, it’s better to travel on Tuesday morning because of unloaded passenger traffic on that day.

Being a freelancer, my method for buying flight tickets is a bit different. I can work from anywhere, so more than me choosing destinations, are usually destinations choosing me. I mean that I never open Google flights with an exact idea of my destination, I’ll let the temperatures, seasons and prices influence my choice. So I just choose the departure airport (Milan) and navigate through the European map to check prices. The best offer for quality/price will get my attention. Flights are quite cheap from Milan, so I never buy a ticket 6 weeks before the X day, I sometimes do it also 2-3 days in advance. I also noticed that sometimes prices decrease a bit if you wait until the last 1-2 days, I don’t know well why but it sometimes happened. However, this is a risk that I wouldn’t take for long and expensive travels with big plane companies!

Now let me ask you a few questions about your personal experience. What university did you graduate from? Which qualifications did you get?

After secondary school I took a test to enter the Architecture course in the main university of Milan. I succeeded in it but I decided not to join the university, I didn’t feel comfortable for something like that. I attended a 3 years course at the International School of Comics in Turin, and after that a 1 year course about traditional painting techniques (watercolors, acrylics, oil and pencils). I got certificates in both of the academies. However, the main teacher for my job has always been curiosity, and also passion for learning. I learned almost everything by watching online tutorials, I must thank Youtube videos in particular. I’m convinced that if you want to do a particular job, you can do it. And for jobs like mine you don’t need to spend money on expensive courses if you can’t afford them, you just have to look for good resources, be perseverant and don’t give up at the first difficulties.

I know that currently you are working as a freelancer. Why did you choose this type of work and what did you do before? I mean people/companies you worked for, a job experience you obtained.

During and after my studies, I worked as a gardener for some years with my father. But I was always desiring to make a living with my creativity and so one day I started my freelancing adventure, without thinking or planning too much. It was much for fun maybe than for trying something serious. I remember I was in France, and during an au-pair experience I registered to a website called oDesk at that time. It was around August/September 2013 when I got my first contract on the website to create some graphics for a videogame. It was a huge work, it lasted some months and in the end the client disappeared paying me 50% of the price we agreed. My worst experience so far, but at the same time the best one as it has been my starting point!

How do your potential clients find you? What was the longest project you worked on?

My clients are now always the same, even though my name is a bit more known around the net now and I’m sometimes contacted by new clients. But I often refuse new jobs as I now have a stable number of projects. Anyway my “secret base” for new potential clients is a website called Upwork, where you can find very different type of projects. The longest project I worked on was probably a mobile game for which I spent about 1 year of work in 2015.

In your opinion, how many people in Italy know English? Is it useful to know several Italian phrases to ask for advice travelling around Italy? Which are they (maybe something of paramount importance)? And the trickiest question of all: how many languages should people know to travel around the world?

Not easy to answer but I think about 30% of the Italians speak English, especially among young people. English is the main foreign language studied in our schools but for some reasons a lot of students seem not to be able to use it to communicate well, maybe the learning method is not the best and it’s too schematic, not concentrated on oral interaction.
As we live in a society now based on internet connection and since Google seems to have solution to almost every problem, I’d say the best phrase to learn is:

— Excuse me, do you know where I can find a wifi connection? Scusi, sa dove posso trovare una connessione wifi?

Obviously there are a lot more useful phrases!

As a person who knows Italian, English and Spanish can you say which language will have a status of international in 50-100 years?

I’d say English of course, even though I really hope the other languages won’t be lost, as this would mean to forget our culture and origins. I think different languages compose a very interesting puzzle in our world and I wish we’ll never have just a single language, but English will be always a very useful tool to understand each other.

Not long ago you signed a contract with a Thailand company you are going to work for. What kind of job is it? Why did you choose the Asian country?

That’s correct, I’ve just signed a contract with a game studio based in Thailand and soon I’ll leave Italy to live there. I was looking for this type of job since some months and I wasn’t actually looking for a position in Asia, but as in Italy and Europe I didn’t find any opportunity, I decided to apply for more distant locations. I contacted a recruiter on Linkedin, she liked my portfolio and after some interviews and a test, I was hired. So Thailand will be soon my home and a new adventure will start!

Mattia Genini 5 Mattia Genini 3

Now let’s speak about personal qualities. I am sure we all can describe our personality in several words. Could you briefly describe yours, please? It can be done both in Italian and in English to broaden our linguistic vocabulary 🙂 Thank you.

Very briefly, I’d say there are two different worlds inside of me, opposite to each other, and I like to think that this is my best quality that helps me to have a balance in everything I do. I’m a quiet person but always burning inside both for happiness, sadness, joy, disappointment, etc…after all, I’m Italian!

At the end of our talk I’d like to ask 3 more questions.

What is an ideal travel for you?

Mattia Genini 4

I’ve always dreamed to visit Central and South America, maybe a 2-3 months travel in which I can visit different countries like Guatemala, Panama, Chile, Ecuador, Brasil and more. My second ideal travel is Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam,etc. and this one seems to be reality soon!

How many languages should a person know to travel around the world?

English is fundamental. During my personal experience it was also very useful to be able to speak Spanish and French. Learning the basics of the language of the country you’ll visit is always a good choice, it can save you from misunderstandings and even from being cheated.

Would you like to set off on an educational tour? (Which aspects and what countries it might include)

It would be a very interesting experience and I guess it’s a good way to have a deeper exploration of a place.  I’d like to try it and I’d choose a country rich of historical and artistic monuments, museums…and for this type of tour I’d choose some European country (like Spain or my Italy) or some Asiatic, like Japan. About the aspects that might be included I’d like to know about the history of the country, so visiting some very touristic places.

P.S. Всем, кто изучает английский язык, посвящается.

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