Anna Carotenuto

Trip to Iran 15 October 2019

It must be said that the presence of a couple of Iranian friends, Dadmehr and Haeidhe, who have lived in Italy for years and who are exquisite, cultured and open people, in love with their country of origin, contributed to the success of our trip to Iran. which remained in their hearts through the carpets that light up their shop and represent invisible threads that keep them tied to their roots. The two of them simplified our path and opened the homes of their friends and relatives who welcomed us with a rare and generous sense of hospitality.

The trip followed the classic route of the highlands from Tehran to Shiraz, first by plane and then by bus on the way back, back to the capital. We started from Italy with a close-knit group of ten people.

The stages: Teheran, Shiraz, Pasargadae, Yazd, lsfahan, Nain, Kashan, Qom, Teheran. What will remain of this trip in our memories?

The beautiful dry and sweet climate of October, the scent of roses present everywhere, from jams to fresh drinks that quenched our thirst in the evening in the hotels, the sweet dates, fresh pistachios, Sangak, focaccia bread cooked on pebbles, a special tea tasted with sugar crystal sticks.

And again the "towers of silence" and the "wind towers" that brought back to a pre-Islamic past marked by the wisdom of Zarathustra, the wide and boundless landscapes seen on the way back that alternated desert places with visions of very high mountains with iridescent rocks that they ranged from ocher red to deep green.

And again the cheerful colors of the tiles of mosques and mausoleums, the emotion of sharing in them a sense of belonging to a single God who is always the same but can be venerated in different ways.

We cannot forget Persepolis which is there to remind us of the greatness of ancient Persia and the imposing past of one of the first great empires in history; the unique sight of the tomb of Ciro the great in Pasargadae and of Darius and Xerxes in the rocky necropolis of Naqsh-e-Rostane will remain in our memories.
The headscarf to put on before leaving was a problem for us women, because the very idea of ​​wearing it clashed with our mentality as free Western women; we wore it, in our passing experience, with creativity and joy, competing to change it and tie it in ever new and original shapes.

The cult of the Iranians for their poets is unimaginable: their verses are engraved on the walls, adorn the mosaics of mosques, are printed on clothes, scarves, are present in the most disparate public places. It is moving to see so many people going to visit the tombs of the great ones where they rediscover the sense of their history and rediscover their identity. Our Middle Ages were the most fertile period for Persian poetry: the greatest names were those of Ferdusi, the Persian Dante and of Hafez, mystical poet author of a famous songbook.
We had the honor of meeting one of the greatest living masters of carpet art in Tehran, Seyed Mousavi Sirat. Expert in figurative art, he has created a valuable work that depicts "the last days of Pompeii" which required thirteen years of careful work due to the complexity of the subject and the texture made up of imperceptible shades of colors and reflections.

In lsfahan and Tehran it seemed to us to be in one of the many European cities rich in greenery, daring architecture, wide and relaxing avenues but also with impossible traffic. Here we have seen a lively and welcoming youth who quiver with the desire to live and participate in the great changes of the contemporary world.

Some problems: the exhausts of the car engines, the obligation of cash for purchases .

 Anna Carotenuto

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