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«Sport is my medicine, after the age of 50 I started taking it every day»

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«Sport is my medicine, after the age of 50 I started taking it every day»

He defines himself as “a lazy person with the need to stay active” and assures us that in the morning, or rather at dawn, when it is time to get up to reach the “glass” of Long live Rai2!at the Foro Italico in Rome, he is the one who wakes the alarm. «I’m a very early riser, try talking to me at four in the morning: I’m unbeatable!». It is not difficult to believe the words of Rosario Fiorellowhose verve has been known to everyone since the days of Karaoke e Festivalbar (conducted for the first time in 1993, when he received a Telegatto as revelation character of the year) and which still today, after countless television programmes, shows, characters, songs, films and various Sanremos, has not been scratched.

Indeed: laughing, warm – and even a little noisy – Fiorello live between 7 and 8 in the morning on Rai2 is stronger than a cup of coffee and invigorating like a jog in the open air. Thanks to endorphins, those substances that the body produces when we laugh and when sports are practiced. Fiorello’s secret? Doing both things, every day: the first always, the second since he turned 50, despite the passion for sport (football, but above all tennis) he has nurtured since he was a child.

Fiorello, you started working, travelling, at a very young age, with entertainment in villages, theater shows, radio. What was the first sport you played as a child?

«I played football throughout my childhood, adolescence and beyond (from 1990 until 1997 I was part of the National Singers team captained by Gianni Morandi, ed.) because my family couldn’t afford anything else. When I was on the pitch the coach always told me: “Fiorello, you should go to a circus and be a seal”, because I never wanted to pass the ball!».

And what was your dream sport?

«I have always wanted to play tennis. During my shows I often talked about when, as a boy, I went to the tennis club in Augusta – where we lived because my father, who was a financier, had been transferred there – and I got information on the cost of the course and everything needed to follow it, so registration, lessons, racket, uniform… When I brought the paper home, my father read it carefully, then turned to me sweetly and said: “Son, decide: either you play tennis or we eat!”. I took note of it, but as I grew up I never abandoned my love for rackets.”

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In fact, he has been practicing it for several years now, along with other activities, almost every day.

«Yes, I love playing tennis and in quieter periods I often add a brisk walk or bike ride, while I don’t like running. Both by bicycle and on foot, I usually cover about ten kilometres. The ideal locations in which to do this for me are the wonderful city parks, such as Villa Borghese in Rome, along the coast in seaside cities, for example in Sanremo, or in the historic centers of other locations where I find myself for work. While I walk or cycle I find inspiration in the beauty of the places, which become not only the streets where I am training, but also an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and the landscapes.”

When did you understand the importance of sport practiced on a daily basis?

«Since I turned 50 and at a check-up the cardiologist advised me to stop smoking, change my diet and exercise consistently, every day. I immediately followed his instructions: the human body needs movement because regular physical activity helps reduce the risk of pathologies and has positive effects on mental health.”

And how do you feel after doing sport? Do you notice improvements in your body and mind?

«I feel more energetic and awake due to the activation of the nervous system. I know that exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which act as natural analgesics and improve the mood, creating a feeling of well-being and happiness: here’s my secret! On a physical level, however, in 2013 I had a hernia, but it all resolved and today I practice the sports I like without problems.”

Your friend Novak Djokovic said in an interview that he would like to play golf with you: do you see yourself as a golfer?

«I tried to practice it, but I wasn’t passionate about it. I could propose Novak a ping pong challenge, or better yet tennis, but he would have to play blindfolded!

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Do you listen to music while exercising?

«Of course, it gives me extra energy and motivation. I vary the genres a lot, but the one that helps me the most is rhythmic music.”

The Viva Rai2 alarm clock! Have you changed your sports routine in any way?

«No, in fact, when I come back from work it often happens that I train, even just to stretch myself a bit and find new ideas».

The one just passed was his fourth Sanremo: does one age or rejuvenate by climbing onto the Ariston park?

«“We love Sanremo”, was the slogan of the event this year. And, therefore, love never grows old. Regenerate. She brings back to life.”

You’ll be 64 on May 16th, how will you celebrate?

«The commitment is to arrive in May with the right energy, with all the vitality that family and work give me. Then, generally I don’t like surprises, but last year for my birthday, my daughter Angelica (had by his wife Susanna Biondo in 2006, ed.), without my knowledge, wished me a happy birthday from the glass of Long live Rai2! intoning I wander by Nomadi, one of our favorite songs. Who knows this time…”.

In America, dynamic and fit people over 60 are called longennials: do you feel like a longennial?

«I am undoubtedly a dynamic person. Long live the longennials!

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