Interview reported by Johan Melle, released on 2015 by the Ancona daily "Urlo - mensile di resistenza giovanile".
Realized by Lucia Principi.
«A bit of a countess and star of "us"»
The first detail that catches the eye is the post-punk purple tuft at the top of the head, then the huge jacket that wraps it, the pendant in the form of a red pepper that stands out on the yellow sweater, and the blue-painted nails. As soon as we saw Maria Pia Cafiero, we immediately realized we had a real character in front of us. We met her on a rainy early morning morning and we chatted in the Trattoria del Piano in piazza D’Armi: a Campari, a cigarette, and the story of an exceptional life.
She was born in Osimo on 31 January 1948, a figure that today is a bit of a speck, but very popular among many people from Ancona, due to her whimsical and extravagant way of dressing up, her overflowing and sincere sympathy, her natural style and engaging in attacking the speech with strangers who happen to be in sight. Last of three brothers (Giovanna, 71, Armando 69, both retired residents of Ancona), she moved to the Marche capital at the age of 14. Here he attended middle school and then three years of commercial start-up. "I was good in French and geography, but I had a poor 6 in mathematics," she points out. She specializes in painting. Her father and mother were ordinary people, he was an artist - "A man to laugh at", her daughter recalls. But, according to Maria Pia's reconstruction, blue blood flows in her veins: "My ancestors, of Neapolitan origin, were counts!"
And to her, not surprisingly, has remained the nickname "Countess".
Today Maria Pia lives in via Osimo, also in Ancona (Piano San Lazzaro area), in a 60 square meter public house "very hot in summer, very cold in winter", which she shares with a cohabitant, Lamberto called "Ponti the half-breed", 64 years old. Her relationship with him? "A platonic love - shoot her, - let's make some noise", letting us understand that it is often one of those definable relationships "dog and cat". The "Countess" and "her inseparable half-breed" met 17 years ago, during one of her frequent walks. Strolling around the city, is the main pastime of Mrs. Maria Pia: she gets up early in the morning and stays adrenaline in motion all day long - without ever neglecting all domestic duties - by grinding kilometres on kilometres through the streets of Ancona. She shop at the "Acqua e Sapone" store under the house, she allows herself the luxury of going to the trusted hairdresser (Khetty, in via Cristoforo Colombo) every day, who gives her a special price, she goes to the Corner Caffè where they offer her a orzo in a large cup, strolling through bars and patisseries in the neighborhood, where you always get free drinks. At the Sisti jewelry store, in Corso Garibaldi, there are also a few coins. At the Piano and in other areas they know it well, by now, for some it is "mythical".
Despite the small amount of money in her pocket, Maria Pia tells of being altruistic with those in need: "I always offer a piece of bread to those who are hungry, a few coins and (as an excellent smoker. Ed.) A cigarette". Often she also goes to the center of the canteen of the poor of Padre Guido, in the crossroads of Corso Mazzini, where she helps to set the table. Above all, she takes care of the animals: she goes up to the Passetto and at the bottom of the steps she leaves little morsels that brings from home to feed dogs, gulls and pigeons. "Once the City gave me a hand, now I was alone to take care of it", she snorts. The sea is her greatest passion, inherited from her grandfather, admiral of the Achille Lauro Fleet. Every day, "from December to December", Maria Pia also stops on the beach: she looks at the view, the cliffs, the sunrises and sunsets, she writes poetry, reads, paints what she sees, reflects, chats with the "congenial faces" that meets ... and takes a bath. She also does it at Torrette.".
In summer as in winter, she can be found soaking at any time, with costumes of the most unlikely fantasies (the images of the kamasutra, for example). The last dive, before our chat, dates back to October 3rd, right in the low waters of Torrette, topless, with a garland of flowers around the neck and leopard-print underpants. "But when I was young, I did the bathroom in Ostia and Fregene...", she states proudly.
In fact, from 1975 to 1983, Maria Pia lived in Rome. In the capital she embarked on a brilliant cinematographic career: having arrived at Cinecittà thanks to her beauty, she took part in films of a certain caliber, such as La città delle donne by Fellini, Giallo napoletano, starring Marcello Mastroianni, La poliziotta della squadra del buon costume by Tarantini, Il cappotto di Astrakan by Vicario, Il malato immaginario with Alberto Sordi. Fifteen years of success that she remembers with great joy and a touch of emotion. In Rome she got her car license: "I was riding with a brown Ford Granada, I had many suitors, among the many who were at court, there was also the journalist Massimo Valentini. But I didn't have more than five or six men. I was selective, and it wasn't easy to choose, my suitors were all very nice boys”.
At the time Miss Cafiero lived in a villa with a swimming pool given to her by a Count of Parioli, with whom she had a "clandestine" relationship for ten years. But when he died, the curtain fell on that beautiful world. Back in Ancona, she suffered severe stress and abandoned her acting career. And at this point, a tear escapes us in front of Campari. Of those years, there remains a breathtaking photo, which portrays her 28 year old, fatal, with long blond hair and the ever-present spotted fur. Yes, the great passion for cinema, what happened to it? “Now for me cinema is only on TV, I watch movies in the evening, before going to bed. But I must say that I prefer documentaries, especially those about nature and animals ".
With the city in which she lives, the former divetta has a relationship of hatred and love: in Ancona he appreciates beauty, but criticizes the scarce urban valorization: “The fountain in Piazza Roma is an enchantment, but with that kid that pisses cheerfully, what kind of figure do we have with the foreigners, who often find it dirty?". It does not have a good opinion of the municipal administration. "The Mancinelli's is a slaughterhouse - she roars - it does not repair the holes and does not give support to the people: in the city there are no places for the elderly". Reject also the previous mayor, Fiorello Gramillano, while promoting Galeazzi and Sturani, in charge from 1993 to 2001 the first, from 2001 to 2009 the second. Even with the people of Ancona, "closed people", the relationship is fluctuating. "When I travel around Ancona, I also meet people who support and help me, in my trips to the sea I know so many ladies, with some it turns out that we start playing cards". Many, especially men, make fun of her for her eccentric way of dressing up: colorful trousers and sweaters, extravagant hats, carnival look. But she doesn't care about the judgments. She doesn't need to follow the fashions of the moment: her story and her lifestyle decidedly out of line make her a star in itself.