Right on the top of a Monte Gallo, near Palermo, lives a hermit who decided to leave the civilisation behind and head to a lighthouse overlooking Mondello Beach – some of the most expensive areas of the Mediterranean.
The bricklayer called Antonio lived a peaceful life in the nearby village with his wife and four daughters until God told him to go to live in the mountains. Leaving everything behind, they headed to an lighthouse on top of the nearby cliff, which stood abandoned after the World War II.
Knowing that he was on a road with no return , he decided to make the most of it and built some of the most beautiful house one can imagine. Soon the rumour spread among the local and tourists. Everyone wanted to know why he left our modern way of life and how on earth one can live in this lighthouse 500 metres above sea level with no roads or facilities.
Soon, both tourists and locals started climbing the mountain to get answers to their questions. People were flocking around his house, interviewing him about his life and taking pictures of his family. The view of a secluded part of the world seen from the mountains, suddenly changed to the exposed lighthouse seen from the sea.
Traveling by boat off the Sicilian coast makes me think how this hermit’s house has become a metaphor for the world we live in. In a world full of technology, this has become a common practice. The more we try to protect our data, the more data we generate and the more visible we are. With everyone being hooked up to the www, it is easier than ever before to work our who’s not and then ask why, instead of analysing the terabytes of data we generate each second. So, if you’re shut down all things digital, you would stick in a second, much like this bricklayer on top of the mountain.