Do you know what you're supposed to do, to meet a mermaid? You go down to the bottom of the sea, where the water isn't even blue anymore, where the sky is only a memory, and you float there, in the silence. And you stay there, and you decide, that you'll die for them. Only then do they start coming out. They come, and they greet you, and they judge the love you have for them. If it's sincere, if it's pure, they'll be with you, and take you away forever. (Jacques Mayol)

Let's talk about apnea. In short, the expression means without breathing, but seeing how we will be on the sea let's talk about free-diving in the sea, or better yet constant weight free diving, ignoring what is usually done in the swimming pool in winter. We spent the first 9 months of our lives floating about in amniotic fluid, which is not much different from water. If we put a new-born baby into a pool we can see that they have no problem and feel completely at home. However, we lose this natural instinct over time until passion or something else leads us back into the water. Describing the sensations or the emotions we feel when constant weight diving, or, in other words, free-diving with only the air we hold in our lungs, a mask and some flippers, to somebody who has never tried isn’t easy. I was once at the EUDI Fair, at a presentation of Federico Mana's new book on compensation, a book which I must add I still find extremely useful and interesting even after 30 years, confirming that we never stop learning.

Someone asked Federico, who had just set the Italian record for -100 in constant weight, what he felt as he was diving and what a diver looks for from the sport and from setting records, his answer couldn't have been more explicit: diving is a feeling and an emotion which is so special that it cannot be described, but which needs to be experienced, it would be like asking someone to describe how chocolate tastes to a person who had never tried it. The example was wonderful and the public got the idea immediately. Beyond a passion for the sea or trying to set records, I believe free-diving is unique. I have always played a lot of sports, from skiing to snowboarding, sailing, windsurfing, free climbing, boxing, swimming and lots more, but the feeling I get from free-diving is one of a kind, and i'm not interested in those ho practice other sports and, for one reason or another, have never tried, they should give it a go at least once. I really must thank several people. First my father, who passed on his passion for the sea and all that goes along with it in his genes, who let me follow my dreams which over the years have become reality. When I was 6 my dad took me to the pool where I met the legendary Gamberini, the trainer of Bologna swimming who helped me sprout gills. Then there's my first diving teacher, Roberto Amadori, who helped me understand how far I could go and helped me reach my potential.

Then I moved to Milan for ten years and went to the "Diving Academy" where I met Stefano Tovaglieri, who I consider to be my mentor when it comes to free-diving. I would also like to thank Umberto Pelizzari and the other teachers at the Academy who helped me become a teacher too. I always say that perfection doesn't really exist, so I still find myself, and will in the future too, taking part in courses as a student. I would also like to thank my friend Davidino Carrera, who probably made me realise that the time was right to make the decision that I had been putting off for over ten years, that is, to buy a boat so I could live on the sea, above and below; maybe without spending time with him on his boat, the Colomba, his trimaran, I wouldn't have taken this step. Anyway, maybe I have too many people to thank , but that would only bore you so lets get back to free-diving for a minute. The feeling of descending into the deep, enveloped by the living mass that is the sea, is something which everyone should experience. Getting theoretical course here would be impossible because so many books have been written over the years, and if Umberto Pelizzari and Stefano Tovaglieri's Diving Course is over 400 pages long , you'll understand that it's an impossible job, so all i can say is give it a go, it's a lot more simple than it sounds.