Exploring Delhi the Italian way – The New Indian Express
Delhi’s cityscape, heritage and culture are what inspire a number of people to document the city over the years. A few mention how chroniclers are narrators who provide an authentic account of this city. However, globetrotters who visit Delhi and, in due course, fall in love with its magnanimity, provide a new perspective on the bustling metropolis. Their eyes often try to find a link between their homeland and this city. It was the same for Elena Tommaseo (57), a Venetian who moved permanently to Delhi in 2010. “Being an Italian living with an Indian family, I could understand the perspectives of both cultures,” she shares. -she.
Tommaseo first arrived in the capital in 1997. An avid traveler, she fell in love with Delhi as soon as she set foot there. After working as an Italian tourist guide, she accompanied groups of Italian tourists around the city. “A lot of people have come to me and said, ‘You can understand our feelings and our fears because you’ve experienced them before.’ I like to offer a neutral perspective [of Delhi and India]“, she mentions. In partnership with Delhi by Cycle, a tours and tours organization, it has also organized a number of cycle tours in Old Delhi. “That’s what really sparked my interest in going for stories about Delhi,” she says. “The bike tours took me into the city’s enchanting history and culture. I fell in love.”
The real life of Delhi
Tommaseo’s Instagram micro-blog, “Elena & Delhi,” which she started in 2020, is a way to educate her overseas audiences about real Indian culture and document the city she fell in love with. “It was during the second wave of COVID-19. There was misinformation everywhere. People asked me if there were real cremated bodies under my window. So I started writing regularly about real life in Delhi,” she says. A lover of the capital’s rich heritage and culture, Tommaseo says she finds the narrow lanes of Old Delhi similar to the serpentine labyrinths of Venice.
Connect past and present
Posing as a Venetian who is following in the footsteps of Italian writer and explorer Niccolao Manucci some 350 years later, Tommaseo expresses that her love for Shahjahanbad (Old Delhi) is partly derived from the many accounts she has read about Manucci’s life during Shahjahan’s reign. “I say this as a joke, but as Manucci is from my hometown, somehow I feel close to him and Purani Delhi. When I cross the galis [lanes]I can imagine what it must have looked like in its time,” she says.
With a love for the city that matches those who have lived here far longer than she has, she concludes, “Although I do miss some things about Italy, especially the food and my friends and family there- down, Delhi is my home now. ”