December is the time of year for budgeting, and this December is even more complex, and so difficult. The Ghisallo Museum has been resilient, and as pointed out on several occasions, has come to terms with what has happened and managed to see the glass half full. It found ideas and energy, stage after stage… decisively pedalling towards the next pink jersey. The premise for introducing this letter in the first person is that the Ghisallo Museum is reaching out personally to its friends and followers in this, the year of the Centenary of Fiorenzo Magni, its founder. Please read it carefully. But most importantly, respond. Because more than ever the goal is to keep our community linked by a beautiful thread which binds us with history, the past, the present and the future. And it’s a Magnificent Community.

Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am inspired by a statement by Michela Arnaboldi, Director of Science, Digital Innovation Pertaining to Cultural Heritage and Activities. With museums open, digital represented a complement to the experience of a visit (in its many facets), with the closure of cultural institutions digital has proved to be the necessary tool to offer cultural material. This has inevitably led to a different use of online channels, mostly in social media. Websites which were once primarily used for preparing a visit have become basic tools for communication and content.

I consider myself one of the Italian Museums that during the lockdown has managed to maintain and strengthen dialogue with loyal followers. We have been good, you and me, together, at sustaining this new mode of interaction. Big words, but I prefer to talk about our mutual understanding, being content and happy… thanks to social networks.

I tried to analyze the statistics of Facebook and Instagram: yes, in short, I sifted through how many “likes” and “shares” you have given me in these strange, long months to see if you have viewed a post, if you have shared it, if you commented. That said, it makes me look curious … but I did it, above all, to understand if I need to improve, if I need to optimize, if I can please you, to confirm that I have taken the right path.

One way to evaluate if what I shared with you this year involved you, was to take a look at the most clicked posts on Facebook and Instagram. I tried to better understand.

I’ll list what I noticed. In the Facebook ranking, the July post in memory of Fabio Casartelli was the one that recorded the most reactions, following the dedication to Alex Zanardi, immediately after the very serious accident of June 2020. Also, in June, the visit of Norma Gimondi, daughter of the great champion, to the museum for the presentation of the Salus Seregno teams …

On Instagram, the most successful photo is the one published on March 4, 2020, paying homage to the Monument to the Cyclist in Piazzale di Magreglio (Como) and of my entrance which was immortalized with a bicycle-musical tribute to Lucio Dalla, (mamma mia, oh how many hearts!). Silver medal for the souvenir photo of Marco Pantani, in February, on the anniversary of his death (but how much we love him, dear Marco …), and finally on the third step, the photo of Roglic visiting Ghisallo in 2019, posted in September 2020, the day Primoz wore the yellow jersey on the Tour. This is a sign that the Casa dei Ciclisti is more relevant than ever. And with real-time engagement. The virtual coffees with Faema were definitely appreciated, that morning appointment on Mondays that allowed us to browse the memories of great champions while sipping a good coffee.

I must also tell you that you are really passionate about the stories of the great champions of yesteryear, and today. You didn’t miss a “like” for the memories of Eddy, Fiorenzo, Fausto, Ginettaccio. You are also ready to like the video that Remco Evenepoel recorded for his fans after the accident in Lombardy, a video promptly shared on the Ghisallo Museum page of FB. Or what about when you connected, within seconds, to the live broadcast of Gibo Simoni: note again how our world spans the past, the future and the present.

I’m not going to go more into the videos and live Facebook…. but I couldn’t have imagined such a positive response! These were real events. Within everyone’s reach. To see live or review whenever you wanted. Everyone was satisfied. Don’t you agree? But the best show was live, by bike: the Passage to Ghisallo during the Giro di Lombardia, was a party, with chapel bells ringing. We posted it and kept more than 6000 people glued to their computer screens and smartphones. Regarding important numbers: Facebook Live with Eddy Merckx to celebrate his 75th birthday with Barbara Foglia of MUMAC-Faema, Mario Molteni and Massimo Moscardi, wound up also being the festival of Lombardy’s Ferragostano: certain things only happen on rare occasions, or based on my ranking, this time the Cannibal placed…. Second. But Lombardy is always Lombardy.

And finally, here, this is what amazed me most about you: that live sound of the Chapel Bells of Ghisallo made to toll by Don Giovanni … almost three thousand of you connected to our page, heard the bells ring their invitation to the celebration of Holy Mass. And that is why, seeing your affection for their sound, I got into the habit of wishing you a happy Sunday with them. In this way it seemed to me, that I was sharing with you the extraordinary spirituality that reigns up here. This is a unique place in the world, where the Sanctuary radiates positive energy on the Museum and vice versa. In short, you will agree, this is a MAGNIFICENT place.

Thanks for being my Team! Write me. And keep things this way. Sharing. Telling stories. Stay passionate.