Francesco Carnali: Global Citizen

Story by Jeff Abel

When Francesco Carnali travels the world, he always takes Cagli, Italy, with him. The 22-year old Francesco has visited several cosmopolitan cities, including New York, San Francisco, and Miami, plus an extended stay in Hawaii. Yet he always comes back to his hometown. His travels, he says, allow him to “see the differences in people both socially and culturally.”

Sipping his cappuccino at a local caffé, Francesco explains why traveling and experiencing the world are essential. “I want to know. I want to understand what people think, what they do. I want to understand their way of life,” says Francesco.

Motioning with his hands, he does his best to make sure his feelings are clear. Francesco doesn’t have goals that must be met at an exact time. Nothing is predetermined. He knows that being from Cagli has taught him how to understand “the value of community and hard work.”

While in Cagli, Francesco spends his time helping with his family’s Agriturismo business -- a country house just outside of Cagli that tourists can rent to get away from city life and enjoy the Italian countryside. His family built the home 20 years ago, and for the last 15, they have rented it out. He lends a hand helping fix, organize, and prepare for the coming tourist season.

Aside from his work for his family, Francesco plays soccer and basketball, and spends time with his friends. He graduated from university in Milan this last year with a degree in interior design. His dream is to open a business somewhere in the world, possibly New York or Australia. He then hopes to return to Cagli six months out of the year to help his family with Agriturismo.

His own business will involve something close to one of his many passions such as a restaurant that reflects his vision of interior design. He plans to run his business using the experiences he’s gained from his travels abroad, specifically his time in San Francisco, which he refers to as “one of the best experiences of my life.” He believes that that  –- along with his experiences in Cagli -- will help him make his dreams a reality.

“I’m taking my chance,” Francesco says. “Most of us have a chance to get out and work and experience new places. We just have to be willing to do it.”

Francesco says he came to this conclusion after growing close to a visiting student in Cagli who shared a valuable mantra: “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.”

Where Francesco will decide to settle down is still in the air. This next year he plans to move to Australia where he hopes to continue to grow and enrich his life by living as a global citizen. For Francesco, returning to Cagli is about more than just coming home to visit. Cagli is about his family and about having an understanding of what truly matters in life, he says.

“I feel so lucky and proud to be from Cagli. Being Italian has taught me how to truly enjoy life, how to work to live and not live to work.”

Francesco Carnali in front of his home.

Francesco Carnali waiting for friends.

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