di Erika Scafuro
Experience is one of the words to associate with the personality of Giulia Calcaterra. Because this young woman is always ready to go further to live all those opportunities that life gives us.
Her collection of experiences is very rich: there are meetings, memories, trips, sports, situations, emotions and images that Giulia has generously shared with all of us who follow her adventures around the world.
We saw her do parachuting, diving off cliffs, climbing crags, swimming with sharks, mountain biking, scuba diving and much more. There is no extreme experience that Giulia Calcaterra has not tried. Surfing is on top among the adrenaline activities that she prefers.
As a sportswoman, Giulia is accustomed to challenges. The one with surfing saw her emerge victorious. During the five months she spent in Indonesia, as well as being back to the place where a foot injury had prevented her from surfing, Giulia has taken revenge by surfing every day, under any conditions. The commitment, passion and constancy allowed her to improve her surfing performance.
We also saw her surfing with the San Onofre Bear in pink colour, customized especially for her.
I read that your boyfriend approached you to surf. On your social profiles you’ve often told how difficult it is to achieve good performance for those who are learning to surf. After the five months spent in Indonesia, where we have seen you surfing daily, how much better do you feel?
Absolutely, I will always thank Nick (Pescetto) for bringing me closer to this sport because for me the sea was always and only underwater. I come from a family where my father was a diving instructor and I put the tanks and the regulator for the first time at the age of 12. For me the sea was only underwater. And I always enjoyed that sport. Then I met Nick and he liked to be on the surface of the water, so in 2017 I had my very first surfing experience in Hossegor, France. It was really traumatic because I wasn’t aware of this sport. Then in all the trips I took I always approached surfing and I started to take it as a challenge. Because you can’t surf at first. I told myself that this is a great challenge, I like challenges too much and I took it to heart. Over the years, I surfed around the world. I never pulled back wherever I was. Of course, as I went on, I started to get a bit of confidence.
And after I got a little confidence, I found myself having to deal with some of the issues that put you in front of this sport. And there are so many. Personally I injured a foot in 2019, just during a surf trip in Indonesia which I had set myself to improve my surf performance. I was just there to learn and on the first day I hurt my foot, I got a bacterium from a coral. I felt bad physically and psychologically because I was there for surfing. So I told myself my time will come. This last trip to Indonesia in 2020 was my revenge for surfing. Because I went back to exactly where I got injured, the time I wanted to do my best. For five months, every day twice a day I entered the water: alone, with Nick, with other people, in unknown places, with every condition low tide, high tide, at night…it has been an incredible personal journey and I am very happy because to date I feel I have reached such a confidence for which I can approach surfing alone. Today I can recognize everything that the world of surfing involves: the type of wave, the type of spot, the boards, it is however an acquisition of knowledge that takes time. And passion, because I put an immense passion”.
You have tested the Bear surfboard custom especially for you, in pink colour. What were your feelings riding the waves on this surfboard?
“As soon as I arrived in Indonesia I tried it and at the first impact I realized that it would take some time to understand this type of surfboard, it was at a high level for me. I took it back after two and a half months and as soon as I used it in tubo waves it really saved me a lot of drops. It’s really dynamic, very agile. I’m happy and hope to try other shapes soon. Clearly I want to deepen this surfboard because there is still so much to discover about it. And to maneuver absolutely. But I felt really good”.
Sport is an essential part of your life, as well as adrenaline. Is there any adventure you haven’t tried yet that you’d like to try?
“So this is a sore point because I’m starting to think on trying to get close to base jumping. Base jumping is, I believe, the ultimate monster of a sportsman. I practice skydiving since 2017, I have friends in this world who have also approached this next level that is called base jumping. It consists in jumping from bridges, antennas, chimneys, mountains with a parachute. So I’m starting to inquire through friends who took the course so that one day I can experience this kind of situation. Not to become addicted, I don’t want to become addicted to something, but because I like to try any kind of situation that life gives us and so I heard so many considerations on this sport and I was very intrigued. I know it’s a really extreme thing to do with the head. So there will be a psychological preparation that could last a year. I don’t know. I’m working on it. And so this is definitely another button I’d like to touch”.
During surf sessions we also see you on the other side of the lens to take stunning photos. How is your passion for photography born?
“I started working communicating myself in 2013 with the birth of Instagram. Obviously to communicate on Instagram I had to work alone with the creation of content. When I started to work with television, there were others who communicated to me, I was in the hands of a production. By choice I realized that I wanted to communicate myself alone. So I had to use the world of photography, videomaking, editing etc. I grew up a lot from the moment I met Nick, my boyfriend, who helped me and explained how to use the technology. We grew up a lot together in terms of content creation. In fact today, in addition to communicating myself, I also like to communicate what I see, others. Because it is good to communicate, to communicate one’s own person, but it is also good to communicate. That is different because otherwise it becomes too self-centered. Photography is for me to communicate what my eyes see“.
Selvatica is the name you have chosen to spread the concept of freedom in creating and expressing yourself through the contents and your collections. What was the moment when the desire and freedom to express your free soul were so strong that you decided to dedicate yourself to this?
“In October 2017 I was in the Maldives for a job commissioned by a customer. I was there in disbelief of being there because for me to go to the Maldives without paying for the trip, but being spent, it was a dream. In that week I realized that I had not slept, I don’t remember anything because I worked day and night with Nick for the creation of customer content. So when I got back from that trip, I asked myself some questions. I wondered what I can do to create content for myself when I want, how I want, where I want. I told myself that I must increasingly say no to this type of work and say more yes to my projects, which I can develop wherever I want in the world.
So I decided to open my small company starting with bikinis and the message I wanted and I want to express is a bit strange to communicate. I realized that through my content the women who buy my bikinis are pushing to do things that they have never done in their life. When these women receive the packaging of Selvatica, wearing my bikini, they feel a bit empathetic in my life, in the experiences I do, and they go beyond their limits trying new things. And for me, it’s crazy in a good way. It is as if through that piece of clothing, which contains and conveys my message that I wanted to communicate in a very my own way, I can give them an incentive to go further. I’m very pleased because what I do it’s all natural”.
You are an influencer followed by 1 million people. What is the most beautiful thing that has happened to you in these years in the relationship with your followers?
“So many. I have the luck, that no one can take me away because I built it year after year, to have a community so real and similar to me that wherever I go in the world I will never be alone. This is so crazy. Every time I got in trouble in foreign countries, I needed something I couldn’t find, my car broke down, I missed the plane…whatever…I write help on my Instagram stories and there’s always some follower of mine next to me who comes to help me. It’s an incredible thing. I think it’s the greatest wealth I can have.
And one very nice thing I did for my birthday two years ago, I decided to do an Insta-birthday and I realized I had great people. I rented a trampoline gym and posted on Instagram that I would invite to my birthday the first hundred people who sent me an email. That was amazing. These 100 followers came from Thailand, from Dubai, people who were on holiday, they all came to Milan to spend an hour with me to jump on trampolines. And so I realized that it’s not just Instagram, but also reality because these people are real. It was a confirmation of something I already imagined”.
Travelling is one of your greatest passions. Sharing your experiences you have always remembered how this means relating to the local people, supporting them, respecting traditions, customs and values. Is there anything in particular that you learned from the sense of community of a certain population?
“Yes, I was shocked on my last trip to Indonesia. We were north of Sumatra, in Banda – Aceh where there was the tsunami in 2004 that destroyed everything. Standing there we had the opportunity to see the signs of this wave. There were people marked with scars, people who had lost their family. They are a very special people, but so proud because they raised themselves without the help of anything or anyone. So much so that, right there, having traveled a lot and having lived different types of population, there it was different because Nick and I had a flat hire with the scooter, we were in the middle of the jungle and we no longer knew how to do it because we were in the middle of nowhere.
So much so that passes a cart with two locals of Banda – Aceh we stop them and these help us immediately. They put the scooter on the cart and they took us to the tire shop. I tipped them. They were offended. They didn’t want to help us get money, they just wanted to help us because after what happened to them with the tsunami, they built so much a sense of community, of helping each other that it wasn’t a matter of money. We are accustomed, even we Italians, who all do favors for money. In reality it is not so. There are people so pure that they don’t even know what compromise means. This is a too pure population, even though they have suffered so much. I was shocked that this person rejected the money. This made me see things in a different way. Even here in Italy I see many scenes that do not really reflect the true principles of life”.
You increasingly share a call to authenticity, to live more and more in contact with nature. How do you combine city life with this desire for nature?
“What a struggle. I live in Milan since 2012. For work I had to literally move from one night to another. I’m from Piedmont and I grew a middle of the rice fields, in Cerano a town in the province of Novara. Nature has always been a part of my life, if it wasn’t the sea it was the countryside. I arrived in Milan and I have always just stayed for work. Every time I could I ran away. I changed lots of houses because every time I went and then I came back. I did Milan – Australia, Australia – Milan, Milan – Thailand, Thailand – Milan, then I went back to my parents, then I went back to Milan and then I went around the world again. So Milan is a love hate because I know that I owe so much to Milan for my work, I do not deny absolutely, but it is right to find your own balance in a city that does not belong to you. For me the balance in Milan is to stay a bit ‘in the city and a bit ‘out of Milan. So although I have to be a nomad, although I am still heavy the fact of always moving with the suitcase, I prefer a hundred thousand times to be a nomad than staying still in Milan and be sad“.
Can you tell us something about your next projects?
“This year, after three years, my company Selvatica has grown a lot and so I decided to expand other sectors in the world of clothing. So I’m going to add more items, not just bikinis, but I’m going to try to expand the little world of Selvatica.
And I’d love to, I’m already working on that, to be able to launch a project. I would like to launch a digital community linked to both the fitness world, which for me is the preparation for sport, I keep in shape both physically and for sports performance, and to the outdoor world, then to sport. To be a real landmark for all young people who do not know where to start or are afraid to approach certain sports. For now these are my focus of 2021 at work”.