On Friday 13 December we held SAPA’s traditional Christmas dinner. An opportunity to pause and look inside ourselves, to look back at the year that is coming to an end and to start planning the future of a growing business. Obviously, together.

These are important days, they are very hectic, filled with good wishes and with words that had remained unexpressed.

If I were to say that this is my favourite time of the year, I’d be lying. For a company this is time is filled with hectic work, deadlines and recapping. At the end of the year, you tend to make the last decisions without delaying them.

Yet I must admit that this is also the occasion to shift one’s focus from what is ordinary to something rarer that is not granted.

This is one of the reasons why this year we decided to spend this day of celebrations at a place that is very special for my family.

Cittadella Cielo[1] is a project more than it is a place and I like to use this expression to tell you about the non-static nature of this place where welcoming people is the starting point, the journey and the destination.

Cittadella Cielo is managed by a community called New Horizons, although the word “manage” is not the right one. It is a word that fits well in our business vocabulary, but when the focus is people’s lives, it’s a different kettle of fish.

I often quote my father, who used to say: it is people that make the difference. Certainly, that place is a place that makes a difference and that is not indifferent to what goes on around it.

Usually I prepare a short speech for our Christmas dinner. This year I started by talking about the place we were at.

[1] Cittadella Cielo is a series of small villages that welcome and support anyone who feels lonely, left out or hopeless and make them feel welcome, supported and loved.

Giulia’s and Luca’s stories: they talked about their lives and how they changed since switching from indifference to caring for what happens around them.


I think that there are two ways of looking at life: just looking at others or looking at what is around us with the aim of taking care of what lies on our paths and of taking responsibility for what happens around us.

For me and for my family this has always been the essence of all our work. The Foundation that is dedicated to my father was created with this purpose and with the aim of doing more and more and better and better for those who need our help.

And in my opinion, this is the best wish one can make.

Giovanni Affinita at SAPA’s Christmas dinner.

If you have read this blog, you might have noticed that this year I talked a lot about the future. Sure, for those who work in our sector, this attitude is a must if one doesn’t want to be left behind.

But how does one reach the objective of imagining and planning the future? Together. And this is the only way I know.

For this reason, I want to share some pictures from last Friday with you.

My best wishes to you, may this Christmas be an occasion of not being indifferent.

Kind regards,


Giovanni Affinita,

Executive Director and Member of the Board of Directors



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