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Ciabatta at the Heart of Stories:

Love, Betrayal and Redemption on the Way from Montefalco to Cannes

· scenario

In the heart of stories, an Italian gigolo makes ciabatta on the old hearth of Papa Carlo, humming tunes from "Rigoletto," caught between thoughts of a lady or revenge. The hearth, carved from the remains of a Pinocchio that Papa Carlo once crafted, crackles beneath his hands. Memories and dreams weave through his mind as he works, biting into burrato cheese from Montefalco's virgin señoritas, chased with Barolo wine, a gift from Chippolino.

A hen, lost and alone without her rooster, stops by, questioning the pace of her escape. Surprised, the gigolo answers with "Sic transit gloria mundi," a nod to the fleeting nature of life and ambition. Uncomprehending but smitten, the hen falls for him. The gigolo, struck by an unexpected affection, takes her to Cannes, their car adorned with "Just Married."

Their story twists when the hen meets Papa Carlo's son, a past suitor she'd spurned for dreams of something more. Yet, seeing the gigolo, she's instantly enamored. They share hot ciabatta, soaked in olive oil from American-run fields, a mix of flavors and fortunes. The revelation that Pinocchio was sacrificed for their meal shatters the hen's heart, but a trip to Nice with the gigolo sparks hope anew.

In Nice, politics tangle into their narrative as they encounter oligarchs musing on sanctions and political comebacks, weaving satire into their love tale.

The gigolo's inevitable departure for Abramovich's daughter twists the knife, yet the hen finds a new admirer in Zyam, a sanctioned oligarch. Their sudden connection promises solace and a fresh start post-betrayal, a bitter irony of fortunes reversed. But as political ambitions pull Zyam to Paris, crowned an unlikely Tsar by the Chinese Communist Party, the hen is left to face her solitude once more.

Abandoned, the hen returns to Papa Carlo, mourning what was. They reminisce in his workshop, confronting the transience of their world. By dawn, Papa Carlo ends her story, adding a final, grim chapter to their saga.

The gigolo's return and his reflections with Papa Carlo close their circle of tales, leaving them in the wake of their choices, watching the sunset with wine in hand. Papa Carlo, reflecting on Pinocchio's fate, sees desperation, not malice, in his actions. The gigolo, contemplating lost love and trust, muses on truth and loyalty, whispering "Amor vincit omnia."

Their dialogue fades into night's silence, pondering alternate paths never taken. The final scene, with its wine and fading light, mourns their shared losses, a bond of music and memory their only solace.

Thus concludes their journey, a tapestry of life, love, and redemption, a stark reminder that all may pass, but love endures, an unyielding force through the flux of existence.