Angelo Podda

Angelo Podda fotografato da Giuseppe Ungari

Angelo Podda - photo by Giuseppe Ungari


Let’s meet Angelo, a 78 years old man who has worked as a fisherman in Marina District for 8 years. He’s from Sardinia, he was born and brought up just in this area of Cagliari, a place he would never do without, as well as the sea, his partner forever..

- Good morning Angelo, I’d like to start this interview by asking you about your childhood. When and where were you born?

If I think of my childhood, the first thing that comes to my mind is the street where I was born, in the District of Marina in Cagliari, in Sardinia. I remember that only fishermen used to live on the ground floor of houses in that street….

- You started to do your job at a very early age, didn’t you?

Yes, I did. I was only 8 when I started working as  a fisherman in 1941. I followed my grandfather’s and my father’s example. I have been at sea till I was 70, that is not long ago. This job was not only the way I could earn my living with my wife Assunta, but it also gave me joy  and  great satisfaction.

You told me that you moved about 45 km far from Cagliari during the II World War, then you came back to Marina…

Yes, that’s true. I still remember that day as if it were today. I was only 10 years old, it was 23rd February 1943 when my home was bombed. I lived out-of-town for some years but when I got married in 1963 I started living here in Marina, where I still have my home.

It’s a district you love in a special way…..

Sure, you feel good here, it’a a nice place …. Besides, nowadays the area  is much livelier and full of colour, too. I really love living here and I wouldn’t move for any reason!

What about the sea? Do you miss it, now that you aren’t a fisherman any longer?

The sea has been  a very important part of my life, indeed. I began to work with my father when I was a little child. Then, in the 1970s, I started an activity with my own fishing boat. I always sailed all year long, both in summer and in winter.

What do you remember about the nights you spent at sea, off the coast?

Being a fisherman is a hard job but it gives you such a great satisfaction that it is worth the effort. I have worked hard all my life, but I have no regrets. I went out on my boat at sunset and I came back early in the morning. The sea is beautiful at night, but it’s frightening, too. I remember when the sea was stormy… I had some difficult moments, but if I look back to that time I really have lots of great memories.

You’ve got 4 brothers and 4 sisters, haven’t you? why were you the only fisherman in the family?

I have decided to follow into my granfather’s and my father’s footsteps, I have always liked the sea and I have chosen to live it all the way. I’m sorry  that this activity has come to an end with my retirement, anyway I’m glad for all I did and if I could go back in time, I would do the same choice again.

What would you suggest to a young man who wanted to be a fisherman today?

If you want to be a fisherman, first of all you need lots of courage, as it’s true that the sea is beautiful, but it is frightening, too… You need a reflective attitude, you should like hard work and the job you have chosen to do…I haven’t been able to study because I started working as a child, but I think I was a clever, brave, strong fisherman…that’s the important thing!

Do you still go fishing now and then?

When I feel fine, I do. I go out at about 9 in the morning and I go and catch the fish that my wife Assunta will cook then… I have been a lucky man in my life, and it was my good chance that made me meet her. She has always been at my side, we have been married for  a good 48 years…. Her father was a fisherman, too…