“Deep - Freediving, Renegade Science and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves " by James Nestor 2015, ed. EDT"How long can you resist underwater?" or "How many meters can you go down?" are the two classic questions that we hear when we talk about freediving with those who do not practice it. Our answers, divided between wanting to show some attitude, by talking about measures and timing, or reeling off some zen teachings, often get reactions like: "You are crazy! I would die of fear! I would never make it!”This book starts from here, from the fear and ignorance surrounding freediving, an activity as fascinating as it is unknown.

In 2011 James Nestor, an American writer and journalist, was sent by Outside magazine to follow the world freediving championship that was taking place in Greece. As soon as he begins to read up about this virtually unknown discipline, the idea that forms into his mind is that freediving “… seems like the kind of oddball hobby people take up, like badminton of Charleston dancing, so they can talk about it at cocktail parties and refer to it in their email handles.”

What he sees will change him forever.

His first contact with freediving, with repeated hemotheses, presyncope and blackouts, leaves him in fear, and wondering how can there be such a competition with no one responsible to safeguard the life and health of the athletes. But after the competition, while mingling with the freedivers in the bars on the island of Kalamata, he discovers that there is something else, something that goes beyond measures, performance and records, something that moves these athletes, something that moves these people towards "... the most peaceful place on Earth.”


He decides, therefore, to embark on a path that will make a freediver of him, but not just: going beyond "the line" and the purely sporting part, he will discover how many researchers turn to apnea to study the sea and to approach the marine species in the least possible invasive way.

The book is a mix between a scientific essay and an autobiography, and the thread that runs through its pages runs along the history of freediving, its physiology, theories on the origin of the oceans and marine life, currently ongoing scientific research to protect sharks and to understand the language of whales, dolphins and sperm whales.

A book dedicated to those who intend to go beyond teaching and technical manuals, and to approach freediving through the eyes of those who have experienced this discipline as a guide and inspiration, allowing them to come into contact with the sea in its entirety, going through"... the door that leads to the depth, where everything changes and anyone can cross it, even myself.”

Il respiro degli abissi (un viaggio nel profondo)


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