Soon the Agora Salerno stage will be full of candidates who want your vote! For sure you have read all about their programmes in the official booklet, so now you want to find out more about them, their hobbies, whether they can cook and which AEGEE member they would take with them on a deserted island. In short: classic first date questions from the Internet! The GT will take you on a date with the candidates. In this edition: Antonio Castiello from AEGEE-Salerno, running for Member of the Summer University Coordination Team. Get ready, your date is starting now!

Golden Times: Are you afraid of your candidature speech on the Agora stage? And how will you prepare for it?
Antonio Castiello: I have the home court advantage, but at the same time it will be my first speech in English. I think I will just focus on some point of my programme and then I will improvise!

GT: Where would you be now if you hadn’t joined AEGEE?
Antonio: Somewhere with more money but with less nice memories.

GT: How did you join AEGEE exactly? How did you find out about it?
Antonio: In 2015, I joined the youth forum of my village Vietri Sul Mare and I discovered that 30 people from different countries were coming to sleep in the gym of my middle school. It was the Salerno SU 2015 and I helped the organizers with the logistics part. I didn’t really know what it was but I said to myself: “Antonio, you have to join this.”

GT: How long did it take you from the first moment you heard about it until you signed the membership form and joined AEGEE?
Antonio: From August 2015 to March or April 2016. Yes, it was quite a lot!

Antonio likes to play guitar.

GT: What’s the typical drink and food you bring to European Nights?
Antonio: Limoncello is too mainstream, I prefer to bring Orange and Anise.

GT: At an AEGEE party where will we find you? On the dancefloor? Talking at the bar?
Antonio: I love electronic music and I’m a really shitty dancer so not the best person for the AEGEE dancefloor. Probably you will find me outside the club with a drink that I just bought from the closest supermarket.

GT: What was your first position in the local board?
Antonio: PR and Vice-President.

GT: What was your favourite event as organiser – and why is it your favourite?
Antonio: For sure the Summer University 2018 in Salerno. I was the main organizer and I had such a motivated team of organizers. It ended with everyone, participants and organizers, crying. It was so hard to realize that it was finished…

GT: What was your first Agora and how did you feel there? Happy, excited, overwhelmed, lost?
Antonio: I was a helper in Autumn Agora Catania 2019. I didn’t really know this kind of event but I was tireless and super motivated. If you didn’t miss toilette paper in Catania, well, it was because of me!

GT: Have you ever hichhiked to an AEGEE event?
Antonio: I haven’t but it’s on my to do list!

Antonio (left) and other AEGEE-Salerno presented their Agora in Bucharest.

GT: There is a classic typology of AEGEE members, dividing them according to the three aspects fun member, career member and idealist – to which percentage are you which of these aspects?
Antonio: 30% fun member, 70% career member.

GT: What do your parents think about the idea that you are so active in AEGEE?
Antonio: My mum says that it’s not healthy to sleep on the floor.

GT: What other hobbies do you have aside from AEGEE?
Antonio: Cinema, writing and playing guitar.

GT: What was the last book you really got into?
Antonio: “The Subterraneans” by Jack Kerouac.

Antonio, when he was younger and AEGEE still far away…

GT: What TV series do you keep coming back to and re-watching?
Antonio: I love an Italian one: “Romanzo Criminale”.

GT: What’s your favourite app on your phone?
Antonio: Instagram.

GT: What nickname do or did you have – and why?
Antonio: “Castillano”, because for a Spanish doctor it was too hard to pronounce my surname.

GT: Do you like cooking and if yes – what’s your favourite dish you like to cook?
Antonio: A good pasta is always a good idea.

GT: What’s never missing in your fridge?
Antonio: Pasta that I cooked the day before

Antonio Castiello with other AEGEE members.

GT: Did you consider joining a political party or maybe want to do it later?
Antonio: Not at all.

GT: What do you study – and why?
Antonio: When I finished my bachelor in Industrial Engineering I didn’t really want to continue to study but then I found a Master in Cinema Engineering and I really love it! It is about visual effect, sound production, videomaking… All the things that I love.

GT: What’s your dream job?
Antonio: Writer – yes, I’m a big dreamer.

Antonio Castiello (right) with former EP President Antonio Tajani during an SU.

GT: What’s the favourite city or place on this planet you ever visited?
Antonio: I made a road trip in South Africa, it was amazing.

GT: And where would you really like to go?
Antonio: I would love to go to Paris following the words of Ernest Hemingway in “A Moveable Feast”.

GT: If you could take one AEGEE member to a desert island, who would it be? And why?
Antonio: Alice Moro, President of AEGEE-Salerno. She is one of my best friend and we like to chill and talk together.

GT: This Agora is about walls – what was the most difficult wall you had to overcome?
Antonio: I used to be obese and that was such a big challenge to overcome both for my body and my mind.

GT: What’s your biggest frustration in AEGEE?
Antonio: None.

GT: Please complete the sentence: “AEGEE is for me…”
Antonio: Inclusivity.

GT: How would you describe yourself in a few keywords?
Antonio: The one you don’t expect.