Varide Cicognani is a name that today’s precision rifle shooting enthusiasts and sportsmen alike, know very well – a champion with an impressive list of credits to his name and a competitive shooting career spanning decades. Competing in the most important National, European and World tournaments, Cicognani has built an extensive foundation for his “second life” as a craftsman, designing, creating and testing custom precision firearms. Dedicating more and more of his time and energy to these activities, over the years, helped him fulfill his dream of opening his own shop to create and sell handcrafted firearms – the Armeria Cicognani in Poggio near Forlì, Italy. Right from the start, we see two figures – the athlete and the gunsmith, the champion and the entrepreneur – that appear in his passionate memoire, as two sides of the same coin, two paths on the same quest. One aims at the center, sights set on the bull’s-eye, and the other pushes forward and beyond, aiming at self-improvement and a mental equilibrium that could be defined as peace. Peace and rifles, an unlikely pair. Yet, Varide Cicognani, a true Romagnolo, born, raised and still living in that surreal atmosphere of Romagna that feels like one of Fellini’s films, from the tall tales to the giant reeds, will tell us how guns – as he conceives them – are not for injuring, to shoot at the enemy, but to reach a state of perfection. Hidden behind those calm movements of a champion are the obstacles that have been overcome, the falls, the failures, and the daily work on discipline and self-discovery. This is a life, the mission of a young man who – believing the road ahead of him was smoothly paved to enroll in the Carabinieri Force (part of the Italian Armed Forces) – was suddenly declared formally unfit to shoot because of an injury to his arm as a kid. This didn’t stop Varide, on the contrary: he grew wings. He understands that goals need to be ambitious, and to achieve them you have to bet your whole life on them, no holds barred. All of this and much more is part of what Cicognani, with the valuable support of Maria Luisa Suprani, tells us in this moving story of an amazing life on target that invites us all to look forward and set our sights beyond the horizon.

Varide Cicognani, champion master shooter and National team coach, with the same passion that drove his formidable athletic career, has now launched into a new career handcrafting custom precision firearms. Introducing important technical innovations, he provides highquality results to competitive sportsmen and athletes who have come to trust in his valuable experience from a lifetime in shooting sports. Varide Cicognani has set his sights on a new target – radically change the general perception of firearms as weapons by promoting them as peaceful and constructive tools. 

Maria Luisa Suprani holds a Master of Philosophical Sciences degree and a Diploma in concert piano from the Milan Conservatory. Her current projects include the conscious listening of contemporary music and research on topics in Mathematics learning and Neuroscience. She recently published Short circuit – Discovering the true Self, a short essay on the origins common to Eastern and Western thought, and From two to three, a philosophical novel centered on a dialogue about the concept of time where a nexus emerges that links the Binary Principle to a number squared and the Fibonacci sequence. She is an adjunct instructor at the University of Bologna.