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The Story

We can make our dreams a reality if we truly believe. And believing sometimes simply means jumping, while facing and feeling your fear. You don’t need to know ‘how’, you just need to trust. This book is tells my experience, my human revolution: how during the last 3 years I have completely transformed my life circumstances with the help of Buddhism and of the people who have always believed in me. ‘When the Ugly Duckling Begins to Believe’ is my own autobiography. It covers the last 3 years of my life and how from being a secretary in an agency of investigations and a waitress in a restaurant, I decided to go for my dream and become a set designer. It tells the story of how, since that first decision, the decision to really go for the job I love, many other events have happened, which I could not even imagine.

The Characters

I don’t think you can talk about ‘characters’ when it’s an autobiography. Therefore I want to talk about people, wonderful people that I have been lucky enough to meet and who had a key role in my journey. There have been many times when I wanted to quit and simply listen to the negative inner voices that were telling me that it was impossible and that I should change direction. But I think those are the times when you can really see your inner negativity and only by facing it you can really transform the situation. I feel an enormous gratitude for these people that I have made the characters of my story because of the support they gave me throughout my journey. Patricia Ilaria Gianni Riso Diego Michele Claudia Simona Arianna Sonia Silvia Walter Adriano Stefania Scalone Pedro & Cinthia Elisa...

The Places

My journey has taken me to travel to many wonderful places, some also quite far away. In this book I tell the story of this journey – full of moments of great difficulties but also of great joy.

The Author

Roberta Volpe was born in Milan and graduated in Set Design at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Brera. After working as a radio presenter for Radio R101 she went back to her real passion: the theatre. Amongst her recent experiences she was responsible for the Milan Opera Set Design Laboratory at a High Security Prison where she used to organise and lead set design workshops. She is currently working with a number of different theatre and set design projects and workshops and lives in London and Milan.

Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism

The Lotus Sutra is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential sutras, or sacred scriptures, of Buddhism. It is highly valued in the Mahayana tradition, which spread throughout East Asia. Its key message is that Buddhahood is a state that can be tapped into by all people. Nichiren understood that Buddhahood was inherent in all human beings and he declared that this was the only way to liberate people from the suffering of life, no matter how great or small. Buddhahood is a state of absolute happiness and freedom; a dynamic experience and a journey of continual development and discovery. A state of being that at each moment is like a translucent ocean or a cloudless sky, utterly invincible and fearless. The Lotus Sutra also teaches that the attainment of enlightenment is a possibility open to all people, without distinction based on gender, race, social standing or...


It’s really true, when a story is published, it becomes something new and different; it lives of its own living and change shape according to the reader’s life. This is your space, where you can share what this story gave you and what this trip I wanted to share with you left in your life. Thank you!