Tag Archives: Discover Ciociaria

Discover Ciociaria IV: Fully booked, ready and waiting for October!

20 Apr

home page DC IV la polledraraWe’ve got a great group travelling with us in October!  A artist from the Sacramento Bee, a toy designer from Southern California, a gourmet chocolatier from Saugerties, NY, two artists/retired educators from Woodstock, NY and an Italophile landscape painter/printmaker from New York’s Catskill Mountains.  We’re keeping our group to this half dozen…good things happen in small packages!

Our home in Ciociaria will be the Agriturismo La Polledrara, which sits on a hill commanding incredible views of the surrounding countryside including the hilltop town of Paliano. We anticipate rolling out of bed, enjoying breakfast and getting to work on the lawn each morning when we aren’t visiting other local painting spots.G and N for testimonial page

Lucky guests who so desire can learn Italian in the afternoons from Giulio who’ll be conducting impromptu language lessons. We’re considering adding another workshop…an Italian language immersion experience for the future.

Stay tuned for updates as the time for our trip gets nearer, and we’ll try to keep you posted as our DC 2015 adventure unfolds.  Arriverderci!

Giulio & Nancy

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Ospitalita’

11 Oct

ospitalita'Back in the states, home to Saugerties, back to reality, and as I reflect upon this year’s Italian adventure, and what made it so special, what comes to mind is the generosity and grace of the Italians who went out of their way to make our visit memorable.  The photo here, of our final supper at Hotel Belsito in Serrone, says it all…each of us, I think, felt a real kinship with our hosts, whether in our hotel, in restaurants, or on the streets of the village as we painted.

pina in vineyard

Pina Terenzi, Vini Giovanni Terenzi, Piglio

We felt as if we were in a movie set as we painted in the lovely vineyards of the Terenzi family in Piglio.  Our hostess, Pina Terenzi, not only opened her vineyard to us, but brought us wine to taste–and crystal wine glasses to taste it in–and said that we could return any time to paint.  Pina said that her vineyard was “la nostra casa”–our home!

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Linda and Miriam, our young fans

I confess, on the Sunday morning that we chose the old town of Piglio as our destination, not much painting got done (at least by me!), thanks to a steady stream of curious and friendly Pigliese!  As we settled in to our painting spots, the air perfumed with the fragrance of tomato sauce percolating for Sunday pasta, passersby would stop for a friendly chat offering us drinks, or even volunteering to go to the store for us if we needed anything.  A young woman and her two daughters stayed with us for quite a while watching us paint, and in the tiny piazza nearby, boys kicked a soccer ball around.  We found a new friend in Maria Paola Sperati, who offered her “bagno” for a WC break, then graciously showed us her beautiful home and the incredible views of the countryside from her rooftop balcony.

View from the balcony, Maria Paola Sperati

View from the balcony, Maria Paola Sperati

The Sagra dell’Uva Cesanese was the setting for our last day in Italy.  The 40th edition this year, the Sagra is a celebration of the vendemmia…the grape harvest from which the famous local wine, Cesanese del Piglio, is made.  Thousands of people fill the tiny cobblestone streets of Piglio for the first weekend of October every year.  Dozens of food kiosks offer traditional treats like pasta, polenta, grilled meats, donuts! (nice big ones, fresh fried) and, naturally, as the wine flows, people dance and sing.

Chowing down at the Sagra dell'Uva

Chowing down at the Sagra dell’Uva

This year’s Italian adventure has come to a close, and we’re left with memories–and some pretty awesome paintings–of the land known as Ciociaria.  We’ll return for another visit, and plan to continue discovering more about this beautiful region, and also plan to follow other roads in Italy less traveled.  Stay tuned, but for now, arriverderci!

Arrivederci!

Arrivederci!

Off to Italy again…a presto!

2 May
Italian landscape

An idyllic scene of Lazio…una panoramica idilliaca

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written about Italy, but it’s a new year, and new adventures are in store as we get ready to attend our first Italian family wedding!  My business partner…and second-cousin-once-removed Giulio Tirinelli is marrying the girl of his dreams, Cinzia di Fazio, on May 18. We’re going to the wedding…La Nozze…in Serrone, and my father, John Osenni is coming with us!  It’s his first trip to Italy, and only his second trip to Europe, at 85 years young.  We’ll visit Piglio, only 5 kilometers from Serrone, where my grandmother Annunziata Grilli grew up, and where many of the descendants of Annuniziata’s sister Francesca–Zia Francesca to my father– still live.  He’ll meet lots of family members, and we’re betting that he’ll remember his mother’s language…literally his mother tongue, after a few days among the cousins.

The image here will be the backdrop of the “tableau di matrimonio”–an Italian wedding tradition, where cards showing the seating arrangement of “la nozze” will be placed.  I’ll keep you posted on the festivities, the food, of course, and on my father’s adventures in his mother’s hometown…stay tuned!

Now is the time!

9 Jan

Here’s a recently finished oil painting on paper, based on photos and sketches from last summer’s Discover Ciociaria.  The location for this painting was at the vineyards, in Piglio, owned and operated by Andrea Martini, whose family has been producing Cesanese del Piglio, Ciociaria’s renowned wine, for many years.  Andrea hosted our painting group last summer, and graciously provided use of his cantina for our picnic lunch and treated us to some of his fine wine.

Vineyards, Piglio 72dpi  The Martini Vineyard will be one of our painting places during Discover Ciociaria II, September 27 – October 7.

Our workshop this year will take place during the Sagra dell’uva Cesanese, the annual celebration of the grape harvest in Piglio.  It’s a jolly time, featuring food, music, ample opportunities to taste the various varieties of the robust Cesanese wine of Piglio, and thousands of happy Italians. It’s not unusual to see a spontaneous eruption into song and dance, accompanied by accordion (fisarmonica) music! Did you know that the finest accordions in the world are made in Italy?  It is said that Cesanese was the wine of Roman Legions, kings and popes!    It is difficult to find outside of Italy, since it is produced in small batches, on family farms.

Now is the time to sign up to join us for Discover Ciociaria II!  Our group will be small, no more than 10 guests, to ensure a quality experience for each.  Find all the details about our trip on http://www.halfmoonartstudio.com

Vineyards at Piglio, oil painting by Carol Slutsky-Tenerowicz

Vineyards at Piglio, oil painting by Carol Slutsky-Tenerowicz

Here’s another view of the same location, created by Carol Slutsky-Tenerowicz during last year’s workshop.  Nice work, Carol!

La Provincia Newspaper Article.

23 Jul

Okay, all you students of La Bella Lingua, here’s your Italian lezione for the week:  our Discover Ciociara project was written about in La Provincia, the newspaper of the provinces around Rome.  The event covered here was the opening and dedication of the mural I’ve posted about previously, and about how our project is about art and friendship…actually that art IS friendship!  The mayor of Piglio is shown cutting the ribbon for the “unveiling” of Discover Ciociaria mural along with officials from other towns, and artists.  Also shown is the mural done by Saugerties children several years ago of the Saugerties Lighthouse and Catskill Mountains.

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Scoprire la Ciociaria continues its journey

23 Jul

The mural of the Ciociaria landscape created by the four Italian artists and four American artists is now on exhibit in the lovely mountain town of Fiuggi, known for its healing waters. It is said that the artist Michelangelo was one of the first to tout the powers of the water to dissolve kidney stones! Pope Boniface made haste to get to Fiuggi, and the spa there now is named Fonte di Bonifacio VIII. Some 10,000 visitors a week take the “waters” during summer months. To learn more about Fiuggi visit http://www.comune.fiuggi.fr.it. Our mural is on display until July 29 at the Teatro Comunale. Here’s a photo of the display which also includes additional paintings created during our painting workshop by American painters of Discover Ciociara as well as many of our Itlalian colleagues who took part in simultaneous painting events during our stay in Italy.

L’Infiorata Genazzano!

15 Jul

The creation of the flower carpet for l’infiorata took place on Saturday, June 30, to prepare for the sacred procession celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Sunday, July 1.  The flowers are laid beginning at midnight, when the stone of the streets is relatively cool–to ensure that the flowers won’t immediately wilt!  The procession featured scenes from the Bible, angels and saints, beginning at the beginning…Adam and Eve!

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