Tag Archives: italian adventures

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!

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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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L’Infiorata Genazzano!

15 Jul

Undoubtedly the most memorable of so many memorable moments during our time in Italy was our participation in the annual infiorata (literally, “flowered”) festival of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the medieval town of Genazzano.  Thanks to an invitation from one of the organizers (and “amore” of Giulio Tirinelli!) Cinzia di Fazio, our little group of artists got to create our own piece of history:  this year Genazzano’s L’infiorata made the Guiness Book’s record for the longest flower carpet–1.642 kilometers, one mile!

Here’s a peek at the “before”–where we met at midnight and worked until 3 a.m. on our design along with hundreds of the local people.  Young, old, families, groups charged with the task of creating flower pictures with the most fragrant paint we’ve ever worked with!

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Happy faces, lovely places

11 Jul

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Home again.  Two fantastic weeks…action packed!  Our adventure has come to an end for now, but our friendship with the people of Ciociaria is just beginning.  Enjoy this brief look at Ciociaria for now, but stay tuned for more Italian adventures, right here!