Tag Archives: piglio


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!


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!




We’re ready! Discover Ciociaria II is set!

17 Oct

Painting of Trevi nel Lazio village scene, by Carol Slutsky-Tenerowicz, from Discover Ciociaria I, July 2012.

Plans are finalized for our second Italian adventure in the beautiful land known as Ciociaria.  As “ourcarolinafamily” writes about their Italian family in their blog, “Lurking within this undisturbed territory is, of course, the real Italy. People from all over the peninsula lay claim to living in the real Italy, but they are wrong. The real Italy lies here, in the Comino Valley, north of Naples, south of Rome, high in the mountains, surrounded by the Apennine peaks.”  Our own guests last year felt as though they became part of an extended Italian family.  Mady, one of our workshop participants wrote, “Thanks for a wonderful workshop experience.  Ciociaria is a beautiful region filled with amazing scenery, food, wine and people.   You and Giulio made us feel part of your “family.”  This was a magical experience that I shall never forget.”

Come join us and see for yourself the magic of central-southern Italy.  Only a stones throw from The Eternal City, step back in time, drink the same wine favored by Popes and Roman legions, still produced on small family farms, and rarely enjoyed outside of Italy!  We’ll be in town for the celebration of the grape harvest in Piglio, during the Sagra dell’uva Cesanese.

Visit our website to learn the details of Discover Ciociaria II.  Our adventure begins on Sept. 27 and ends on Oct. 7, 2013.   http://www.halfmoonartstudio.com

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.


Who we are

24 Jun

Giovanni Osenni

Giovanni Osenni.  Born in 1889, in Rome, abandoned or given to a family in the country to raise, our family legend says he was born to a wealthy young woman, perhaps a member of the Orsini family.  His father was said to have the surname Marconi.  This story was based on the names on his birth certificate, which he was somehow able to obtain after WWII, as reported by my Aunts, my father’s sisters Antoinette and Lydia.  Alas, the birth certificate was lost again, here in the states!  My search to find it began in 2006 when I found online a geneological researcher, Ann Tatangelo of “Angel Communications”–helped by an angel! When Mike (my husband) had a week’s work in Rome that year, I accompanied him and met Ann and together we visited villages in Ciociaria, where we knew Giovanni had lived and worked, since that’s where he met my grandmother, Annuniziata Grilli.  During the search for Giovanni’s birth records, we found my grandmother’s information in the village of Piglio.  We found the house where she lived as a girl and one of the elderly neighbors there told us that we had cousins just up the street!  We surprised them with a visit, which is when Giulio and I met for the first time.

Annunziata Grilli was born in Ferentino and moved to Piglio with her parents in 1893.  She was one of 9 children.  Only she and her brother Guarino emigrated to the states (1919 for her).  She left Italy to marry her childhood sweetheart, Giovanni–and they did marry, at Ellis Island!  The remaining siblings stayed in Italy, and Giulio’s branch of the family are descendants of my grandmother’s sister Francesca Grilli, my father’s Zia Francesca!

Antonia Angelisanti and Giancinto Grilli

Annuniziata’s parents, the common ancestors of Giulio and me, were Giancinto Grilli and Antonia Angelisanti.  (Another angel!) The Grillis lived in a little house at Ponte Gattone in Piglio, and it’s where Giulio’s great-grandmother, Francesca, remained for her whole life.  Giancinto was said to be a tall redhead, certainly unusual for this part of Italy. One of  the neighbors we met told us that he had his own little wine “cantina” where the local wine, Cesanese, was sold.

Fast forward to 2011, here are Giulio Tirinelli and me, in the midst of planning our workshop!  Looks stressful, doesn’t it?  We are at the National Park in the Simbruini Mountains, surrounded by the beautiful and rugged landscape of Ciociaria.  We hope to inspire our painting guests with the landscape, not to mention the food, wine, and warm people whom they will meet there in the next two weeks!