Tag Archives: Serrone

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!

IMG_6696

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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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!

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

DISCOVER CIOCIARIA II! SEPT. 27 – OCT. 7, 2013

4 Sep
Uliveti, near Bellegra

Uliveti, roadside view near Bellegra

Plenty of time to plan for our next Italian adventure. With this year’s great experience under our “berets” we’re ready to organize Discover Ciociaria II (DC II). Staying just outside the beautiful hill town of Serrone at Belsito, Serrone, a hotel/restaurant with swimming pool. We’ll keep you posted, naturally. Our aim: to provide our guests with a genuine experience of Italy, off the beaten tourist path. We work with family and friends in Italy to ensure the best possible value for our guests. You’ll feel like you’ve found your Italian home! (I have!) Painting, cooking class, excursions, incredible food (and wine), all inclusive. Details will be posted in a few weeks, but if you’re interested, send me a note and I’ll make sure you’re notified.