Archive for the ‘Italia’ Category

Out for a walk

October 25th, 2012 2 comments

All over Italy, you can find them. Retired gentleman out for their walk “Passeggiata” it is called. This is one thing that Italian culture espouses that our does not. People go on walks. Old and young, all over Italy, out for passeggiata. In some places, it is more prevalent than others; like Cefalu’ and Pozzuoli; where you can find people of every age out walking every evening.
In Sersale, three of my young Italian friends took me on a tour of the old part of town. We ran like mountain goats up and down the steep and narrow streets, many never meant for cars. At one point, we saw this man; I thought he was cute with his hands held high behind his back. One of the girls said “They all walk like that!” realizing how iconic his pose was, I snapped his picture; another scene that might be fun to paint. This 5″ x 7″ hand painted watercolor is SOLD!

Categories: Italia, travel journal Tags:

Lion Guard – Monselice

October 12th, 2012 No comments

Another wonderful thing about Italy is all the statuary. Outside of a castle, there is a gate. On each side of the gate stands a bigger than life sized lion, standing guard. In case you didn’t know he was the king of beasts, he wears a crown to remind you.

I painted this with only 4 colors of paint, including the blue sky. It’s 11″ x 14″ and is ready to brighten up a wall in your home for only $150.00. All proceeds for this painting go to conservation programs for small endangered wild creatures, nearly forgotten and hemmed in by civilization on all sides.

Categories: cats, Italia, portrait Tags:

La Giara – Sersale

October 11th, 2012 No comments

This is a scene from a large house in Sersale that appears to be abandoned. Two years ago, my cousin Peppino Talarico told me that the Talarico family owned this house many years ago. During my latest visit, my tour guides let me peek inside. How lucky could I get? There was this amazing jar standing on the landing.
Many years ago, these jars were used to store water. Now the few that are left are collector’s items, bringing great prices on Italy’s ebay. Since I couldn’t take it home with me, I painted it.

This painting measures 10 1/2″ x 12″ and it is for sale for $200. All proceeds of this sale go to conservation charities, dedicated to preserving endangered species.

Categories: acquarello, historic, Italia, travel journal Tags:

Piazza Carmela Borelli – Sersale

October 10th, 2012 4 comments

When a town is over 500 years old, I guess it makes sense for them to be inordinately proud of their uniqueness. Sersale is so proud of this tree, they put it on their coat of arms.
During the summer, this tree casts a great deep shadow which cools almost half the piazza. The tree is a Milicurcio or hackberry. The little fruits are edible, but I don’t know that anyone actually does anything with them. Anyone from Sersale will recognize their town from this painting, both from the tree and the bell tower of the church of Saint Pasquale on the right side of the painting.

This painting measures 11″ x 15″ and is an original watercolor. It is already sold

Categories: Italia, travel journal Tags:

Calabria, Italy

April 3rd, 2012 11 comments

Most people are happy to have a little family history. I am an exception. As a small child, I quizzed my grandparents, immigrants all; about where they came from. They patiently repeated the answers when I asked them again and again, and it occurred to me one day, when I was a teen, I had better write this stuff down. So I did. Then my grandparents died one by one, and with them, all their memories and knowledge, leaving me with regrets about what I did not ask.
So I set out to visit where each of them came from. My first visit to Italy took me to Calabria, to a little hill town overlooking the Ionian sea called Sersale. Everywhere I looked I saw people that looked like me, like my cousins. And I did find my cousins. We compared ears, eye color, chins and noses. I fit!
In Sersale found myself facing a door that was decorated with wrought iron that my own great grandfather built. If you look carefully, you can see the initials F and T in the center of the design. That stands for Francesco Torchia. This door no longer exists, it has been replaced with a new sturdy door that does not let in the cold. If I hadn’t taken a picture of the old door in 1987 when I first visited, it would cease to exist even in our memories. Instead it is now a piece of art on my wall.
Calabria is a land of olive trees, chestnut trees, grape vines and ancient ruins. Ruins from Romans, ruins from Greeks. And then of course, there’s the food. Calabria is a bit like California, in fact, that’s where so many of the “Spaghetti Westerns” were filmed. Arid hilly country… on the map it’s the toe of the “boot.”

Have you ever traveled to find your roots? I’d love to hear your story.

Categories: biographical, Italia Tags: