How I got fat in Italy

December 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

We got into Roma from Pietrasanta late on a thursday afternoon,  past the Circus Maximus entering the city in our hire car the trusty Audi, jostling every inch of the way with hordes of  Roman charioteers who drive vespas three wheeler Ape’s buses trucks etc, careering around the Monumento Vittorio Emanuele… my God its fantastically mad! Its what I love about Italy, chaos flowing a few scary centimetres away from you! At one stage traffic slowed to a crawl and past us cycled a fellow with a fat tabby cat perched on his shoulders. Rome is full of surprises, it is a grand city with a shitty arse, full of riches… artistic poetic musical architectural religious historical mythical political culinary… it seems to have no beginning and no end, it has a vastness of life lived, an outpouring of human expression, a place that makes you feel great to be human.

The title of this post? In Italy you eat, and I like eating, normally smashing at blocks of marble I stay in reasonable form, but this trip I got fat! Now I can see it… three months of every morning cappuccino’s the cakes fresh out of ovens with hot creme fillings, the midday lunch pasta pasta delicious frito misto di mare, coniglio tacchino patate fritte spinacci insalatone [big salad] the coffee macchiato’s the gelato! And now look at me fat bastard! No I don’t want you to look at me….I’m not going to eat for a month, Cinzia fondles my spare tyre with disbelief… ah well at least I’m happy sort off.

Lone cyclist with "Gatto"Taken by Cinzia

Lone cyclist with “Gatto”
Taken by Cinzia

Last days in Pietrasanta

December 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Pietrasanta

Cinzia and I on our way to lunch

Cinzia and I on our way to lunch

Spaghetti alla Scampi

Spaghetti alla Scampi

Un bel "cazzo" chiselled into a marble balustrade. Here graffiti is done with a chisel!

Un bel “cazzo” chiselled into a marble balustrade. Here graffiti is done with a chisel!

In front of the Duomo di Pietrasanta

In front of the Duomo di Pietrasanta

For the past three months I rise early, get on my bike and go down to the bar, take my cappuccino and paste sfoglia alle crema and then peddle off to the Del Chiaro foundry where I have been working.

The day is punctuated by “pranzo” lunch at either of two places “Port a Luca” or “Croce Verde” both Trattoria’s that offer the typical working mans midday meal of primo and secondo, bread, vino and strong black coffee to finish off, basically hearty good meals that are inexpensive.

Its so wonderful to live in Italy, I find myself  absorbed in a poetic flow, a caressing of the soul. It doesn’t take long before you enter into relationships that become like family, this combined with the “Art Refugees” and I describe “us” the travelling band of Artisti from all over the world as such, because we are drawn here for very special reasons: we love being in Italy, love the culture and  the Italian people.

In the time we have been here we have been to gallery openings, gatherings parties etc. We have made many new friendships and we will miss our new friends.

We watched crews of workers with trucks and cherry pickers putting up lights and projectors. The result is a very beautiful “Evento per Natale” in about a dozen places around the city, a history of City the people and times of Pietrasanta unfolds, using a scrawling calligraphic hand writing, poetry and verse has been projected on the city streets. In the Piazza’s photographs of locals artigiani, of cooks and working people etc well known to the city are projected this is interchanged with video’s of  a local dance  group performing  dance movements projected on walls and over shuttered windows with families inside, strangely ritualistic…. Pietrasanta seems at night like a wonderful stage set. My heart is profoundly stirred by the poetry and sensibility of this “Installation”.

The facade of San Agostino with video projections

The facade of San Agostino with video projections

The verse constantly changes with the text enlarging and moving

The verse constantly changes with the text enlarging and moving

I have finished the full size clay sculptures for the “three runners” commissioned work for Melbourne High School, and so am at the stage where its now time to wrap things up and get ready for the journey home to Melbourne.

Verses of poetry projected on the Piazza

Verses of poetry projected on the Piazza

The street to our Apartment . I like the feel of the white pebbles under my feet, texture punctuated by a row little leds

The street to our Apartment . I like the feel of the white pebbles under my feet, texture punctuated by a row of little leds

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