Friday, July 6, 2012


"To penetrate into Italy is like a most fascinating act of self-discovery- back, back down the old ways of time.  Strange and wonderful chords awake in us, and vibrate again after many hundreds of years of complete forgetfulness." -D.H. Lawrence

What life! Beauty everywhere!  It is simply impossible to take in all that Italy offers! Abundance!  Life lived there may be the only remedy.  When traveling to Florence and the Tuscan countryside, you would profit greatly from experiencing and understanding the vast treasure trove with Eugene Martinez of Ars Oplulenta.  His comprehensive knowledge, deep insights, and clever wit will enhance your trip quadruple-fold.    

If you happen to be of Italian descent, as I am, Eugene is the one to guide you to your Italian past.  My dear childhood friend and I journeyed to the village my grandparents were born in and immigrated from with Eugene.  What an adventure!  Hours of hearty conversation while driving through mountainous terrain to the ancestral village and then...

...from one far away hilltop we spot from another, the medieval village still standing! 


In a short time we were facing my great grandparent's door.

Door knocker.

Then standing in a garage that was once their bedroom.

My grandparents told me the town was old.  What they didn't tell me was how old and how rich in history.  

Casalciprano Alley

By the end of the day Eugene answered my question.....

Last page of my sketch book for The Sketch Book Project 2011

"I think I feel automatically at home in Italy." - Boyd Rice


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Snap! It means a lot coming from you! XOX

  2. We went to Tuscany about 4 years ago and absolutely loved it! How wonderful for you to be able to visit your great-grandparents' actual house in their home village.

    1. Oh, Debra! Tuscany is amazing! My grandparents are from a village that is about 5 hours from Florence in Molise. The adventure was beyond words. I want to go back!

  3. My husband was born in Southern Italy. Visiting his home town was a very emotional event for all of us! It is amazing how much of Italy has progressed, yet is also frozen in time!

  4. How interesting! What province is he from? Mine are from Molise. Yes, it is true that they do seem frozen in time, but I think that is part of what attracts me to my relatives. I hope to return someday soon.