Before the dinosaurs roamed the earth, I visited Montmartre, the old artist’s quarter of Paris. Noooo, the artists weren’t old the quarter was old. During the 2016 Vinalia in Guardia Sanframondi I felt like I was walking back in time. The purpose of the Vinalia Festa is to reinforce the town’s position as a center for fabulous wines. What it also did was help me understand why American writers and artists were buying homes in the funky centro storico. Clare Galloway, may have been the first artist pioneer. She bought a house in 2011 for €10,000 and working alone transformed it into “Arthouse,” a B&B and artist studio. Clare, has been an avid supporter of the arts in this hilltop village.
Borgo Artisti was the best part of Vinalia. In the medieval quarter we found pop-up gallery after gallery of local art. Every vacant street level space was professionally lit and showcased individual pieces or groupings of art.
During our walk we met some of the WOMEN who are homesteading in Guardia. What really resonated with me, was that they are doing this alone. We met a playwright, massage therapist/ alternative practitioner, artist and —well just a table full of really interesting international women who were looking for a different lifestyle. AND a place to do their art that cost less than it would in the USA and offered the beauty of this Italian hill town.
The sexy sounds of a French chanteuse was broadcast through the air. Cobblestone streets, free flowing wine and art. Lots of art. Paris. No – Italy!! Southern Italy the Sannio hills.
That said, it is 1/2 an hour from Ponelandolfo and really, if you want to live in a beautiful village with wonderful people, consider my hometown. The hook? Why me. of course!