Back from Abruzzo

So we headed to Abruzzo last week for 3 nights – what a trip! Amazing scenery, beautiful towns, fantastic food and an almost total absence of tourists…

I guess it’s mainly down to the availability of cheap flights and package deals to more ‘exotic’ places, coupled with the gloomy state of the Italian economy in general. Hoteliers and restaurant owners told us that their high season has dwindled down to a couple of weeks in August, and that even that is very dependent upon the weather.

Sad news for a region that is already beset with high emigration and structural difficulties, but it does mean you can get bargains travelling there. We had a lovely spacious quadruple room, with lake view, and ample breakfast, for 90euro per night.



While we’re on the Mike Patton / Mondo Cane buzz

Stumbled across this great interview with Patton, who talks about his career in general, and more particularly about bringing Mondo Cane on tour.

We were on a tour with Mondo Cane, and we were playing theaters and churches and all the right places. And everything’s going great. Then we had a show in Finland, in the north of Finland, at a festival, which already was like, “Oh boy…” Festivals in general, for that stuff, with that setup and everything, are—I was worried about it. But then I found out it was a metal festival. And I was furious. I was like, “This is gonna bomb.” Not for me—I was worried about the rest of the musicians and about preserving the integrity of the music. I mean, we were playing all this quiet orchestral stuff in front of a bunch of pierced and tattooed Vikings? I don’t know. You tell me how wrong I was. So we played, and there were twenty thousand people or something—it was one of the bigger crowds we’d ever played to—and not only was it a success, people were stunned—quiet. So we got offstage, and stagehands who had been helping us all day were in tears. They said [in a Finnish accent], “This is the most beautiful music I ever heard.” So there really is no way of knowing.

Full interview, in the Believer Magazine


I’m starting to appreciate Fellini more and more, and love this post about his Book of Dreams


During a recent press conference in Milan for the presentation of the first Drawing Biennial in Rimini (Italy) – see my previous post – I had the great occasion to admire the original Fellini’s Book of Dreams (the two volumes were brought to Milan from Rimini by a special security team…).

logoBiennaleDisegnoAnyone familiar with the films of Fellini knows that he gave importance to dreams. The extent of that devotion is fully evident with his “Il Libro dei Sogni” (The Book of Dreams). These sketches are mostly done with variously colored felt-tip pens. Urged by the Jungian analyst Ernst Bernhard, Fellini jotted down and illustrated his own nocturnal fantasies over the space of thirty years. The first volume (approximately 245 pages) goes from November 30, 1960 to August 2, 1968, while the second (154 pages) goes from February 1973 until the end of 1982: a span of 22 years, which…

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