Last week, for a romantic winter getaway, Paolo and I spent a chilly five days exploring the Tuscan countryside. The trip also gave me a chance to learn more about Paolo’s artwork titled Puccini.
“Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all man’s faculties.” — Giacomo Puccini
Each summer, beautiful arias from the Puccini Festival drift across lake Massaciuccoli in Torre de Lago, Italy. As the composer of La bohème, Madama Butterfly and Tosca, Giacomo Puccini kept a villa here.
Like Puccini, Paolo had found his way to these inspiring shores.
I asked Paolo about his connection to Puccini’s work.
“Puccini to an Italian is like Louis Armstrong or Mark Twain for Americans. Puccini’s music is part of growing up in Italy.” — Paolo Ferraris, Artist
Like many artists before him, Paolo is an empathic man. Influenced by the forces in life that make men feel, deeply. Nature, music, connecting to another person in love.
“How the stars shone. How sweet the earth smelled. The orchard gate creaked, and a footstep pressed on the sand. And she entered, fragrant as a flower, and fell into my arms. Oh, sweet kisses, lingering caresses. Slowly, trembling, I gazed upon her beauty.” — Giacomo Puccini,Tosca.
Capturing images of Lake Massaciuccoli, Paolo imagined a woman’s voice floating across the waters. Reflecting back, he recalls thinking of the passionate, romantic melodies from Puccini.
“We get inspired by others. Standing perhaps where Puccini stood, seeing what he saw, hearing his music, the two things were very much in tune.” –Paolo Ferraris, Artist
Growing up in Italy, listening to Puccini is part of what gave Paolo a romantic heart.
“Massenet feels it as a Frenchman, with powder and minuets. I shall feel it as an Italian, with desperate passion.” — Giacomo Puccini
Tuscany Inspired Art
Paolo has created many pieces of work while in Tuscany. Last week, walking hand in hand, weathering brisk winter winds blowing over rolling, picturesque vineyards of the Chianti region, I got to see why.
Tuscany has both natural beauty and romanticized history on its side. In five short days, we ventured behind medieval walls in Certaldo, Siena, San Gimignano and warmed ourselves with a bowl of Ribollita in Florence.
Everywhere you look in Tuscany, there sits another small village perched high atop a hill. Looking out at the Tuscan countryside, I found myself constantly filled with wonder. What must the world look like from there?