Artwork Monday is my favorite post to write each week. For a brief moment, I get away from it all. All the politics and Facebook posts. The fear and anger myself, like many Americans are feeling right now.
I get to focus on something beautiful, magical in its ability to transport. Art. Today, our journey is to Otranto, Italy.
“Where sky and sea battle for the sweetest Colors.” — Paolo Ferraris, Artist
Paolo and I first visited Otranto, Italy in 2016 as part of our three-month sojourn in Europe. We were discovering Southern Italy, parts of his country even Paolo had yet to explore.
Much of that time was spent in Puglia. A place we quickly grew to love. A place I yearn to return, daily.
Puglia Inspired Art
Among the many Puglia, Italy points of interest is the city of Otranto. South of Lecce, Otranto sits at the back of the heel of the boot, in Italy.
Seeing the waters of Adriatic Sea from Otranto, Italy stands out among all the travels in our lives. The beauty of Puglia beaches and coastlines is unparalleled. The nature, seafood, Primitivo, hospitality and relaxing spirit all add up, to heaven.
Being one of Italy’s more affordable regions for tourists, it left me wondering how any trip to Italy is truly complete without seeing Puglia.
It was here, sitting by the Otranto Bay at high noon, that I struggled, dare I say valiantly, to learn to properly pronounce Otranto.
It was also here at the Otranto Bay, at high noon, that inspired Paolo’s Mezzogiorno artwork.
I asked Paolo about his work. Why the name Mezzogiorno?
“In Italian Mezzogiorno means noon. Mezzogiorno, is also a way to say South. At noon when the Sun is at its height and you face it, you’re facing South.” — Paolo Ferraris, Artist
This is something I love about learning the Italian language from my Husband. Words often have multiple meanings and to hear them explained is, poetic.
I asked Paolo, what does seeing your work from Otranto make you think about?
“I still dream of the light blue of that water.”
He paused, looked at me.
“I love you.”
A poetic soul. A loving husband. A great Artist.
As Paolo talked about Otranto and looked at his work, he got a far off look in his eyes. Remembering the moment we sat by water so blue, at the horizon it melts into the sky.
That pause, that far off look and the longing smile it brings is one of the greatest powers of Art. Paolo truly hopes to “soothe the soul” through his work. He believes Art holds the power to bring comfort, solace, peace.
With every moment I’ve taken today to reflect on our time in Otranto, Italy, I have found myself soothed. In sharing a glimpse behind the tranquil, happy days that inspired Paolo’s work, we hope you too were given a moment of peace today.
Each Monday ALOR reflects back on travel using Art and Photography created by Paolo Ferraris. We hope you’ll join us for short inspiring stories from around the world each week on ALOR.blog, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.