Replenishing love story with ItalyPublished 10:57am Wednesday, March 2, 2011
For the fifth entry to my travel column, I interviewed two artists who proved love is lovelier the second time around by pursuing their co-creative desire to adventure not once, twice, but thrice, to Italy… ultimately living “la dolce vita” for a year and a half.
Ultimately, the couple knew they could not afford to stay indefinitely, and decided to return to the States to resume their artistic careers, buying a solid old house in our most “bella terra” mountains right here in North Carolina.
But the worldview they experienced lives in their eyes, and as I left, they handed me a majestic photo calendar of an ancient temple known as Paestum. Its fortress moved me not to be cynical about love, for it is as perennial as the replenishing spirit of Italy.
To tell us your travel story, contact Lucianne Evans at The Tryon Daily Bulletin, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where’ve You Been
Who: Pat and Dom Ferullo, Tryon. Domenic is a building contractor and fine artist in mixed media. Pat is a fine painter who has always had a deep curiosity about Italy. The two moved to Tryon in 1992, after living on a ridge top in Saluda since 1987.
Where’ve You Been? Early Nineties: The couple’s first visit began with a villa rental through a company called Untours, a company who emerged during the computer revolution with reasonable pricing for “do-it-yourself” accommodations in out-of-the-way places not often visited by tour bus companies. They went to Tuscany before it was the lieu, and stayed on a farm in a tiny village called Buon Convento. Their favorite day trip was to Siena, Italy. Mid Nineties: They visited Florence, the Renaissance City and artistic capital, during the month of May, bedazzling themselves with the Statue of David, and the Ufizzi Museum.
Loved: Dancing to a jazz band in the town square (or piazza), and one evening, after a delicious meal, being treated to a glorious parade and concert by a children’s choir.
Disliked: Pat tried not to look as Dom braved the infamous five lane city traffic in the Fiat they rented! The lines to sightseeing attractions were long at that time of year.
2006: Along came collusion for a sense of adventure. They sold their Tryon home and arranged to buy a vecchio in Italy, which Dom was going to renovate with the help of a builder. A vecchio is an old ruin, because in Italy there are laws against tearing down Roman antiquities. However, at the last minute, it fell through. So instead, they rented an apartment in a fishing village just south of Naples, on the Tyrrhenian side of the Mediterranean Sea. There they spent their days getting to know the landscape. They visited the little known Red Grotto and Gold Grotto, as well as the Blue Grotto, on the Isle of Capri. Routinely, they would walk past olive trees that were planted 2,000 years ago or more to enjoy picnics at the marina, where Dom vividly recalls “the water was of a cerulean blue that was unforgettable.” Like true Italians, their standard fare was fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, the best local olive oil and wonderful bread, making special trips to Salerno, which they label the “City of Bread.” They also made good friends. One man they befriended sailed solo from Italy to Uruguay, was attacked by pirates, and survived.