Sunday, June 11, 2023

Two-Room Stone House Designs

NEW L'Italiana Artigiana project has arrived!

Let's link to a throwback blogpost from September 2014 when, as an eager novice to Calitri's daily ways and byways, I started a collection of antique wine demijons then stored them for years in my grotto cantina... Yep, Grotto Cantina ðŸ‘ˆlink

Those hand-blown vintage wine demijohns once filled with Aglianico are now paired with hand-stenciled linen lampshades by Netherlands textile artist Pauline Greuell.

Hand selected, these are the first pairings and are in LIMITED EDITION.

I brainstormed these for years! So excited they are now realized, and with the beautiful contribution of another artist.

Designed as floor or table lamps, the vintage green glass varies in size shade and color with additional lampshade designs to come in later editions.

This is how we have fun in small town Alta IrpiniaWhich is your favorite?

L'Italiana Artigiana©

Thursday, December 01, 2022

"Not to a garden, but a cave. A girl cave."

“We go deeper in winter. Not to a garden, but a cave.”

The power of this place eluded me for a long while. Several levels below street level, dug deep into a natural hollow of volcanic tufa, with a wide side alcove tall enough to stand in, it is supported by two successive stone arches, one lower and older than the other, with square niches built in to hold transverse wood beams, three large cubby holes cut into the stone lined with mummu’l and brick and a well-packed earthen floor.


I didn’t know when I bought the house over the phone what or where the cave was, believing it some dark dank spider-web burrow to hold firewood rather than one of the best-preserved stone grottoes in this part of the village. It is the basement-level structural support of the centuries-old palazzo above it on via Concezione, the old pollaria, or poultry store. The quad-vaulted entrance is tucked up and out of view in a private vicolo void of inhabitants for years, but for my neighbor Antonietta. On the cantina’s stone facade, the blue-and-white porcelain Mussolini-mandated numero civico is still there: 14 vicolo Fontana. 



With its cantina engineering, the arch of the entrance faces due east and is positioned high enough to allow four to five hours of rising sun a day. It is also directly in line with the circle olive grove in the San Benedetto Valley, as the crow flies, over the rooftops of via Fontana, where the princess tomb lay.

Shape-shifting boundary dwellers, swirling myth cycles; a veiled energy encircled me the moment I stepped in. The cantina was filled with decades of junk left by zia Concetta and her family. Her husband, once a skilled bricklayer and stonemason left a hoard of rotting wood and long-outdated materials stashed in the cantina’s alcove, in what was once the family donkey stall. Atop the soppalco, the mezzanine level that doubled as a sleeping loft, were layers of dust and dung-covered rotting planks of chestnut wood, walnut, and oak, some over an inch thick, a pair of ancient rush chairs, and, deep in the back wall under the natural tufa formations, a mangiatoia, or animal feeding trough, covered with years of fallen tufa sand and other debris.

I never went near it.

Excerpt From:

STILL LIFE LIFE WITH SAINTS, Italian Adventures of Magical Spirit

Monday, August 22, 2022


GHOSTS & SAINTS  Website has a new graphic look!

• Click on the image to discover • 

book and website designer • Doug da Silva

Coming soon • Cibo & Vino (2024) 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022



In collaboration with Filomena D’Andrea as MAKARDÃŒA
A song of resistance.
Words: Filomena D’Andrea
Voice: Angela Paolantonio
Sound: Renato Celano
Art: Giovanni Spiniello



I don't wave sovereign states

Because their flags stink of blood

Because history is full of errors

And not divided into bad and good.

I don't raise border stakes

They’ve colored them to fool the children

Some try to cross the sea again
Hoping to avoid a military line

I want to raise my fist with a thousand others
I want to take to the streets like a thousand and one stars
Because no man is born to be killed
Because bread is made to be broken

I want to raise the rainbow flag
The drawings of the children, an olive branch

Because they taught me that we are equal and free

We live everywhere and there is no king or queen

That we are not divided into black and white

In Christians, Muslims or Jews
That my children are of the world
And the children of the world are mine too

That war is a horror

Yesterday today and tomorrow

As for the powerful

Who steal bread

Take off your military shirt

And hat from your head

We are the deserters

We are thirsty for spring

We are the deserters

Of this long evening