I was invited to offer a guest travel post today at www.amoretravelguides.com. My short feature on Reggio di Calabria is here.
Posts Tagged ‘Italian’
For newcomers to this site, especially faithful readers of Bleeding Espresso and My Bella Vita, welcome! This video, shot and produced in Calabria last March, captures a bit of the spirit of My Cousin the Saint. Please be sure to see the other videos at the Multimedia link. My pal and filmmaker Michael Frierson is completing a few more video shorts, which I will post soon.
This relic can be seen in the church St. Pasquale of Baylon in Chorio, a little village in southern Calabria where St. Gaetano Catanoso was born — as well as my grandfather. The relic is actually a thin piece of skin from the saint. Catholics, of course, believe relics are holy objects, closely associated with the sacred departed, that maintain mystical and sometime miraculous powers when prayed over.
Please see the video at the Multimedia button called Sacred Relics for more details.
The spector of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the great 17th-century Italian sculptor and painter, is evident all over Rome — on bridges, buildings, piazzas and in the city’s finest museums. Perhaps nowhere is his artistic genius more evident than in St. Pater’s Square, where he designed the arching collonade, which defines the world’s most glorious public space, and is topped with 144 saints carved in travertine (St. Gaetano Catanoso is not up there, but his sainted Calabrian predecessor, St. Francis of Paola, is!). All this emphasis on gathering huge crowds overlooked by a communion of saints is entirely fitting: that is the primary place where canonizations are held — and where saints are named.
I’ve seen many, many Bernini masterpieces during my visits to Rome, including the incomparable “Ecstacy of St. Teresa” in a tiny church near the Piazza Repubblica (shown above). I really wish I could visit the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where a traveling exhibit of Bernini’s gorgeous marble busts are making their only American appearance. The story is here.
An excerpt: “The cloth ripples. You would swear it does. Call this the ultimate form of illusionism: making marble look as soft as cloth or as delicate as lace. The hair, the skin and the lips on Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s portrait busts are just as logic-defying.”
Editor Brian Clarey offers his take on “My Cousin the Saint,” and his alternative weekly, Yes! Weekly, offers its picks for summer reading. Brian’s story begins:
“Justin Catanoso and I have a lot in common. We are both editors of weekly newspapers, and both of us grew up in the Northeast before settling in Greensboro to nurture our families and careers. We are both married to beautiful blondes, and we both have daughters named Rosie. And we share a common heritage.
“Catanoso, like my own mother, is an American of full-blooded Italian descent, and we can both trace our roots back to Calabria, the toe of the boot.
“You can read the history of Italy in his face: his Roman nose and heavy brow, raw intelligence gleaming in his dark eyes, his jaw like an outcropping of rock, his olive-oil skin and hair like black wire.
“He looks like he could be one of my uncles, out there throwing bocce balls on the lawn.”