Thursday, October 18, 2012


The Eye of Morena
"It began in mystery and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between"  Diane Ackerman from "One Hundred Words for Love"

Wheel of Fortune
Each of us saw our own Italy; for me it was often in the back streets and alleyways where psychogeographers tend to hang out. I'm a big fan of Guy Debord's dérive (drifting in French).  Saw three weddings in the lucky is that?! Chatted with Sophia L. while trying on some Ferragamo shoes at the Pitti Palace in Florence; even saw a cherub swimming!
Wedding - Ferrara
Pitti Palace - Florence

 ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER DUOMO (Cathedral) - Photos from my roomie Lisa de St. Croix

It's all a blur to me now.  I spent more time in churches in two weeks than I've spent in my entire life. So many Saints, so many symbols, so many frescoes.  Thank goodness they keep them so clean!

Divine Housekeepng
In Milan we visited Osvaldo Menegazzi, Tarot artist and publisher at his fabulous shop, Il Meneghello, where we indulged our lust for tarot decks like, well like--Mad Hatters:  "There is a place.  Like no place on Earth.  A land full of wonder and mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it:  You need to be as mad as a hatter."  Alice in Wonderland

One of Osvaldo's creations

Gorgeous, Enchanting Osvaldo
On the bus, off the bus, into the museums, into villages, the cities, the cafes (for the latest Italian addiction:  Cafe Ginseng), the restaurants - EAT, through the streets of Milan, where the Dolce & Gabana Fashion show was taking place outside the Gothic Cathedral we were exploring; Florence, where I ate the best sesame rose gelato ever & tripped through Galileo's Musee, photographing the astrological symbols embedded outside the museum, found Giovanni Fusetti's Clown and Mask School, where a friend of a friend, Cynthia Kneen, is doing a two year training--closed alas; design drenched cosmopolitan Bologna, where the Cabinets of Curiousities were just out of reach, but stilt walkers in Cirque de Soleil regalia sashayed down the avenues, & we fell upon the Bologna Water Design Expo--a celebration of water & outdoor spaces kicked off by an irreverent, edgy piece:  Breve processo all’eccesso del cesso ('short but overflowing history of the loo') which took place in one of the 15c.rooms in the Palace on Via d'Azeglio better known as "The Hospital of the Little Bastards";  

Ferrara, where Lucrezia Borgia is buried at the Convent of Corpus Domini and where, in the dark of night, our Italian tour guide, Morena took us to the mysterious, silent, church of San Giacomo which is purported to be the final resting place of Hugo de Paganis, one of the "alleged" founders of the Order of Knights Templar; Siena, known for its penis shaped pasta and its fanshaped Piazza del Campo where they hold the famous summer horse race, Il Palio. I saw it on a video loop outside a bar--looked like the Daytona 500 with horses--round and round the piazza they flew; Arezzo:  the Etruscan city of gold where I lit candles at the Basilica of San Francesco and wept for friends and family now departed PRAY;

Enfin to the Castle Montalto in Tuscany, where the Merry Band spent a blissful week creating magic with the scent of lavender all around us and always always telling fortunes, reading the signs, entering the "Mouth of Truth", taking off our masks or putting them on depending on your point of view.  The highlight of the week being the trip to Capalbio, our spiritual pilgrimage to visit Niki de Saint Phalle's Tarot Sculpture Garden, situated on a rocky bluff high above the lappingly blue blue Mediterranean sea.  It's an interactive garden and Niki herself lived in the mirrored glass house she created during the 20 years it took to accomplish this monumental feat: Dozens of astonishing sculptures & 22 Trumps fashioned and created with LOVE.

The Lovers

Niki's Kitchen for Domestic Goddess's

Mouth of Truth

                                Oh dear diary, this is just the beginning of the journey; so many more tales to tell! I must devote an entire blog to the Museo dei Tarocchi (Tarot Museum) a 400 year old building in Riola, perched on a hilltop in the mountains behind a beautiful mission style church with bell tower.  A vast collection of rare decks shelved on tree trunks and hidden behind tiny doors in stone walls enchanted us (where else could you find "Tarot Paper Dolls" or a hand painted Capri deck in limited edition of ten?) It is also the home of our guide Morena Poltronieri & Ernesto Fazioli, who threw a garden party for us & several fantastic Italian artists who shared their creations.

BUT the hour is late, and I am packing for another trip to uncover "The Secret Life of Statues" (Angela Voss)* - thanks to Carrie Paris - for introducing me to her work.  I will be using the J. Phillip Thomas, Tarot de Paris deck, designed around the art, architecture, monuments and statuary of Paris.    But while I am away remember this:


Bitten by the Serpent - Photo by Lisa St. de Croix

Siena's Many Faces

The "Devil" made me do it from Piazza Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - Milan

1 comment:

  1. hey there kid tarot.....always inviting ever provocative. much happier for having read your postals please slip us more scripts.....bry
    (with a why not an I)