Italy 2019

The Giardino dei Tarocchi (Tarot Garden) of Niki de Saint Phalle has been something I have long wanted to see. So, we took this opportunity to go, not only to the Garden, but to explore southern Tuscany and Rome, as well.

Niki (not my pic)
The Tarot Garden lies on the slope of a hill, about 8 km from Capalbio, in the province of Grosseto, an hour and a half nw of Rome. French-American sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle (born Catherine Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle) began to build it in 1979, after visiting Gaudí's Parco Güell in Barcelona and the Parco dei Mostri (Park of the Monsters) in Bomarzo, which we later visited.


The Maremma is what they call this coastal area bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea in SW Tuscany. Formerly malarial marshlands, it was drained by Fernando I de Medici. Then, the land was used primarily to graze cattle, while the butteri (cowboys) herded them from horseback. We saw no cowboys, but did come upon a number of fascinating places from Etruscan ruins to cliff-top towns: Scansano, Saturnia (hot springs), Manciano, Pitigliano, Bolsena, Civita, and Grossetto, are a sampling. And since this is not really about Art, I will just include a few interesting shots to cover our ramblings.

Etruscan ruins of Roselle
the artisans workshop

Al Villano by Mario Vinci
Civita di Bagnoregio
preparation for Feast-day of Corpus Christi
One of the sisters was from No. Dakota.
Medici walls of Grossetto

The Park of the Monsters in Bomarzo, was far from being a frightful place

We then had time for a couple of days in Rome. As this was not our first time, we hurried past the Forum, Trevi Fountain, and other iconic landmarks, in search of Art. We found sculpture and lots of water fountains (it was sweltering!), and Art galleries.

Homeless Jesus by Timoty Schmalz

A show of paintings by Helen Frankenthaler was at the Gagosian (no need to add "gallery.")

And even more Art down the street at the Galleria Comunale d'Arte Moderna, housed in a former Barefoot Carmelite monastery dating from the 17th century.  There were many nice works, though the only name we knew was Milena Pavlović-Barilli, whom we discovered in Požarevac, Serbia.

Sailors' Wives by Massimo Campigli (Max Ihlenfeldt), 1934
In the Park by Amadeo Bocchi, 1919
Frigidarium by Allesandro Pigna, 1882
Compostion by Milena Pavlović-Barilli, 1932
To see just a few more, CLICK HERE.

There was also some Art Nouveau to root out.  Only, it's called "Liberty Style" in Italy. Strangely, this was the name of a London department store that sold Japanese and other Asian ornaments. Have not yet found out why. The best architectural examples are not in Rome, but we always enjoy the hunt.

Little Fairy Villa in the Quartiere Coppedé

Villa Torlonia or Casina del Civette

We crossed over the Tiber to Trastevere, which means “on the other side of the Tiber.” A very nice place for wandering. Lots of street art, though almost all paper and wheatpaste. And then our time was up Italy.

Ponte Garibaldi

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