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Travel Tales


Racconti di Viaggio (Travel Tales) is the final moment of the project realised with the inhabitants of the village of Pennapiedimonte in Abruzzo, which started in December 2020 with Fuoriporta and then continued with online and postal correspondances during the pandemic. The festival, which took place in September 2022 and involved local and non-local artists, was an opportunity to display the material collected thanks to the Cartoline di Viaggio project, in which the first, second and third generations of pennesi who had emigrated abroad were contacted by postcards sent to reach them in Argentina, Brazil, Switzerland, France, Spain, USA and Canada. They were asked to tell the stories of their families, how they left the country and their memories, to provide us with documents and photos. The material sent to us was processed and made into installations: domestic interiors recreated outside abandoned houses, in the streets of the village that were emptied by the migrations of the last century. These small scenarios tell us about the lives of those who stayed in the village and who, through visual, audio or interview documents, have the opportunity to inhabit it again. With the idea that the decoration of the space around us has the power to speak about ourselves, these interiors tell us stories of love, separation and ancient traditions that seem to have come out of a novel. A bride forced to wear a grey dress because her father was opposed to the wedding (The wedding dress), a woman who dreams of travelling and saves the dollars her relatives send her from America (Dream in the drawer), a couple separated by an ocean in their youth and whose story is re-connected by destiny (His and Her little house).


The installations, the result of the artist's work with the sociologist Giulia Ferrante, form a path, an open-air museum that goes from the town square to its highest point at the foot of the mountain. Various figures have been called in the festival, including the artists Federica Zotti, Sonia di Giorgio and Giada Pignotti, the anthropologists of MiM-Montagne in Movimento, the guide Daniel Di Santo, the musician and actor Marcello Sacerdote and the band of dialect songs Lu Blues.

Below a gallery of some of the installation points. The full project on the website:

L'abito da sposa


"A. meets her love while walking along the mountain paths. He puts a cherry on her ear; she falls in love with him. The girl's father, a strict man from another era, opposes their relationship and forbids the two to meet. Despite this, F. spends the nights under A.'s window serenading her with his childhood friend on the accordion. The two lovers, prevented from being together, decide to elope.


It is the evening before her wedding and A. combs her brown hair while sitting at the mirror. Two feelings struggle within her: the joy of her future promises and the awareness of having let down another loved one. Reflected in the mirror is her grey wedding dress, lying on the bed behind her, reminding her of the choice she had to make."



This story was told to us by A.'s daughter and she wishes to remain anonymous. Despite the lack of names, we felt it was important to pass on these facts as they contain important indications about the history of an era, especially in matters of love. Indeed, in the past, the fate of women was to follow the will of their fathers, and those who rebelled by making the so-called fuitina (elopement) had to pay the consequences. In the case of the story told, the disapproval of the parent and the obligation to wear a grey dress instead of a white one. 

Sogno nel cassetto


Rita loves to travel and, although she has always lived in her country, she entrusts her dreams to bottles that wander the world. Rita does not speak English, but with the help of Google Translate she maintains close correspondence with her cousins who live far away and translates their names for her father Rocco: John becomes Giuseppe and Frank becomes Francesco. A whole branch of her family has emigrated to America, but blood ties are stronger: a similar nose or the same colour of eyes can make one feel close. Rita manages despite the distance to maintain relationships with everyone. Her cousin Virginia has been sending Rita dollars for years and she jokes that by saving them, she will sooner or later pay for her ticket to America.


La casetta di Lui e Lei



This house carved into the rock, called Casetta by some Pennesi, is home to the intertwining stories of Tommasino and Carmela. Leaving the floor to the latter's daughter, Rosa, who tells in a video of the youthful love between the two, it is instead necessary to explain how this tale came to us. We met Rosa in August, during our research in Pennapiedimonte, when she allowed us to interview her to talk about the events that led her mother Carmela to leave the village to go and live in Milan. In the middle was a love story with a young man from Pennapiedimonte, called Tommasino. We were so moved by this story that we were ready to look for Tommasino in Brazil, where he emigrated, but there was no need: a short time later an email from his granddaughter Carina informed us that she had received a Travel Postcard and thought of replying with videos of her grandfather, Tommaso Verna, Tommasino. In this room we leave Him and Her alone, who lived their love in this country and today, by chance or fate, meet again.

The two sound installations Amour Perdu and Perduto Amore by artists Federica Zotti and Giada Pignotti were also dedicated to the story, echoing the serenade that Tommasino sang at Carmela's window before her father closed the place of their meetings with barbed wire.

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