|The Abruzzi Mountain Workshop/drawing and painting in Italy|
Perched half on a mountain, half deep in the valley below, Anversa degli Abruzzi is an Italian village that also straddles time. Visitors to this medieval town enter a simpler world, a place where grapes and fragrant saffron are grown, where stone abbeys and castles dot the mountainside and crystal lakes offer a cool afternoon swim.
Only 75 miles (120km) east of Rome in the less-traveled Abruzzi region of central Italy, Anversa is a town of light and color and intense natural beauty. It has inspired artists from the Roman poet Ovid to M.C. Escher and Edward Lear, all of whom worked in the village and surrounding hills.
Bordering Anversa is the Gole del Sagittario, a designated WWF nature preserve. And mountain trails wind 4000 feet above the valley floor, offering hikers a majestic view of the south-central Apennines, including Grand Sasso, one of Italy's tallest peaks.
The mountains also contain huge reserves of clay, which once made the village a chief producer of Italian tile work. Most of the tile in Hadrian's Villa was created in Anversa.
The Abruzzi Mountain Workshop was conceived in 1992, when artist and teacher Patricia Antonucci arrived in Anversa while seeking the town where her grandfather once lived. A native New Yorker, Patricia had long dreamed of starting an art school in Italy. She became captivated by the reflected light of the limestone cliffs, whose silvery glow provided a startling clarity, intensifying colors, bringing the world to brilliant life.
Restoring a stone farmhouse in the village, Patricia equipped and staffed the Workshop, which, since 1993, has been drawing students from around the world.
In this town of only 300 people, the school has become tightly integrated into village life. Students eat, live and work alongside the villagers, who bring their new friends home for coffee and ciamballe—all providing a rich, human backdrop for artistic exploration.
Other AMW art and design links:
"Abruzzi is the most beautiful area, and Anversa is a storybook town. It was an inspiration."