Places where to relax and enjoy art The case of Illegio
It is known that small towns are never worth so much attention and when it comes to mountain villages, the focus shrinks even more. However, in the Friulian Dolomites, the impossible has been reversed into a successful experience that it could be called literally a miracle. Or, more simply, it could be seen like just a good planned and wise operation led to success by a group of determined and passionate people reunited in the Comitato di San Floriano. Thanks to the gathering of this group the annual art exhibition held in Illegio has reason to exist.
Illegio is a small hamlet located north east to Tolmezzo , in the Carnia area within the Friuli Venezia Region. The area is a remote one among the forests and woods of the Dolomites, the mountains put under the UNESCO heritage-protection trust. Since the show was started, the flow to it had been increased by high numbers, given that each year is closing with 40-50 thousand visitors, surely a great and extraordinary result. The people coming from every part of the world make the effort to reach the isolated village - particularly during summertime – for which a high and narrow road needs to be crossed to reach it. Also, members of the Spanish Royal family had been spotted here.
So, what does make this exhibition so popular? The idea was raised when the four hundred residents felt the urge to give more vitality to their community and they found in Don Alessio Geretti and Don Angelo Zanello, the mentors and executors of the whole challenge, alongside all the volunteers, patrons and ambassadors of Illegio. Father Alessio continues to be crucial for the development of the project, as the exhibition is founded on spiritual and moral values as well.
So, From May to October the former clerical house now converted in the exposition headquarter hosts from forty to fifty works of art, mainly paintings, that follow the art theme of the new edition. Subjects of the past editions were women, love and couples, travel, pilgrims, fathers and sons to name a few. For this year, the topic was Maestri (teachers), people who were able with their attitudes and competences to teach about education, philosophy, work, living and faith. The peculiar fact is that the paintings are coming from the most popular European Art Institutions and belong to Raffaello, Michelangelo, Jusepe de Ribera, Giovanni Bellini, Picasso, Tiziano, Caravaggio, Fattori. All visits are divided into groups guided by art professionals.
Moreover, there was a reconstruction of nine panels of the Chartres Cathedral stained glass window depicting the Jesse Tree. The reason this copy was in the exhibition is to emphasize the importance of the ultimate leader for religious believers, who is Jesus. Aside from the religious meaning, it is a wonderful and unique artefact, as it had been commissioned to a local and excellent craftsman. Following, some among the most significant and emotional paintings of the exhibition.
Gaetano Sabatelli, Cimabue e Giotto
Torquato Tasso e il cardinale Cinzio Aldobrandini nel convento di Sant'Onofrio a Roma
Illegio is a small village of Tolmezzo, the head town of alpine Carnia area of Friuli Venezia Giulia region. Despite its 340 inhabitants, the hamlet is so cute and demonstrates an interesting taste for creativity and originality. Regardless of being surrounded by mountains, the buildings have mostly structures made up of stones, as well as for the rest of urban furniture. With the arrival of tourists moved by the cultural annual event, old houses, pavements and mills had been nicely restored. Courtyards are also open often and it is so relaxing and inspiring stopovers and stare at their exterior and flawless designs. So, one could see wooden doors carved in cow-shape, or warehouse adapted to store firewood or elegant frames decorating stony walls combined with flowers compositions. Looking upwards, the tourists could admire several colourful religious mural sketches and paintings created outside of each house. Furthermore, if you have some spare minutes, take a chance to visit the Church dedicated to Paul's Conversion, which is an example of eighteenth-century architecture.
The iconic shop and restaurant of the hamlet is "La Buteghe di Pierute', a comfortable delicatessen and gadgets store, with a floor dedicated only to restaurant service. A giant wooden sculpture is present on the ground floor: it represents a couple kissing each other sitting on a table. The script Amor stands for the word Love. Upstairs, the restaurant ambience recalls a cosy mountain chalet, soberly and elegantly furnished and sprinkled with silver frills here and there. The best advice to be immersed in the typical Friulan culture is to having the frico, salsiccia, polenta and funghi dish for lunch and ending it with chocolate pannacotta. Nobody will be disappointed!