It’s with great pride and joy that I announce the publication of
THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO GUARDIA SANFRAMONDI!
with dear Lorenzo: headache trying to understand dialetto
The guidebook has been percolating for several years, and took around a year to write – it’s not a typical or superficial guide, but a frank view into life in this molto particolare culture and place, climate and economy – by someone who knows it intimately.
hanging out with beautiful young folk of Guardia, who helped me learn Italiano!
It has 130 pages, 3 maps, detailed instructions on how to get here most efficiently and affordably, what and who to watch out for, how to navigate all the boons and quirks of the town as a foreigner. Here are some initial reactions from my readers:
Mary Tagliarino: “Wonderfully informative with a fascinating window on the culture of Guardia! Better than any ethnography from my Anthropology studies!”
Glenn T Martin: “It was FABULOUS!! I am learning so much…I didn’t even realize Guardia had a larger grocery store!! Please keep up the good work.”
Crystal A. Davis: “GREAT book! Love your writing style! I read it in one go! It’s such a wonderful book, and will be providing deep benefit for many years! … made me miss Guardia so much.”
HERE’S AN EXCERPT, FROM THE END OF THE BOOK
photo by Anna Wiraszka
ABOUT THE NEW COMMUNITY
“The new international community of Guardia Sanframondi is growing on the shoulders of a series of protagonists and ‘believers’ who were led to the abandoned medieval quarter over the past few decades. None of us are pioneers; none of us are discoverers of an undiscovered culture: Guardia was thriving away over the centuries without us.
At the same time, we now have a truly rare situation, whereby the bright threads of our overlapping stories and dreams have started to form a strong, brightly-coloured fabric. This unique tapestry is having new threads continually being woven into it. Working together, and bringing the best of all our cultures to the table, there’s huge potential for our long-term intercultural ‘surthrival’, which is more important than ever in this troubled world.
As the community grows, and new folks compare who came first, who has the biggest key or the best panorama, it’s important to acknowledge that there were many talented individuals who came to Guardia long before us all, and who continue to go about their business and leisure without fanfare. My own arrival here followed a series of other protagonists with beautiful house projects: I was inspired by cultured folks from Caserta and Torre Del Greco, Naples and Rome. These brilliant folks continue to contribute to the multicultural diversity of our growing community, by developing B&Bs, summer camps and artist residencies, inter-cultural events and special celebrations. It’s often the ones not blowing their own trumpets who make the more significant contributions to a cultural dynamic.
I’ve always seen the potential of the old town as a win-win-win situation, and it does seem like it’s possible that there’s space for us all to flourish, particularly if we treat each other and the town with respect and generosity. If we give back as much – or more – than we get from the place, we can build a collective creative power which can stand strong in defiance of the worst cultural tensions and austerity economics currently proliferating across Europe.
Some of us felt a calling to be in Guardia – even if it was in part the €10K house price-tag tempting us! Many of us felt pulled by something intangible and yet irresistible: we followed signs and good vibes, and we found our dream home, and a high quality, chilled-out way of life.
Many of the new international community are empty-nesters or nearing retirement age, and want to be in a peaceful (and affordable) place when they’re older. Others seek silence and solitude, spiritual reflection, time in nature – sometimes as respite from a heavy work schedule back home. Yet others want the headspace to create: artists, writers, musicians, creatives of all kinds.
We all share a passion for good food, great wine, a gentle lifestyle, a breath-taking view, fresh air, clean water. We’re all stimulating the local community in some shape or form – to better appreciate the beauty and values they might have taken for granted up to now, to fulfil their own creative dreams and projects, to get organised, and to support the regeneration of the old town.
Most folks from abroad are coming to Guardia for a few weeks per annum, others for as many as 6 months. One or two hope to transfer, though no-one has yet lasted more than a couple of years during all four seasons. But within a few years, what with further TV publicity coming again soon, and several foreigners and Italians establishing new businesses; the rejuvenation of Guardia Sanframondi looks set to settle into a more permanent and dynamic international community.
Together, we all have even huger potential, and I have a lot of optimism about the inherent positivity and spirit of our movement winning over any greed and ego which is trying to get a foothold. Bravi noi!“
photo by Charlotte Sørensen
I have a unique position here in Guardia, having been protagonist in the renaissance movement, and here year-round since 2009; my first couple of years here were completely da sola, without the language. I learned everything the hard way – so you don’t have to!
winter isn’t always sunny and warm, here!
What many people don’t know is that alongside a colourful art career I’ve also had a parallel incarnation as a visionary – being heavily involved in several large scale community and social housing transformation projects.
international artists, attracted by the creative vibe in Guardia!
I’ve won social entrepreneur awards, and was shortlisted for major funding for a visionary project to transform social housing in Scotland. I’m able to understand the underlying interconnectedness of things: how behaviour and systems reverberate – how these knock-on effects accumulate over time, and how we can interract positively in the patterns they make.
photo by Soukizy Redroom of the Ri-CREARE festival, 2014
With this experience and skill, I approached the empty centro storico – not as a problem and public liability (as it was viewed by most locals at the time) – but as a blank canvas and community resource, with immensely valuable potential.
Ri-CREARE festival, 2014, outside the Arthouse
My enthusiasm and hard work at the beginning of the interest from abroad helped shift perception about the old town in a relatively short period.
scambia culturale and lots of fun!
I was protagonist on a practical level, to initiate the great flow of stranieri into the empty houses, and I’ve initiated multifarious intercultural events in Guardia…
photo by Charlotte Sørensen
I continue to bring visitors to Guardia from all over the world, and to inspire locals to see the town and landscape with new eyes. I’ve stimulated masses of cultural and language exchange, inspiring a multitude of people to set up projects, homes and dreams – here and in other countries!
2014’s Terra Vivente art studio, which I had a key role in establishing
My perspective on how it is to live as a foreigner here is uniquely deep, having been here for 6 yrs, and having been very involved in the community.
I hope the guidebook will help others to find their feet in Guardia Sanframondi.
The guidebook is also my first step in getting my ideas around community and creative transformation, into print as guidebooks – I’ll be exploring many interconnected ideas throughout the Live Like A Happy Artist book series.
PLUS here are the arthouse’s two beautiful CALENDARS for 2016:
The Guardia calendar is a high-colour publication is an inspired collection of images of this beautiful town and its surrounding landscape. My very best photos throughout the seasons.
See a full preview and buy now on Lulu:
And the Art calendar has all my favourite paintings from this year, in full colour.
See a preview and buy now via Lulu:
More new listings have been set up on my Etsy shop!
My newsletter is going out TOMORROW – go SIGN UP (click here) to sign up!
Tante belle cose, Clare xx