During your stay at Palazzo Rinaldi you will have as much or as little to do as you wish: working on your artistic projects, exploring the local area, meeting and socializing with your fellow artists-in-residence…or just plain old relaxing and catching up on uninterrupted sleep! However you decide to spend your time, here are 10 things we recommend you try and fit in during your stay, that will make your Residency even more memorable and special.
1. Lights, Camera, Action || Visit the UNESCO world heritage site of Matera. With daily bus connections to and from Noepoli, there is no excuse not to visit one of Italy’s most unique locations. One of the peninsula’s first human settlements, its vast historical centre is carved almost entirely out of white rock, giving it an otherworldy appearance. Matera today is a regular location for film makers– Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew were filmed here, among many others. Guided tours are widely available.
2. Take a hike! || With Palazzo Rinaldi’s enviable location in the heart of Italy’s largest national park, you should definitely make the most of the wide-open spaces and stunning scenery on our doorstep. Many walking and hiking trails are available for you to discover and explore, offering unspoilt vistas and uninterrupted silence and the opportunity to work off those extra, delicious pizza pounds! If you are a runner bring your shoes, as you will also find many pathways to and from the Residency to challenge you and keep you in shape during your stay.
3. Watch the stars… || Meeting for a glass of wine on the panoramic terrace at sunset is a regular habit for our Artists-in-residence. A socializing ritual accompanied by the ever-changing display of colors, which you can enjoy from your very own west-facing seat in the clouds. Later, as the air cools down and the sky darkens to reveal its treasures without the glare of electric lights, star gazing will be an exceptional experience. Pina is a keen amateur astronomer and she will gladly talk you through the constellations on view during your stay, and even has a telescope for you to peek through. In August it is extremely common to view falling stars, so have a couple of wishes at the ready!
4. Judge a book by its cover || Explore our library collection: Palazzo Rinaldi is home to a collection of antique Italian books and magazines viewable upon request. Dating back from as far as the mid-nineteenth century and including specific publications on fashion and cinema as well as war and politics, they will no doubt inspire and intrigue you.
5. Work outdoors || Grab one of our portable easels and step outside of the studio, and let your creativity loose in the maze of cobbled streets. Noepoli, perched on top of a hill and winding itself around it in a spiral shape, is a village of extraordinary beauty as well as a protected location. With Palazzo Rinaldi located right at the very top, don’t miss the opportunity to explore on foot its many tiny side streets and cobbled lanes, intersecting with each other before opening up to reveal secret piazze and surprising vistas on the valley below. Bring your work with you and enjoy the weather, and the freedom of being able to work outdoors.
6. Bless me, Father… || Go to Sunday mass. Whether you are religious or not, mass in the south of Italy is a fascinating and spiritually enriching experience. You will witness the whole of the small village coming together and also enjoy the folklore, the people watching, the litany and the singing. If your Residency happens to coincide with one of the summer’s many festas, such as Saint Anthony or the Madonna of Constantinople, you will also experience outdoor processions, marching bands, food stands, dancing – and even fireworks!
7. Meet the locals. || Noepoli is home to a small and friendly community who – despite the language barrier – will go out of its way to make you feel at home. The village is small and everyone knows each other, making it a safe destination particularly if travelling on your own. Even if your Italian begins and ends with ‘buongiorno’ and ‘buonasera’, a friendly attitude and a smile is really all you need to make long term friends!
8. Go to the beach || Yes- despite the fact that we are in a hilltop location, the bustling beachside resort of Policoro is not far away. So if you fancy a ‘holiday day’ to break from your creative work, pack your swimsuit and towel!
9. Sample the local food & wine. || The south of Italy is well known as the gourmet epicentre of the country, and Basilicata is no exception. In Noepoli you will be able to taste some exceptional dishes and ingredients – among them the DOP Red Peppers of Senise, unique in the country – and the famous black grape Aglianico wines. Upon request we can even arrange a visit to the local winery, inclusive of tasting session of course!
10. See the sights || There are many sights to explore locally, but one you definitely shouldn’t miss is the church of the Madonna del Pantano on the outskirts of the village, impressively carved into the mountain side and featuring the hermit’s grotto- setting to a fascinating local legend. If your passion is history and archaeology, a little further afield you will find the Greek temples at Metaponto, original site of Pythagoras’ philosophy school, or the Archaeological museum at Matera.
These are just some basic suggestions to get you started- the rest is all for you to discover! At Palazzo Rinaldi you will find all the maps, bus timetables and information you need to plan your visits and we will be happy to answer any question you might have. Enjoy!