2015 Residency details coming soon…

Thank you so much for your many enquries and for your patience!
We are finally about to publish the details about the Palazzo Rinaldi residencies 2015…all will be revealed next week…stay tuned!


10 Things To Do During Your Artists’ Residency

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.


Matera sunset

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.

Farneta forest Pollino   Pollino hiking

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.

Telescope terrace Palazzo Rinaldi  Palazzo Rinaldi sunset

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!

antique books

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.

Painting Palazzo Rinaldi Italy       painting Palazzo Rinaldi

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.

banda Noepoli  Noepoli procession

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!

Simone Cumpa'  Vaydehi Noepoli

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!


Policoro beach

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!

Palazzo Rinaldi art Amaro Lucano  Palazzo RInaldi

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!

Chiesa   Jacuvill

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!

Discovering the places of ‘Christ Stopped at Eboli’

Carlo Levi, Basilicata

The Basilicata region of Italy, with its secluded sunny locations shrouded in mystery and folk tradition, has provided through the years inspiration and ideas to countless writers, poets, visual artists and film makers.  One of the most famous and best loved of such writers is Carlo Levi, author of the Italian literature classic Christ Stopped at Eboli (Cristo si è fermato a Eboli).

Levi was a politically engaged doctor, writer and talented painter originally from Turin in northern Italy. In 1935, Levi’s anti-fascist beliefs and political activism led to him being exiled by Mussolini’s fascist government to Basilicata, at the time considered the remotest area in southern Italy.  What the government didn’t expect however, was that this ‘punishment’ would in fact become a positively life changing experience for Levi, who was welcomed with open arms by the people of the area.

Aliano Basilicata

The village of Aliano

Levi Aliano Palazzo Rinaldi

Levi’s exile home (now museum) in Aliano

Palazzo Rinaldi, Carlo Levi

Residents Catherine Finn and Laura MacNaughton (Palazzo Rinaldi AIRs 2010) at the Levi museum in Aliano

Published in 1945 in memoir form, the book provides an intimate and affecting account of Levi’s time spent in the remote small villages of Grassano and Aliano (Levi changed the name of Aliano to ‘Gagliano’ in the book)- the latter can be seen in the distance from the Palazzo Rinaldi terrace.  Our village Noepoli is also mentioned in the book, as is the nearby city of Matera.

The title of the book is an expression describing the local rural area as ‘ bypassed by Christianity, by morality, by history itself—(…) somehow excluded from the full human experience’ as Levi later explained.  Eboli was the location in nearby Campania region where the road and railway  branched away from the main north-south routes and headed further south into no-man’s-land.

The unique ‘calanchi’ rock formations in Aliano

AIR Italy Basilicata

Photographers Vaydehi Khandelwal and Mina Momeni (Palazzo Rinaldi AIRs 2009) visiting the main square in Aliano

The book is a great work of literature as well as a unique historical document, as it represents a snapshot of a region going through a particularly difficult time: isolated by the political classes, economically poor and riddled with malaria.  While thankfully Basilicata is in a very different place today, at the same time many reflections Levi shares on aspects of the local culture are still very much alive today, such as its folk traditions, mysticism, dialect, superstitions and so on.  Levi’s writing style effortlessly combines serious reflections with light hearted, personal and often funny anecdotes, making it an absorbing read.

Many visitors to the region, including our Resident artists, find the this book an invaluable introduction to this mysterious and still undiscovered region, and can easily relate to Levi’s point of view of ‘outsider looking in’.

Folk traditions are still alive in Aliano just as they were in Levi's day

Marching band in Aliano.  Folk traditions are still alive in Basilicata, as they would have been in Levi’s day.

If you needed further encouragement to pick up a copy of the book (in case you forget to pack it – we have a few at the Palazzo!) is that once here at Palazzo Rinaldi you will be able to visit Aliano and all the places where Levi lived and worked on his book, as well as his final resting place.  Levi loved the village so much that, years after he had returned to live in the north, his last wish was to be buried back in Basilicata.  His tomb is visited by writers from around the world, who traditionally leave small pebbles on its as a testimony of their visit.

Levi Basilicata Palazzo Rinaldi

Carlo Levi’s final resting place in Aliano

In addition to retracing the steps of Carlo Levi and seeing through your own eyes the very street corners and locations he describes, you will also be able to view some of his painting, sketch works, photos and memorabilia, currently hosted in Aliano’s Carlo Levi Museum.  Levi used painting as another form of ‘memoir’, capturing the friends and local characters he got to know with while in exile, once again providing us with an invaluable testimony of a historical time.

Levi Basilicata

Paintings by Carlo Levi Levi Italy

More info:
Carlo Levi on Penguin Classics website
Museo Storico Carlo Levi

Summer 2014 & new facilities

It’s that time of year again!!  We are delighted to announce that Palazzo Rinaldi is currently accepting applications for Summer 2014.  Between the end of June and early September, artists can choose to attend for a minimum of 5 nights, to a maximum of 2 weeks (Residencies) or one month (Retreats).  Artists also have the option to attend in a private apartment as part of the main Palazzo Rinaldi building, particularly useful if traveling with families or looking for a little more privacy.

Despite being committed to remaining a small, family-run location, Palazzo Rinaldi has organically grown and developed quite a bit since it first opened its doors back in 2008. With the help of the positive support and feedback from our Residents the three of us have worked as hard as possible to try and make it better every year.

In this blog post we wanted to quickly guide you through some new additions we were pleased to bring to the Residency last year, including a brand new self-catering kitchen for the exclusive use of our Residents.


Despite being a remote, tiny little village Noepoli does have its own restaurant/ pizzeria, many bars, two bakeries and so on- all great places to socialise and get to meet local people.  However we felt it was very important for Residents to feel as independent as possible and truly ‘at home’ by cooking their own meals whenever they wished to, particularly when staying for a long period of time.  The feedback has been great over the last season and it was wonderful to see the kitchen become a new centre for aggregation and socialising among artists, cooking and sharing together.

self catering Rinaldi
Above: Palazzo Rinaldi AIRs Marijke Loosjes and Anne Lillis.  Below (L-R): Palazzo Rinaldi AIRs Jyoti Dugal, Mellisa Dempsey, Andy Nicholson, Dana Sederowsky, Marijke Loosjes, Simone Couto and Meghan Blosser.

eat Palazzo RinaldiAIRs kitchen Palazzo Rinaldi

This of course doesn’t mean that Pina’s wonderful home cooked breakfasts are going away– quite the opposite!  They are staying,by popular demand! :)

Palazzo Rinaldi breakfast

Palazzo Rinaldi food

Palazzo Rinaldi food
Above: Palazzo Rinaldi breakfast details, AIRs Tuula Voutilainen, Geranise Hurtis and Leonor Agan.

In addition to our existing two studios, this summer we were also pleased to open a third studio space filled with natural light and with direct access to our terrace.

Palazzo Rinaldi studio   studio Palazzo Rinaldi
AIR Palazzo Rinaldi  artists studio Palazzo Rinaldi
Palazzo Rinaldi AIRs Mellisa Dempsey (L) and Charlsie Kelly (R) at work in the studio

terrace Palazzo Rinaldi
view from the studio

We are so pleased we could bring these improvements to the Residency and look forward to unveiling more over the next few seasons.

Rendez-Vous à Noepoli

We gratefully received this beautiful essay written in Residency by AIR Stéphane Zoccola, a writer based in Paris.  
We asked for her permission to share it with you, as we thought it was uniquely delicate and poetic.
Merci Stéphanie et à très bientôt!

Stephanie Stephanie Z

Rendez-vous à Noepoli…

Aujourd’hui, c’est le 19 août, c’est un lundi et je suis en vacances.
Pourtant, je me suis levée très tôt, bien plus que quand je travaille. Mais
j’ai une bonne excuse pour ce zèle estival : ce soir, j’ai rendez-vous à

— Où ça ?, me demande-t-on depuis plusieurs semaines.
— A Noepoli.
— Qu’est-ce que c’est ?
— Un village du sud de l’Italie.
— Noepoli comme Napoli ? C’est à côté ?
— Oui et non. Je vais passer par Naples, mais après je prendrai un car.
— Tu pars en voyage en car ??? Mais c’est où ton Noepoli ? Au bout du
monde ?
— Presque. C’est en Basilicata.
— Basilicata ? Mais qu’est-ce que c’est ça encore ?
— C’est une région du sud de l’Italie.
— Connais pas.
— Et bien c’est la différence entre Francis Ford Coppola et toi. Lui, il
est originaire de là-bas.
— C’est bien, mais ça ne me dit toujours pas où tu vas.
— Mais depuis quand sommes-nous tous devenus si nuls en géographie
italienne? Que dis-tu ? Depuis la Coupe du Monde de Football 2006 ? Allons
donc… Je te situe, sois attentif. Tu vois la botte italienne ? Et bien je
vais dans la voûte plantaire.
— Tu en as, toi, de ces lubies… Tu peux pas aller à Rome comme tout le
monde? Quelle idée de partir en voyage dans une voûte plantaire !!!
Vraiment ! Tu veux que l’on meurt tous d’inquiétude ou quoi? Et si l’on me
demande où tu es partie, je réponds quoi ? Sous le pied de l’Italie?
— Non, tu leurs dis que je suis partie au Palazzo Rinaldi, chez Pina,
Susanna et Raffaele.
— Le palazzo Rinaldi ? Noepoli ? On s’y perd ! Qu’est-ce que c’est tout ça?
— Voilà une bonne question, assieds-toi, je vais te raconter.

D’abord, il y a Naples, affolante, effrayante, effarante. Un chaos géant
sous un soleil de plomb où tout s’ingénie à aller de travers. Et pourtant,
comme l’a dit ce bon vieux Galilée, ce Pisan qui, forcément, s’y
connaissait en choses bancales, ça tourne. Tu finis toujours par réussir à
entrer dans cette ville et à en ressortir. Et dans la direction que tu
voulais qui plus est…

Après il y a un car. Très confortable, très musical, très italien.
Forcément, on te demande où tu vas, toi que l’on n’a jamais vu et dont le
teint témoigne que tu viens de contrées où l’on ignore tout du soleil… Et
quand tu réponds timidement « Noepoli », en espérant l’avoir chanté aussi
bien que possible, on s’étonne : « Noepoli ? Mais c’est tout petit !”
Je dois te dire que les Italiens adorent plaisanter sans doute, car ça
n’est pas vrai, Noepoli, ça n’est pas petit. Noepoli, c’est immense. Et
puis c’est haut, comme tous les endroits qui se rapprochent du paradis.

Oh non, mon ami, j’insiste : Noepoli, ça n’est pas petit.
D’abord Noepoli, c’est une plage bordée par un océan de montagnes. De
vagues crêtes jusqu’à perte de vue, où des villages sont posés à flanc de
parois comme des ilots sur la mer.

Noepoli, c’est le lieu de rendez-vous de Venus et Saturne qui s’y
retrouvent en secret au coucher du soleil. Ils se cachent dans l’alcôve du
crépuscule avant que la nuit ne les mette en lumière.

C’est là qu’une chouette blanche comme une hermine, belle comme un sourire
du diable, vient danser avec des chauves-souris prudes comme des jeunes
demoiselles, une tarentelle macabre toutes les nuits au-dessus des toits.

A Noepoli, il y a des troupeaux d’oliviers qui moutonnent sous des sommets
acérés où la pluie et Dieu dessinent de fausses forteresses médiévales que
seules les âmes crédules croient voir.

A Noepoli, il y a des chiens qui protestent au loin, comme des Français un
jour de grève.

A Noepoli, c’est Dieu qui te donne l’heure. Partout ailleurs le temps est
assassin ;  ici, il est musicien. Et fait carillonner les heures et leurs
quarts sous un clocher mélomane.

A Noepoli, des ambulanti chaleureux dealent à l’arrière des camions et te
fourguent contre quelques piécettes des tomates dignes du Prince de
Broglie. De belles majestés en rouge qui te rappellent que s’il faut manger
pour vivre, tu es cordialement invité à le faire avec goût et félicité.

A Noepoli, que tu partes à gauche ou à droite, tu arrives toujours au même
endroit, c’est plus pratique pour se donner rendez-vous.

A Noepoli, il y a 900 habitants, trois bars, deux boulangeries, un
restaurant, un bureau de Poste et dix chaises rouges réservées aux hommes.
Il y aussi un sport national qui consiste à parler en marchant ou marcher
en parlant ou s’arrêter de marcher pour parler.

Mais il y a surtout une maison, belle comme un palais, chaleureuse comme un
foyer,  où tous les visages sont bienveillants, qu’ils soient mobiles,
figés dans la pierre ou encadrés.
Il y a surtout une maison où le temps s’écoule très calmement et très vite
à la fois.
Il y a surtout une maison où tous tes pas te ramènent toujours vers une
terrasse sur l’infini.

Mais il y a surtout Raffaele, qui a au moins cent cinquante ans (si tu ne
me crois pas, quand tu iras, regarde les photos aux murs) et qui pense que
les Hommes sont faits pour se rencontrer. J’ai bien peur que quand viendra
le XXIème siècle on ne le prenne pour un fou…

Mais il y a surtout Pina, sa cuisine trois étoiles et sa sciences des
constellations. Ecoute au moins une fois son rire qui cascade comme une eau
vive et dis-moi si tu parviens à être triste après ça.

Mais il y a surtout Susanna qui réussit le tour de force d’être là même
quand elle n’y est pas.

Alors je te le dis, crois-tu que l’on peut mettre tout ça et tout ce que je
ne te dis pas dans un Noepoli qui serait tout petit ?
Non, Noepoli, Basilicata, Italie, ça n’est pas un petit monde, ça n’est pas
le grand monde. Si tu regardes bien, ça n’est même pas un village, c’est
une atmosphère, un univers…

Stéphanie Zoccola,
Noepoli, le samedi 24 août 2013