Bob and Rosemary Connelly shared their two year exploration through the country of Italy with a local audience at the Misipillion Art League on Thursday, January 20. The room was packed as the couple described their journey through photography, watercolors, and journals of the places they lived and visited.
Bob and Rosemary Connelly grew up in New York City and both graduated from college with Fine Arts degrees as they traveled around the United States. When the two were in their fifties they decided they would sell their home in Arizona, put their things in storage and move to the country of Italy.
“It was always in our minds to move to Italy. We did not discuss it daily but we both knew it would happen,” commented Bob.
With just two suitcases each, one with clothes and the other filled with art supplies, the Connelly’s boarded a plane destined for Italy and began a two year dream of theirs. When they arrived in Italy they had no idea what to expect but were quite surprised when they were greeted by their new home that included a beautiful garden that overlooked a stunning valley.
“It was not only beautiful but entrenched in History. The very wall around our garden was from the Roman time period, and underneath that was a layer of Etruscan architecture,” described Bob.
During their visit the Connelly’s visited Umbria, Florence, Sicily and many small hidden towns throughout the Italian countryside.
Rosemary and Bob engaged themselves with the local communities and began to understand that the festivals of each town were not only for fun but were a chance for local neighborhoods to display their pride and traditions. One such festival they described in detail was held in Spello. Residents of the town would pull petals off of flowers and create beautiful designs that covered the streets. These patterns took all night and were done with attention to minute detail. The preparations of these street designs were to honor the Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He walked across the flowers through the town, as the art faded away beneath his feet. “It was a moment that reminded you of how all of life is a fleeting beauty,” expressed Rosemary.
The two years that Bob and Rosemary spent in Italy became an experience for all of the audience to enjoy. Their stories of visiting historical churches and unknown villas kept the spectators engaged and finding a newfound sense of adventure. The Mispillion Art League will be hosting similar presentations once a month on the third Thursday at 6:30p.m.