Santa Caterina of the Dancing Rock, Italy
A Picturesque Corner of Italy’s Lake District
Painted from a moment I captured on Lake Maggiore two years ago on a two-month trip in northern Italy. One of the most interesting places I’ve ever been. Off the standard tourist circuit and along the rim of Italy’s boot lives its Lake District, named after glacial lakes formed at the end of the last Ice Age. For all the massive tourism and consequent pick-pocketing in its big cities, here lie quiet pockets of Italy the world has yet to pick.
An Interesting History
Meet Santa Caterina del Sasso Ballaro or Santa Caterina of the Dancing Rock. A 12th century hermitage that hugs the side of this cliff as if carved from it. Founded by a merchant Alberto Besozzi, who almost died in a shipwreck on Lake Maggiore one stormy night and then went on to live as a hermit here for the rest of his days, moved by the miracle of his survival. The non-indulgence may not be very Italian but the unpredictability definitely is. Way off the standard tourist circuit, this place and all the small towns skirting Lake Maggiore are wonderful to explore. For more on Italy’s Lake District, head over to A Dip in Italy’s Lake District. For money-saving tips culled from my 2-month Italy-Germany-Slovenia trip, go to Big Adventures, Small Budgets.
Here’s to Every Bedevilled Detail
Feels so good to return to full-fledged painting after a decade (!) and to work with my favorite medium, oil pastels. Took me a while to get re-acquainted with all its quirks and techniques but once I did, it all felt unstoppable. The details were endless in the photo I’d taken on an 8 EUR boat ride over Lake Maggiore. As someone said, the devil is in the detail and I loved losing track of time and my to-do lists with every bedevilled detail in this scene.
If you have any suggestions for what I might paint next, or if you’d like to buy this painting or prints of it, or if you’d like to commission a painting, drop me a line at namitayoga@ gmail.com. Hope to get cracking on another world of details and pigments soon 🤩