Most of our family and friends know that we are big fans of family history. It should be warned, however, that it’s a very addictive pastime and once you get started you can so easily get hooked !!!

I started by researching my father’s side of the family, the Richards family – Tin Miners from Cornwall, the Davies family – Coal Miners from Ammanford in South Wales and the Houghagan’s  from County Mayo / County Galway in Ireland and in Swansea.

Next we began researching Paul’s Shapcott family from Whitestone / Exeter in Devon. This got us well and truly hooked and we went on to liaise with several other Shapcott researchers, and we have put together a large database of information. Consequently, we registered our Shapcott interests with “The Guild of One-Name Studies”. We were interested to discover just how far and wide Shapcott’s are dispersed from their native homeland of Knowstone in North Devon, and to learn more about their individual stories and varied ways of life.

Shapcott Barton in Knowstone Devon

Shapcott Barton in Knowstone, Devon – The ancestral home of the Shapcotes

Here is our Shapcott Family Website: http://www.shapcott-family.com

Shapcott Coat of Arms

And then of course there was my Italian side of the family. My maternal grandparents originated from the beautiful mountain community of  Atina, Frosinone, Italy, overlooking the River Melfa and the Meta and Mainarde mountains, on the edge the Abruzzi.

Atina Val di Comino Frosinone Italy

Atina Val di Comino Frosinone Italy

My Atina website: http://atina.shapcott-family.com/

However my grandparents chose to leave behind their beloved Atina to make a new life in London. In the Summer of 1911 they first set foot on English soil, and made their way to “Il Quariere Italiano” of Clerkenwell, the district known as “Little Italy” by the English and “The Hill” by the Italian residents.

They rented a dilapidated Victorian house at the lower end of Little Saffron Hill which was to be their home for many years to come.

 

Herbal Hill or Little Saffron Hill Clerkenwell London

Herbal Hill or Little Saffron Hill Clerkenwell London

Leonardi Family clerkenwell London

My mother, Tina (Concetta), was baptised in St Peter’s Italian Church in 1920 and made her First Communion there.

Little Italian Girl Clerkenwell London

Tiny Tina

First Communion in Clerkenwell London

Tina’s First Communion in Clerkenwell, London

She married my father there in 1955.

Wedding at St Peters Italian Church Clerkenwell, London

Tina and Hugh’s wedding

Then I was born and was also baptised at St Peter’s and I lived in Clerkenwell until, in 1957, we moved away to the countryside of Hertfordshire, away from the smogs of old London town.  

My mother would, however, return every so often on a Sunday to attend Mass at St Peter’s. We also came at special times of the year, such as for the Italian Procession in July, which I walked in on two occasions, just as my mother had done before me.  We also enjoyed attending the Christmas Bazaar in St Peter’s School hall, Herbal Hill, where my mother had attended school.

Sadly I did not have the good fortune to get to know my maternal grandparents, as they had both died well before I came along. However, as I grew up I developed a true passion for Italy and all things Italian.  My mother (Tina) would fondly recount stories of her childhood in Clerkenwell and I decided to write them down and record them for future generations to learn from and to enjoy,  to preserve them for posterity.  I am so happy to be able to share my mother’s memories with you at my new website entitled “Clerkenwell Our Little Italy”.  

Tina’s story is about a child growing up in Little Italy

during the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Little Italian girl in Little Italy Clerkenwell London

In addition it includes descriptions of living in London through the Blitz during WWII, the internment of “enemy aliens” and the terrible tragedy of the Arandora Star.

The website also has a section dedicated to the history of Clerkenwell over the last few centuries and the influx of Italian immigrants to this area. There is information regarding the padrones, the organ-grinders, the street musicians, the artists’ models, the immigrants’ various crafts and trades, the terrible living conditions in the slums and, of course, the manufacture of ice cream.

Another section is devoted to St Peter’s Italian Church and the annual procession in honour of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

During this project, I have met through the wonders of the internet, a number of interesting people who share my passion for Clerkenwell’s Little Italy and its social history, and also the history of London.  I would like to say a big thank you to everyone that has helped me.

A special thank you to those photographers who kindly gave me permission to use their wonderful images to illustrate the website.

So, here it is: Clerkenwell Our Little Italy

http://shapcott-family.com/clerkenwellwel/index.html

I have also created a Facebook Group by the name of   

Clerkenwell Our Little Italy    

Please do feel welcome to join !!!

#clerkenwelllondon, #clerkenwell #familyhistory #atinaitaly #italianprocession #littleitaly

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

Recently we were invited to yet another birthday celebration, by our friends Anna and Santo.  Santo is originally from Sicily and misses his birthplace greatly.  How I would like to visit Sicily one day.

These festivities were for their daughter little Isabel who was 5 years old.

(Just 55 years younger than poor old Kay and Elsie !!! but my time will come when I am 60 in a couple of years time – where does the time go !!!)

Isabel is a little “sweet heart” and very comical !!!

Here I think I will let the photos do the talking ….

Birthday Itri Italy

Birthday Itri Italy

Birthday Itri Italy

Birthday Itri Italy

Birthday Itri Italy

Riccotta Pie Dessert

Birthday Cake Italy

Birthday Cake Itri Italy

Happy Birthday Isabel and may you have many, many more happy ones !!!

Birthday Itri Italy

Isabel's Birthday Itri Italy

Isabel's Birthday Itri Italy

Family Itri Italy

Family Itri Italy

Thank you for inviting us to share this special day with you and your lovely family. Dear friends, my dream is that one day you will be able to meet my family too.

 Auguri !!!

I hope you like the photos.

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#birthday #compleanno #itri #italy #southlazio

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

A few days after Elsie’s party a couple more good friends arrived from Cardiff, Nicki and Callum, who had volunteered to help out for a week in the “Tre Cancelle” olive groves.  This was their second visit to Itri. 

Sadly this year once again we had no olives.  It is not just us, though, it is the same in many of the olive groves in Itri, because there were strong winds back in early May when the trees are in bloom and the flowers failed to set. 

We have recently got some workers in to help with some pruning in the lower section of the grove, and they had left behind piles of branches and twigs that littered the ground. 

Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

The job in hand was then to chomp out and separate the chunky branches from the smaller twiggy ones, called “frasche”, using pneumatically powered secateurs.

Then all the small branches have to be gathered up and burned.

Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

Bonfire Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

The burn ferociously because of the amount of oil in the sap.

We all got stuck in and worked our cotton socks off for several days and managed to clear several of the terraces.  In fact it became a quite a challenge as to how many terraces we could conquer.   Callum is only 14 but he worked so hard. Nicki you should be so proud of him.

Bonfire Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

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Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

Firewood Pruning Olive Grove Itri Italy

Dog Max Olive Grove Itri Italy

Max Olive Grove Itri Italy

Sunset in Olive Grove Itri Italy

However, it wasn’t all work and no play that week.

We all went out for a special birthday meal at the “Casareccia” in Campodimele and were joined once again by our American friends from Ohio, Florisa and Patrizia.

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Once again Maria served up copious amounts of wonderful handmade delicacies.

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Meal at  La Casareccia Campodimele Italy

Callum is a keen young cook and whilst staying at Tre Cancelle he made a fabulous chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake Tre Cancelle

Chocolate Cake Tre Cancelle

You can come and stay again Callum !!!

On their last evening we took Callum, Nicki and Kay to the Bellavista.

Here Callum had a one to one lesson in art of pizza making, by the expert himself – Massimo !!!

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

It’s not as easy as it looks !!!  It is all about stretching the dough.

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Callum made a special pizza for his mum ……

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Making Pizzas at La Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Making Pizza at Bellavista Restaurant Itri Latina Italy

Pizza at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Latina Italy

Bellavista Restaurant Itri Latina Italy

Bellavista Restaurant Itri Latina Italy

Bellavista Restaurant Itri Latina ItalyNicki, Anna and Kay

Thank you Kay, Callum and Nicki

for all your support and hard work during that busy week. 

We couldn’t have done it without you !!!

#olives #gaetaolives #itriitaly #lacasarecciacampodimele #bellavistaitri

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

In November, to celebrate Elsie’s milestone birthday, Elsie, Kay and another friend Brenda decided to take a few days holiday in Sicily, a place Elsie had always longed to visit.  They rented a small apartment in the centre of Palermo and experienced first hand Sicilian life in this hectic city. On Elsie’s birthday Kay organised a sight seeing trip in a traditional horse drawn carriage, followed by a special meal.

Horse drawn carriage Palermo Sicily Italy

Birthday in Palermo Sicily Italy

Palermo Sicily Italy

Palermo Sicily Italy

Park in Palermo Sicily Italy

Park in Palermo Sicily Italy

Palermo Sicily Italy

Evening in Palermo Sicily Italy

They also managed to fit in a day trip to the seaside resort of Cefalù.

lthough it was November the weather was beautifully warm and Brenda was able to have a paddle in the sea.

Beach at Cefalù Sicily Italy

Beach at Cefalù Sicily Italy

Harbour at Cefalù Sicily Italy

Fish Market in Sicily Italy

Meanwhile back in Itri I was busy preparing a surprise birthday party for Elsie at the Bellavista restaurant with some live music by our friends Santo and Anna.

Elsie was really shocked as she entered the room as assembled were many of our friends from Itri and some other American friends from Minturno.

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Florisa and I had baked a special cake.

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

The next day was to be my friend Florisa’s birthday, so after midnight we celebrated hers too.

Birthday at the Bellavista Restaurant Itri Italy

Thanks to everyone for making it such a memorable joyous occasion.

Photos by Kay McRobbie

#birthdayparty #bellavista #itri #pizzeria #restaurant

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

Well, sadly all good things must come to an end. 

All the members of the “We Love Atina !!!” Group seemed to really enjoy their long weekend in Atina.  They were a great bunch of people and everyone got on so well.  The weather was so kind to us, lovely warm sunny days, perfect for all our little trips around Atina and it environs.

We enjoyed several lovely evening meals together at …

The Villa Fortuna’s restaurant in lower Atina / Ponte Melfa.  We found it to be very friendly, the food was very good, tasty and reasonably priced.

We Love Atina Group at Villa Fortuna Restaurant Atina Italy

We also used the Villa Fortuna’s bar as our meeting point and were made so welcome by Marcello and Christiane, the Italian / American owners who also share our passion for Atina and genealogy. We were also able to use their Wifi network which was very useful.  Thanks guys !!!

We Love Atina Group at Villa Fortuna Atina Italy

Paul and Trevor, Paula and Brigida

We Love Atina Group at Villa Fortuna Atina Italy

Gina and Mary

P1290766a

Brigida, Gina and Mary

We Love Atina Facebook Group at the Villa Fortuna Atina Italy

Ernesto and Mark

The group also had a lovely meal one evening at the well known restaurant named “Il Vicolo” in Upper Atina, which was also very enjoyable. 

We Love Atina Group at Il Vicolo Restaurant Atina Italy

Brigida, Trevor, Gina, Enrico, Paul, me Louise, Mary, Delfa

We Love Atina Facebook Group at Il Vicolo Restaurant Atina Italy

Trevor, Gina, Enrico, Paul

We Love Atina Facebook Group at Il Vicolo Restaurant Atina Italy

Gina and her father Enrico

We Love Atina Facebook Group at Il Vicolo Restaurant Atina Italy

Delfa and her daughter Paula

We Love Atina Facebook Group at Il Vicolo Restaurant Atina Italy

Brigida and Trevor

You can read more about “Il Vicolo” here:

Il Ristorante Il Vicolo on TripAdvisor

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One lunch time we went for a spot of lunch at “La Botola” (opposite the Museum) and had the typical Atina dish of “pasta e fagioli“.

Osteria-Enoteca La Botola on TripAdvisor

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

During their stay in Atina Brigida and Trevor, and Gina and Enrico chose to stay at the Fontana Vecchia, which is situated a little outside Atina, so a car would be useful.  They found the owners to be very friendly and helpful and would have no hesitation in recommending it to future visitors of Atina.

Fontana Vecchia Website

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mary stayed at the “Hotel Virginia” near the centre of Atina.  Here are some photos she took of the view from her room:

Atina Frosinone Italy Val di Comino

Atina Frosinone Italy Val di Comino

Atina Frosinone Italy Val di Comino

Atina Frosinone Italy Val di Comino

She said: “It was very clean and quite retro … A mix of old and new, the owner’s husband is a French architect and he designed it. The owner also took me to the train station in Cassino when i left and would have picked me up too if I had called her … I spent a week there and I was the only one in the hotel so a bit scarey.   It was very central for Atina, if like me, you are without transport.”

Hotel Virginia Website

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Bed & Breakfast Posta Vecchia is also well recommended.  It is situated in the heart of the old town. However it only has 2 rooms

The Bed & Breakfast Posta Vecchia on TripAdvisor

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We’d also like to recommend the Hotel Villa Fortuna (who also have the bar and restaurant above) to anyone looking for accommodation in and around Atina.  This is situated in lower Atina, in Ponte Melfa.

Villa Fortuna Website

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, we are soon  to plan next year’s “We Love Atina” Group’s next gathering in 2015.  We hope it may become an annual event. 

The date is still to be decided, however some have asked if it could be held during the summer months. 

Any further feedback would be much appreciated.

If you would like to join us, please feel free to join our

“We Love Atina !!!” Facebook Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/62618687824/

or get in touch with me.

We’d love to hear from you.  The more the merrier !!!

Ciao for now !!!

Louise

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#atina #atinafrosinone #italy #familyhistory #surnames #weloveatina

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

Some members of the “We Love Atina Group” stayed on for a couple more days to see for themselves the Feast of San Marco, the patron saint of Atina. Marco Galileo is said to have been an apostle of St Peter and was persecuted and martyred for his Christian faith in Atina, during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian.

Once again we  met up at the café next to the Arco in Piazza Garibaldi.

We Love Atina Group Atina Frosinone Italy

Trevor & Brigida Varley, Gina & Enrico Battaglia and Paul

On this occasion we had the pleasure of meeting Lorraine Tambourine and her husband Billy, who are both from Scotland. They are frequent visitors of Atina.

Tamburrini We Love Atina Group Atina Frosinone Italy

Festivities were just starting to get underway. There was a brass band playing across the square by the Convent of San Francesco.

Band at the Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

I went up to the church and peaked inside where the ceremony was still taking place.

Cathedral of Atina Frosinone Italy

San Marco in the Cathedral of Atina Frosinone Italy

There was San Marco in all his glory.

Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

By this time darkness had fallen and I wandered through the streets

admiring the illuminations.

Lights for the Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

Illumunations for Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

New Fountain Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

The New Fountian

New Fountain Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

Billy and Lorraine

New Fountain Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

Illuminations for Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

Cathedral of Atina Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

The Cattedral of Santa Maria Assunta and Bandstand

Cathedral of Atina Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

After the church service there was the procession

throughout the streets of Bella Atina.

Procession of Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

Procession of Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

Feast of San Marco of Atina Frosinone Italy

The festivities continue into the night

when at midnight there is a grand firework display.

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#atinaitaly #atinafrosinone #feastday #feast #sanmarco #santamariaassunta #cathedral #cattedrale

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

 

We took some of the group to Montecassino Abbey, which is just a short drive away from Atina.  Mary Gilmour, Gina Polard and her father Enrico Battaglia had not had the opportunity to visit the abbey before.

Montecassino Abbey Frosinone Italy

Saint Benedict of Norcia founded the ancient Monastery of Montecassino in 529 AD and the order of  the Benedictines.  The Abbey was built on the ancient ruins of a Roman fortification, and became renowned through the ages as a place of great holiness, culture and art.

During World War II Cassino was a stronghold of the German Gustav line and the abbey was almost completely destroyed by the Allied forces who carpet bombed Cassino and the Abbey, the decimation of this holy bastion gave rise to a massive public outcry. After the war the Abbey was eventually rebuilt according to its original design, and brought back to its former glory.

Montecassino Abbey Frosinone Italy

Entrance of Montecassino Abbey Frosinone Italy

As you enter the Abbey you first come to a peaceful cloister, and standing in the centre of the garden is a bronze statue depicting Saint Benedict as he is dying, being comforted and supported by two of his Benedictine brothers.

Cloister Saint Benedict and Benedictine Brothers Montecassino Abbey Italy

Saint Benedict or San Benedetto Cloister Montecassino Abbey Italy

Dove of Peace Montecassino Abbey Italy

In the cloister is a beautiful and colourful mosaic.

Mosaic Montecassino Abbey Frosinone Italy

This leads on to the Bramante Cloister.

In the centre there is an octagonal well.

Bramante Cloister and well Montecassino Abbey Frosinone Italy

Well in Bramante Cloister Montecassino Abbey Italy

Gina and her father Enrico

Well in Bramante Cloister Montecassino Abbey Italy

Gina and her father Enrico

Well in Bramante Cloister Montecassino Abbey Italy

Mary

From the balcony on the lower section there is a stunning panoramic view of the Liri Valley.  Vineyard of Montecassino Abbey Frosinone Italy

The Monastery’s vineyard

Vineyards of Abbey of Montecassino Italy

View from Montecassino Abbey Italy

Enrico admiring the view

Steps lead up to a higher cloistered area and the facade of the grand Basilica, which has three bronze doors.

Basilica of Montecassino Abbey Italy

As we entered the Abbey the monks were singing verpers.

The inside of the Basilica is incredibly ornate and lavishly decorated.

Abbey of Montecassino Interior

Altar of Abbey of Montecassino Frosinone Italy

There are wonderful examples of colourful intricate inlaid marble work.

Chapel in Montecassino Abbey with inlaid marble

Chapel in Abbey of Montecassino with inlaid marble

Bramante Cloister Montecassino Abbey Italy

Another Cloister with a fountain.

Cloister with Fountain at Montecassino Abbey Italy

Montecassino Abbey Italy

Mary larking about !!!

Montecassino Abbey Italy

Enrico Battalglia

More than 30,000 soldiers lost their lives at Cassino and many are buried in the relevant British, French, Polish, German and Italian Military Cemeteries.  The Polish Cemetery is positioned on a hillside overlooking the Abbey, a footpath leads down to the entrance which is guarded by two stone eagles.  1,052 Polish soldiers are interred here, each grave is marked by a cross and the graves are laid out on a terraced area. Above the terrace is a hedge, clipped and shaped to form a hollow cross. An inscription, which translated from Polish reads:

We Polish soldiers for our freedom and yours

Have given our souls to God

Our bodies to the soil of Italy

And our hearts to Poland”.

Polish cemetery Montecassino Abbey Italy

You can read  more about Montecassino and Cassino here at my website:

http://cassino.shapcott-family.com

We then headed for the British Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Cassino, here the individual gravestones stand upright in the landscaped grounds which are meticulously tended in memory of the fallen soldiers.  Here in this tranquil sanctuary more than 4,200 brave young Commonwealth servicemen now slumber in eternal peace, overlooked by the abbey from aloft.

British Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery Cassino Italy

Graves at British Commonwealth Cemetery Cassino Frosinone Italy

I always feel so sad and emotional when I visit these cemeteries. We have another such cemetery not far from here, in Minturno with contains yet another 2,049 Commonwealth graves.  So many fine young lives lost – and what for I ask? Paul, my husband, said to me – “Imagine seeing instead of gravestones all these soldiers standing up proud in their uniforms, ready to defend their country / commonwealth. How splendid they would have looked.” We must never forget that each one was a wonderful person, courageous, loving, with a family behind them, who would miss them forever.  The same applies to all British soldiers who fought for their country so bravely in wars across the world  but didn’t make it back home.  We must also remember all those injured and maimed.

British Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery Cassino Frosinone Italy

British Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery Cassino Frosinone Italy

Cross Memorial British Commonwealth War Graves Cassino Italy

Memorial British Commonwealth War Graves Cassino Italy

Poppies Memorial British Commonwealth War Graves Cassino Italy

Memorial British Commonwealth War Graves Cassino Italy

May they rest in peace but remain in our hearts and prayers.

Sunset at Memorial Cross of British Commonwealth War Graves Cassino Italy

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

From Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen, written in September 1914

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#montecassino #abbey #cassino #wargraves #british #warmemorial #italy

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

Francesco Massa also organised for us to visit a local museum by the name of Casa Museo Académie Vitti.  We did not know of its existence prior to this, and from the outside it just looked like an ordinary house, but once inside what a treasure trove it proved to be.

Museo Académie Vitti Atina Frosinone Italy

The museum is dedicated to the Academie Vitti, a private art school, founded by Cesare Vitti in the Boulevard de Montparnasse, Paris in 1894. During this period the Montparnasse quartier was a centre of art and bohemian culture which attracted artists from all over the world.

Museum of Académie Vitti of Montparnasse Paris

Casa Museo Académie Vitti, Atina *

Museum of Académie Vitti of Montparnasse Paris

There were three beautiful Caira sisters, namely Maria, Anna and Jacinta, who worked as professional models posing for artists, sculptors and photographers. They came from Gallinaro, a small town in the centre of the Val di Comino, quite near to Atina. On display are many nude sketches in pencil, charcoal and chalk and paintings and drawings by Jacinta Caira.

Anna Caira Museum of Académie Vitti of Paris

Anna Caira Casa Museo Académie Vitti

Giacinta Caira Museo Académie Vitti Atina Italy

Giacinta Caira

Museum Museo Académie Vitti Atina Frosinone Italy

There are also many postcards and photographs of models in costume taken by the greatest photographers of the time, such as Nadar and Naudet.

Photos Museum  Académie Vitti Atina Italy

Studio of Académie Vitti in Paris

Photo of Model from Ciociaria  Museo Académie Vitti Atina Italy

Maria Caira married Cesare Vitti.

Maria Caira Museo Académie Vitti Atina Italy

Maria Caira

Photos of Museum Museo Académie Vitti in Atina Italy

Museum Museo Académie Vitti in Atina Italy

Museum Museo Académie Vitti in Atina Italy

Museum Museo Académie Vitti in Atina Italy

The Academie Vitti became one of the most respected schools of Art in Paris and operated without interruption for about 25 years, until the beginning of the First Word War in 1914 when the Vitti’s and Caira’s decided to return to Italy.  They lived in the very same house where the Museum is now situated.

Museum Museo Académie Vitti in Atina Italy

Cesare Erario is a direct descendant of the family and decided to open a museum to exhibit the family’s treasured private collection of authentic works and memorabilia.

Cesare Erario Museum Museo Académie Vitti in Atina Italy

Thank you to Cesare and Francesco Massa

for organising this really interesting visit.

* cc photos -Wikipedia

All other photos

© Louise Shapcott (NonnaLou)

#atina #italy #MuseoAcademieVitti #museum #schoolOfArt #MontparnasseParis #ValDiComino

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

Our Visit to the Winery of La Ferraria. 

La Ferriera is an establishment run by a family that has a long tradition in the production of wine, specializing in the production of quality red wines with the designation of origin ‘Atina Cabernet DOC’.  It is located in the Rosanisco district of Atina and is housed in the buildings of an old Iron Foundry.

La Ferraria Old Iron Foundry Atina Italy

La Ferraria Old Iron Foundry Atina Italy

The Iron works were founded by the Bourbon king Ferdinand II  in 1858 to extract iron from the ore mined in the nearby area of Monte Meta.  There have been mines situated here since Samnite / Roman times, and it was this that historically gave Atina much of its wealth and accordingly the name of “Atina Potens”.

The plant had a huge blast furnace with a large air pump or bellows to ventilated it.  Today it is draped with a curtain of vines and creepers.

La Ferraria Winery Old Iron Foundry Atina Italy

La Ferraria Winery Old Iron Foundry Atina Italy

There is a spacious courtyard surrounded with other buildings which were utilised as warehouses in which to store the raw materials, workshops, administrative offices and accommodation for the some of the workers.  Unfortunately the life of the Ironworks was to be short lived as it shut down in 1860 and was left abandoned.

La Ferraria Winery Old Iron Foundry Atina Italy

In the centre of the courtyard stands an ancient poplar tree.

Below – Lucio Mancini giving us the guided tour.

Visit to La Ferraria Winery Old Iron Foundry Atina Italy

Some of the old building are now used for the production of wine. The Cabernet and Syrah varieties of grape are cultivated in the vineyards of the estate of Colle Alto in lower Atina, in the beautiful Val di Comino. 

P1290820a

Modern equipment has been installed for the production of wine with controlled temperature and inert atmosphere in order to obtain a good extraction.

La Ferraria Winery Atina Italy

The wine is aged in barrels make of French Oak, with maturing on the lees and finally in the bottle. 

Oak Barrels La Ferraria Winery  Atina Italy

La Ferriera specializes in the production of quality red wines with the designation of origin’ Atina Cabernet DOC ‘.

The Realmagona DOC, is produced with Cabernet and Syrah grapes, We also tasted the Dorato derived from Pinot Bianco and Malvasia varieties.

Below Lucio Mancini  overlooking the wine tasting.

Wine Tasting La Ferraria Winery Atina Italy

Lucio Mancini  overlooking the wine tasting

Wine Tasting La Ferraria Winery Atina Italy

On the left – Francesco Massa

We were also kindly invited to taste of some other local delicacies.

Tasting Local Delicacies of Atina Italy

We Love Atina Group Wine Tasting at La Ferraria Winery Atina Italy

Mark and Jan Waldron

We Love Atina Group Wine Tasting at La Ferraria Winery Atina Italy

Brigida Varley and Paul

We Love Atina Group Wine Tasting at La Ferraria Winery Atina Italy

Mary Gilmour, Trevor and Brigida Varley and Paul

 Delicious !!!

Thank you to Lucio Mancini – Sales Executive of La Ferriera and Francesco Massa – Consigliere Comunale of Atina for organising this interesting tour for us.

Thank you very much to Mary (shown on the left)

for treating us to a lovely bottle of

La Ferriera’s Realmagona Atina Cabernet.

So very kind of you !!!

La Ferriera’s Website

All photos by me © Louise Shapcott

#atina #wine #winery #AtinaCabernetDoc #grapes #visocchi #LaFerraria #IronMines #IronFoundry #italy

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Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy

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