Letter from the Director

28 October 2022

Dear Civitellians,

The fire was crackling in the courtyard as Leandro threw a couple of logs on the dancing flames. Dinner leftovers were strewn about on the cast iron tables. Better clean up, so as not to overload Patrizia with too much work tomorrow. Eric had just returned from the “Pizza” cottage with his viola, as there was a call to serenade Stacy whose silhouette was now waving at us, up there from the “Pontenuovo” apartment on the third floor.

Kae looked dreamily at the cinders flying off into the darkness and simply said: “Do you want to hear a poem?” “Yes!” everyone cheered. We listened in sacred silence. Xiaowen, after some prodding, enchanted everyone by reciting a poem in Chinese that begins with a shining moon and ends in a flowing robe that looks like a brilliant rainbow. The hypnotic sound of her syllables mixing with the crackling of the fire was followed by Marie’s intimate homage to the idea of “the singularity we once were.” While Eric plucked his strings, Adam explained what singularity means to him, as Claudia and Ivy listened on attentively. Everyone was well aware that this is what it’s all about— this moment of sharing, each bringing their craft, their thoughts, their talent, around the fire.

The hunter moon was still hiding behind the roof of the Castle. You could see its double reflection on the windows above the courtyard. Clouds as white as the wool samples Brigitta had handed out in her presentation a few nights before, to the delight of Borys and Lyudmila. From Délio’s phone a languid ballad by Zeca Veloso reminded us that “everyone needs a mother”…todo homem precisa de uma mãe…

Later that week, the cold breath of autumn had already oxidized the crimson ivy on the tower overlooking the gazebo loaded with years of stories told in its shadow. Romana relentlessly impressed everyone with one delicious surprise after another from the kitchen, so much so that Francisco asked her to sign her famous cookbook. Kemi waltzed about listening to their earphones.

For days, Alper was loudly cheered every time he walked into Volte for having changed a tire on the highway and saving the day. Dana and Machtelt sat side by side, whispering about Piero della Francesca as if he were their secret lover. Diego was busy planning a trip to the Venice Biennale. Ilaria picking up a Directors’ Guest. Greta off to New York to work with Michaela on many things, as Hope arrived for the Visual Arts jury.

Time to pack up. New York awaits. So many plans involving the Global South, inclusivity, freedom of expression, how to let you see and hear better the stories of enchantment that fill the air of the Castle.

A new year peeks around the corner. We plan to fill it with marvelous surprises, in the spirit and the drive that creates the peace and harmony hundreds of composers, artists, and writers, like me, have always found in the walls of this magic Castle we all love. Here’s to looking forward to a new spellbinding season!


Carlo Pizzati
Executive Director