Coffee, cornetti, Tuscan artists and sculptors

Bumping into world class Tuscan artists and the visceral sculpture of Paolo Pelosini

GS and I joyfully returned to the blue skies of Tuscany. The next (glorious) morning was designated ‘find-the-cashpoint’. But first we had to go to our favourite bar for breakfast bar in shade of St Quidditch

Last time we slid by we were concerned to find it closed, draped in plastic and scaffolding. With relief we found it back to normal- unspoilt, arty wine and music based posters on the walls.  It was busy with village folk, cyclists, walkers and families with the clatter or crockery competing with the sound of  church bells and spluttering Ape’s enough to warm the cockles of your heart.

One doppio caffe latte and teeth sunk into the custard heart of a pastry later  and all stresses had melted in the Italian sun.

Roman bath? on the Street of Springs
Our favourite bar at St Quidditch
Breakfast of artists, writers and sculptures. RIP my glass.

All was going well until we got up to return our crockery to the bar. I didn’t realise that saucer had a mound in it until my empty  latte glass sailed in slow motion over the heads of one group only to smash into smithereens at the feet of another couple.


Between the barefooted dainty dogs roaming around, along with toddlers etc someone was going to get stabbed by a shard of glass launched by the careless foreigner.

By the time I had unsuccesfully tried to get something to clear it up with the chap at the table had cleared most of it up. But all was good as it turned out that they were fellow Brits who had a house up in the hills. It is a truth seldom told that meet a Brit in Cafe Nero’s and you do your best to avoid eye contact, but on the continent you meet as kin.

They were both creatives – she a poet, photographer and artist- I don’t know about him as GS was talking to him. They had just got back from a tour of India. What a place for an artist!  

In my as yet unpublished tome ‘Crushing Nettles’ I put it like this  ‘the incontinent souls with leaking tabernacles – the witches, the writers, the actors, the artists, the freethinkers and the dancers – they were my tribe.

Having foolishly declared they were poets, artists and photographers I was stuck to them like a vampire to a slender neck. So we chatted for a while,  me sad that we won’t be here long enough to attend their exhibition in Barga. 

They left to paddle the peaceful waters of Lago Massaciuccoli, we to find a bank.

I spotted a cashpoint up a side street in Massarosa, suggested GS hammer right, noticed in the typical Italian fashion the road was wedge-shaped and rather than get jammed in GS needed to hammer right again. In the meantime I spied a rusty washing machine with a seagull on it. Except it was a sculpture. I leapt from the car to investigate.

Fabulous fish
Visercal sculptures
Seagull by Tuscan Artist Paolo Pelosini
Seagull with a fish on a rusty washing machine. I loved it!

We had happened upon   Il Paradiso Perduto- Paradise lost, the mausoleum di Paulo Pelosini (who isn’t even dead) 

It was absolutely incredible. Sculpture so viseral and full of pain it made you want to cry. Others – laugh.

Seagull with a fish (should have been a chip)
Realism at its best
Heartbreak horse
Gorilla in oil drum by Tuscan Artist Paolo Pelosini
Gorilla in oil drum

The ten minute,  award winning, intense film is worth a watch-one man’s quest for immortality juxtaposed with the wonderful lines- ‘You may as well dance’

A few days later I contacted the lovely Siona Dunn for a link to the Barga exhibition – will update when available- and she suggested putting a link through to the man GS was talking to.  It turned out to be none other than a bone fide Rock Star artist Tony Phillips!

Only in Italy can you go out looking for a cashpoint, accidentally fling an empty glass at world class artists and stumble across a man’s quest for immortality through art and sculpture.

(And feel a bit of an under achiever)

I do hope you have enjoyed my little bloglet on life in Tuscany, do please comment and follow! 


  1. Once again, thank you for providing a glimpse into the fabulous everyday life in Tuscany. So wonderful to view through your eyes. Almost like being back there!

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