Through Giovanni Battista Ciolina’s landscapes

For some time now, memories of my childhood days have been coming back to me. They passed in a flash, in perfect happiness, like in an earthly paradise (…) I had nothing to do other than to pass the time among that blossoming nature, just as I blossomed myself. (…) I will soon have two children and everything that their innocent imagination will create for their enjoyment will not be denied to them. Likewise, when it comes to their education, I will not force them into school until they have reached an age where they understand the reason why it is necessary, as school is a great torment particularly for children. I want this so as not to upset them, so that they may fully enjoy that childhood happiness, for once it has passed it is useless to hope for such pure happiness in older age.
                                                      May 1896, Giovanni Battista Ciolina’s diaries

The natural beauty of the Vigezzo Valley, which attracts tourists and holidaymakers to this day, has inspired dynasties of artists in the past. The “Amongst the Landscapes of Giovanni Battista Ciolina” itinerary, offered by the Rossetti Valentini School of Fine Arts Foundation, allows visitors to visit some important places in the “Valley of the Painters” from the school’s historic headquarters in Santa Maria Maggiore to Toceno, where one of its best-known students, Giovanni Battista Ciolina (1870-1955), was born and lived. The trail is accessible all year round on minor roads, pedestrian pathways or easy trails. It takes visitors on a picturesque journey through today’s landscapes and those that were painted in the open-air in the past. The ten panels along the trail provide insight into some aspects of the artist’s mindset and his works. Thanks to the QR code on each panel, it is possible to download the trail and access new information on the Foundation’s website. Enjoy the trail!

Trail length: 6.4 km
Elevation gain: 280 metres
Walking time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Information panels: 10

“Amongst the landscapes of Giovanni Battista Ciolina” is part of the ‘Vigezzo Valley. The Valley of the Painters’ project, supported by the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation – Phase 2, and by the local Tourism Agency
Route design and image and text research: Chiara Besana
Graphic design: Francesco Lillo

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