This post is a week late, but once again the painters from La Torricella swept the Marcialla painting competition last Sunday. I took first place (finally!), Kelly Askey took second, and Tim McGuire took third. For the few of you out there still unfamiliar with the annual painting competition held in the village of Marcialla, it is a charming event open to all (for a nominal 8 euro fee) held every year in July in a small hilltop town just outside Tavarnelle val di Pesa (40 minutes south of Florence).
Actually, a number of small towns do these plein air competitions throughout Italy every summer, though they never have any advertising whatsoever. A few are scams where they keep all the paintings, or charge large entrance fees, but most are like the Marcialla arte, with an “everyone wins” attitude and lots of charm. The prizes are plastic trophies with wine and pasta donated from the local shops though the big winners every year are the those who get the “people’s vote” and walk away with the 15 liter bottle of a local farmer’s wine.
For anyone painting in the countryside in Italy in the summers, I would highly recommend you look into the local arts competition.