On the first week of October, I was fortunate enough to travel with my film professor and friend – Carlo, to the International Short Film Festival in Capalbio. It was a three day festival that showcased over 20 short films that were in 35mm.  Aside from the higher production films, they also had an HD video section, a David Lynch tribute, and panels from local artists.

Aside from the film festival, we were staying on the farm of Carlo’s family. Since the films were mainly shown at night, during the day I would help Carlo around the farm. The house and land was given to Carlo’s grandfather by Mussolini after the second World War. The house is divided between Carlo’s mother and his Aunt. This place was amazing.

At the time I was there, they were halfway through remolding their kitchen. So most of

the time, Carlo was busy installing cabinets, bookshelves, etc. To be honest, most of my help was behind the camera (not really considered help), but I was able to take some nice shots of their property.

Since Carlo’s younger cousin was there, he was glad to show me around. After convincing me to drive the tractor (I’ve never even been on a tractor), I was really able to see the area. Even though we didn’t have enough time to go fishing, I was shown their stream. Not your average stream as the picture shows.

Around 4pm we washed up and had a meal before going to the festival. His mother prepared us his grandmother’s homemade ravioli. Once again, not your average cuisine. The best way I can describe these little delights, it that each piece of pasta tasted like a sweet pastry covered in fresh tomatoes and stuffed with strong ricotta cheese. One of the best meals I’ve had.

At the festival, the theatre was small and there were probably some 60 people there. After watching a good 5 hours of shorts, we stayed for the viewing of David Lynch’s Eraserhead. As the place slowly cleared out, it finally ended around 3am. Me, Carlo, and two others were the last ones in the theatre.

On Sunday, it was the Marco’s (staff member at my school) birthday, so on the way home we stopped in Grosseto. From 11am to 10pm we celebrated. Playing beach tennis, volleyball, soccer, and eating mass amounts of food.

The entire day was a blast, but nonetheless a workout. Marco’s family showed endless amounts of hospitality, and it was the perfect end to a good weekend. Until next time…Ciao!

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  1. mark van hollebeke says:

    Thanks for ‘bringing us along’ with you on your adventure, Zach. What an incredible experience. Between your pictures and your descriptions, I could’ve sworn I was there. I could taste those raviolis. Seriously, my mouth watered. Now I have to find a decent Italian restaurant to satisfy the craving. Nice work.

    • Monda Van Hollebeke says:

      Dear Zach,
      Wonderful pictures, wonderful description of your film festival and birthday event! It is perfectly clear that you are having a fabulous time in Italy, and that you are making friends who will be yours for a lifetime. Grandpa and I are so happy for you. Thanks for the postcard, also. Receiving a handwritten note is a special treasure in this day and age. We love you!
      Grandma and Grandpa Van

    • Zach I am looking at your postings on internet. I envy you as i wish I had stayed on my goal of my photography more than what I have. I have much creativity but not all the tools. Cannot believe your RONS son? Figured you be a pipe layer or some field of construction?

  2. Karen O'Connor says:

    Zach –
    Wow – we missed you at Thanksgiving but sent tons of love towards Italy for you Chelsea and Maureen!
    Your pics are great and the MSU promo was fabulous. Keep the posts coming.
    Are you going to find time to board? I went to a place called Cervina (I think?) wonderful experience – I would recommend.
    Take care!
    Hugs, Karen

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