Giancarlino Corcos Benedetti

Let’s shut our eyes for a moment and imagine Pulcinella (Punch), that bizarre character who has gladdened our Sundays when we were kids, and our grandfathers  used to take us to the Gianicolo to see him in the flesh at the Puppet Theatre, he would guide us in a fantastic journey through the south of Italy, that part which is often treated badly but at the same time loved and has spread her warmth, her humanity to the rest of the world, enriching our view and rendering it more profound, ironic and easygoing.
Here we are in Naples, once capital of the Borbone’s Reign, right at the bottom of the erupting Vesuvius which is launching lapillus in the air with innocuous fireworks, with Mount Somma right at his side; the panorama in front of our eyes reminds us of the Neapolitan gouaches with fire sunsets that flares up the sea and the sky. We’ll stop by Capodimonte, with its majestic gardens and step inside the Museum which houses the prestigious Farnese’s collection finding ourselves in front of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s masterpiece: “The Parable of the Blind” revisited by the meticulous attention and craftiness of our Giancarlino: A blind man on a road guided by another blind man surely won’t have a good end; and Capodimonte’s fine porcelain china coloured at the rhythm of the blind moving in a cheerful march, underlining the fragility of human’s life in the presence of eternity…
The ship is leaving the port of Naples, we have to hurry, we set sail towards Capri, the beloved island of Emperor Tiberius and of Axel Munthe where he always wanted to build his dwelling Villa San Michele, in love with the magical glimpses which this splendid island can offer us, we’ll visit the villa and through the eyes of the sphinx we’ll explore the horizon. At Anacapri in the Church of San Michele Arcangelo, we’ll linger hypnotized from the splendour and beauty of the pavement:   the tiles reveal countless minute details, a universe unfolds before us, we remain attracted and involved; we will mount the unicorn and ride through our memory of Chivalric Romances, far with Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Now we head towards the deep South together with Pulcinella, reaching Calabria’s coasts arriving there just in the moment when two giants rise from the sea and move towards us, they’re entirely covered by shells and seaweeds, two ancient knights; they’re believed to come from Athenes after a shipwreck, also there are rumors that a famous sculptor, a certain Phidias, has blown them a breath of life, making their veins, their nerves, their muscles ready to spring for a fight and a sport competition. The sea guarded them and returned them to our curiosity; that open sea who also donated to us the Satyr of Mazara del Vallo, the same sea on which waves fishermen chase a swordfish, the same swordfish of Modugno’s  song, that swordfish prepared with the salmoriglio, enchants the most refined and demanded palates.  
We cross the sea once more and reach the shores of Sicily, the Greek Phoenician, Roman, Arab, Swabian, Norman, Angevin and Aragonese Triskelion ( Trinacria); an island where in the middle of the Mediterranean has received the cosmopolitanism of civilization. We visit the Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina and contemplate the extraordinary nature mosaics, a magical microcosm will capture our imagination: people, plants and animals with their harmonic motions in these tiles, create surreal and dreamlike spaces, giving us a wonderful Time travel . And it’s the turn of Caltagirone, with its rich chromatic pottery and his anthropomorphic figures oil-lamps, inspires Giancarlino’s creativity.A fast and funny tribute to Camilleri's Montalbano and a dutiful tribute to Gibellina in the heart of Sicily, where Senator Corrao, the day after the earthquake has dedicated to the revival of art and hope in the future the land that opened to swallow the dreams of men: Because we people of the South, are like this, we raise again, we are like Pulcinella: we manage to invent and improvise life, beating the devil and mocking death; difficulties challenge our imagination. We from the South go crazy for the pizza margherita, pastiera, cannoli, aubergine Parmigiana and never forget to order a Pending Coffee ( caffè sospeso) going into a bar ...... one we drink ... ..and the other one we leave to the stranger who may also need it, in a gesture of solidarity ... since coffee in Naples is a caress, a cuddle to which you abbandon your self with great pleasure, they serve it in a hot small cup alongside a glass of cold fresh water, and a caress can’t be denied to anyone ...