The past year has seen many people across the world grapple with a very specific type of loss; the sadness of a trip not taken, and the yearning for experiences beyond the anomie of the supermarket. As that strong desire for, and impulse to, wander the world fell victim to the pandemic in a turbulent 2020, we seemed at one point to be surging toward an anticipatory dystopia. Who were we without travel? What do we have to look forward to when there is no international vacation booked for the summer?
Over the course of the past 12 months, we’ve been commissioning artists, painters and illustrators from different cities all over the world to paint a picture of what they see out their windows – either real or imaginary. Most artists have been confined to these cities during the global lockdowns, and all have a close connection to the place they have illustrated.
Each artist has a “GRAZIA At Home City Guide” perched on their window sill, insider guides to the cities you need to visit when the world re-opens. Each artist recalls moments past in these nooks of the world; how they drank in the palaces, how they wandered through the parks, and how they ate and ate and ate. There’s recommendations too – local dishes, phrases and lessons – so you can start imagining your own itinerary from the comfort of your own home. Today, we’re headed to Brunico in Italy.
There is a lot to love about the quaint town of Brunico. Nestled below the cascading mountains of the Puster Valley in the Italian province of South Tyrol, the town is home to just over 16,000 locals. Neat houses line the streets and you can hear the river close by.
“I love the colours and details of the houses. I fell in love with them when I first arrived in this small town,” illustrator Giulia Neri says. Just as you’d expect from a small town, Neri recalls the greetings and smiling people passing by. She loved the city as a tourist so much, she moved to Brunico.
“It’s the beginning of my second life. I came here on vacation for the last three years and every year I stayed longer. One day, as my vacation was almost over, I decided to stay without thinking of the life I had previously. It was here where I wanted to stay and live, and so I stayed with my summer luggage.”
“I come from a big city in Bologna, full of people who live their life fast, who go shopping or walking on Sundays, who can go to the supermarket at 11pm if they need. Here, everything’s closed on Sundays and on Saturdays the shops close at 6pm. The town goes empty.”
It is during this peaceful silence that Neri suggests a walk through the town centre; a sparkling apple juice in hand – her favourite local beverage. When the centre is bustling however, Aperitivo hour at WAINK’s is a must (is there anything more Italian?) as is the elegant restaurant of Bernadi and Weißes lamm.
Neri recalls a “softer” lockdown in Brunico compared to the rest of Italy but during her time at home she learnt the importance of going outdoors.
“During the first lockdown I stayed home for a long time,” she says. “I don’t remember for how long, but it was long. Lockdowns after the first were softer, because we were allowed to go out for a walk, even if that wasn’t possible in other regions.”
Now, the artist asks us to, “Go into the nature, wherever it is, and breathe.”
Follow Giulia Neri @Julandthefox
Here are a couple of things to add to your space to transport you to Brunico, if only for a few hours.
DECORATE YOUR SPACE WITH A FANCY WATER JUG:
Maison Balzac J’AI SOIF CARAFE & GLASS, $89 shop now
SIT IN NATURE ON THIS THROW:
Missoni Home Margot zigzag cotton throw, $1185, SHOP NOW
LISTEN TO THIS ASMR ITALIAN COUNTRYSIDE SOUNDTRACK: