“To realise this illustration, I just closed my eyes and let my memories live,” artist Francesco Caporale says. “I wish I could have added many other elements beside those you can see… but not even ten papers would have been enough.”

Altomonte is a small town in the south of Italy and despite a population of just over 4000 people, the quaint village –described by Caporale as a “Euro-Mediterranean utopia”– is alive with culture. Caporale’s vibrant “doodle art” is reflective of that.

The illustrator was raised there before moving to the fashion capital Milan at the age of 18. Although 11 years have passed, Caporale still considers Altomonte as a city of family, friends, food, love and affection.

“The recipe of happiness indeed,” Caporale recalls.

“The bond that unites me to this place, in addition to family and loved ones, is undoubtedly the will to change things and theneed to restore life and dignity to a place that was doing well before this pandemic. Small villages will be the solution to the ‘right’ world that we are chasing. I am firmly convinced of this.”

The small town sits in the centre of the region of Calabria; rugged and steep mountains on one horizon and a sun-soaked, cascading coastline on the other. It is because of this that Altomonte has its name (translated in English as “highmountain”) while it is also referred to as the “Wedding City” thanks to its stunning views and abundant fields of olive groves and native vineyards. If Caporale were to create a fragrance that best embodied the city, it would just be “squeezed olive oil”.

Altomonte is the idyllic destination to experience the local Italian cuisine and to relax – with a terracotta bowl of local fried crispy peppers and a beverage concocted from liquorice liquor in hand.

“Don’t waste time planning travel, just do it! In my opinion we’ve forgotten the most beautiful aspects of travelling: surprise, curiosityand improvisation,” Caporale says.

Follow Francesco Caporale


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