An old medieval village forgotten and abandoned after a disturbed earthquake and brought to life by a group of artists: this is Bussana Vecchia.
He was a Piedmont artist named Mario Giani, in art Clizia the art of everything. If today Bussana Vecchia exists again, it is only thanks to him. Its tenacity, its determination and its will to bring it back to light this small village and make it one of the most charming and characteristic villages of Liguria. In fact, Bussana Vecchia had been abandoned and forgotten after a fierce earthquake of 1887. In 1959 Clizia was enchanted and fascinated by the beauty of the place and decided to make it come back to life, asking for the help of some fellow artists. Thus the International Artists’ Community was born, composed by painters, poets, writers, sculptors and musicians from all over Europe, dealing with the restoration of buildings, the reconstruction of both houses and premises and the need for electrical and water systems to revive a “fairytale” place.
«But it’s only when I see you holding your breath while entering bussana vecchia, that I understand you’ve really fallen in love. Ancient ruins brought back to life by the art of the most passionate hearts, adopted in the name of love. Every corner is a discovery, every street a meeting place. First we are wrapped in the warm colours of a hedgerow that entwines along your arm, then we walk past an explosion of yellow flowers that disappear around the corner of a roofless house. Further along, fragments of glass embedded on the side of a staircase capture the rays of the sun, illuminating the face of a man etched on the stone. Even the windows of the houses are dressed in colours, with their imaginatively designed curtains and painted glass, while flowering climbing plants decorate the doors, almost like portals to unknown worlds.
The church, once queen of the village, now welcomes a garden of moss. Yet, proudly it stands out in the sky, the pink marble and delicate columns of its façade reminding us of its eternal beauty. Overflowing shops of paintings alternate with open-air art workshops, canvases, drapes, antique furniture, colours and memories hanging on the walls, with the spirits and souls of strangers captured in strokes of colour. A unique open-air art workshop, a heart that beats to the rhythm of the sweetest inspiration. A handful of houses and mazes of streets that are like a Christmas present for you, to be unwrapped slowly so as not to spoil the final surprise. “It is the village of artists” you tell me smiling, and it is as if you had been part of that community of lost artists, who found in the abandoned ruins of an earthquake the inspiration of an entire life.»