Once Upon A Time There Was …

231 Once Upon A Time There Was ...Once upon a time …. This is how fairy-tales start. And ours will start like this but it will be later substituted for another, “present” one that will take place in a small hilly village where the time has stopped and life goes on piano piano. In this environment of peace and quietness, villagers’ life changes entirely and it throws more vividness and colours into their at a time boring existence. So….

Once upon a time lived Robert Campin who was a Flemish painter, well known with his “Portrait of Woman”. He depicted the lady of his heart with a white scarf on and hairpins but the painter’s most characteristic features were the miniature, hidden elements that could hardly be seen. That portrait didn’t miss its secret element, too. Just on the opposite. It was hidden among the opulent gleams of the red diamond of the ring which the woman was wearing. That element was a self-portrait of the painter, the smallest ever possible in the history of art. The man was with a beard and with long hair and with the only desire to always adore his lady (although an unlawful wife). Being depicted in the ring, the painter wanted to “see” his lover and to enjoy her beauty any minute.

The secret of the 1435 painting was revealed and the painter’s way of admiration was adopted by an Ottoman sultan. The latter commissioned a set of earrings, a bracelet, a necklace and a ring of diamonds and precious stones. Each of them had to contain his portrait. His aim was to keep an eye on a very beautiful lady every minute. Even though that beauty wasn’t his lawful wife he was jealous of her. Unfortunately, the young woman was sentenced and later killed because one night she was caught in the company of a eunuch and the precious jewelry was the evidence of adultery. After that betrayal the Sultan couldn’t keep those precious treasures anymore and they got lost through the centuries to come. Finally, they “reached” the Netherlands where they were kept in the largest museum of diamonds in the world. Being exhibited, they attracted thousands of visitors until they were stolen and …. and our once-upon-a-time fairy-tale finishes here so that we can start our present story.

So, the Sultan’s gift-ring is now found by  Ruggero under the ruins of a small ex-artisan shop in Borgo Propizio.  The young man is a “prosperous” builder of skyscrapers but right now another “big” project is being commissioned to him. He has to reconstruct the ex-artisan shop and turn it into latteria (dairy shop) so that Belinda’s dream could come true. The young lady is a dreamer who does her best to make her greatest dream real. She leaves her work in the big city (and doesn’t pay attention to the ghost that is supposed to inhabit the ex- artisan shop) in order to come to the small hilly village and start her own dairy shop. And thus her future project leads her to Ruggero.

The fairy-tale becomes even more interesting when the young man falls in love madly with a local girl whom he thinks would be his best partner ever. He is also of the opinion that his future wife – Marionela, would be able to “tame” his tyrannical parents. Having already chosen her as a girlfriend and future wife, Ruggero gives her the Sultan’s ring which bring all of them into troubles.

Comic scenes come one after another. Gossips and jealous neighbours make the stories of the main characters even spicier.  But finally, no matter what, love and dreams win even in this lost and forgotten but pretty and charming village, Loredana Limone’s village of Borgo Propizio.


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