food. family. life.

travel log: dinner & a movement

cucinadimammina_art opening_dan_1My husband, Dan and I were both born with the mindset of artists. We sought art and art education in all forms by taking classes in fine art, graphic design and photography in art school and throughout our careers.

Dan is a graphic designer and art director by day but also a fine artist (painter, metal sculptor, writer & poet.) Carina, Isabella and I love knowing we have the humble pleasure of living with Dan and watching him create his art with different mediums and personal inspiration.

NOTE: Visit Dan’s art site on Facebook. LIKE his page to connect directly and receive updates on new art collections and future gallery shows and openings.

Art movements are found in most cities and towns these days. We share and enjoy all types of art and photography with Carina and Isabella, who have visited museums and art galleries since they were very young.

The girls have flourished with this exposure and have now developed their own favorite styles and medias that they love to collect and even recreate themselves.

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We recently attended a group artist gallery opening at Mercato in Naples, Florida where Dan participated. Mercato is a wonderful Naples location offering great food and drink spots, plenty of shopping, a movie theater and entertainment for all ages.

NOTE: The Silverspot, a theater at Mercato Naples is a spot we just love. They show current movies but also offer independent and foreign films for art & culture lovers like us. With incredible plush seating, unique food and drink options (including beer, wine and cocktails), there is always something for everyone.

I came to the understanding in my early 20’s that viewing art at an art gallery or art museum has the same effect on me and my family as crafting a great meal, choosing a fabulous wine or drink and enjoying it with family and friends.

When we view art, we open up our minds to what the artist is expressing at that moment, be it something that makes us feel happy, sad or even angry.

We stop for a moment, and take a breath quietly observing how the piece makes us feel and hopefully linger for a long while, wanting to find out more about the piece and the artist who created it.

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the wine loft, naples

Finding fresh ingredients in peak season and then taking full advantage of their flavors by creating a dish, fills me with great joy. A certain flavor can sometimes bring feelings of sadness as I remember people and places that are far away, allowing me to linger in faint memories from my past.

We actively seek local food spots, cultural food and ingredients from far away places. This gives us the opportunity to look into a culture and begin to understand the people who make up that world, much like viewing a great piece of art in an art movement gives us a peek at the artist and creator himself.

blue crab tuna & tuna avocado rolls; AZN Naples

For the art aficionados out there who visit galleries and museums often, we applaud you. If you have not set foot in an art gallery or museum, I highly recommend planning an afternoon or evening where you can view art then later share some food, drink and plenty of conversation.

There is nothing better than planning a date night, family outing or meet up with friends. Plan to visit an art gallery or museum, attend an art festival or catch an independent or foreign flick at a movie theater and then stop at your favorite wine bar or food spot and start a conversation about the art you viewed or the movie you watched.

Do not be intimidated by art galleries or museums, viewing art is a cultural pastime not solely reserved for art collectors, but instead meant for our society’s members of all ages and backgrounds.

You may find yourself inspired to start your own personal collection of art pieces. Take the time to research a specific artist you really connect with and find pieces you would love to invest in over time.cucinadimammina_art opening_dan_4

NOTE: Remember to put aside all forms of technology when you visit an art gallery or museum (no phones, texting, ipads, ipods etc.)

Research your local area to find art locations, galleries, museums and even art schools showcasing art for public viewing.

Most galleries today show fine artists who paint and sculpt. Look for locations that show photography and modern art collections in a diverse range of subjects for all creative tastes and find out what appeals to you.

Traveling close to home or abroad is another way to find incredible art and great food and drink. Plan a stay-cation or take a trip to Europe where you can spend a few days visiting a city or two, see it’s art galleries and museums all the while checking out the city’s food, drink and entertainment hot spots.

Seeking fine art and great food is a wonderful way to educate ourselves about a location’s history, culture and people; through the artists, art movements and especially the art of their regional cuisine.

Go forth and let great art and incredible food and drink into your life. When you do, you may soon find it impossible to live without them.

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la famiglia mia











“Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste, not exact measurements.” — X. Marcel Boulestin


Buon Appetito!

Note: Photography provided by Annette L. Venditti, Daniel Venditti and Erin O’Brien


2 Responses to “travel log: dinner & a movement”

  1. Joyce Poggi Hager

    Bella famiglia! If only my two daughters and husband had the same interest, but alas, I wind up going to museums myself. I enjoy the small museums such as the Concord Museum in Concord, MA and the Addison Gallery on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA.

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