Friday, 6 June 2014


Day 3 is recorded by Afric McGlinchey

Friday June 6th - Sant' Agata dei Goti and Telese, Benevento

In beautiful, medieval Sant' Agata – palazzos, jasmine, bougainvillea, marble floors, the perfect setting for a film set – and there is a film being made here right now! – eating al fresco on a terrazzo overlooking a dramatic escarpment, wine. Day 3 starts with another blue sky, sunshine, and  breakfast at the Palazzo Rainone-Mustilli.

The talented writing students of Telese

Then a mini-bus to the Telesi Institute di Istruziane Superiore, where some students perform their work. Mia responds with an extract from one of her stories. Some students who run a journal ask us questions: whether Liz’s political career influences her work, and if she feels compelled to write with socio-political awareness. Liz replies that as we are all political citizens, she feels as free as anyone else to write what she wants. Translation is discussed, and Nuala says in her opinion, translation from Irish to English is  always going to leave some nuance out, and the best you can hope for is a version of the original, rather than a translation.

Noel and Afric listen to one of Sean's wonderful stories on the terrazza at Café Miro

We have an alfresco lunch back at Sant’Agata, overlooking the escarpment, accompanied by an orange tabby, treated afterwards to a cherry cognac by the cafe owner. On the way back to our private apartment (part of the palazzo), I pause to watch a film crew shoot the scene of a period film. The locals are out in full force, hopeful teenage girls in all their finery.

Gaja Cenciarelli & Federica Sgaggio read at the festival
At 6pm, it’s time for the ‘festival’ (as it’s called here) highlight: readings by the Irish contingent and  a number of Italian writers, including a talented 15-year-old from this morning, with video addresses by Catherine Dunne and a couple of absent writers. A great event, followed by dinner – numerous courses of divine food, ending with fresh cherries. We have begun unbuttoning and unzipping, and will clearly have to resort to treadmills when we get home! A late night walk for some, to aid digestion. And now to bed, to dream of Naples...

The proprietor of Café Miro gave us cherry liquor after our meal


  1. Ah... thank you for bringing us along with you on the trip!

    1. Pleasure, Imelda! Wish we could do it all again!