Cinque Terre Grape Harvest
Pastel 32h x 24w in. framed
This light struck scene in Manarola, Italy to me, gives the essence of Italian culture (or viticulture, to be more precise) as the figure running through the village is hoisting a heavy box of grapes from the vineyards to deliver to the grape crushers just down the street. What is totally unique about these vineyards is that they are built into the cliffs that surround these 5 villages along the Ligurean Sea, over the centuries, using dry stone walls (each several feet high) to create enough "soil" to support narrow rows of grapes.
This engineering feat has been likened to the Great Wall of China! Small scale trams on cogs, transport the hand-picked grapes vertically from each row to a Central gathering point at each village as the walls are too steep to climb without using carabiners, ropes and pitons.
If I were a grape picker here, I'd wear a parachute in case I slipped off the edge and my mantra would be "don't look down!"