Puglia is the heel of Italy, the thinnest strip of land between two seas. Lorenzo, my grandfather, said it was exactly this--the refraction of the sun hitting the water on both sides--that made the light of Puglia so rich and warm. He had chosen to buy a house there because of it. He needed to paint in that light, he said.
Way before it was called Casa Rossa, the house had been a crumbling farmhouse--a masseria--built in the eighteen-hundreds, surrounded by a wall in the midst of an olive grove among the open fields in the countryside south of Lecce.
Excerpted from Casa Rossa by Francesca Marciano. Copyright 2002 by Francesca Marciano. Excerpted by permission of Pantheon, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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