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Palizzi, Calabria

The autumn and winter months of 1930-1931 were a productive period for Escher. In the spring he travelled through the Italian provinces of Campania and Calabria, together with his friends Giuseppe Haas-Triverio, Roberto Schiess and Jean Roussett. From October to February he developed his impressions into a series of woodcuts and lithographs. 13 in total. These works bear the poetic names of the places he visited: Palizzi , Morano, Pentedatillo, Stilo, Scilla, Tropea, Santa Severina, Rocco Imperiale, Rossano.

The woodcut depicting Palizzi in Calabria is the first of this series. He reached the town with his travel companions on 10 May 1930. Palizzi is the southernmost point of mainland Italy, which must have held quite some appeal for the travellers. Palizzi is special for another reason: it is one of the two areas in Italy where Griko is still spoken, a Greek dialect that once was heard throughout southern Italy and Sicily.

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