I faintly recall and I am told that in days of old, people in the quaint little town of Gagliato sat in front of or around the fireplace to share moments of family and friendship. In dialect, the fireplace was referred to as ‘u focularu. Some, like me, pronounce it as ‘u hocularu. It was a means to connect. It was where few and many gathered and discussed the events of the day; where elders passed on knowledge, advice, and folklore; where song erupted; where food and wine was shared; where poetry, riddles and tales found meaning; and, it was where a person reflected quietly about life.
Today, generations of gagliatesi are scattered throughout the world. They have, for varied and justified reasons, and without choice for some, rooted themselves and their families into adopted communities. Most lead or led very complicated and focused lives. Many excel or have excelled in their endeavours. Many contribute or have contributed significantly to their adopted communities. Some are or have been fortunate to reap their just rewards. And, many more are at a stage of life where reflection and connection is important nourishment, but fleeting.
Gagliato meanwhile innocently and quietly exists while it renews itself each passing year. It remains a simple memory for some, and pleasantly welcoming for many.
For me, Gagliato has always occupied a special place in my mind and in my heart. For that reason, it was important for me to recruit my daughter, Stephanie, and together with our photographic tools in-hand we explored the place and the concept that is Gagliato.
This site was created and has remained active since 2008. It has endured many facelifts, and surely more will come, but its essence remains steadfast – the sharing of the photos that Stephanie and I created. The hope is and always has been that this site would become somewhat of a modern-day on-line version of ‘u focularu – to spark connections through and for our scattered world community. I hope you enjoy the site and its contents.
Nicola Gareri (Toronto, Canada)