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Here is Trace French standing in front of a watering hole in the wild life preserve at 'Curtizi Patrizi'. A gated community in Celino San Marco, Italy (past San Pietro Vernotico on the way to Lecce). This is where Kim and I lived from '86-'89 (Contrada Bosco #13, Apt A. Celino S. Marco)).
The Powers' Estate, as the community was known, was owned by Albano Carrisi a famous Italian popstar, (aka Al Bano) and the wife he married in 1970, Romina Power (the daughter of the famous movie actor Tyrone Power and Linda Christian). The estate was huge, there were something like thirty villas and apartments here. Albano and Romina rented the apartments (and Villas) to American servicemen and their families. It was a fantastic place to live. A little American community nestled in the arms of pastoral southern Italy. Photo taken May of '86.
Kim and I rented the smallest apartment at the estate. The apartment was as wide as the garage is deep, and it was 4 rooms total (counting the bathroom). There was a waiting list to get into the estate, and Kim and I were glad to live there. The gated community included a fantastic restaurant, a winery, a small chapel, swimming pools, tennis courts, and a huge wildlife preserve. The proximity to other American's helped us immensely, and we loved the place. The apartment was very small, but the rent wasn't. 300,000 lire was a lot of money for an E2.
The wild life preserve was something unique in that part of southern Italy. Everywhere else there were orchards, vineyards, crops, and barren rock. This was one of the few places where you could find native flora and fauna. Albano had taken great care to stock the preserve. There were wild boar, mink, ermine, lots of birds, and many different species of trees and plants. There was even a family of white tail deer. Albano had purchased the deer from a zoo in germany, and they had offspring while we were there. The preserve was amazing. An actual way back machine. A living still frame of what southern Italy must have looked like thousands of years ago. Kim and I enjoyed some very memorable walks along the trails of the preserve.