Le petit tour; Castellabate Cilento.

The historic center of Castellabate is a small medieval, southern Italian village perched on a hill of the Cilento Mountains; this charming ancient parish grew around a castle built in 1123 which served to protect its inhabitants against the Saracens and discourage them from invading. Almost a thousand years have passed and our small commune was being advertised in German newspapers with the slogan: "Castellabate: village for individualists".
An abandoned newspaper left on a train between Forchheim and Erlangen featuring that advertisement for Castellabate was by sheer chance picked up by a passenger; namely by Harald Winter. Not much later he found his way to Castellabate.
But Harald Winter is not just an 'individualist', rather he can be described as one of the most generous and altruistic individuals I have ever known.
Castellabate is not a village that snubs newcomers, rather it is a rural community that welcomes and unites dwellers. Each day, in the central 'Piazza' Norwegians, Brazilians, Americans and Danes mingle enjoying the handmade granite crafted by Aniello. People from all walks of life and differing backgrounds shop at Mimi´s shop, chatting to Joanna the greengrocer, or they carry their empty gas cylinder to Peppe`s shop for a refill. Everyone is trying to be understood, with gestures, words, or more often with big smiles.
Be it a regular or rare visitor, all are seeking to enter this unique social fabric with the awareness that a genuine shared bond is the secret to serenity and happiness.

But what attracts the Danish designer, the Dutch director, the Italian architect and the Norwegian professor or even the German artist? Is it the crystal clear seas and the stunning beauty of the southern Italian landscape that draws them or is there something else? Harald Winter in his works certainly explores this "something else" and by doing so he ventures deep into the heart of the Cilento.
This "something" is resting in the soul of the Cilento, hidden in wrinkled faces, callused hard working hands, echoed in the gnarled roots of the olive trees, discovered in two gas cylinders now abandoned and buried by brambles, concealed in the wheelbarrow of Carminuccio or in Costabile the deaf-mute and in Gennaro the village constable. Harald Winter through his drawings investigates these subjects capturing their tales, voices, and whispered confidences. Through the eyes of one who is not born and raised in the Cilento he is able to read and draw out a history of everything, even unearthing the soul of inanimate and abandoned objects.

This exhibition of works by Harald Winter, similar to Castellabate brings together different cultures on the neutral soil of Switzerland within a building that stands for cultural diversity and peace; namely the United Nations. This international feel is perpetuated by a show of works created by a German artist, represented by a UK gallery and promoted by an Italian Consulate. The beauty of visual art lies in the fact that it speaks all languages and defies all borders whether local or international.
And so we come back to Castellabate, a small town full of corners, arcades and labyrinth stairways that grew around its ancient castle, which served the people as refuge from raids. This village born to discourage enemy assaults has after hundreds of years become a municipality that opens its welcoming arms and has grown into a symbol of integration, arts and peace.
This small town has achieved in an infinitesimal way what has always been the objective of the United Nations: Integration, unity and peace.

The sharing of unconditional love and kinship are the strengths of this community and of hundreds of similar communities across Italy.
Maybe we can think of these small towns as infinitesimal United Nations Headquarters.

Amedeo Colella