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Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Hermit of La Cueva Honored with a Statue

A life-sized statue of Giovanni Maria de Agostini has been erected in Capela do Alto, a town in the Brazilain state of São Paulo. Agostini is known in Brazil as João Maria D’Agostini or Monge Giovanni Maria D’Agostini (Monk). In New Mexico he is known as El Ermitaño (The Hermit).

Agostini lived in Brazil from December, 1842, to February, 1852.

Giovanni Maria de Agostini, Capela do Alto, São Paulo, Brazil.

Statue of Giovanni Maria de Agostini, Capela do Alto, São Paulo, Brazil.

Giovanni Maria de Agostini, Capela do Alto, São Paulo, Brazil.

Statue of Giovanni Maria de Agostini, Capela do Alto, São Paulo, Brazil.

Giovanni Maria de Agostini, Capela do Alto, São Paulo, Brazil.

Plaque – Giovanni Maria de Agostini, Capela do Alto, São Paulo, Brazil.


 

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

The Hermit of La Cueva – The Movie

A Brazilian film company, Realizart Productions Audiovisual LTDA, is making a documentary about Giovanni Maria de Agostini, the “Hermit of Las Cueva,” based on the book Giovanni Maria de Agostini, Wonder of the Century — The Astonishing World Traveler Who Was A Hermit.

Shooting began in New Mexico in September, 2017. From New Mexico, shooting will move to Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Italy. Final shooting is expected to be completed in late September, 2018.

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Ralf Tambke, Director of Photography (Realizart Productions Audiovisual LTDA), shooting for the documentary “The Hermit of La Cueva” at Dripping Springs Nature Area. The entrance to La Cueva is at the base of the distant rock formation.


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Marcia Paraiso, Film Director, and Ralf Tambke, Director of Photography (Realizart Productions Audiovisual LTDA), shooting for the documentary “The Hermit of La Cueva” in La Cueva (the cave) at Dripping Springs Nature Area.


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Shooting the documentary “The Hermit of La Cueva” at San Albino Basilica, Mesilla, New Mexico. Left to right: Juliana Baratieri, Sound Engineer, Marcia Paraiso, Film Director, Dr. Alexandre Karsburg, consultant, Ralf Tambke, Director of Photography (Realizart Productions Audiovisual LTDA).

Giovanni Maria de Agostini was born in Sizzano, Italy, in 1801, the son of poor farm workers. He left home at 21 and spent the next 17 years traveling extensively in Europe. During this time he developed two seemingly contradictory aspirations: a fervent desire to devote his life to “perfect solitude” and an astonishing urge to travel incessantly.

In 1839, Agostini joined a Maronite Christian monastery in Rome, and then immediately left for South America.

In South America Agostini visited Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile multiple times. During this spectacular solo Odyssey, he survived a trip down the Amazon River by canoe, crossed the Andes by foot several times, walked vast distances, and endured living alone in scalding deserts and sub-zero mountains. In spite of oppressive and infuriating obstacles, including death threats, unjust arrest, deportation, jail, and forced confinement in a mental asylum, Agostini persisted undeterred in the solemn goal he set for himself when he left Europe.

After 21 years in South America, Agostini traveled to Mexico, Cuba, and the United States. After arriving in New York, he walked to Canada and then “went West,” eventually reaching, in the midst of the American Civil War, the Territory of New Mexico.

Hermit’s Peak near Las Vegas, NM is named after Agostini.

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Hermit’s Peak, Las Vegas, New Mexico, named after Giovanni Maria de Agostini. Town of Gallinas, New Mexico, in foreground.

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Interview with Mr. Joe Blea, a third-generation resident of Gallinas, New Mexico. Mr. Blea’s grandfather knew Giovanni Maria de Agostini.

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“Hermit of Las Vegas” film crew preparing to climb Hermit’s Peak, Las Vegas, New Mexico.

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View from the top of Hermit’s Peak, Las Vegas, New Mexico.

In 1869, Agostini was murdered at “La Cueva,” the cave in the Organ Mountains’ Dripping Springs Natural Area. He is buried in the Mesilla cemetery.

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Shooting the documentary “The Hermit of La Cueva” at Giovanni Maria de Agostini’s grave, Mesilla, New Mexico. Left to right: Marcia Paraiso, Film Director, Ralf Tambke, Director of Photography, Juliana Baratieri, Sound Engineer (Realizart Productions Audiovisual LTDA).