The Wachtmeister family


Three gener­ations of artists

Rosina at work

Rosina Wacht­meister is an Austrian artist who has lived in Capena for many years and has worked hard, with her family, to make it a better and more inter­esting place.

Rosina – as she is affec­tionately known to everyone in Capena – is famous for her brightly coloured paintings and sculptures, partic­ularly of cats, as well as scenes in the village’s old quarter. Prints of her paintings are widely available to buy online, as are mugs, plates, vases, jigsaws and the like.

Her daughter, Gabila, a very skilled artist in her own right, runs a charming little shop in the corner of Piazza selling Rosina’s wares.

Battista, Gabila’s son and Rosina’s grandson, studied ceramics in Germany and, together with his friend Nina, is responsible for many of the striking Gaudiesque ceramic and mosaic creations you can see in Capena.

Rosina is a great animal lover and – apart from owning her own mini-​​​​menagerie of cats, peacocks and a pelican – has also estab­lished a rescue centre for stray dogs.

Battista, sitting on one of his benches

Capena has recently undergone a major overhaul, with the addition of a new car park that has enabled the square to be pedes­tri­anised. Now that the building work is over and things are back to normal, Rosina has generously donated a set of wonderful mosaic benches and sculptures to help the villagers to enjoy their traffic-​​​​free surroundings.

These were created over several months by a team of helpers, led by Battista and Nina. The main work is a covered seating area on Via Silla overlooking the car park.

This features intricate mosaic seats with animal forms including a huge snake (which you can see in one of the pictures in the sliding image gallery on the home page), crocodile and tortoises. Until you see it, you couldn’t have imagined that a seating area above a car park could be so lovely. It’s popular with locals of all ages as a place to rest and chat, and is just about visible from space, if you click this link to view Google’s satellite image.

The other benches are located around and within Piazza del Popolo and the Rocca.