Many artists dream about painting in Italy. Now, as retiring baby-boomers are increasingly taking up “brush and pallet knife,” more than ever, painting in Italy is the “thing.” Every day, a new “Artist’s” tour of Italy crops up in travel sections of the newspaper and on the Internet. But there still remains a majority of artists who prefer to “go it alone.” They are independent in their artistic styles, and prefer to be independent regarding their travels in Italy . This blog intends to target these free spirited artists who still need guidance to the best places to paint, especially those idyllic gems that are little known and less traveled. Certainly, independent travelers who are not artists will also benefit from this blog.

With a few exceptions, this blog is not a guide to restaurants, lodging, rental cars, or shopping, (except for art supplies.)

Sprinkled among the posts are: my paintings, and a few Italian proverbs and poems written by notable Italian authors for whom I work as a translator.

Please visit my website to view my original art:


Giclee prints of my paintings, ranging from greeting size to poster size, can be purchased at:


Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I have recently published a novel: Bridge of Sighs and Dreams. In addition to the general public, readers interested in Italian history and World War 2 history should enjoy this novel. Also, I believe this novel would be of special interest to artists, as the protagonist is a political cartoonist and portrait artist who uses her skill to help survive World War 2 Nazi occupied Italy.  The book is available in paperback and eBook at:
BookLocker.com,   Amazon.com , barnesandnoble.com, iTunes.com  and most other online bookstores. An excerpt is available at:  http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html
More information is available at:
Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Below is a short description:

Nazi-occupied Rome sets the stage for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, where the lives of two women collide in an arena of deception, greed, and sacrifice.  
Following an allied attack, Angelina Rosini flees to Rome from her bombed-out village and a ruthless Nazi officer bent on revenge. In Rome, the spirited portrait artist channels her creativity into the art of survival for herself and her young daughter. Unwilling to merely endure, and armed with ingenuity, wit, and unyielding optimism, she enters the shadow world of the Resistance where she zigzags through a labyrinth of compassionate allies and cunning spies. 

Meanwhile, Lidia Corsini quenches her lust for power and wealth by turning in Jews to the Nazi Police attaché with whom she has formed an alliance. Her spiral into immorality accelerates as swiftly as the Jewish population dwindles, and soon neither her husband nor her son is immune to her madness. 

Once Angelina discovers the consequences of Lidia’s greed, she conspires to put an end to the treacheries; but in doing so, she becomes the target of Lidia’s most sinister plot.

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is a story of betrayal, dignity, and purpose that highlights the brutality toward Italian citizens, under both Mussolini’s Fascist regime and the Nazi occupation, and illustrates the tenacity of the human spirit.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


 by Luciano Somma

Since I just wrote below about painting on the island of Ischia,
 I felt it appropriate to share the poem: ISCHIA AT SUMMER’S END
written by Luciano Somma. 
As in all of Luciano’s poetry, we feel the sentimental spirit of one 
of Italy’s foremost poets. 
You can find Luciano Somma at:

Siccome ho scritto qui giù delle località preferiti dipingere 
sull’isola d’Ischia, ho sentito che era adatto offrire la poesia
scritto di Luciano Somma.  
Come tutte delle sue poesie, sentiamo lo spirito 
sentimentale d’un poeta molto noto in Italia. 
Si può trovare Luciano Somma a:

                  ISCHIA FINE DI UN ESTATE   
         Di fronte il mare        
         calda la sabbia spesso infuocata                   
         Laggiù il castello Aragonese
         sotto una distesa d’azzurro
         ha luce nuova
         e mi riporta alla mente
         secoli di storia.
         A sera
         là sopra “Campagnano”
         col verde attorno
         e tanti amici
         insieme a festeggiare
         la fine d’un’estate
         ormai alle porte.
         Sulla terrazza
         alla parete
         l’occhio d’un ramarro
         che mi guardava
         uasi per dispetto.
         Luciano Somma
 ISCHIA AT SUMMER’S END                                  
     Facing the sea
     hot sand often inflamed
     by August
     below the Aragonese Castle
     has new light
     and it brings back to mind
     centuries of history.
     At evening
     there above “Campagnano”
     enclosed in greenery
     many friends
     join to celebrate
     the end of a summer
     now at the door.
     On the terrace
     from the wall
     the eye of a lizard
     watches me
     almost for spite.

     Pamela Allegretto (translation)



The Island of Ischia is located in the Mediterranean Sea 21 miles west of Naples.  
Also known as the Emerald Island, Ischia is bathed in radiant light and surrounded by
 luminous waters.  The island, studded with pine groves and ablaze in vibrant bougainvillea, 
poses abundant subject matter for artists. 
The easiest access is from Naples, where you can take a hydrofoil or ferryboat, depending
 whether or not you’re taking a car.  Even though during the summer months traffic and parking
can be a challenge, I recommend bringing a car to facilitate travel throughout the 18 square-mile
If you spend the day painting in Forio, a favorite among artists, stay for sunset and witness the
 famous “green flash” over the Gulf of Gaeta.
Even with a car, you’ll still be doing a fair amount of walking and hiking, so pack your art
supplies on the light side and don’t forget to bring water and snacks.  Note to oil painters: Dispose
of your mediums responsibly.  The Ischitani will slap a hefty fine on any artist who dumps
turpentine or any other chemical medium no matter how minute the quantity.

Buon Viaggio!

The painting below is a watercolor of Sant’Angelo, which is joined to the “Mainland” of Ischia
by a 300-foot-long lava and sand isthmus.  The painting can be viewed at my website:


Saturday, September 1, 2012


SEPTEMBER FIRST by Luciano Somma

On this last day of August and the eve of autumn, I felt it appropriate
 to share the poem: SEPTEMBER FIRST written by
 Luciano Somma.  As in all of Luciano’s poetry, we feel
 the sentimental spirit of one of Italy’s foremost poets. You can find
Luciano Somma at:

Quality giclee prints of the above painting: Fall in New England  
can be purchased at: 

In quest’ultimo giorno d’agosto e la vigilia d’autunno,
ho sentito che era adatto offrire la poema
 scritto di Luciano Somma.  Come tutte delle sue poesie,
 sentiamo lo spirito sentimentale d’un poeta molto noto
in Italia. Si può trovare Luciano Somma a:

Si puo` comprare dell stampe di giclee del quadro in alto: 
 Fall in New England a: 

L’ultimo sogno d’Agosto                     
Si sveglia col primo Settembre,                  
questa sera è un incanto!                       
Il cielo è amaranto, uno spiffero di vento           
dolce come la carezza d’un bene                                                        
amaro come il fiele del pianto                          
mi porta una ciurma di pensieri                       
Che affollano la mente 
e mettono in croce questo cuore.              
Vorrei che piovesse e non piove…                                                    
Vorrei tante nuvole intorno                                                                                                                                    
ma la luna è d’argento                                    .
Vorrei che un sogno tornasse                      
ma il sogno non torna.  
Questo sogno è partito
sulle onde                    
dell’ultima sera d’Agosto                     
un grappolo di stelle     
lassù nel cielo amaranto
in questa sera incantata
del primo Settembre.      
Luciano Somma

The last dream of August
awakens with the first of September,
this evening is enchantment!
The sky bleeds red and purple, a light breeze
soft like a lover’s caress                         
bitter like malicious words
brings me a crew of thoughts
that crowd my mind
and crucify this heart.
I wish it were raining and not rain…             
I’d like a cloud-filled sky                                                                                                      
yet view a silver moon.
I wish the dream was ending
But the dream doesn’t end.
This dream has departed
on the waves
of the final August evening
leaving me
a cluster of stars
far-off in the bleeding sky
in this enchanted evening
of September first.
Pamela Allegretto Franz (translation)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

De-Constructing David

De-constructing David
Occassionally, I like to chose a well-known image and scale it down to minimal lines, allowing the viewer's eyes to fill in the spaces.  Michelangelo's DAVID was the perfect image for this exercise.
Giclee prints of this design from greeting card size to poster size can be purchased at:  http://pamela-allegretto.fineartamerica.com

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Sunday, August 5, 2012


 Italian Poetry / Voglio Di Tenerezza / Luciano Somma

I recently completed the painting above: VEDUTA DI VESUVIO/VIEW OF VESUVIUS, and 
I thought this would be an appropriate space to insert one of Luciano Somma’s poems.   
Luciano has lived his entire life in Napoli and in VOGLIO DI TENEREZZA / TENDER FEELINGS,    
 his words about Napoli are like delicate brushstrokes that paint a rich, mental image. 
VOGLIO DI TENEREZZA is an excerpt from Luciano’s dual-language poetry book: 
You can find Luciano Somma at:

 The original acrylic on canvas painting can be purchased from my art website:  
Giclee prints from greeting card size to poster size can be purchased at: 

Qualche giorni fa ho finito dipingere il quadro sopra: VEDUTA DI VESUVIO/VIEW OF VESUVIUS e pensavo 
che allora sarebbe il tempo giusto mettere la poema VOGLIO DI TENEREZZA di Luciano Somma. Luciano ha
 abitato tutta la sua vita a Napoli e nella poema, le sue parole per quanto riguarda Napoli sono come pennellate delicate
 che dipingono nelle menti gli immagini intensi. VOGLIO DI TENEREZZA è un brano dal 
suo libro di doppia lingua: “L’ALBA DI DOMANI/TOMORROW’S SUNRISE.”
Si può trovare Luciano Somma a:

Si puo` comprare il quadro originale al mio sito d'arte: http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com

Si uo` comprarne delle stampe di gliclee qui:   http://pamela-allegretto.fineartamerica.com

Questa sera     
profuma d’estate 
profuma di te    
un’aria di mare  
e volo confuso  
con la fantasia 
verso lidi lontani                                
il ricordo mi porta 
un sorriso  
e cresce 
come la pioggia in un fiume    
questa dannata voglia   
che ho dentro   
d’un soffio di tenerezza
una carezza  
per vivere.
Luciano Somma

This evening
summer’s perfume
your perfume
a sea air
inebriates me
and I fly confused
with fantasy
toward distant beaches                      
the memory brings me
a smile
and it grows
like rain in a river
this cursed desire
I have inside
of a warm whisper
a caress
to be alive.
Pamela Allegretto-Franz  (translation)