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, March 24, 2009


If you’re looking to get away from cities to do some writing or painting, drive north of Venice into the Dolomiti. Most Americans think of Cortina only as a ski resort. But Cortina lures throngs of nature lovers in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.
Cortina is a great place to collect character studies for both writers and painters. Sit in the piazza and you will see people of every shape and hue.
For landscape artists, Cortina has an overabundance of subject matter: the alpine flowers that blanket the surrounding Dolomiti Mountains are spectacular, as are the nearby alpine lakes that reflect the majestic Dolomiti. The colorful and fanciful Tyrolean architecture, complete with flower-laden window boxes, will make you wonder if you had driven too far north and ended up in Innsbruck.
If you want the best views, take the cable car, Freccia nel Cielo, (Arrow in the Sky). There are three stations where you can get off and have a picnic, write, paint, or daydream. I like to go to the top station, Tofana di Mezzo, at 10,543 feet. From Tofana on a clear day, you can see as far as Venice.
If you go, even in summer the weather at the top can be brisk, so bring a sweater or jacket, along with water and snacks if you plan to linger for a while. If you’re an artist, pack your supplies as light as possible.
The painting above is a house outside Cortina. We spotted the house on a previous visit and for some reason, I can’t remember what, I didn’t stop to sketch it or photograph it. The house remained in my mind, and so a year later we returned to Cortina and I photographed this little jewel and later painted it in watercolor. The painting and a few limited edition prints are for sale on my art website:
Buon Viaggio

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