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:


Sunday, April 5, 2009


For botanical artists who need a massive floral fix, spend a day painting at Giardini Botanici at Villa Taranto on Lago Maggiore. The gardens are spread over more than 50 acres of the Castagnola Promontory that juts into the lake. In this remarkable setting between the mountains and the lake, you’ll find more than 20,000 species of plants from all over the world: from Dutch tulips to Japanese magnolias, giant water lilies to rare varieties of hydrangeas. If floral paintings aren’t your “thing,” don’t nix the trip to Villa Taranto, as there are more than enough ornamental fountains, statues, waterfalls, and reflection pools to keep those paintbrushes in motion.
The gardens are open from the end of March through the end of October. You can drive there or take a round-trip boat ride from Stresa, which happens to be my favorite town on the lake.
Bring water and snacks, and don’t forget the bug spray if you go during the summer months, as the mosquitoes have an insatiable appetite and are especially partial to artists.
Buon Viaggio!

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