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:


Saturday, October 3, 2009


Situated at the foot of Mount Etna, Catania’s fate has always been at the mercy of the Volcano. The eruption in April 1983 lasted seven weeks, with the lava flow licking at the heels and toes of the city. Some refer to Catania as the Pompeii of modern times. Should this fiery threat stop you from painting in the Catania region? Not at all. Just wear good running shoes, keep your ears peeled, eyes opened, and paint fast.
A nice place to set up your easel is in the Piazza del Duomo, one of the most beautiful squares in Sicily. In the center, is the Fontana dell’Elefante: the Elephant Fountain. It’s carved from black volcanic rock and is surmounted by an Egyptian obelisk of granite. The magnificent Duomo looms at one end of the piazza. Six of the granite columns that adorn its Baroque façade were stolen from a Roman theatre: I never could “get” vandalism in the name of Christianity.
The remains of the Roman Amphitheatre, made entirely out of black lava, are absolutely sketch-worthy. The theatre dates from the 2nd century AD and its arena is one of the largest after the Colosseum in Rome.
Botanical and plein air artists should enjoy painting in the Giardino Bellini. In addition to a myriad variety of flowering vegetation, these public gardens are filled with palm, banana, and Ficus trees. From the heights of this luscious garden you are provided an outstanding panorama of Mount Etna.
3 kilometers south of town, seascape artists can set up on the Lido Plaia, a long, sandy beach lined with pine trees. For non-seascape artists, you may still want to keep this Ionian Sea beach destination in mind should Mount Etna decide to wake up.
Buon Viaggio!

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