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, November 28, 2009


Borrowing from Greek mythology, The Romans set the renowned dwelling of the “Sirens” (the naughty mermaids who lured seamen to their deaths) at Surrentum/Sorrento. Ulysses’ crew resisted the Siren’s call by stuffing their ears with wax. My advice is to get the wax out of your ears, heed the call, and go to Sorrento to paint.
Perched high on cliffs that overlook the Bay of Naples, This little jewel offers vistas for every genre of artist to enjoy. The seascapes are breathtaking, the landscaped verdant hills are luscious, and the cliff side dwellings are mind-boggling.
A visit to the cloister at Chiesa di San Francesco will not only delight floral artists with its flowering-vine studded garden, but the convent is also an art school offering exhibits that all artists will enjoy.
Pack light, bring some water, and take a walk down to Capo di Sorrento. To get there, take Via del Capo that originates in Piazza Tasso, the main square. Along the Via del Capo, after passing a sign “Cani Mordaci” (biting dogs) posted on the gate of the villa where Maxim Gorky lived, on the right is a dirt path that will take you down to the sea. The views from here, with Vesuvius in the distance, are magical. It’s an idyllic location to paint.
Between Napoli and Sorrento, Vico Equense is a beautiful spot to stop and paint. The locals boast that they have “one foot in the boat and one foot in the vineyards.” For me this translates to awesome seascapes and landscapes. This town is an often-overlooked little gem that lies in a lovely position on a tufa promontory on the north coast of the Sorrento peninsula. Set up near the Duomo where from high above the sea the views will knock your socks off. It can get fairly breezy there, so be sure to anchor down your canvas.
Spending a day to explore Pompeii and paint among the ruins is just about the most amazing experience you’ll ever have. With Vesuvius hovering in the background, there’s nowhere else I can think of where you can paint amidst the “destroyed’ and the “destroyer.” Some artists who don’t enjoy painting buildings or ruins screw up by not bringing paints or sketchpads to Pompeii. Don’t make that mistake. The views are fabulous in any direction from anywhere in the city.

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