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, January 10, 2010


Anagni holds a special place in my heart. It was during a time when I was doing research for a novel, which included a character that was an artist skilled at intarsio (the art of inlaid wood), that we visited Anagni.
To my surprise, and great pleasure, we stumbled across the studio of Tarsie Turri. We weren’t able to meet with Mastro Carlo Turri, whose tarsie have been purchased by kings, popes, galleries, and museums worldwide, but happily Carlo’s daughter, Rita, gave us an in-depth tour of their workshop/gallery that has been in the same location for over 30 years. We thought it fitting that the studio is housed in the medieval center of Anagni, since intarsio is an art form relating back to the Renaissance period.
The procedure involved in this work consists of joining and fitting thin pieces of natural wood (which vary in thickness from 5 millimeters) in various shapes and essence onto a surface, and thus, forming a certain design or scene. The wood is not tinted; the tonality of color is extracted from nature. Consider the difficulty we artists face when we paint a still life with multiple folds and shadows in the tablecloth. Now imagine composing that same still life out of paper-thin shavings of wood! I highly recommend a visit for both artists and art lovers. The location, Via Vittorio Emanuele 11, 291 is easy to find, as it’s the main road that runs the length of the town.
After you visit Tarsie Turri, your artistic juices will be bubbling over. Stay on Via Vittorio Emanuele 11 until you reach Piazza Cavour, which offers a killer panorama over the neighboring hilly countryside. The piazza is a painter-friendly location to set up. Pizzerias and bars that circle the picturesque little square offer enough nourishment to keep you painting for hours. It’s also a fun location to smooze with other enthusiastic artists set up throughout the piazza.
After you leave Anagni and are heading back toward Rome, stop at Palestrina. This medieval hillside town is situated on the slopes of Monte Ginestro and overlooks a wide, picturesque valley. Palestrina is notable for its Fortuna Primigenia. At one time the greatest pagan temple in the world, this Temple of Fortune, once spread over the whole area of the medieval town. If you enjoy painting architecture, the town abounds with narrow streets, often stepped, and remains of ancient town walls.
Do not miss the drive up the hill to Palazzo Colonna-Barberini to view the Nile Mosaic. The mosaic is a well-preserved ancient Roman work, considered the most remarkable one ever uncovered. The mosaic details the flooding of the Nile, a shepherd’s hunt, mummies, ibises, and Roman warriors, among other things.
The museum is open until an hour before sunset, so if you time it right, you can leave the palace and have time to set up you easel just in time to capture the burnt sienna sunset over the valley far below.

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