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:


Friday, January 29, 2010


If you enjoy painting fountains, a visit to Viterbo will easily quench your passion. Enclosed within a triangle of sturdy walls, Viterbo retains a magical medieval air. The medieval district of the city is an almost intact 13th century quarter with towers, steep houses, raised walkways, outer stairs, and mullioned windows. The 12th century fountain in the appropriately name Piazza Fontana Grande is a good place to begin. Another paint-worthy fountain can be found in the inner courtyard of the Palazzo dei Priori. In Piazza della Morte a 13th century fountain fronts the loggia of St. Thomas that houses the Museo delle Confraterite. Please do take time out to visit this museum.
The lion is the symbol or Viterbo, and if you didn’t know that before arriving at the city, it would only take about a three minute “look around” to figure it out. Lion statuaries adorn fountains, carved lion heads embellish doorways, wrought iron shaped lion sconces grip streetlights, and lion friezes abound in restaurants and bars.
Outside the city walls, at Porta Fiorentina, there is a lovely public garden for plein air artists to enjoy.
If Viterbo doesn’t fully satiate your desire to paint unique fountains, take the road toward Vignanello and then turn off up toward San Martino al Cimino. As you pass through this high village, you may want to stop to view, and or paint, the excellent view of Lago di Vico. Continue the circular tour around Monte Cimino until you reach Soriano where you can paint the extraordinary fountain at Palazzo Chigi. The next stop is Bagnaia, where you can visit the Renaissance palace, Villa Lante, which stands above the village and is surrounded with a park that is a masterpiece of landscaping. It contains a superb Italian garden with fountains that include an excellent Lantini fountain. After you have completed this circular loop, drive around Lago di Vico to Ronciglione to paint the fountain of unicorns by Vignoli.
If painting all these fountains leaves you thirsty, don’t despair. Each village has enotecas where you can buy local wine. These are also great places to buy cheeses and panini to snack on while you paint.

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