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:


Monday, March 22, 2010


Certainly a trip to the Umbrian region would not be complete without a visit to Perugia, the capital of Umbria. Home to Perugina chocolate, (a reason in itself to visit the city), Perugia has retained much of its Gothic and Renaissance charm, which makes it appealing to artists who enjoy painting architecture.
Piazza IV Novembre is the hub of Perugian life and a top contender for being one of Italy’s most beautiful piazzas. At one end of the piazza is the Palazzo dei Priori, one of the finest secular buildings in Italy. Yes, you read it correctly, a spectacular building in Italy that’s not a church!
In the heart of Piazza IV Novembre is the Fontana Maggiore, and as it name states, it is truly a Grand Fountain. If you want to test your drawing skills, here’s the place to do it. The fountain’s artistic triumph stems from sculpture work by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano. Included are allegorical sculpture, saints, biblical characters, statuary that symbolizes the arts and sciences, Aesop’s fables, the months of the year, the signs of the zodiac, and scenes from the Old Testament and Roman history.
After you’ve run out of paper drawing the marvels of the fountain, take the escalator to the Rocca Paolina. The gardens around the old fortress are perfect for setting up to paint the breathtaking views.
Deruta remains one of my favorite towns in Umbria. Since the days of the Renaissance painters, it has boasted the densest concentration of shops and factories that sell the distinctive hand-painted glazed terra cotta. Even Raphael commissioned ceramic-ware with the now famous motif of dragons cavorting with flowers and vines.
As soon as the shops open for the day, the town explodes with color. Baskets and racks and tables are set outside and stacked and filled and hung with vibrant ceramics. Plates and platters and tiles decorate ancient walls. The Piazza dei Consoli is an excellent place to set up and capture this “ceramic” garden on canvas.
Save a little time to shop and appreciate the artistry. You simply must at least buy a spoon-rest; if you don’t you’ll wish you had, once you’ve returned home. If you travel “carry-on only,” as I do, don’t despair; the shops ship worldwide. Hey if it’s good enough for Raphael...
The original and limited edition prints of the painting above can be viewed and purchased at my art website:
Si può comprarne delle stampe e l’originale del quadro in alto al mio website d’arte: http://www.PamelaAllegretto-Franz.com

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