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:


Thursday, June 24, 2010


If you’re searching for medieval villages to paint, set aside several days and drive south of Siena to the hill towns of Montalcino, Montepulciano, and Montecchiello. These hilltop villages in the Val d’Orcia offer innumerable vistas in all directions. If it’s medieval architecture that intrigues you, each village is replete with Renaissance palaces and steep cobblestone alleys that run beneath vaults and arches.
In this region, my favorite spot to lay down my brush at the end of the day is the Castello di Ripa d’Orcia. Ripa d’Orcia is a medieval hamlet that has remained just as it was during the Middle Ages. To get there, leave the road at San Quirico (you’ll see a road sign) and drive into the countryside for about 5 kilometers. The road isn’t in the best condition but the Castello makes the bone-jangling ride worthwhile when you see it rising up from behind a wall of cypress trees. The Castello offers 6 rooms and 7 apartments, each with a view guaranteed to knock your socks off. If you decide to stay here, I recommend drinking a large brandy at bedtime and sleeping with earplugs so the “otherworldly” moans and groans and footsteps across the room don’t scare your socks off.
Buon Viaggio!

While driving through Italy’s Val D’Orcia region, we spied the cart in the above painting overflowing with flowers, the colors of which mirrored the explosive sunset. Or was it the other way around? Hmmm... A limited number of 8”x10” matted prints of this original acrylic on 140-pound watercolor paper can be purchased from my art website:

Val D’Orcia:
Nel regione di Val D’Orcia, ho visto la scena nel disegno sopra, dove il tramonto si specchia nei fiori. Oppure, i fiori si specchiano nel tramonte? Hmmm... L’originale di acrilico è nella collezione d’artista. Si può comprarne delle stampe di 21x26cm al mio website d’arte:

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