Friday, July 1, 2011

Italy - A soft spot in our hearts

Painting outside our little Inn
Planning our next venture

Beside where we stay in Venice

Italy is like a second home for the three of us.  We have a path worn to Tuscany and Venice and we are always looking forward to our next trip.
When we travel as three painters and friends, we are very serious about painting and it takes priority. Our needs are simple, we love to travel, love to dress beautifully and love to paint.
Recently a 16 days trip found us flying into Venice and painting for 6 days which was in a way a little too short.  We stayed at our favourite little Inn in the Dorsoduro region, which is perfect, climb down the stairs, stumble on to the sidewalk and set up the easels and so many motifs to choose. A typical day finds us up at dawn, out walking, sketching and taking pictures and looking at the sunrise.  Early breakfast and by 9.30 we are set up and painting.  We usually paint two to three small studies each day.  We all love to walk and explore and naturally some shopping.  Museums, churches, galleries are high on the list.
This vista is one of our favourites and is literally outside our door

Mary Rose is set and has found some shade
Violetta has chosen to sit by the canal and paint. The little girl is mesmerized
A stunning garden where we paint

No trip is complete without a gondola ride and being serenaded
Dinner at our favourite restaurant
Dinner with friends Esther, Mark and international film crew who joined us

The picture I obtained from their web site does not adequately portray it.
Lunch is usually simple, a salad and share sandwiches.  Dinner is always special and we have many wonderful places to choose from in our area.  One favourite is Antica Locanta Montin, the garden is spectacular.   It is a great spot for both lunch and dinner.

Back on board the vaporette, destination: Venice Airport. This time we pick up our car rental and decide who shall be the designated driver for our journey to Greve in Chianti and our castle for he next ten days, Castellovicchio Maggio.
Next week I we shall tell you all about our adventures and there are many!

Have you been to Italy?  What are your favourite areas?


  1. Hello Helen
    How wonderful to be doing something you are passionate about, in beautiful surroundings, and in the company of dear friends.
    Your post makes me want to reach for my passport and head off to the airport..... of course I would have to learn to paint too!
    Abby x

  2. hello there-
    I've seen your name in the comments box of many blogs I follow and have smiled at your remarks so thought I'd come over and see who you are.

    How lovely your blogs are, how skillful your art work; I've spent pleasant time looking at everything and am now ready to resume my housework ;(

    Hope that you're having a good weekend- apart from the aforementioned housework, everything is grand here on a perfectly sunny English morning

  3. Such idyllic lives, Helen! Somehow I imagine you and your artist friends in sepia, taking it all at a slower, more graceful pace than the rest of us, interspersed with flashes of painterly colour. The Verona Opera Festival is my own favourite memory of Italy - absolutely wonderful to sit on the warm stone steps by candlelight as the arias soar about us.

  4. oh, helen, what memories. we were in rome and surrounding areas a couple of years ago and fell in love. I want to go back!

    you asked about the artist whose studio I featured today - there should be a link in my text but if you are unable to access it, please visit I really like his work!

    all my best, helen...donna

  5. Hello My Spotty Pony
    It is indeed a joy to travel with Mary Rose and Violetta and our days are always very special and somehow we always manage to have an adventure and fun stories
    You are so close to Italy, it must be tempting to slip away.
    Thanks for visiting

  6. Hello Ted and Bunny
    So lovely to hear from you and I, too, have seen your name kindly comment on blogs It is such a special joy to connect with like minded friends from all over the world
    I am enjoying your blog and wishing you a lovely weekend.
    Thanks again for taking the time to read our blog and your comments we treasure.

  7. Hello Mise,
    You are right indeed some of our days are in sepia tones but it does not last long as we burst into colour. Verona sounds very special Mise, I have not been but will make a note. We did attend the opera at Le Fenice which was magical and a dream come true.
    Italy is so accessible to Ireland with Ryanair, it must be awfully tempting.

    Is mise

  8. Bon Giorno Donna and thanks you for your pleasant visit.
    Italy is so special and yes, you must return.
    Thanks for letting me know about the artist you featured. I am just going to pop over to your blog in a second.
    Wishing you a weekend full of joy