Category Archives: Sicily
A Place, a Painting, a Drink and a Platter. No 5 –The Veneto and Southern Italy!
Continuing with this food drink and place theme this post covers my visits to Venice and the Veneto region, and the most southerly part of Italy, the wonderful, Sicily.
As every region has such great specialities I just can’t cover them all but in these lovely places we have had such great times, drinks and food. And of course that special Italian hospitality and warmth of the people themselves.
First lets stop off in the VENETO and VENICE.
On the coast towards Trieste stands the lovely Miramare Castle. Commissioned by an Austrian Archduke it is resplendent with beutiful gardens and flowers. It is a truly delightful place to visit and then if you can, travel to Trieste and eat in one of the many restaurants or cafes there by the waterfront. There you can taste the local San Danielle Proscuito with some local Veneto wine. Trieste was the main port of the once Austro Hungarian Empire and didn’t become part of Italy until after the end of First World War in 1918.
And so to Venice itself. Oh. what wonderful place, where every corner you turn is a great vista and the back streets and canals are a painters’ paradise.
It has been hard to choose which of my many Venice watercolours to include but the choice of food and drink was easier as one special Restaurant really stood out for me in Venice.
Just off the Riva Degli Schiavoni, in a small side street called Calle del Pestrin, is the excellent Restaurant “Corte Sconta” . Great fresh sea food and a very nice place to eat. The Vongole was superb, well worth the walk along the Riva with the spectacular view above and below. More local Veneto wine too, or Prosecco!
If you plan to stay on The Riva degli Schiavoni then try the “Locanda Vivaldi” with its traditional Venetian rooms and a great location.
This watercolour was painted from a photo taken as we arrived by water taxi to stay there!
In Venice the trip down the Grand Canal is amazing with fine views and if you can visit the Fish Market then do! From there walk back slowly down the side streets until reach the Academia Bridge. All just amazing!
And so to finish this section on Venice here is St Mark’s Square from a Vaporetto, but don’t forget to buy your ticket before you board!
Down South to SICILY
Italy is a Country of so many regions, customs ,food and wine, and the wonderful scenery.
On the Mediterranean’s largest island all of these can be found in abundance.
We have enjoyed Sicily a lot and Taormina is a great place to stay and admire the views and the food and wine. I was first introduced to Pasta Norma there which was and is great! But also the fresh Ocrobus grilled is superb and this I really did enjoy in Taormina. If you can try the wine “La Segreta Nero d’Avola” from the Planeta Winery, very nice indeed and available in the UK
From Taormina the sight of Mount Etna steaming , or even erupting is amazing. Try to take trip up to the top if you can and feel the hot earth beneath your feet!
Here are two more paintings of Sicily too.
There is so much more to say about Italy but I will leave Rome,Puglia and the Amalfi coast till another time
Some of these and many watercolours are for sale or just to see on my site at
Churches in the Landscape
It is no real surprise that Churches offer the painter a great subject, often as the focal point of a painting.
Looking through some of my watercolours of the past few years there are many with Churches featured in them. The beautiful architecture of Churches and their often prominent locations provides an exciting subject for me in many paintings.
Some of these are painted as they may have been in the past, to help illustrate family history events , whilst others just bring the subject together in a pleasing way (to me anyway!).
I have gathered together in this large post some from my archives of painting from various locations around Europe.
I hope you enjoy seeing them, I am sure many will have visited them on their own holidays.
Watercolours of Boats
It has always been fun to paint pictures with boats in them. I have blogged some of these before but here are some new ones painted during this summer as well.
Sadly the fishing boat on Littlestone beach was burned out and destroyed in 2009 , it was a lovely fishing boat.
I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did in painting them.
Sicily May 2012
Well here I am in beautiful Sicily for a few days enjoying the late spring sunshine
Staying at Taormina we have been travelling around some fairly local places and it has given me the chance to paint a few quick watercolours of this beautiful coast line round Mount Etna.
These will serve as a reminder , together with the photos for some better painting once home.
More to come I hope but here are some painted over the past few days
Not only is the scenery great but the very friendly people serve up great food and terrific local wine!
I hope they either encourage you to visit there or relive happy memories.