Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Artist wants to paint in Italy-first trip 2012 fall
Notices

Artist wants to paint in Italy-first trip 2012 fall

Reply

Mar 20th, 2012, 06:17 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Artist wants to paint in Italy-first trip 2012 fall

Hi,
I am planning a 2 1/2- 3 week fall 2012 trip to Italy to celbrate my 60th. I am an artist (femaile) and want to spend time wandering around, seeing sites, and doing a little painting and drawing (lots of photograpy) along the way, etc. I am pretty fluent in Spanish, but not Italian; I feel comfortable being alone, although I like meeting people and being spontaneous, and I think the countryside might be as appealing as the city. I might have a friend join in for a few days of the trip.

I think Venice, Florence and the Tuscan countryside (but where??) are most appealing to me. Maybe the Adriatic? Maybe the Amalfi Coast? A day trip to Pisa? Somewhere else? Rome is not so important (too congested). I like the idea of staying longer in fewer places with day trips possible from my "base". What do you recommend?

Fying into Venice seems like a good idea, and then on to Florence. Trains are good, but I am open to renting a car if need be to explore the countryside. Advice--as in "must do", "avoid", "be careful", and "if you can, fit it in" would be wonderful.

You all seem to have wonderful advice, so thanks in advance. I look forward to your suggestions.

Susan
nauset24 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 20th, 2012, 06:22 PM
  #2
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Addition to above post:
Favorite airline these days (Boston to Italy). ANd I am looking for the budget option but not toooooo frugal!
Thanks
nauset24 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 20th, 2012, 06:31 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30,515
One of the local lawyers owns a place in Umbria and runs an art retreat/vacation. Prices might be more than you want to spend.

http://experiencemyitaly.com/index.p...about_us_home/

If you just want to travel around on your own, a car is best for Tuscany, but you can reach quite a few small towns by bus and bigger ones by train.
kybourbon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 20th, 2012, 07:39 PM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Thanks so much for the info. I don't think I want the group/class experience for my trip but your trips sound great.
nauset24 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 20th, 2012, 08:45 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30,515
Not my trip. I can't paint and all the pictures I take are out of focus.

I use public transport to get around most places in Italy, but rent a car at times for rural areas. I like southern Tuscany, but in the fall it's not very green.

Bus map for southern Tuscany. Many buses won't run on Sunday except between larger towns such as Siena/Florence.
http://www.sienamobilita.it/mappe/Mappa_EXT.pdf

>>>ANd I am looking for the budget option but not toooooo frugal!<<<

Budget airline or place to stay?
kybourbon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 21st, 2012, 08:09 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
Do you want to stay in one spot for a while and paint? Will you be bringing a lot of gear? WIll you want access to materials if you aren't bringing a lot of gear?

A lot of people, when they say they are going "in fall" actually mean they are going between Labor Day and Oct 15. But in Italy, summer really does last until Sept 21 throughout most of the country in terms of weather, and then autumn starts to set in quickly, especially in the north, with some winds and rains more likely. So if working outdoors is a big part of your plans, bear that in mind.

You might find that it is easier to engage with your surroundings if you base in a town like Fiesole or Arezzo or Lucca rather than Florence, which will still be jammed to with tourists through October. If it is terribly important to you to see the museums and churches of Florence, then you should stay there. It is a multi-day project for sure. But if you were thinking of merely dipping into museums and churches, but primarily creating your own art, these other places I mentioned will afford you quieter corners.

If you are a landscape artists, exploring the most iconic Tuscan landscapes is best done by a car. The Chianti is the verdant and flowery part of Tuscany (along with hills above Lucca) and it has many, many vinyards across its rolling hills and many castle towns. The area known as "le crete" (Senese) is just south of Siena and has dramatic clay erosions and red earth amid its large farms and vinyards, plus more fortified hilltowns. Finally, the val d'Orcia is the Tuscan landscape most often pictured on calendars and postcards (the Italian post office even uses it): the rolling, undulating near-nude hills of farmland and vinyards, punctuated by running rows of spiky cypress trees, dotted with castle towns, with an ever-changing cast of colors throughout the seasons. Some hilltowns there (like Montalcino, or even Montepulciano) give you near infinite, abstract vistas. Other places in Tuscany feel more intimate and cosy or abundantly fertile.

I almost certain you don't want to go to the pancake flat Adriatic in the fall. The Amalfi coast is intensely colorful and quite hard to get to. If you like water, the autumnal lakes would be peaceful and misty (and you'll get plenty of water in Venice). The riot of pastel villages of southern Liguria and the Italian Riviera is easier to get in your itinerary -- but not really, and it can get torrential rains in autumn.

If you don't want a car, you can still get into the countryside by bus and stay put a couple of days. It just takes patience, and it gets easier if you're occasionally willing to drop money on a long taxi ride.
zeppole is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 21st, 2012, 08:19 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
PS: People will protest my characterization of the Amalfi coast as "quite hard to get to," but it is time-consuming if you are starting from northern Italy and it involves multiple switches of trains and buses or else extremely expensive car transfers. You can drive there in autumn, but it is probably not the engagement you want with the landscape.
zeppole is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 21st, 2012, 09:23 AM
  #8
ekc
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,645
To take an initial stab at an itinerary, just to get you started, I would suggest the following:

Day 1: leave US
Day 2: arrive in Venice
Day 3: Venice
Day 4: Venice
Day 5: Venice
Day 6: train to Florence, stopping at Pisa en route
Day 7: Florence
Day 8: Florence
Day 9: rent a car and drive to a small town in Tuscany (pick one town as a base and do day trips from there)
Day 10: Tuscany
Day 11: Tuscany
Day 12: Tuscany
Day 13: Drive to Salerno, drop car, ferry to Positano
Day 14: Amalfi Coast
Day 15: Amalfi Coast
Day 16: Amalfi Coast
Day 17: ferry to Salerno, train to Rome
Day 18: Rome (there is alot of amazing things to paint)
Day 19: fly home
ekc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 21st, 2012, 09:24 AM
  #9
ekc
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,645
Oops, I mean "are" alot of amazing things to paint!
ekc is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:55 PM.