Alexandra Heintzelman Sharma
A WEEK IN ITALY:  Eleven artists, seven ancient towns, idyllic weather, fabulous food and wine--in a phrase, a perfect week of art-making on location in Umbria.

Our headquarters was the beautifully restored farm manor, Le Mandorelle, in Monticello just a few kilometres away from the Medieval walled town of Todi.  Each day we hopped in a van and car and were taken to a new site that presented us with wonderful vistas, intimate laneways and gardens, magnificent cathedrals, churches, towers, arches, structures--both humble and noble, a stage set workshop, flower shops, farm markets--and of course, delightful restaurants where we enjoyed local and regional fare.
A visit to the Rome studio, Laboratorio Geraldo Lisse, the largest privately owned producer of opera sets in the world,  was a first stop on our week's adventure.  

Artists were working on scenery for the Bolshoi Ballet at the time and we had a wonderful tour of the many floors of studios large enough to paint a canvas (stretched out and nailed to the floor) 100 ft.x 80 ft.  Canvases this large were painted with brooms-like brushes and paint rollers.
Le Mandorelle, a beautifully restored, centuries old stone house was our delightful- in- every- way home base for the week.  
Bevagna, an ancient city with Roman origins offering beauty at every turn of its quaint streets, gave us one of our first full day's painting.
Civita di Bagnoregio--a walled Etruscan town on top of a mountain crag--had been cut out of soft volcanic rock .  What a special place!


Perched on top of a hill, Todi is a completely charming medieval town.
A visit to neighbors in Monticello to enjoy the award-winning gardens and some champagne!
Enjoying savory local delicacies paired with exceptional wines to enhance the flavors.....superbe!
Assisi and the cathedral where St. Francis is buried--a beautiful town impressively situated on a hill giving us endless possibilities for subject matter for our paintings and sketches.
Todi piazza centrale and arcaded side streets and laneways.

In the laneways and massive arched entrances of Bagnoregio one could easily imagine a knight in shining armor riding through an archway.
Exploring some of Todi's ancient lanes and passageways looking for the perfect painting site---so many possibilites!
Orvieto:  A magnificent walled city with charming shop-filled streets and laneways enticed us with their handsome doorways and shop windows.
Beautiful Orvieto and its gothic cathedral with ornate facade of colorful mosaics and bas reliefs.
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Decorative local pottery on display at a shop on the piazza in Orvieto.






View of the  clock tower from the steps of the Cathedral.  On the hour a bronze figure rings one of the bells on the rooftop.
This page was last updated on: March 21, 2017
Did I mention the marveloous lunches al fresco?