Tuesday, 3 November 2015


"San Lorenzo" oil on canvas cm 50x100

So you have chosen Tuscany as a destination for your next holiday, but haven't decided where to stay yet.When looking for accommodation in Tuscany, you are faced with tons of options.

In the art cities you can find hotels for all price ranges, but if you are planning to spend some time in the countryside, why not consider staying at an "agriturismo"?

An Agriturismo is a working farmhouse where rooms or apartments are rented out to travellers by the family who ownes it. In order to be classified as agriturismo more than 50 per cent of the income of the farm must derive from agriculture. This insures that the land is worked and preserved.

Staying at an agriturismo is usually cheaper than a hotel (although we also have luxury ones that are pricey), and it's a good way to experience the real Tuscan lifestyle, as in most cases you will be in close contact with the family and you will have the chance to taste food produced in the property. The whole thing is usually very informal.

Today's painting is a view of an ancient hamlet recently turned into an agriturismo, with great views over the hills a few miles away from Siena.


Monday, 12 October 2015


"Autumn is here"  oil on canvas cm 40x60

Autumn really is a magical season, and one of the most inspirational!

Autumn skies are the most exciting and dramatic. Dark grey clouds can make you want to stay at home, in bed, reading a book, and ten minutes later the sun can come out and reveal the most brilliant blue sky. With their changing moods, autumn skies are never boring!

And every day you can notice the little shifts in the colour of the leafs, as the vines and trees gradually take on golden and amber hues.
In today's painting you can see the colours that we are enjoying right now here in Tuscany, with the warm yellow and orange colours of the vineyards, and the oak trees that are just starting to turn.
I hope you like it!

Monday, 28 September 2015


"Sunny Vineyard" oil on canvas - cm 70x90

Are you looking for a good excuse to plan your next visit to Tuscany? Why not wine tasting?  
Millions of people travel to us every year with the purpose of being able to sip exquisite wines while sitting in a terrace, enjoying a stunning view over the Tuscan vineyards.

The Province of Siena, where I live, includes some areas of wine production that are famous all around the world. 

The area between the city of Siena and Florence, (which is the capital of Tuscany, by the way), is called Chianti Classico, just like the world-famous red wine produced on its hills.

About 40 kilometers south of Siena is Montalcino, the home of  Brunello, considered the king of Italian wines for the extremely long ageing process it undergoes, which transforms the Sangiovese grapes into a complex and full-body wine.

Further east, the hills around another beautiful medieval town, Montepulciano , offers the Vino Nobile, also produced mainly from another type of Sangiovese grapes, called Prugnolo Gentile. 

Finally,  San Gimignano, 30 minutes north-west of Siena, is famous for its 14 medieval towers and also for the Vernaccia, a white wine produced from the most ancient variety of grapes, Vernaccia, the production of which is thought to have been started in Italy in the 6th century BC!

Today's painting was inspired by a vineyard just outside San Gimignano on a hot Summer day. 

So...I hope I gave you enough reasons to visit Tuscany soon!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


"Casetta Civinini" Oil on Canvas cm 35x45 

Tuscany is mostly famous for the beauty of its countryside, but we also have great beaches, especially in the southern coastal area.

September is my favourite month for going to the beach!

I made a small painting of one of my favourite beaches, where I often go with my mum, my boyfriend, my girlfriends, or by myself.

Its called Casetta Civinini and it's a wide uncrowded sandy beach with a pinewood  that separates it from the road. It is a few miles long so you can take nice walks.

If you wish to learn more about the lovely beaches in Tuscany, click here.

Monday, 24 August 2015


"Waiting for the Harvest in Tuscany" Oil on Canvas cm 60x80

The bunches of grapes hanging on the vines in the Chianti area are already looking ripe, and this year we are expecting an excellent vintage.

Since we have had a very hot summer the harvest may start a little sooner than usual and in the southern part of the region the white varieties such as Trebbiano and Malvasia are already being picked  this week. In the province of Siena, which is right in the centre of Tuscany, we will probably begin the first week of September.

Most of the work is done by hand and many people are hired by the hundreds of wine producers all over Tuscany.

If you are interested in joining the harvest and get a taste this joyful and hectic time of the year, you can check out this website that has a list of some of the main producers in Tuscany.

Thursday, 30 July 2015


Pen and Watercolour on Paper

How could I live without my sketchbook?

Sketchbooks are creative people's best friends and I would advise everyone to get into the habit of using one.
A sketchbook is a book with blank pages that you can carry with you at all times and use it as your private place to draw, write, scribble or do whatever you want, there are no rules, and nobody will see it unless you want them to.
So, what's so great about them?
In a sketchbook you can:

  • write down or draw creative ideas before you forget them, 
  • develop ideas, for example try out compositions for a painting or drawing,
  • experiment with different mediums you are less familiar with, provided the paper you choose is suitable
  • use it as a visual diary, drawings help you remember experiences better
  • practise handwriting 
  • make lists
  • stick stuff in it
  • have fun, doodle and make a mess!

Watercolour on Paper

There is no right or wrong way to use a sketchbook.
Some people do a lot of writing in them, some consider it a proper form of art.
Check out artists like Andrea Joseph, Fabio Consoli     and Lapin , for example.

Pen and Watercolour on Fabriano Paper

Most of my pages are quite messy and I usually don't spend a lot of time on each drawing. I like to capture what I see around me and I often use it at home to relax or on days when I can't paint.

I carry a sketchbook with me all the time and there are some days when I don't use it at all, but I have to know it's there in case I need to draw or write something!

Ballpoint on Fabriano paper

What about you? Do you like sketchbooks and can you think of other reasons for starting using them?

Ideas for future paintings..

Monday, 13 July 2015


"Sunny Morning in Tuscany"  Oil on Canvas cm 60x80

If you were travelling around Tuscany right now you would be seeing miles  and miles of sunflower fields everywhere.

Every summer it's the same old story: I promise to myself I will not paint any sunflowers this year, as they are quite messy to deal with, but as soon as I see them popping out, I can't help it. So the other day I took lots of pictures in the countryside south of Siena, and then spent many hours in my nice and cool studio, trying to get something good out of them...

Here is a series of pictures that will give you an idea of how this painting came to life. I hope you enjoy them!

 Here is how I started out by using diluited acrilic colour for the underpainting,

I then established the dark areas,

made them darker,

and even darker,

I then started painting the sky and distant hills and fields,

then suggested  the greens and the shape of a few flowers in the foreground,

and eventually everything fell into place!