San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

Seen from the Molo across the water. Ah, Venice. This is my last picture from the trip, except two from Rome that I’m iffy about. To celebrate, I’m going to replicate a supper we ate there- pasta alla norma followed by chicken milanese (basically a breaded chicken cutlet.) And plot my next trip!

Piazza del Popolo

Wet, Piazza del Popolo, Rome. There’s an obelisk here- brought from Egypt, and in the famous view paintings of these almost-twin churches, they are usually seen with the obelisk in front. But the obelisk was under construction and had a giant screen in front of it (with a Samsung phone ad on the screen), so that wasn’t an option- or so it seemed at the time. Kind of regret not including it now.

The Piazza del Popolo is also where you can go see this stunning Caravaggio, which is one of my favorites:


You can pay 1 Euro to light up both paintings- This one, The Conversion of St Paul on the Road to Damascus- truly a masterpiece- and the Martyrdom of St Peter next to it. I paid the Euro.

Light up Caravaggio

Piazza San Marco, Venice

I was absolutely fascinated by the acqua alta, or high water in the lower streets in Venice. It laid out for me the engineering feat that building this city was- and the ongoing challenges as well. Not sure how to express this sentiment but I’ll try- even though it’s surpassingly beautiful, the sheer will, determination, and stubbornness of the long ago Venetians to build a city in the water impresses me even more.

Foro Romano

In no particular order will follow the rest of the pictures from my trip to Rome and Venice.

I wanted to visit some of the classic sites that inspired so many 18th century “view” paintings (or vedute in Italian.) That’s where it all comes from, a hundred years before the Impressionists, and those historical pictures got in my head a few years ago and started me painting them here in San Diego.

I didn’t realize it at the time but this isn’t the vantage point I had intended to paint. I think I should have been on the other side of the Capitoline hill, which is the vantage point (I think) from Turner’s famous version of this. That painting was on the cover of copy of The Silmarillion I stole from my sister when I was kid. I loved that picture.

St Mark’s, Venice

Painting San Marco Venezia, St Mark's Square, Venice Plein Air

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There’s a lot of history in St Mark’s, a lot of birds, and a lot of tourists!

In old paintings of Venice, Piazza San Marco is full of promenading aristocrats. Now, of course, there are selfie sticks and Indian men selling light up helicopter things.

Even though Venice is seriously threatened by rising sea levels, it struck me that the crowds of people are a lot more ephemeral. Most of them are just here for a few days- St Mark’s Basilica has been here 1000 years. And still, as you can see, under construction.