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SketchTravel in Italy by mrsomebody

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· @mrsomebody · (edited)
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SketchTravel in Italy
## <center>Trastevere, Rome</center>

Our airport cabbie said he couldn’t get us to the hotel, but he could get close. What? It turned out to be true, as the cobblestone roads in this area get too narrow for even the tiny Italian cars. Trastevere is the Greenwich Village of Rome, full of twisting little roads meandering through cafes, shops, and fountained squares. After dropping our bags, our son took us on a foot tour of the city – to Campo de’ Fiori to see the statue of Giordano Bruno, the Pantheon with its fabulous oculus, Piazza Navona, Trevi fountain, the Spanish Steps, Villa Medici, Villa Borghese, Piazza del Popolo. Next day we saw the Roman forum, the coliseum, the Vatican… I’m getting tired just <i>remembering</i> it all! My son was doing a semester in Rome for his Cornell architecture program, and had just taken a class on Rome’s history. He was living a half block from the ruins of four temples called the cat pit, where Julius Caesar was killed. It seems that every inch of Rome is historical.

![1. scenes.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmToCpRetRyhEgK5Bj8DRAhdL2cVVciUwU6NbKMFiQhWAc/1.%20scenes.jpg)

## <center>On to Tuscany and San Gimignano</center>

The old medieval towns of Montepulciano, San Gimignano, Siene, and Volterra were unbelievable. They seemed frozen in time from when the plague hit in 1347-8, wiping out a third of the population. The castle towns and little connecting roads hug the hilltops, so you get amazing views across the valleys to the distant wineries and places. We also visited Monterioggioni Castle, where I did an audio recording of a Spanish guitarist practicing in his shop. Actually I did audio recordings throughout the trip – announcements in the train stations, car and motorcycle engines and horns, a musician playing gypsy jazz in the square at San Gimignano, a wandering accordion player in Venice. It is a lot to manage with audio mic, camera, and sketchbook! The sketch of grape vines was made from our patio. After sharing my sketches with our hosts, and in spite of the fact that we had no language in common, they brought out and shared their homemade wines, limoncello, olive oil and appetizers. We had a great time and laughed a lot, as you do when making failed attempts at communicating.

![2. scenes.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmbubzKdmPWBJ9cmr2UJcvCLVweuyk29K8K78RbyHV2YtZ/2.%20scenes.jpg)

## <center>Florence, of course</center>
Everyone loves Florence, and for good reason. We visited the usual places like the Uffizi Museum, Pitti Palace and museum as well as that impressive duomo. I did an audio recording of a fantastic violin player on the steps of the Uffizi, and then of a cheesy accordion band in a square. After seeing so much renaissance art, I was missing Miro and Kandinsky! 

![3. scenes.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmb9E8TXtPpB6zBzPBjzkJ66nQr5SAeHRGLk5sfuGm2GHv/3.%20scenes.jpg)

## <center>Venice, where wine is cheaper than water</center>

It’s true, but then wine was cheaper than water all over Italy. We left the green hills outside of Florence, taking the train to the station right on Venice’s Grand Canal. The waterbus takes you close, and then it’s all walking from there on – no cars or motorcycles anywhere. Our room was right on a canal, where we watched how the gondolas and boats worked. Some gondolier operators sang or whistled. They yell at corners as a warning, since the navigation is so narrow. It was so still at night, with the occasional boat passing by like a ghost. I’d washed a few clothes out in the sink and put them on a line to dry. Later I noticed some tourists taking photos of it – local color haha! The Basilicus of San Marco was awesome to see. We entered on boardwalks due to flooding. They didn’t allow packs in, but after seeing a few people with them anyway, we held them to the outside and slipped through undetected! The most fun was just wandering around Venice through the labyrinth of walkways and the countless stepped bridges over the canals.

![4. scenes.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmQMBG8DpB18YcxbULshpTnZeMNP7PwmNuLC6mMoX4yAY7/4.%20scenes.jpg)

## <center>The Cinque Terre!</center>

You can’t drive to the villages of the Cinque Terre, but there are no roads there anyway. We took the train, and as we were getting close the train tunnel gave us short glimpses of steep cliffs leading to intense blue Mediterranean water. We stayed in Vernazza, a beautiful tiny village clinging to the cliffs with as picturesque a beach setting as you could wish for. Our room was up a gazillian steps, and the top floor was a deck overlooking everything. The only structure higher was a turret behind us from the castle ruin.

![5. scenes.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmenmRHN1ZNNwcJWec5VbN2YS5BueSDpbRt9inYtxvvHwa/5.%20scenes.jpg)

 We walked the trail that connects to Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. It was closed the other direction to Montessoro al Mare due to recent rain and mud, so we took a train there. We also took a boat down the coast to the larger town of Portovenere. I have fond memories of my son and I sitting on the rough rocks just above the splashing waves in Vernazza, both doing a sketch of that beautiful church St. Margherita de Antiqua.

![6. scenes.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmVWgh6jWbbP28zcZ1KzvvPAnyyFH2BcMLbpVpZSmuuNHM/6.%20scenes.jpg)

## <center>Positano and the Amalfi coast</center>


It was a long train ride down to Naples, where we got a bus to Positano. Built on the the steep cliffs, Positano seemed like one of those places a James Bond film would be shot. Stunning white buildings huddled on top of each other with walkways going helter skelter, leading down to an amazing beach lined with restaurants. A sunbather's paradise. Positano is accessed by a high, narrow winding road made more for a Ferrari than a tour bus. We arrived after dark, with our bus driver stopping on a hairpin turn and pointing down a narrow, dark walkway. We got our bags and eventually stumbled onto our room a few blocks away in the maze. 

![7. scenes.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmdFnyyttA9SnUjq9tAX1YcMsmXESQuhiFp1BN7ZbvfUyj/7.%20scenes.jpg)

## <center>The terrific ruins of Paestum</center>

From here we took a boat to Salerno and a train to Paestum, where some of the best preserved Greek buildings exist. We stayed until closing time at 5pm, where the late sun brings out a golden hue in the stone pillars. The train booth was closed so we got on anyway and the conductor who eventually came to take tickets gave us a lecture. But they wouldn’t sell us round-trip tickets earlier, so what do you do?

<I>*A note about the sketches: This trip was taken in October of 2010. For personal reasons I have never put them together in story form until now.</I>

© All Rights Reserved @mrsomebody

## <center>Steemians, thanks for reading this post. Please follow me at @mrsomebody and comment below.</center>
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vote details (465)
@theonlyway ·
Beautiful Italy full of stories, 10 years ago I visited the northern part of Italy I was in Verona, Padova, Viceza, Bardolino, Venice, Milan.

Good memories, grace your drawings.
👍  
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@mrsomebody ·
@theonlyway Yes you can't go wrong visiting Italy. I hope to get back there in a year or so. I'll look into the places you visited. Thanks for your comment!
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@marblely ·
Your sketches are so pretty! I enjoyed viewing them. I haven’t been to Italy bur the architectures remind me of Greece. I like how you inserted the tickets on your drawings :) Wonderful memories. 

Posted using [Partiko iOS](https://partiko.app/referral/marblely)
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@mrsomebody ·
@marblely Thank you so much. This trip happened ten years ago. I hope to visit Italy again in the next year or two. I was collecting everything on this trip - photos, drawings, audio sounds, ticket stubs. Really a fun trip.
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@steemitboard ·
Congratulations @mrsomebody! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

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@mrsomebody ·
Thank you so much @steemitboards. And thank you for the upvote as well! Appreciated.
👍  
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@steemitboard ·
You're welcome @mrsomebody
Feel free to support us back: [vote for our witness](https://v2.steemconnect.com/sign/account-witness-vote?witness=steemitboard&approve=1). 
You will get one more badge and more powerful upvotes from us on your posts with our next notifications.<div class="pull-right"><sub><a href="/@steemreply/steemreply-stay-in-touch-with-your-steem-network">Posted with ![](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmbroYujK9LNd2s8zDKPUCADmseyJDuNbhwBPrrF7xM8FL/logo-comment.png)</a></sub></div>
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@c-squared ·
c-squared-comment
<div class="pull-left">https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmVHt1f2jqCViLk6dX2SZsajYRWBpmdQA7sQDEbuQBxFB3/c2100.png</div><br>This post was shared in the <a href="https://discord.gg/B8JFmJ4">Curation Collective Discord community</a> for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.<br/>@c-squared runs a <a href="https://steemit.com/witness/@c-cubed/announcing-the-launch-of-the-new-c-squared-witness">community witness</a>. Please consider using one of your witness votes on us <a href ="https://steemconnect.com/sign/account-witness-vote?witness=c-squared&approve=true">here</a>
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@mrsomebody ·
Thank you @c-squared for sharing and upvoting the post! I do appreciate it.
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@deeanndmathews ·
Your sketches are GORGEOUS -- well done!
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@mrsomebody ·
Thank you @deeanndmathews. I'm glad you like them! It does help to have such inspiring subject matter.
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@nowargraffitis ·
beautiful and lovely!
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@mrsomebody ·
Thank you @nowargraffitis!
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@sjarvie5 ·
Wow these are so great. I just visited most of the same places in May with my siblings. It is so fun seeing it through your eyes and sketches. I also like how you add tickets and stubs to the layout of the place. 
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@mrsomebody ·
Sweet! Thank you @sjarvie5. Glad you liked them. We hope to get back to Italy in another year or so. It is so amazing, it's really time for another experience there.
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