last bits & pieces of Italia

The time has come to leave Italy. I actually left nearly a full day ago now. Currently hanging in New York on another lengthy layover. Then a couple more flights tomorrow and I'll be back home in California! 

Hard to believe that it is technically still the day that I left, and yet so much time has passed...yet not according to my watch. Boh. Westbound travel is always mind-boggling, how you kinda sorta time travel a bit...wibbly wobbly timey whimey...

Back to Italy! My last night in Rome was incredible! The lovely and talented Gina Gomez gave me a list of things to do and places to eat for the perfect last night. And it was rather perfect. I checked in then cruised over to the Colosseum to sketch. Then wandered through my favorite corner of Rome to the Pantheon to sketch some more. I then cruised to Piazza Navona for another sketch and an Aperitivo! 

After my last Spritz, I went to check out the dinner spot. Unfortunately it was closed, and so was my back-up! Italy in August, it's to be expected. Luckily I found a small tasty spot around the corner. I finished up the night getting gelato from Gelateria del Teatro and enjoying it on the Ponte San'Angelo. Fiori di Lavanda e Pesca Bianca con Albicocca. Lavender with white peach and apricot. YUM. A lovely finish to a lovely, damn near perfect summer. 

Here's some of my favorite photos from my last days in Italy! I'll be scanning like a fiend this weekend to get ready for a shop update, hopefully the 2nd week of September. Stay tuned!  

1. My friend Simonetta drove me out to the Ponte della Maddalena (aka the Devil's Bridge). Definitely a good one to cross of the sketching bucket list! 
2. We then drove back up these tiny little road tucked into the mountains north of Lucca. I would move into this decrepit little house in a heart beat. 
3. Barga quickly became one of my new favorite towns in Italy. Winding streets with incredible views...
4. One last photo of Siena! I love how the Duomo just peeks up above all the terracotta streets. 

5. The streets of Lucca were SO quiet on Ferragosto, it was lovely! 
6. The other night in Lucca was Notte Bianca. My talented friend Vanessa Peters and I took advantage of it and took to the streets to play some music and sketch. 
7. Wandering through the streets of Rome and I found my favorite photo of the summer. A Fiat 500 and a cat. Quickest way to my heart. 
8. Sketching one of my favorite spaces in the world, the Pantheon in Rome! Perfect way to end a summer. 


Quarto the traveling sketchbook: update IV

How did two months just pass by so quickly?! In just over a week, I'll be making the reverse hellish trip back to California. Which is daunting. I'm excited to see everyone back home but this place is always so hard to leave. The food, the people, the sites...things you just can't get back home. 

One thing that I started doing this summer was taking photos of Quarto with the actual location I just sketched. I LOVE this series of photos! It's one thing to have a sketch to remember the place, but the combination of the sketch and the exact spot at that exact moment I sketched it is something really unique for me. Sometimes I can get the whole scene, other times it's just a little bit of the place. Either way I really love the double documentation of a place. 

1. My friend Susie and I climbed up the Campanile in Florence. Originally she wanted to do the Duomo but the line wrapping halfway around the back of the dome changed our minds. In the end, the bell tower had better views of the Duomo and some shady spots to sketch and read! 
2. The most perfect little mint Vespa! I sketched it first and then watercolored a postcard of it. Once I get home, these little postcards are going straight to the Notional Notions Etsy shop! I haven't been this excited for a shop update in a long time! 
3. The Anfiteatro here in Lucca. I've been working on this sketch for most of the summer. Which meant getting a gelato every time to claim my same vantage point...what a shame.
4. Piazza San Frediano was never really on my list of places to sketch but I'm so glad that I got pushed to (via some suggestions on Instagram). Such a pretty space.

5. One day I want to own a vintage Fiat 500. It's the cutest car (sorry VW Bug...)
6. I took a day trip to Siena last week, just in time to see it set up for the Palio race this weekend. I love this space, and it was fun to see it set up for the traditional horse race. Seeing the actual track set up makes imagining the horse race seem all the more dangerous. 
7. A visit to Siena isn't complete without visiting my favorite restaurant, Osteria Nonna Gina. Stuffed gnocchi in a secret sauce, fried zucchini blossoms, fresh focaccia, Chianti and a bit of Amaretto for a digestivo...love! 
8. I first sketched the Siena Duomo as a student but I never finished that sketch. It was nice to finally sit down and document the whole crazy beast. The next hard bit was finding my favorite part of the inlaid sidewalks around it to photograph Quarto with. 

Hopefully I'll be able to do another Quarto update before I leave. If not, the next time you see Quarto (if not on Instagram) will be once she's all scanned up and printed for the next Sketchy Notions shop update! 

Did you miss the other updates? Update I  | Update II | Update III