Painting Tuscany!

Today is the fourth ‘Colori e Sapori’ painting competition in Ponte a Serraglio. Held each year on a Sunday in early to mid July, artists have their canvas or board stamped at 8.oo  inthe morning, then have until 4.00 in the afternoon to paint what they see around Ponte a Serraglio. Top prize is 650euro.

It’s a lovely event and I so wish I have even one tiny bit of artistic talent and could join in, but even so it’s  very enjoyable just to wander around and look at the work.  I have simple tastes, I rather like a painting to look something  like the real life scene, so the one above suits me well! And this one of the Demidoff temple.


It’s a fantastic opportunity to peer over artists shoulders as they work. These I like. I can tell what they have painted, and they’ve painted what they see.






The artists don’t seem to mind the shoulder peering, in fact they don’t seem to notice, but maybe secretly they like that people stop and admire their work, when normally it’s a fairly solitary pursuit. Some went down onto the riverbed, perhaps preferreing a little more privacy.

These two men below were painting up at the Bernabo terrace overlooking Ponte a Serraglio. They were about two metres apart but facing opposite directions so quite different views.



These next three were standing very near to each other. They’ve also clearly painted what they see, but don’t all see it in quite the same way! The second one is most true to life, but I do rather like the jolliness of the last one. The finished picture is also shown, though personally I’m not so sure about the addition of the owl.

But of course those with an artistic eye see things slightly differently from the rest of us, and sometimes they also see things that just aren’t there!

For the one above the reason for the odd items maybe that he was clearly painting more from imagination than real life, here’s the work in progress, all these beautiful places to choose to paint and he’s beside a wall!



In fairness though it was incredibly hot today and many of the artists had retreated  under the trees. I’d like to think they had at least started their paintings in situ and only fled to the shade to add the finishing touches.



This chap below has definitely cheated though. He has a picture he is copying. but it’s the wrong bridge! He is painting the Ponte della Maddalena or ‘Devil’s Bridge’ which is at Borgo a Mozzano, about 5km away and certainly not visible from Villa Fiori park in Ponte a Serraglio where the competition is based. I can’t believe nobody pointed this out to him! I wonder if he will be disqualified?

But at least he has some green in his hills. Each year I notice the dominant colour is blue. Maybe when packing their paints to bring along the artists think that as they are painting a river they’ll need a lot of blue.  But really the dominant colour here is very much green, lush verdant green hills all around. More green please next year!

Here are the finished paintings on display ready for the judging.

I started writing this up whilst awaiting the judging. And so now please  ignore my ignorant thoughts on green,  it seems blue was indeed the wise colour for success. The blue chair painting above was 3rd,  the blue church was 5th,  and here are the 1st and 2nd places, notice all the blue, and even 4th place has blue hills amongst the yellow.  Demidoff temple (above) only had blue sky so 6th!

Of course I hoped someone would have included my house in their painting. But the only one I found was this, and it’s not quite what I’d hoped for! In fact I didn’t even recognise it, my husband had to explain what each building was and which was our house, Villa Rosalena as they are not nearly so clustered together in reality.  Oh well!

The competition is organised by a local artists association, entry is open to all for a small fee (15euro, includes lunch)  also there’s  a children’s competition.

Debra, if you are reading I’m sure you will have been trying to get a look at the geraniums,  so no paintings in this next photo, this one is just for you!

About From a Tuscan Villa

Tuscan B&B, bed and breakfast accommodation and self catering villa rental in Bagni di Lucca, northern Tuscany, Italy
This entry was posted in Art, Bagni di Lucca, Summer and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Painting Tuscany!

  1. I’ve been a fan of Debra’s blog for a while, so pleased i’ve found yours too!

  2. bagnidilucca says:

    Thank you for the great photos!!! I love it. I wish I had been there. At least I got to see it through your eyes and thank you especially for the photo of the bridge and my balcony. The flowers are doing well.
    Rosi has told me it was 43 degrees on Sunday – so hot! She took some photos too – I haven’t seen them yet – so I might post some as well when she sends them to me. I hope the day was well attended. I think it is good for the village.
    Thanks again for thinking of me.

    • I didn’t notice the actual temp but it certainly felt like the hottest day so far this year. The event in previous years had a tasting route around the piazza, the Bernabo and Jean Varraud spas and Global Village but this year the food was served only in the park so not quite as good for the village as a whole as before, but maybe it was more manageable for the organisers. Nevetheless a great event for showing the beauty of Ponte a Serraglio, makes one realise how many lovely spots and views there are here. Really wish I could paint too!

  3. Mulino Dominillo says:

    Thank you for the photos, I love them, particularly the one from entrant 36, which is quite surrealistic, but reminds me of what happens when we are in the mill. There is “Pavarotti”, the goose who announces his arrival by “singing” so that he gets his food, the ducks, the birds and even our favourite mouse who lives in the lower part of the mill, “Topo Gigio”, fat and always looking for more food.

  4. mulino dominillo says:

    Sorry for the late reply, but I am currently travelling in the USA. And yes, we are on the Lima, about 300 yards from the Bagni post office.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s