Our group from the University of Idaho made a visit to the Amalfi Coast over the weekend, staying three nights in the small town of Atrani and a day at the Greco-Roman city of Paestum. It's always a bit of a challenge coordinating travel for this trip, as I prefer to use public transportation and the rail/bus/boat schedules rarely align the way I'd like. There was only one real glitch - we went to transfer from one train to another in Napoli, and got on the train that was sitting on the designated track ... only to discover a bit later that the actual train had been sitting further down the same track, and had already left the station. Crazy. So we had to kill an hour or so waiting for the next train. In the end, not such a big deal, as the destination always renders insignificant any difficulties along the way. While I hate to give away what I feel is a bit of a secret ... Atrani is a wonderful place, and one of my favorite locations for drawing. MC Escher spent time there, which becomes obvious when you see his initial "Metamorphosis" woodcut and also consider his images of never-ending stairs and crazy perspectives.
And then there's Paestum, just a little way down the coast from Salerno, where we take the bus or boat to get to Atrani. Paestum was a Greek colony from the 5th Century BC that was subsequently made into a Roman city before falling to the Saracens in the 9th Century AD. It then lay all but undiscovered until the 18th Century when it became inspiration for English Romantic poets. Now, it is simply a magnificent place to visit, with three major Doric temples in immaculate condition. They make challenging subjects for drawing, and in this case I was trying not to get worked-up about the details and let the paint flow freely.
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