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Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A week in Civita - a taste of la dolce vita

My week in Civita was not just all work and no play. Actually it was all play even when it was work, but what I mean is that I did get to sketch outside our classes and record a bit of what living in Civita with a small group of sketchers feels like.

We were all staying in apartments that belong to NIAUSI (Northwest Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in Italy).

It felt so very Italian to prepare my morning coffee in a cute blue and orange bialetti and take it to the garden where we often convened to eat together or sketch between classes.

It was the cutest bialetti I had ever seen
Tony, who has been living there since he renovated the place with his wife a few decades ago, had around 15 cats (!) and a very cute black ape (litt. bee) that came in very handy when we had to face the bridge back to reality at the end of the workshop.

Spot the kittens

A real life saver
There is a fantastic view on the calanchi, particularly in the early evening when the sky starts to change colours.

View from the turtle terrace
One of the things I always enjoy best is to meet new people, specially if they also have the sketching bug. This group was particularly diverse with a broad palette of ages, nationalities and personalities, which you could also find in the variety of sketches.

Our first lunch all together
One of the participants was called Alan Moore. I got a kick of imagining Alan Moore, the writer, author of comic books like Watchmen, V for Vendetta or From Hell, among us.

This Alan Moore, however, was very different, if only for the fact that he is younger and lacks the huge beard and monster rings.

Deep in thought, thinking of his next creative endeavour
 Alan Moore had a very interesting coconut hat I just had to sketch.

Great things are planned under this hat
It wouldn't be Italy without delicious food and even though Civita is very small, it can boast to have delicious gelatto and very good restaurants, particularly Alma Civita where we had our first and last dinners together as a group.

Sketchbooks were passed around during the whole evening
Such dinners are always bittersweet, as I do get attached to the people and it is always a bit sad that such a fun time comes to an end. I can say it was a very successful week in many ways.

Luckily I still had a couple of days to spend in Rome, where I would have the occasion to sketch with Stephanie and a few other participants (Anne, Morgan and Emiliesa).