Visit Portugal

The creative look of

Simonetta Capecchi

Simonetta Capecchi is an urban sketcher, body and soul, and drawing in situ is what she enjoys the most.

Simo Capecchi studied Architecture and has a PhD in Architectural Drawing. She currently lives in Naples and works as an illustrator. She has collaborated with Urban Sketchers from the very beginning, taught at several Urban Sketchers Symposia around the world, and organized many sketching workshops in Italy and further afield.

What she enjoys most is drawing in situ, telling stories of places and people.

Simo is fascinated by the sea. Every moment she has spent by the coast has left a deep impression.

What surprised you on this journey?

The large number of storks was a surprise, as Italy is practically outside their migratory routes; I had never heard the funny sounds that storks make. I also love the idea that certain chimneys and building tops in Portugal are "protected" by law for the storks to use. Another surprise was find a little piece of Naples in the scary Chapel of the Bones in Lagos: we also have skulls and bones laid out in similar ways for different purposes.

Tell us something you saw that you had never seen before.

Despite living by the sea (I now live in Naples and used to live in Venice), I had never seen fishermen collecting clams. I followed them and drew them in Olhão and Cacela Velha. After seeing them go to all that work, clam soup will never taste the same again.

Was there a particular meal that stuck in your memory?

Of course, the clams I had in Faro were one of the meals I remember the most, along with the octopus served with sweet potato and a delicious herb sauce. The octopus rice was delicious too. It's hard to choose between so many good meals and restaurants we tried.

What was your favourite moment during this journey?

My favourite moments were probably those spent by the sea, along the spectacular cliffs at Lagos and Algar Seco. I loved walking, climbing and drawing the rocks, but especially diving into that refreshing sea. I also discovered writer Sophia de Mello Andersen through a sentence that was written on the wall of Lagos Market and, later, I saw the documentary by João César Monteiro where Sophia swims along the cliffs at Lagos in the '60s; I recognized the beaches and caves I passed and where I swam too.