Lonely Planet Writer

Artist brings famous landmarks to life with amazing sketches

Sharing pictures from a trip is a sure-fire way to spark wanderlust in your friends, family and followers. But with so many people all over the world posting on social media sites, capturing a popular place in a new way can be tricky. For Italian artist Pietro Cataudella however, this challenge sparked a unique project that sees him merging sketches and photographs to create compelling, imaginative images of iconic and lesser known sites.

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Venice.
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Venice. Image by Pietro Cataudella

Called CityLiveSketch, the project began in Sicily in 2014, when Pietro decided that he wanted to show a different side to his hometown. This prompted the idea to experiment with images that would mix drawings and photographs. After moving to Tuscany, Pietro worked on more sketches, practicing the technique with different buildings. “My works are a sort of postcards, and the goal is to show beautiful places in a different way, using only my skills, creativity and imagination,” Pietro told Lonely Planet Travel News.

Duomo di Milano, Italy.
Duomo di Milano, Italy. Image by Pietro Cataudella

A self-taught artist, the illustrations are whimsical and energetic. Often, iconic structures such as the Eiffel Tower or Tower Bridge are depicted as if they are emerging from his notebook, while in other cases, Pietro uses the shapes and colours of the sites to create humorous scenes.

The Leaning Lighthouse of Pisa.
The Leaning Lighthouse of Pisa. Image by Pietro Cataudella

“I sketch iconic places, but buildings and views that are less known also inspire me to create always something new. Sometimes I show them as they are, with simple sketches or 3D illustrations, in other cases, when something has a particular shape, I decide to play with it and to transform it in something unique. I have changed the Leaning Tower of Pisa many different times, and I’m happy to be able to show the world in a different way,” Pietro told Lonely Planet Travel News.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris. Image by Pietro Cataudella

So far, Pietro has created sketches in Italian destinations such as Turin, Milan, Venice, Pisa, Florence, Rome, and Palermo, as well as other European cities like London and Barcelona, and the artist hopes to travel to France and Greece soon.

Curious Giraffe in Marzamemi
Curious Giraffe in Marzamemi Image by Pietro Cataudella

More of Pietro’s work is available at his blog as well as on his Instagram account.