Cy Twombly: I'm southern and Italy is southern. Actually, it wasn't all that scholarly, my reason for going to Rome. I liked the life. That came first. And the background of architecture, which is one of my many passions, a great background. And, you know, I went to Rome in the fifties, which was a whole other world from what it is now. It's not the same city. In a sense, the life is totally different. It had more space, you could see it and you could enjoy it. Now you just plough through just trying to get to where you're trying to go with the least stress. It's wall to wall. If I went to Rome now, I wouldn't spend two days. But when I went I was in paradise.
David Sylester: And what sort of landscape especially?
All kinds of landscape, if it's not cluttered up and vandalised. Yesterday we went out to Blenheim, and I love the flatness and the trees. I like all kinds. And where I'm from, the central valley of Virginia, is not one of the most exciting landscapes in the world, but it's one of the most beautiful. It's very beautiful because it has everything. It has mountains, there are streams, there are fields, beautiful trees. And architecture sits very well in it.
And I've always lived in the south of Italy, because it's more excitable. It's volcanic. The land affects people naturally, that's part of the characteristics, for me, of a people, in a sense. Say, if you lived in the Sahara or you lived in Naples or you lived in the Alps, all these things create a main condition, beside poverty, the states of poverty. Do you think so? Maybe it's that a lot of people aren't particularly attracted to nature. A lot of people have no knowledge of plants, trees, botany and things. I knew a poet who was totally ignorant about botany. And I said: you can't be a poet without knowing any botany or plants and things like that; it's impossible, that's the first thing you should know.
"Beauty is a way of seeing"