Last year on our way to The Mango Factory we admired the eclectic town of Matlacha as we passed through. This year we had time to stop and explore the small island located between Cape Coral and Pine Island. Matlacha is a small historic fishing town which is now home to several art galleries and restaurants.
My favorite gallery was Leoma Lovegrove. Her paintings are vibrant and cheerful as you can picture from the outside of her gallery. The inside is filled with canvases, prints, and unique pieces of her work in all shapes and sizes. I loved the garden area behind the gallery with native Florida foliage as well as her inventive garden art, including “trees” made from blue glass bottles.
This travel trailer parked outside her gallery is another example of Lovegrove’s colorful work.
While I was linking up to her website, I discovered the cottage on her property is available to rent. I would love to stay there next year during mango season… hint, hint Joe 😉
For lunch we tried Pizza Bella as it was highly rated on both Yelp and Urban Spoon. We couldn’t decide between pizza and spaghetti, so we ordered both! Veggie tip: we ordered meatballs on the side for Joe, but didn’t think about the sauce. Be sure to request marinara on your pasta to ensure it is meat free. The pizza was great as the reviews promised and Joe enjoyed the spaghetti and meatballs. The owners had a restaurant in Italy before moving to the states and provide an authentic feel with the warm hospitality and Italian television in the background.
We stopped by Great Licks Ice Cream Shop for a snack. What a treat to discover they have Queenie’s Ice Cream, locally made in nearby Fort Myers. We had two flavors, key lime pie and blackberry chip, both were delicious! The ice cream shop is also connected to a gallery, Island Visions, featuring works from both local and international artists. Certainly my first time eating ice cream in an art gallery!
As we left the ice cream shop, I saw this nostalgic ride outside. Do you remember asking for a quarter to ride the animals in front of the grocery store?