For some architects at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, the interest in vernacular architecture was partially linked to the experience of travel. This interest often revealed a new way of taking position against the sterile eclectic historicism taught in the Academies and Schools of Architecture at that time. The process of acquaintance with this kind of architecture was based more on direct experience rather than on scholastic studies in opposition to the well-known classical architecture. The sketches architects drew during travels in native lands and abroad, accompanied by annotations, letters, essays and articles, form the legacy of these experiences. An analysis of this material provides us with an understanding of why architects were interested in traditional vernacular heritage and what elements they took from it to nourish their intellectual and practical work. The paper will interpret the main travels of some Masters of the 20th century architecture from different European countries in order to disclose similarities and differences in the ways they sketched and/or wrote about vernacular buildings. The analysis will further focus on the modalities through which these croquis and writings have been 'translated' into some of their projects.