Join us for a wonderful Painting Holiday in Italy. Terenzano is a small, working agricultural village overlooking the Alpi Appuane mountains of Carrara in the most northern part of Tuscany. The village is about a ten minute drive from the fortified Medici town of Fivizzano; a small, lively market town running many cultural and food events during the summer months. The Romans called this area Lunigiana because of the luminosity on the marble reflected by the moon.
Il Vecchio Frantoio, ‘The Old Olive Press’, in the heart of the village, is a collection of old agricultural buildings which have been lovingly restored by the owners, Peter and Hilary Roberts. Peter, an architect in private practice in the UK, has been working on the re-building over the last ten years with his family and local craftsmen, and is proud to present this beautiful venue for small groups to get together and enjoy their common interests, such as painting, walking and creative writing.
En-Suite Double Bedroom
EVERYTHING is included in the cost of your painting holiday: five days tuition, accommodation in a good sized double/twin room with en suite shower-room, all meals, plus pre-dinner aperitivi enjoyed next to the plunge pool on the lower terrace.
Lunch will be taken out at local restaurants in the vicinity of where you will be painting, and dinner will be served back at Il Vecchio Frantoio, where you will enjoy freshly home-made traditional Italian dishes.
YOUR TUTOR Peter Woolley has been a professional watercolour artist for 34 years, and is a well-travelled painter, having spent many years running workshops on cruise ships sailing to all corners of the world. He is the author of two books ('Drawing Towards Watercolour' and 'Hills and Mountains in Watercolour'), has made several appearances demonstrating his art on TV (The Painting and Drawing Channel), and is a Professional Associate of the SAA.
“As a keen traveller and sketcher, I've always been fascinated by the sweeping landscapes and diverse architecture of Italy. As a landscape painter, its Tuscany's mountains and lakes that interest me the most, while urban sketching in the local villages and towns promises to be an irresistible adventure. Most of all, I'm looking forward to the opportunity of sharing my watercolour techniques with a group of like-minded travellers and artists, of all abilities, in a relaxed and inspiring environment.”
There’s plenty to do each day, and you can be as busy or as relaxed as you want. Days are structured with tuition in the morning, in different locations and with one-to one advice from Marianne, followed by lunch either in Terenzano or out at a local restaurant. There’s no tuition in the afternoon, it’s free for you to take time off or continue sketching or painting as you want. Towards the end of the day you can have a one-to one tutorial if you want, and then there’s aperitivi ‘al fresco’ followed by a light evening meal.
Your painting holiday usually starts in Terenzano village, ideal for its contrasting scenes, its views of the mountains with small villages in the distance, street scenes (usually with a cat present), interesting doorways, water fountains and olive groves.
A little further by car the Medieval town of Fivizzano offers a wealth of interesting things to see and paint, not forgetting the weekly Tuesday market when the town really comes to life.
On your last evening we will drop you off in the square after dinner - on a warm summer evening Fivizzano comes alive! Go for a stroll, enjoy a gelato or even a digestivi in one of the many local bars.
From Fivizzano a few minutes drive takes you to the beautiful village of Verrucola with narrow winding streets dominated by the ancient castle. Here you will enjoy lunch at Ristorante Locanda al Castello. After lunch there’s a visit to the castle with a guided tour, including the opportunity to see many of the models made by Pietro Cascella – famous Italian sculptor, now deceased.
If you enjoy ‘wild swimming’ a trip to the cascade will make a refreshing change.
30 minutes drive from Terenzano is Monte dei Bianchi, a small mountain village with remains of a monastery, and a recently restored monastic vineyard, Monastero dei Frati Bianchi, with spectacular views. This small family-run vineyard produces around 12,000 bottles a year. Find out more by visiting www.monasterofratibianchi.it.
Between Terenzano and Monte dei Bianchi is the village of Codiponte where there is a delightful small Romanesque Church, with naïve carved stone column capitals. The nearby Agriturismo in Reusa serves a wonderful lunch, after which you may relax by their private pool, and enjoy a glass of wine or two!
5 minutes drive from Terenzano is the now disused Carmelite Convent . The Convent has been recently restored after years of neglect; it is a fine venue for painting and sketching with its frescoed cloister and extensive grounds. The complex is now used to host events, weddings, etc., but there’s no restaurant so a picnic will be provided so you may continue to draw and paint throughout the afternoon.
Column Capitals – Codiponte
Monte dei Bianchi
There will be five days of tuition and one non-tuition day during your holiday, where you will have the opportunity to visit the famous walled city of Lucca, birthplace of the opera composer Puccini. We will drop you off at Aulla railway station where you will take a direct train to Lucca, the journey should take one and a half hours and the ticket is included in the cost of your course. We will provide you with a packed lunch, or you can buy your own lunch or snack in Lucca.
We would like to welcome ‘non-participating partners’ or friends of people attending the painting course but who do not wish to participate themselves. You will be able to accompany your painting partner on their various excursions, which are all to interesting historic locations, and enjoy lunch with them at local traditional restaurants. Or just relax and enjoy the local surroundings and walks. There is a discount of £80 for non-participating partners.
We can also arrange extra activities for you:
The costs of these extra activities are not included in the rate, however we can advise prices and availability during your stay.
Your tutor will inform you before the course with a suggested list of materials. The following will be provided for you, if necessary:
As for clothing, the weather is likely to be warm but it can rain, so a waterproof will be advisable. Good walking shoes are essential.
Included in the cost of your painting holiday:
£875 Per Person. Travel and health insurance is NOT included.
£795 Per Person. Non-participating partner rate is sharing a room.
Flights are not included and you will need to book your own flights to Pisa. Many UK airports fly here including Heathrow, Stansted, Luton, Birmingham, Bristol plus many more. We will collect you from Pisa Airport between 11 am and 1 pm, a precise pick-up time will be organised closer to the date once we know all our guests arrival times. For guests arriving by train or if you are unable to make it to Pisa in time for collection you can travel to Aulla, which is our nearest mainline train station, where we will collect you. Transfers to Aulla are not included in the holiday.
On the day of departure we depart for Pisa Airport shortly after breakfast at around 9 am. It takes approximately one and a half hours door to door. If you need to leave outside of these hours we can arrange transportation for you at an additional cost.
If your flight is leaving later in the day, you are able to leave your luggage at Pisa Airport and spend a few hours sightseeing in Pisa. There is a shuttle service (People Mover) which departs for Pisa Centrale every few minutes. For guests wishing to arrive by car, we do not have a car park however there is on-street parking near by.
All four of our double/twin bedrooms have an en-suite shower room and include linen & towels, tea & coffee making facilities and a spare blanket. Hair dryer, iron & ironing-board and USB chargers are all available upon request.
We have a communal kitchen that you may use between the hours of 8am and 10pm. The kitchen is equipped with cooking facilities, tea & coffee, a washing machine and a fridge freezer. In the war against single use plastic, we will supply you with a glass Bialetti water bottle for you to take on your travels during the holiday.
We have a small plunge pool on the lower terrace, where you can relax with wine and enjoy the views across the valley. We will happily supply towels to be used around the pool, just don’t forget your cossie!
Breakfast, Dinner and the daily Aperitivi will be served either in the courtyard ‘al fresco’ or in the living room (weather dependent). During the summer months the courtyard is bathed in hot sunlight throughout most of the day; we do have a large sail for shade, but a sun hat and cream are a must!
Our hot water is heated during the summer months by Solar panels and in winter by a log burning stove.