Tuscany is filled with visual and sensual stimulation. The stunning Dievole Chianti Classico vineyards will be our home for a week of painting en plein air. Imagine yourself set up on on a hillside overlooking one of the most beautiful scenes in the world. Everywhere you look there will be opportunities for plein air subjects - from the architecture of the old stone houses to the rolling landscape of olive groves and lines of grapes growing on the vines.
This is an opportunity of a lifetime to travel with friends, make new ones, and take advantage of the cost savings of an organized tour. There will be plenty of time for painting, discussions and critiques with a few optional excursions planned to give participants an opportunity to explore the art, food and culture of this truly magnificent area.
During the week there will be opportunities to visit medieval Siena, sketch or paint in nearby hilltowns like Radda or San Gimignano, to sit in a cafe in the village and linger over a cappuccino while you watch the locals come and go through the piazza. Whether you have been there a dozen times or never, Tuscany is sure to fill you with inspiration. And there is no better way to absorb this glorious setting than by examining it closely with an artist`s eye.
Limited to 12 students.
Hilarie Lambert: "I love the whole 'process' of painting - it's the pieces, the color, finding those abstract forms, then finally standing back and seeing it all work.". Hilarie has been drawing for most of her life, beginning as a child in the Finger Lakes area of NY State. While primarily a plain air painter, she also works in the studio with live models. "I have a drawing background that always brings me back to linear work but what I like best is painting outdoors where the light is true, and you can find the shadow shapes that give a painting depth." Currently she is Coordinator for COPA, the Charleston Outdoor Painters Association and is an Exhibiting Member of the Charleston Art Guild.
Our exploration of Tuscany for the week will include some of these highlights:
* Authentic Tuscan breakfast and dinners prepared at the house, using only local and traditional products-wine included (independent lunch)
* Visits to local hilltowns like Radda, Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, etc.
* Excursion to the Medieval city of Siena
* Wine tour and tasting at a local vineyard
* Optional morning stretching or hikes through the Chianti hills and fields surrounding the complex.
The Tuscan Renaissance Center is the combined skills of Linda and Michael of Il Chiostro joining together with Nicolo and Renata of San Fedele to produce a unique and inspiring environment rooted in the traditional Tuscan values of beauty, great food, an appreciation for nature and the value of community. The monastery, dating back to the 12th century, was meticulously restored using traditional building methods and all original materials. Today, the monastery remains true to its original spirit, rich architectural detail. The 17 rooms and suites where participants are housed have lovely modern bathrooms, screened windows, air conditioning, period furniture, wi-fi internet service, satellite television and minibar, all designed to perfectly compliment the medieval surroundings.
The original soaring chapel is now used as a large art studio or workshop space. The monks` refectory, where a lost 16th century fresco was uncovered during renovation, is now the dining room connected to a state-of-the-art kitchen and the old stone cantinas where they stored their wine have been transformed into studio and classroom space.
The Tuscan Renaissance Center is a unique meeting of a historic landmark and exquisite modern day comfort. Accommodations are spacious shared double rooms or junior suites. Each room, because it was converted from the original structure of the monastery without altering the building, is unique in shape. Furnishings and decor were selected to coordinate with the historic, subdued feeling of the monastery, but in a comfortable, modern style. All rooms have two beds that can be separated into twins or combined into one large matrimonial. There is a sitting area, refrigerator, DSL wi-fi, television, air-conditioning, heating, modern private bathroom with shower, heated towel racks and hair dryers. There are a limited number of single rooms available at a supplement.
The back of San Fedele is surrounded by a large al fresco dining terrace with the original terra cotta tile designs reproduced down to the smallest details. The terrace overlooks the same organic vegetable and flower garden tended by the monks for centuries. Beyond are the rolling Chianti vineyards that make this part of Tuscany so breathtaking.
Other common spaces include 2 large classrooms carved into the rock of the ancient wine cellar, a large private piazza, a new 16 x 7 meter swimming pool and sprawling landscaped grounds on a rolling hillside.
- Shared double room in country villa
- Daily traditional breakfast and dinner, including wine
- Daily plain air excursions
- Excursion to Siena
- Half day excursion to nearby hill town (Monteriggioni, Radda, Volpaia)
- Pick up from Florence train station at 3:30pm on arrival Saturday
- Transfer to bus/train station in Siena on final day
- Art supplies
- Local bus transportation
- Independent meals and sight-seeing.
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