What a Strange Spring!

What a strange Spring! It’s February. The daffodils are in bloom but the snowdrops are lingering-on in sweet splendour, while the hellebores, which decorate the garden in January, have only just decided to wake up. At Art Toscana, painting holidays in Italy, set in the unique environment of the Garfagnana, there are always strange surprises.


I took this photo on New Years Day in the square of Saint Michael in Lucca (La Piazza di San Michele), a blue projection of stars and giant snowflakes falling on the Church of San Michele. On the free day of our Art Toscana painting holidays in Italy, most of our guests go to Lucca


On the Apennine side of the Garfagnana and Mid-Serchio Valley, at an altitude of 1,525 metres, lies the village of San Pellegrino Alpe, the highest village in the Aapennine mountains, once a stronghold for the territories defence system. It’s there, in Il Santaurio di San Pellegrino, a sanctuary for pilgrims who came to pay homage


When we go to Florence at Christmas time it seems like a different town. We are not there to run our art vacations in Italy, that’s in April, when the hills are covered in apple blossom and the spring sun glows yellow across the river Arno. We go there every December to celebrate our wedding

The Salt marshes in Sicily

This is a picture of the salt marshes at Trapani (Le Saline di Trapani) in Sicily where our Art Toscana painting in Italy guests develop their oil paintings. It is truly an inspirational place especially for artists. The salt pans have a pink hew due to the prawns that live there. This attracts flocks of

An Art Toscana Cooking Lesson with Mari

Here are Steve and Chris, two of our American guests, who came with their painting partners to one of our Art Toscana painting holidays in Italy courses. Yes they are wearing aprons because Mari is giving them a cookery lesson. I did intend not to talk about food in this blog but one can’t seem