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


Our dog Teddy had his first wash and brush up. Well, it took three hours for Manuela to comb through every part of him, shower, shampoo and condition him, and then dry him with the hair dryer before a final comb through. Teddy can look forward to another grooming in May before our guests at


I often stand on the little bridge at the end of our lane mesmerised by the Corsonna river. In summer, it is nothing more than a rivulet, where the sunlight peeping between the branches of the overhanging trees, sends silver darts into the water dancing among the rocks. Our guests at Art Toscana, painting holidays

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