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.


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

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

Feeding the Fish in Sicily

This picture, which looks like blue bubble wrap, is one I took on a boat ride in Sicily this year. I was with our guests on our first October course of Art Toscana painting holidays in Italy. After throwing ourselves into the crystal clear water with our snorkels and masks, to admire the marine life

Our Beach In Sicily

This vast expanse of golden beach and deep blue sea is the beach at Balestrate in Sicily. It’s a ten minute walk from the hotel through a eucalyptus and pine wood, the smell of which is wonderfully overpowering. Many of our guests at Art Toscana painting holidays in Italy went to the beach for a