We were enchanted with Italian culture, cuisine, art, and society from our first visit in 1991. That year we brought our two children for three weeks, spending time in Rome, Florencer, Venice, and Parma. Each meal was a revelation. Each cafe was an oasis. Each chapel a gallery.
It took us several years before we could return, but in 1998 we did come back, and brought our first group tour to join us in our love affair with the birthplace of the Renaissance.
Soon we were bringing groups to Italy each autumn. Our tours center around a week at the fourteenth century villa at Spannocchia. There we enjoy delicious meals centered on fresh vegetables from the organic gardens, daily walks through the 1000 acre estate, and a regular painting practice.
The annual retreat we coupled with visits to some of our favorite cities, Rome, Naples, Orvieto, Florence, and Venice. There is nothing we enjoy more than sitting with a group in a piazza, enjoying an espresso, or a glass of wine, and sketching the unique environs of Italian cities.
With the onset of COVID this year, we have suspended our annual visits for now, but look forward to a time on the other side, when once again we can immerse ourselves in the inspiration and “il dolce far niente” that Italy affords.