What we will do, where and when!

Starting from the beginning – people tend to find it simplest – as well as cheapest – to organise their own flights through the Internet.

Meridiana fly has historically been the simplest way to get from London to Florence. However they are no longer working with British Airways from October so you no longer get mileage points – and even more worryingly they are not showing any flights to anywhere after the beginning of this month! So it may be via Pisa for everybody from here on in!

Wherever possible I will meet flights, or buses/trains from Pisa (€18 return)and ensure your safe transit to your hotel but please bear with me if I am juggling a lot of people through various activities. Taxi to hotel about €30 from airport but consider splitting it!

Culture week customers with Beyond the Yalla Dog have an arrangement to stay at the prestigious Hotel Villa le Rondini at the special preferential bed and breakfast rates of €55 per person per night, single room occupancy €90.

For hotel info contact Penny or owner Francesca Reali – they have a list of the people who have already said they were coming – and a few spaces for others!

We will stay in the hotel as shown above or in a separate villa where we have painted from this year with Florence Academy teacher Alan Lawson – a wonderful view!

Alan with his demonstration painting

Alan with his demonstration painting

Alan starts the week off for us with two weekend oil painting mornings – Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd – and can make himself free on Monday and Tuesday too if he gets enough notice.

A good Lunch will be provided for those on “half board”in the hotel for €20.

Monday morning 24th October – optional activity of a Tuscan cooking lesson with Lisa Banchieri €79 covers the cost of the teaching and facilities, an apron, printed out recipes and a pen to make notes on them with!

We also get to eat our own food for our lunch!

making pasta

Making pasta

Monday afternoon 24th October those with energy to spare care paint plates to original Etruscan designs – which make a fabulously unique gift to take home – also a good talking point if you keep it!

Provided we can get enough participants Enzo has also offered to come up to the hotel on Friday 28th about 4pm and give us a pre-party display of Raku firing – not exactly an ancient Italian cultural activity but should be diverting and we can all influence the outcome of our pots which will be fired and glazed – quite dramatically- as we watch -cost €12 – entertainment, learning and you get to keep your pot!

Tuesday 25th October – Alan should be available to lead a painting class again(€99) and in the afternoon we have the option to sneak into Florence to do some paper marbling with Riccardo at the shop of Albert Cossi – cost €35 – includes making three sheets of handmade wrapping paper usually sold at €8 per sheets – and this you can boast was all handmade!

Tina and Letizia show off the good results of teaching and listening!

Wednesday 26th October

Watercolour workshops for the rest of the week with well known UK portrait painter Glynis Barnes Mellish – we have a room to use inside if anyone wants to do portrait painting but please let me know if you want to do that to give me time to find you an interesting face – cost €79 per day

Above Glynis’s prize winning portrait of Dame Kelly Holmes -painted for TV programme Star Portraits. Both Glynis and Alan have great teaching styles to make their pupils feel comfortable and able to enjoy their learning experience.

Glynis has has two of her painting books published worldwide by DKV – Watercolour workshop I & II.  In which essential techniques are demonstrated in 12 step-by-step projects, while the overview feature keeps you on track, showing you the entire project sequence. You will be encouraged to create your own style and develop skills that will breathe new life into your paintings.


Thursday 27th October – another opportunity to study cooking with Lisa Banchieri 

 Friday 28th October

Party at Hotel Villa le Rondini – theme Enrico Caruso because the singer used to live in one of the villa’s on the grounds. Dress style 20’s/30’s ( optional)

There will be an opera singer during the meal but we will speed up for some dancing music after supper. ( No charge – except for additonal wine!)

There is more painting options over the following weekend and there are other optional activities like visiting St Mark’s opera at the English Church in Florence that will be available during the week.

For any further information please get in touch as soon as possible.

Spero di vederti!