Past events

Portrait and landscape painting in Watercolour workshop with Glynis Barnes Mellish, one of the UK’s leading water-colour artists – October 2015

Victor at Casa Guidi

Victor at Casa Guidi

Following  twelve successful water-colour painting weeks over the past three years, when we have had fabulous weather and great groups of artists, we are delighted that Glynis  returned to Florence for our last course in October 2013

Glynis has lots of experience as a teacher and her demonstrations and practical advice offer something for everyone. – We also have fun!

So, whether you are a complete beginner or an accomplished artist who would like the stimulus of working in a small group we hope that you would like to join us during our next week of Italian Culture to be held in Casa Guidi 11-12 October 2013. See our page on the watercolour course with Glynis.

If you need accommodation we can arrange for you have special rates at a pleasant B&B San Frediano Mansion near the centre of Florence – or take an apartment near the Ponte Vecchio – These days it is always most cost effective to book direct on the Internet if you are looking for a 3 , 4 or 5 star hotel in the centre of town!

If you chose to stay in town you can also enjoy the night life in one of the world’s most fascinating and romantic cities.

Whichever accommodation you choose you will have the opportunity to paint in the home of the Renaissance with friendly guidance from an expert tutor with world wide credentials.

Dates of our watercolour workshops:

No Events

Cookery Classes with Lisa Banchieri – throughout the year!


Dates for cookery classes for the rest of 2013 – all held at Da Pinocchio in Piazza del Mercato Centrale unless otherwise advised – booking essential


for groups of 5 or more €75 ppph

for groups of fewer than 5 people €85 ppph

for private lessons at your own home prices will be negotiated based on numbers attending and distance from Florence

  • Wednesday 13th March
  • Monday 22nd April
  • Monday 20th May – fully booked
  • Wednesday 23rd May
  • Thursday 14th  June
  • Monday 3rd July
  • August dates to be agreed in London
  • Wednesday 9th October
  • Friday 1st November


Visit some of the famous Gardens of Florence with Dr Katie Campbell – 4th-9th May 2014

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Join Dr Katie Campbell in a tour of some of the remarkable gardens in and around Florence that have been developed over the years by English or American exiles who had time and money to devote to developing their passion for beautiful gardens.

Full programme on Gardens of Florence page – if you are interested please contact Penny as soon as possible.

Dr Katie Campbell is the author of the book Paradise of Exiles – the Anglo-American Gardens of Florence.

Available on Amazon, through my recommended reading page

We also plan another Garden Tour in early May 2014 – dates already booked for a small group are Sat 3rd May – Sat 10th May but we might extend whilst Katie is in town.

Stop press

Katie also does Garden Tours under the flag of Beyond the Yalla Dog  in the UK and we plan more in Spring  2014. We are working up a programme now but will aim to visit the hugely popular Gertrude Jekyll gardens in Surrey again!

The Art of Writing – Writers retreat 8-14th June 2014, & 14-20th September 2014











The Art of Writing is a five day writing course for both new and experienced writers – based out in the Casentino Mountains – a chance to see a normally hidden part of Tuscany as well as developing that novel that is hidden inside all of us!

For full details and to sign up online see

Intended for relative beginners this writers course is run by published authors such as event organisers Lisa Clifford (shown below) and James Friel , with additional guest speakers in the evenings – see Programme page for full details – and accommodation for some pictures of where you will stay.

Go way Beyond reading about Tuscany – this is your chance  – if you would like to book this course after you have viewed the site please complete the link to our  Application form 

NB This course was fully booked for 2013 – and feedback was great so we have already rebooked our location for June and Sept 2014 – so complete the form now and let us keep you updated!

Festa Della Cultura di San Giovanni Battista – 21st- 24th June 2014

The third year of the San Giovanni Battista Festa della Cultura is again dedicated to the people of Florence in celebrating the feast day of the city’s patron saint on 24th June.

As before, the event will be presented by the founders of the festivali Buontalenti – a group of colleagues established to initiate creative opportunities and work for Florentine artists, musicians and writers.

We are most grateful for the continued patronage of the Comune di Firenze, the Provincia di Firenze and the British Institute of Florence.

Wine tasting in Chianti – available every month

Greve in Chianti-20120405-02388

Wine tasting tours using professional local drivers who know the Italian roads and the best places to visit are planned monthly and run regularly throughout the year  – always in a small group prices depend on the numbers in the mini-van – but it usually works out that if we fill all 6 places available you can budget for  €79 per head.

NB Larger group prices also depend on numbers travelling , as the cost of hiring the van is fixed whether there are 2 or 6 people in the car.

All these tours are private – we visit selected vineyards in a comfortable new air-conditioned Mercedes 4×4 or a similar luxury minivan.

Tours usually begins 10.00 in Piazza del Carmine and include a trip through the Tuscan country side to the villages of Impruneta, (Terracotta workshop tour included at no additional cost), The capital of Chiantishire,  Greve, and a full tour of at least 2 wineries.

We return to Florence around 18.00.

Fresco workshops with Dr Alan Pascuzzi

the formula

Fresco workshop in Alan’s studio – learn the technique of the old masters, paint and  take home your own fresco painting.

Next lesson 5th November 2014

Cost €110 per person – contact Penny by email to arrange a lesson

Plate Painting with Enzo Formisano

Following early Etruscan designs learn how to paint your own plate – take home a lasting and unique souvenir of your Italian holiday.

Cost €75 for a half day workshop – includes the cost of priming and firing the plate – Contact Penny to arrange a date

Paper Marbling at Alberto  Cozzi

Riccardo with Diane 17.5

Learn how to make your our Florentine wrapping paper

cost €45 per lesson – includes 2 pieces of hand made paper to take home and use to wrap that special present – or simply frame it and hang it up in your home!

Contact Penny to arrange a date but we usually fit in at least one session a month


Next sketching and painting course in Florence with Alfonso Tejada

Painting in Plein Air – anticipated May 2013 . Email Penny for further information.

Instructor Alfonso I.Tejada: BArch. MArch and U.D

Instruction fees

€350  for 5 days
€660  for 10 days

Accommodation costs and tours will be designed to suit the needs – and the purse – of the participants
Costs will be quoted in Canadian Dollars on request or click link for currency conversion on .

Cookery Classes 2013

– click above for link to cookery class page

Lisa explains about the cake mix

Tuscan cookery classes are held in London England  as well as in a restaurant in Florence – in all cases our professional personal chef Lisa Banchieri provides the expert guidance.

Music in the Bargello –Tamsin Waley-Cohen

We hope Tamsin will be invited back to direct this prestigious series of concerts again soon and we have enjoyed seeing her at concerts in the UK during 2012.