A brief outline about our events, activities, classes and tours including costs. Please contact Penny for more information or follow our links.

Introduction to Italian lessons

I recommend you to a language school with a view – Centro Fiorenza – or alternatively spend half a day or more with a private teacher uncovering the secret of understanding Italian!    We often start with a menu – daring to go Beyond pizza and pasta!

Basic class with private tutor costs £47/€50 per hour


Tuscan Cookery classes

Learn how to make it all yourself when you go home! Take lessons with a local cookery teacher – as Nonna made it! Go Beyond just eating Italian! Further information on our monthly cookery classes.

gnocchi rolling training 2

gnocchi rolling training 2

Class costs £79/€85 – includes eating the four-course meal you have prepared, with appropriate Tuscan wines, printed recipes, a pen to make notes and a free chefs hat & apron

NB. These cooking classes are also held in the UK when Lisa Banchieri comes to visit me in London.

Wine tasting

Tours can be arranged in the city centre or why not visit the vineyards and see how it is nurtured and developed? – Go Beyond Pinot Grigio and into Chianti country!

Greve in Chianti-20120405-02388

Greve in Chianti – – discussing 25 year aged “balsamic” vinegar

Average all day tour price £72/€79 – lunch offered at one of the vineyards providing you with your own choice from the menu at your own expense

Painting classes –

Florence is a city full of famous artworks – it could be intimidating – but I have contacts with some fantastic teachers

Fresco workshops with Dr. Alan Pascuzzi

Find out for yourself what it is like to apply natural pigment to intonaco (fresh plaster) – Go Beyond Giotto gazing and recreate a masterwork!

Cost for half day £100/€110 – you make a souvenir to keep and treasure – and it really helps you appreciate the works of the old masters – call me to arrange a course

Go Beyond looking at art and into learning how it is done! Example below from a Fresco Painting Class with Dr Alan Pascuzzi

Silver-point drawing with Dr. Alan Pascuzzi

Most people ask – what is Silverpoint? Simply it was the preferred drawing method by the Old Masters before the pencil was invented – but the technique is a little more complicated – but a lot of fun to learn about.

An original drawing by Filippino Lippi – I love the way the prepared paper takes the highlights.

Silverpoint tools

Leonardo Da Vinci example!

Watercolour workshop with Glynis Barnes Mellish

– See photos of recent workshops with Glynis Barnes Mellish on Events page, and Alfonso Tejada on Painting in Tuscany page and some of the artists work in Images inspired by Tuscany page.

Ros' leaves

Ros’ leaves

See some of Glynis’s own work at

Glynis workshop costs including lunch

1 day £69/€79 – 5 days £250/€285

Garden Tours

Florence – as a City of Flowers – has always been famous for its flower painting and its gardens, many hidden behind the imposing frontages of the Palazzi in the city and others, equally secret, built to complement the beautiful villas in the surrounding hills.

The next private tours of these gardens, led by professional guide and garden historian Dr Katie  Campbell,  will be held in May 2018 . Medici Villa s near Florence and on request, we will return to Pienza and UNESCO protected Val d’Orcia to see La Foce and the garden designed by Cecil Pinsent for author and garden specialist Iris Origo.

We will also spend days in Lucca, Siena, and the villages around Florence such as Settignano, Collodi and Fiesole.

Small group at Garzoni garden in Collodi

Small group at Garzoni garden in Collodi

Pictures of previous garden tours shown on this link  October 2012 – and Katie has also led trips in the UK for us – contact me for more details

We have a private minibus to take us to the various gardens with maximum comfort and efficiency so our costs will depend on numbers and gardens visited.

Plate painting

Why buy a souvenir of Florence when you can paint your own? Your family will genuinely be delighted to receive such a professional looking gift – painted from original Etruscan templates – Beyond belief!

Small group at Garzoni garden in Collodi

Etruscan design – hand painted plates Costs 1/2 day:-  £55/€60

Introduction to Vivaldi

and other Italian composers.  – Go Beyond The Four Seasons with Federico!

Special concert of recently rediscovered Vivaldi works played in Hall of 500 in Palazzo Vecchio

Image from a Special concert of recently rediscovered Vivaldi works played in Hall of 500 in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence 


Paper marbling

Learn how much-admired Florentine paper is made!  Enjoy yourself as you design your unique piece of paper to take home and keep – or wrap up a special gift for a loved one with a touch of Italian style –

your own personally marbled paper

your own personally marbled paper

The cost for watching £12/€10 – To make and keep your own €35 one sheet, €45 for two sheets – I strongly recommend two attempts as the second on is nearly always better!

These courses can be arranged with limited notice – but it does take 3 days for them to prepare the special glue they use so the more notice the better.

Day trips

Take a luxury tour with a professional driver to look around Fiesole, Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca etc – Beyond Florence!

Costs for a day trip for six people in the mini-van £68/€79 per person + entry costs

Garden of Villa Torrigiani in Lucca

Garden of Villa Torrigiani in Lucca

Shopping tours

I can either recommend shops or take you to them and together we can barter for the best prices in the markets – Get Below the marked price!

Shopping in the central food market

Shopping in the central food market

Themed Trekking in the Tuscan Countryside or a day trip to Cinque Terre

Take a stroll or a hike in Tuscany with one of our experienced guides – become part of the heart and soul of the region.

Verazzanno in Greve in Chianti

Verazzanno in Greve in Chianti

Visit the Marble mines at Carrara

We take a train to the mountains where we are met by an experienced guide whose family have worked the marble mines for several generations. He shows us various mines – including the one worked by his father and the one preferred by Michelangelo – shown below.

Michelangelo’s favourite marble mine

The highlight of the tour for me is going inside a marble mountain where they are cutting the finest white marble.

Depending on numbers in the mini-van this tour can be done for €70 + train fare. You can buy your own train tickets or I will organise online.

This is a full day trip and we usually visit Carrara town as well to see the Cathedral and have a snack before we return to central Florence Santa Maria Novella Station.