Ali Matteini

a life creative

Tours Truly, Tuscany and The Printmaking Sisters

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In conjunction with Anne-Maree, my friend of 20 years, we have fledged our Italo-Australian company, Tours Truly, Tuscany. We invite artists and writers from Australia to come and teach in workshops in Tuscany together with local artists. It’s a marriage of unique cultures, skills, techniques and traditions.

I wanted to cross promote this with The Printmaking Sister’s Florence workshop in May (I’ve mentioned them before in this past post), as they were so kind as to promote our June tour in their newsletter and on their site.

Tours Truly, Tuscany’s first retreat launches this year in June, from the 6th to the 16th. It’s a 10 day workshop led by Australian artist and entrepreneur, Kathy Wong of Studio Amara and Moeloco.

Workshop participants will explore the versatile world of precious metal clay and polymer, and together with found objects and those sourced from local Tuscan markets, they’ll create unique pieces of jewellery and a journal in which to record their class notes, working from my studio here in Santa Fiora, and will meet local artisans.

The retreat begins in Florence, where participants will be collected by NCC driver Marco (my lovely Etruscan) and driven to Santa Fiora, stopping for lunch along the way in Chianti.

The accommodation in Santa Fiora is in an agriturismo with a view up to Santa Fiora on the hill and to the mountain beyond. There’s a pool and gym and Silvia is an amazing chef who creates her masterpieces using only local organic ingredients that are in season. Each morning after breakfast, participants will be be collected and brought into Santa Fiora, where Kathy will take the class in my studio in the heart of the medieval village.

La Peschiera, Santa Fiora

La Peschiera

On market days we’ll travel to neighbouring villages and participants will experience the art and sculpture garden of Daniel Spoerri in Seggiano, and an excursion to beautiful Pienza in the Val d’Orcia, and there will be plenty of free time to explore, shop, walk, relax and swim.

Il Giardino di Daniel Spoerri

The final two days participants will spend in Alberese at an agriturismo that has a fabulous organic restaurant. Alberese is located beside the Maremma national park, right on the Mediterranean sea.

driftwood shelter at Alberese

There, in a semi-covered outdoor studio, the participants will finish off their wearable  pieces and can enjoy the final afternoon with a level 12km bike ride to the beautiful natural beach of Alberese (cycling is optional and Marco will be on hand to shuttle you right to the beach and back again if you’d prefer not to ride). On the last night there will be a farewell aperitivo and exhibition of jewellery, followed by a farewell dinner

silver clay flower

On checkout day, after breakfast, we will return to Florence, stopping at Siena along the way.

You’ll have several leisurely hours to explore this gorgeous city famous for its twice a year palio. We’ll continue on to Florence, arriving late afternoon, where we’ll say “Arrivederci”.

If you’re anything like me and one single creative pursuit could never, ever be enough while travelling, you might like to look at joining The Printmaking Sister’s workshop at Il Bisonte, which this year runs from the 14th till the 31st of  May, 2018. I’ve known these ladies for over 10 years now, and this will be their 9th year teaching in Florence. I’ve attended 3 of their workshops in Florence and several in NSW.


How lovely would that be to create a portfolio of beautiful artwork in the glorious Renaissance city and follow that with a unique handmade piece of jewellery that will be tied to glorious memories of your stay in Tuscany?

Info here on Tours Truly Tuscany June workshop

Info here on The Printmaking Sisters’ May Florence workshop

We look forward to seeing you in beautiful southern Tuscany!

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