For the artist in Italy everything is exciting and the light is beautiful. There is so much to chose from; local woodland walks, medieval hill top villages, art and museums, food and medieval festivals as well as of course well known cities.
From our doorstep you can take walk into the woods. There are streams to dip in, chestnut woodlands or ‘castanete’ to stop and admire and at the ridges great views. Find abandoned ruins with their old fruit trees still bearing fruit, there are insects and animals everywhere. You can walk all day and not come out the other side, even find the pilgrimage taken by St Francis on route to Assisi.
North Umbria, on the Tuscany border is a geography all of its own. The Upper Tiber Vally is an area full of small hills and valleys that flow to the river Tiber and Rome. Names of villages such as; Monterchi Montone and Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, give away their form in their name; ‘Monte’ meaning mound/mountain. With their origins in antiquity these towns are as you imagine, wrapped with a defensive wall, narrow streets with houses cheek by jowl.
Other medieval villages close by include; Citerna, Citta di Castello, Anghiari and Sansepolcro they all offer stunning opportunities for painting; views or buildings, close up details of doors and windows. Enjoy the texture of the weathered sun bleached shutters, doors and plaster. Inspirational for sculpture, ceramic glazes or paint. Then relax soak it in with a coffee, ice-cream, cake or aperitivo.
Piero della Francesca, painted one of his most famous and admired masterpieces, Madonna del Parto, at the base of the stunning medieval town of Monterchi. Only 10 minutes drive from us. This beauty attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Big cities We are very lucky with our location as we are about as central as we could be. Rome is 3hrs drive due south, Florence less than 2hrs north and Sienna less than 2hrs west. Lesser known treasure such as Arezzo, Cortona, Assisi, Perugia and Gubbio are all within easy reach.
Seasonal Food Festivals occur nearly every week of the summer with each village or town taking it’s turn to host it’s ‘Festas’ of a different food whether it be a special type of pasta, mushrooms, chestnuts, grapes, polenta or the truffle to name a few, every food seems to be celebrated in what seems like an endless harvest festival. There are always many long tables filled with people eating and enjoying local hospitality.
Medieval festivals are another regular part of the festive calendar and bring towns alive in their Old way. They all contain pageantry, flag throwing, men in tights or armour. Each town specialise, Sansepolcro has the crossbow, Arezzo host jousting, and Anghiari comes alive with Medieval processions and our local Citta’ Di Castello boasts a medieval market of blacksmiths, leatherworkers and other Arts and Crafts.