June 2014 Itinerary

Below is the itinerary for Ev Hales Cultural Tour and Painting Workshop. Painting times are an approximation only. To download itinerary – click here

DAY 1 – Pick up at Bologna to Polinago

Polinago: Cinghianello Church

Accommodation: Polinago
Meals Included: Light Afternoon Tea and Dinner
Painting: Orientation of town and study day

DAY 2 – Savoniero/Palagano

Scenery around Palagano

Our private bus will take us for a short visit to the award winning Parmeggiano Reggiano Cheese Factory, in Savoniero. Taste fresh parmesan cheese, ricotta and soft cheeses and appreciate their workmanship, before travelling to Palagano, which is located in the Valley of the Dragon. Palagano will provide the artist with many opportunities to paint interesting subjects. Today, you will also have the chance to experience an Italian country market and then settle to either paint the beautiful scenery or bask in the rich history of the town.

Accommodation: Polinago
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Painting: 09:00-16:30 (includes a lunch break)

DAY 3 – Gombola

We first venture, with our private bus, to place untouched, to paint an ancient watermill (c 1500), which is still in working condition today. This region has inspirational landscapes with views of the ancient Borga (cluster of stone houses) of Gombola nestled on top of the mountain. After lunch, we venture up the hill to paint within the old quiet center, with little disturbance while painting  the magnificent mountain valleys.
For the ones who wish to walk to the Borga of Gombola, you can travel there through windy pathways leading through the countryside, with forests, running streams, wildflowers and at times, wild mushrooms.  Immerse yourself into another lifestyle.

Accommodation: Polinago
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Painting: 09:00-16:30 (includes a lunch break)

Day 4 – Modena

Accommodation: Polinago
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
13:00-14:30 – time for a drawing as there is so much to see.

Day 5 – Montefiorino/Vitriolla

Montefiorino: Market Day

Our private bus will travel to Montefiorino and its 12th century castle. The castle was constructed by Count of Montecuccol and called the Rock. The township is clustered along the Ridge with sweeping views of the Dolo Valley and the Valley of the Dragon. The castle has a Museum dedicated to the Italian Resistance, who were instrumental in the victory over the Fascists in World War II.
There will be opportunity of painting a market scene and after lunch, a trip to Vitriolla, to paint near the Romanist Church called St Andrea (c 1000). For the ones who wish to walk, there is a lovely stroll from Montefiorino to Vitriolla, which is filled with holy Mestra, tower buildings and other ancient constructions.

Accommodation: Polinago
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Painting: 09:00-16:30 (includes a lunch break)

DAY 6 – Castellerano

Passing the ancient entrance of the Rocketta of Castellerano, you will discover a peaceful environment to paint and explore within a beautiful cobbled town. Outside the city walls there is a market, which will give you the opportunity to mix with the local people. There are wonderful scenic views from the watch tower of the town and surrounding hills. After lunch, there is a painting opportunity from the shady square with views towards the lovely fortress, while our non-painters are able to visit the local shops or walk along the river, prior to viewing the defense towers built during the medieval era.

Accommodation: Polinago
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Painting: 09:00-16:30 (includes a lunch break)

DAY 7 – Sestola

This  sophiscated snow resort town set high in the forested Mt Cimone mountain and will inspire the artists as they view the majestic castle of Sestola (c 900), which is perched on the edge of a ravine.  It is in the best location to paint under lovely shady trees in a garden square,  which has an interesting fountain and  surrounded with lovely stone buildings. There are also interesting shops and an opportunity to explore the old road as it ascends to the castle. Afterwards, settle yourself at the local restaurants (also called ‘trattoria’) for a scrumptious lunch or a refreshing drink of wine.

Accommodation: Polinago
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Painting: 09:00-16:30 (includes a lunch break)

DAY 8 – Pavullo/Montecuccolo

The painters will have time for their artwork even while the largest market in the region is on.  After lunch our bus will bring us to the original castle of the Montecuccuoli, the warlord of the Frignano area.  There will be time to paint within the old square with roses and colourful gardens amongst the stone houses and church outside the walls of this might fortress.  For non painters, you can be entertained the hustle and bustle of the market and later enter the museum within the castle to explore.

Accommodation: Polinago
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Painting: 13:00-16:30 (after lunch)

DAY 9 – Polinago/Taverna Del Brutto/Brandola

Happy Painting

This is a chance to paint/walk and mingle with the paesani (local townsfolk) who will gather in the town center to play card games, drink with friends and relax.  The paesani also welcomes anyone who wants to experience an Italian speaking church service in their 15th century church.  Being a mountainous region, there are breathtaking landscapes and walking trails to explore/paint. Explore the many roads leading out of Polinago to discover hidden locations such as the Taverna Del Brutto (The Tavern of the Ugly). For people wanting to explore further, you can walk to the roman bridge of Brandola and meander back through the farming districts surrounded by beautiful mountains.

Accommodation: Polinago
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Painting: 13:00-16:30 (after lunch)

DAY 10 – Riolunato (Pievepelago/Castello)

We will travel to a medieval township nestled high in the Apennines mountains.  The ambiance is just perfect for painting the old rustic fresco buildings, ancient doors and cobble pathways inside this unique township. There will be an opportunity for non painters to explore another township, Pievepelago, before returning for lunch and afterwards a walk or bus to Castello, to find a semi-hidden ancient tower (c 1000) and church filled with ancient artifacts which were gifted by pilgrims from the crusaders.
Also a visit to  the Bridge of the Moon before travelling to Fiumalbo, a medieval town on the border of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, where we will spend the next three nights.

Only take an overnight bag and artist materials as suitcases can be left at the hotel in Polinago.

Accommodation: Fiumalbo
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Painting: 9:30-16:00 (includes lunch break)

DAY 11 – Garfagnana/Sasso Rosso/San Pellegrino

Our  bus will take us through the scenic mountains, into the Tuscan region, along the medieval road, just like the pilgrims of yesteryear…  We will visit Castel Garfagnana, a beautiful town surrounded within a castle wall, dating back to the  Roman Era. After many painting/sightseeing opportunities, we then venture  after lunch to a gorgeous village with red stone buildings called Sasso Rosso.  There are only pathways made of stone from one house to another and we can spend an afternoon painting or exploring.   On our return to home we will visit San Pellegrino – the oldest  pilgrim hostel (C600) for a short visit…

Accommodation: Fiumalbo
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Painting: 9:30-16:00 (includes lunch break)

DAY 12 – Lucca

Lucca

Our private bus takes us down through the beautiful  mountains to Lucca, a magnificent city in Tuscany. Enclosed by city defense walls, this city has narrow lanes, which meander along various medieval buildings, including an 180BC Roman amphitheatre.  Learn about a prince’s love for his wife at San Michele’s Church and the history behind the town’s defense. This an opportunity to draw some stenches as you rest at a local café. On our return a stop to walk over the Maddelena Bridge built in the Matilda of Tuscany era, before we return to Fiumalbo.

Accommodation: Fiumalbo
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
13:00-15:30 – time for a drawing as there is so much to see

DAY 13 – Fiumalbo

Today is your opportunity to paint  this medieval town on the border of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna and is surrounded by two rivers. Small narrow streets reveal a town steeped in history. Learn about the history of the whites and the reds religious sect  as each protect their church and their beliefs. The landscape consists of beautiful old church, stone bridges and a Seminary Abbey. Then, our private bus will travel back to Polinago before dinner, in time for you to relax.

Accommodation: Polinago
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Painting: 9:30-16:00 (includes lunch break)

DAY 14 -Polinago

‘Grazie’ to the locals

It is our final day in this beautiful area. This will be the day to say your farewells to the locals and complete any last minute photographing/ walking/ shopping before leaving this area until the next time. This night is a chance to celebrate our time together, the painters to demonstrate their paintings as we farewell the paesani.

Accommodation: Polinago
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Painting: at the discretion of the artist

DAY 15: DEPARTURE

Departure early morning for Bologna Airport/Bologna Train Station for Venice  for 3 days with Janette  or other destinations.