2018 – Tuscan Hill Emilia-Romagna Painting Workshop Diary

There is a song in Italian about “Bella Emiglia” and it describes the desire of a soldier from the first world war to see his home region and his love again.

That is how I can describe the joy of returning to my parent’s region in Emiglia.

This time I introduced Cathy Van Ee, Professional Pastel Art teacher to the region called “Frigano” Region.

The group ranged from beginners to professional. Everyone enjoyed each other’s company as they visited the various locations for their painting sessions.

There are many events to mention so on reflection, the views during our luncheon at Montefiornio on the balcony overlooking the Valley of the Dragon and the endless trays of food and wine from Sasso Rosso Restaurant for lunch. And who can forget the restaurant who opened specially for us at Gombola so we would not go hungry.

Everyone was overcome with the farewell cake with the Australia and Italian flags on our departure night from Palagano hotel. For the cultural lovers the exploring of the Ferrari museum for the men, the busy markets full of bargains and the walking through the mountains, the fields to find the coffee shop to rest and refresh oneself. The city of Lucca and Modena with their ancient centres and no car allowed but filled with people, some peddling along the old cobble roads build by the romans. It makes one wonder how uncomfortable the ride must be.

Everyone received the kindness of the local people while we painted on their private property giving us refreshments, cake and local wine. History and culture are part of painting, which makes this painting workshop so special.

I am very grateful for the Mayor of Cultigano who greeted everyone in the 14 century council offices with his ball and chains. He said it was to keep his councillors in order.

While capturing the light in Fiulmalbo, a local sculpturer went home to bring back his wooden piece of art work to show us. There was the lady of the Palazzo from Palagano who was a Judge of France and spends her summer months at her mother’s resident. She invited us to paint from her gardens which had views of the Valley of the Dragon and even invited everyone to see inside her home.

Theses memories are only a few and in September 2019, I will bring Sue Hibbert , Watercolour teacher from Western Australia to experience this special region of the Tuscan Hills and Emiglia Romagna.

I can’t wait to see what is in store for next time.

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