Below is the itinerary for Ev Hales Painting Workshop and Cultural Tour. Painting times are an approximation only. To download itinerary – click here.
Day 1 – Pick up at Bologna to Polinago
Our private bus will pick us up at our designated hotel at 11:00am or Marconi Airport (Bologna) at 12.00pm and travel to Polinago, situated in the Frignano Region of the Appenines. We arrive at the family owned hotel in time to relax and soak in the atmosphere before having a traditional Italian home cooked dinner.
Meals Included: Dinner
Painting: Orientation of town and study day
Day 2 – Palagano
The town is located in the Valley of the Dragon which is surrounded by iconic buildings. Join the friendly paesani on their market day and afterwards settle to paint in a garden of roses surrounding this township. After lunch anyone interested can walk through the countryside for beautiful panoramic views from the Palazzo, while painters paint in a private garden.
We will make our way by bus to Gombola. There is an opportunity to paint a 15th century watermill as well as other inspirational landscapes. For the ones who wish to walk to the Borga, (a cluster of stone houses), there are windy pathways which lead through the countryside with forests were wild mushrooms grow, streams run and wild flowers bloom.
Immerse yourself in another lifestyle and after lunch you can also take a stroll up to Gombola to enjoy the views of the magnificent mountains valleys.
We travel to Modena, which is one of the more significant cities in Emilia-Romagna. The ancient centre will be our location
to paint and explore the city’s centre and variety of excusive stores. You will be free to spend the day exploring the architecture, Este Art Gallery, library, churches and beautiful shops
Our bus will travel to this hill top town and its 12th century castle. The castle was constructed by Count of Montecuccol and over time, the town slowly built itself around it. The castle has a museum dedicated to the Italian Resistance, who were instrumental in the victory over the Fascists in World War II.
There are sweeping views of the Dolo Valley and the Valley of the Dragon. There will be opportunity of painting or walking
to Vitriolla to visit the Romanist Church called St Andrea.
This work town is a pleasant surprise because afterpassing the ancient entrance of the Rocketta of Castellerano you will discover a peaceful environment to paint and explore within a beautiful cobbled town with views from the watch tower of
the River and surrounding hills.
Outside the city walls there is a market which will give you the opportunity to mix with the local people. For non-painters in the afternoon a drive or a walk can be organised to the defence towers built by Contessa Matilda during the medieval era.
This snow resort town will inspire the artists as they view the majestic castle of Sestola (900 AD) which is perched on the
edge of a ravine. It is in the best military position overlooking the town, which is filled with quality shops, interesting architecture, gardens and restaurants.
The town is set high in the forested Mt Cimone mountain (highest mountain in the Appennines) which will allow you to explore at leisure.
The painters will have time for their artwork even while the largest market in the region is on at the Duke of Este’s summer town called Pavullo. After lunch, our bus will bring us to the original castle of the Montecuccuoli, the lords of the Frignano area.
There will be time for the artist to paint within the old square with roses and colourful gardens amongst stone houses as well as seeing the church outside of this mighty fortress. Inside the castle walls, there is a beautiful display of artwork and wonderful views. There is always time to walk within the countryside and enter the museum and explore the castle.
This is a chance to paint, walk and mingle with the paesani (local townsfolk) who will gather in the town center for their
church services, 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 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.
This is a medieval township nestled high in the Apennines mountains. This quiet town is just perfect for painting the old
rustic buildings and pathways.
There will be an opportunity for others to explore another township Pievepelago before lunch and afterwards a walk or bus to Castello to find a hidden ancient 10th church filled with ancient artifacts which were gifted by pilgrims from the crusaders.
Also visit the roman bridge of the Moon before we travel to Fiumalbo, a medieval town on the border of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, where we
will spend the next three nights
Our private bus will take us through the scenic mountains, into the Tuscan region. We will visit Castel Garfagnana, a beautiful town surrounded within a castle wall, dating back to the Roman Era and located on the old medieval Bibulca Road.
After many painting/sightseeing opportunities, we then venture 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.
It time permits we may be able to visit to the C10 Monastery of St Pellegrino.
Our bus will take 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.
On our return we will visit and walk over the Magdalena Bridge built in the Matilda of Tuscany era.
Today is your opportunity to paint or explore this medieval town surrounded by two rivers on the border of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.. 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 stone houses with secret passage ways leading in and around the town, churches, stone bridges and a Seminary Abbey or take the opportunity to visit the most beautiful Borga in Tuscany – Cutigliano. The choice is yours.
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.
Day 15 – DEPARTURE
Departure early morning for Bologna Airport or Bologna Train Station for Venice for 3 days with Janette or other destinations.