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Art Holidays In Italy

Printmaking In Tuscany

8th – 14th September 2024 – Fully Booked

art holidays in Italy

In 2023 I was invited to visit Quattro Archi with a view to potentially running art holidays in Italy, specifically printmaking holidays, starting in 2024. Quattro Archi (Four Arches) is an art venue set in the medieval Italian town of Barga in northern Tuscany. The venue offers facilities for artists in residence, art courses, art retreats and other courses, exhibition space and holiday accommodation.

Quattro Archi was created to provide artistic opportunities and holidays for established, emerging, learning and would-be or interested artists willing to be inspired by the beauty of Barga and the Tuscan lifestyle. Although it isn’t a formal charity its aim is to cover its costs rather than make a profit.​ It welcomed the first artists in residence in April 2022 and held the first art courses or art retreats in late summer 2022. Quattro Archi is a life-long ambition of Jane and Michael Richardson who have gradually transformed an Italian town house into a place for the arts to flourish.

“Just wonderful! The other participants were delightful – a great mix of skill levels from total beginner to quite experienced. All enthusiastic and non – judgmental and doing it for enjoyment. What a great learning environment! Lucy was very well prepared, attentive and full of ideas, experimentation encouraged. Lots of patience, great teacher! Overall I couldn’t have enjoyed it more”

Lisa Ridgeway – Printmaking in Portugal May 2023

“The trip was fabulous – accommodation, course, breakfast, terrace, town, company – would do it all again and would return.”

Quattro Archi Customer 2023

“Great place to stay – difficult to pull yourself away from the terrace and the view, but when you do you are rewarded with a vibrant town with plenty of places to eat & lots to see. Barga is within striking distance of Lucca and Pisa and surrounded by beautiful countryside. The house is well appointed and comfortable.” 

Scott – Visitor to Quattro Archi 

I had a wonderful time. I would recommend it to anyone who would want to learn about printmaking and I will be back in October! It’s great to discover so many types of printmaking in such a little amount of time. Thanks Lucy for making it possible!

Julie Fages – Printmaking in Portugal May 2023

I really enjoyed the printmaking holiday with Lucy and would recommend it to anyone. The whole week was relaxing and fun. I also learnt a lot – as a newcomer to printmaking I wondered how I would get on – however Lucy made each of the processes easy to access. I was free to try things out, experiment, and find my own pace and what worked for me. There seemed to be just the right amount of materials, and Lucy was on hand to answer questions when they arose.

Rachel Kochany – Printmaking in Portugal May 2023

“The printmaking holiday met all my expectations both on the printing part and the holiday part. It has been social and for me it has been great to meet different people who all have given different types of inspiration. You are a great comforting teacher and I feel your guidance has made me more confident about how to execute the different techniques.”

Randi – Printmaking in Portugal Oct 2022

“I loved everything about our stay. It was the perfect combination of food, drink, great company in an extremely beautiful location and best of all getting to develop a new skill in a fabulous studio/gallery setting.”

Quattro Archi Customer 2023

I immediately warmed to the venue situated high on the hill that this old picturesque town is built on and to the warm hospitality offered to me and my partner Paul, during our short break fact finding mission, by the owners Jane and Michael. The location is truly stunning, the accommodation is traditional Tuscan with a creative vibe across a conglomerate of interconnected buildings. The venue has a large well equipped workshop / studio space inside and a covered external area all of which we will use during our work.

The decision to host a printmaking holiday for 8 people here at this new venue in September 2024 wasn’t a difficult one!

 

Art Holiday Location and Views

Quattro Archi is in the old town part of Barga in northern Tuscany, Italy. This northern area of Tuscany is more mountainous than the south and the position of Barga on the side of the valley provides a spectacular setting with some wonderful views and memorable sunsets.

There is a large private terrace which is the centre of attention for most people because of it’s wonderful views over the town and surrounding countryside.

Barga Town

Barga is a traditional hilltop town of about 10,000 inhabitants. It is featured in various guides as one of the most beautiful towns in Italy. It provides lots of inspiration for art holidays in Italy. The town offers a number of restaurants, independent shops, supermarket, post office, cafes and bars. There are good day trip opportunities to Florence, Lucca and Pietrasanta (a special destination for those interested in sculpture). The railway station is ten minutes drive away down the hill. While the top of the hill is occupied by a spectacular cathedral which is thought to have had its origins in Etruscan times.

Most of all, Barga is a pretty town with medieval narrow streets and fantastic mountain scenery. The streets are pedestrian friendly because there are very few cars, but in places the hills are steep so please ensure that you are happy with a few hills before joining us!

Our Accommodation

Quattro Archi is a conglomeration of interconnected buildings. It consists of a former police chief’s office, monastery building, cantina and adjoining apartments all joined up to make a mini art complex. Our accommodation consists of three bedrooms in the house (2 double rooms and one small twin all of which share 2 bathrooms), plus 3 ensuite twin rooms and 2 ensuite double rooms in the connected apartments. All rooms are comfortable and traditional with a creative vibe.

The space is small enough to provide an intimate holiday retreat where we can work, relax and socialise in a peaceful setting but big enough so that there are plenty of spaces to relax quietly on your own perhaps taking in some of the amazing views and finding inspiration for your creativity.

Our Printmaking Art Holiday

Inspiration for art holidays in Italy surrounds Quattro Archi – the building is purposely designed to inspire creativity in a truely relaxating and stunning location. The week will include 5 sessions of printmaking and an opportunity to exhibit your work in an intimate professional gallery environment at the end of the week if you choose.

During the printmaking I will be covering techniques including drypoint etching, monoprint printmaking, cyanotype printmaking and linocut printmaking giving you the opportunity to produce a large number of prints as you learn to improve your knowledge and confidence in these exciting mediums. All creative abilities are welcome and I am there to give you a relaxed and gentle, yet productive week of printmaking.

Food

A buffet style continental breakfast is provided including fresh pastries, cereals, yogurt, fresh bread, cold meats and cheeses from the local area. There are two fully equipped kitchens if you wish to self cater for lunch and evening meal.

In addition to providing a stunning backdrop for art holidays in Italy, Barga hosts a good selection of charming restaurants and cafes within the old town area all within walking distance. A number of these provide both indoor and outdoor seating areas. We will go as a group to a local restaurant on the first evening whilst you are still orienting yourself and we will also eat together at a local restaurant on our last evening together. Both of these meals are included in your holiday. Michael has offered to order a takeaway Pizza on the terrace at our accommodation on Wednesday night if people are interested. There will be an extra charge to cover this on the holiday.

Printmaking Art Holiday In Tuscany Italy Cost

I have secured great prices for this holiday with Jane and Michael so places are sure to sell quickly. I have 3 price groups – one based on sole occupancy of a room and the second based on a couple or friends sharing with either one or both printmaking. My early bird price is available for a limited period. Early booking is also recommended to ensure an ensuite room.

 

Booking Type Early Bird
Shared Bathroom
 
Early Bird Ensuite
Single traveller doing workshops £1130£1200
Couple (both doing workshops) £2240£2400
Couple (only 1 doing workshops) £2020£2180

Included In The Art Holiday Price

The following items are all included in the cost of the holiday

  • transfers between Barga bus or train station and our accommodation*
  • 5 half days of printmaking tuition including drypoint etching, linocut, mono printing and cyanotype
  • all printmaking materials
  • full continental breakfast
  • wine on the terrace on evening of arrival
  • 2 x evening meals in a local restaurant (first and last evening)
  • all tea and coffee throughout each day
  • Wifi access

* Please ensure you provide sufficient notice of arrival. We are a short 10 minute taxi ride from the railway station, walkable from the bus terminus

Extras

The following items are not included in the cost of the holiday

  • you will need to arrange your own flights and transfers to Barga
  • you will need to purchase your own lunches
  • you will need to purchase your own evening meal from Monday to Thursday (including Wednesday night Pizza night)

How To Book My Art Holiday In Italy

Please contact me to book this holiday and to obtain a booking form, deposit and balance payment details. 

Keep Me Posted

If you are interested in my art holidays in Italy or elsewhere but cannot make advertised dates, do not have the money to commit right now, might like to see how things go, might consider next year etc then why not sign up to my mailing list and select the option ‘printmaking holiday’ to receive regular updates on this holiday and anything similar that I do in the future.

If you are already on my mailing list just select the ‘update preferences’ option at the bottom of one of my mailings then tick that preference.

Getting To Your Art Holiday In Italy

Quattro Archi is located in the town of Barga in Northern Tuscany. Please read my getting there notes for further details of how to get there.

Other Places To Visit

Tuscany makes a perfect base for art holidays in Italy. Our printmaking will keep us busy for most of the week but why not extend your holiday to explore some other lovely areas of Tuscany too?

If you fly into Pisa you might want to spend a half or full day here first, maybe visit the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa which was started building in 1173 and took 200 years to build. There are some great art collections, a lively historical centre and some quirky churches. Pisa is also only an hour train journey from Florence and about 90 minutes from Barga making an easy day trip from either.

Florence is the largest city in Tuscany and is well worth a visit whether you fly into it or not. It is only slightly further from Barga than Pisa travelling directly but is also only an hour by train from Pisa or Lucca so easy to tag a few days onto your holiday there. It is worth visiting for the art and culture experience alone. The city is an art lover’s paradise. It is home to some of the world’s most famous art galleries and masterpieces. It is known as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.

Lucca is one of the most stunning and artistic cities in Tuscany, if not all of Italy. The circular old part of the city is surrounded by thick medieval walls that have kept it well protected over the years. It has been nicknamed the town of a hundred churches on account of its incredible number of places of worship. It has easy rail and bus connections to Pisa, Florence and Barga and you are likely to pass through or change here during your transfer to the airport. We stopped off for a couple of hours each way on our trip to and from Barga but could easily have spent a few days here too.

Further Reading / Viewing

You can read more about Quattro Archi at https://www.quattroarchibarga.com. You might also find the YouTube videos below useful to see a little more of the beautiful town of Barga where we are staying. Further information can also be found in my list of frequently asked questions.

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