Paint with Dorothy at a restored 15th Century villa on a spectacular 2500 acre estate between rocky coastline, beaches, thermal spas, Monte Amiata, and archaeological sites …
Dorothy Fagan Colorist Expressionist Painting in Tuscany
Known for her vibrant oil and paste palettes, and expressive calligraphy with drawing, mixed media, and watercolor ~ Dorothy Fagan invites you to energize your signature style in Tuscany.
Absorb the Tuscan colors into your palette. Fuse la dolce vita with your brush strokes. Paint with Dorothy at a restored 15th Century villa on a spectacular 2500 acre estate between rocky coastline, beaches, thermal spas, Monte Amiata, and archaeological sites …
Connecting Heart and Mind promotes creativity. This important connection is essential if creative energy is to flow smoothly. Experiential learning provides a quick way to reclaim forgotten creativity.
This year’s Tuscany Retreat focuses on the heart of Tuscany. Known as the Maremma region, this heart shaped area connects miles of rocky coastline and beautiful beaches with the mountains.
Heart of Tuscany ~ Maremma Region of Tuscany
Walking in the past ~ Civilizations dating back from the Bronze, Neolithic, and Copper Age, followed by Etruscan and Roman make this region the heart and soul of Tuscany.
Check out the sites on my interactive map to discover more about the heart and soul of Tuscany.
This important connection with earth grounds creative energy, enabling it to flow. Without it, the creative circuit shorts out. Energy is lost, drained out. A walk, bike ride, horseback ride, boating, swimming, touching nature in whatever way that appeals most ~ will automatically reconnect.
Maremma National Park has 14 hiking trails, some for master hikers, some novice. Panoramic views stretch from the park mountains, along the coastline to the Monte Argentario peninsula and out over the sea toward the isles of Giglio, Montecristo and Elba. Hike to Medici look-out towers or the ruins of a medieval monastery. No hiking shoes? Try the cycling path!
Canoes leave from the “La Barca” near Alberese, a section of the river where—until forty years ago—there was a ferry. The banks are initially covered in thick vegetation though it thins out slowly as you head toward to the San Mamiliano farm. Near Spolverino are the remains of an ancient Roman bridge, called “the devil’s bridge.” Once you arrive at Torre Trappola, about 3km from the sea, the river widens and you can see local trees including willows, poplars and tamarisks.
Horseback riding excursions are another fun way to get to know the park and spend time in contact with nature. There are a variety of possibilities for everyone from beginners to experts throughout the protected area. During the rides it is easy to run into local wildlife like deer, wild boar, cows and maremmani horses.
The “Romitorio” itinerary, about two hours long, is a relaxed ride through a forest of oaks and it is appropriate for beginners. If you have more time, take the three hour itinerary to the Abbey of San Rabano. Experienced riders can take the full day (six hour) ride which moves through a variety of the park’s environments.
Expert riders can also learn about the local cowboy activities. Information and reservations can be made through the office of the Alberese farm (+39 0564 407 180).
Leave your car in town, and take a relaxing ride along the road that leads to Marina di Alberese. Along the way you’ll pass the breeding area where you can see cattle and horses grazing in the large fields along the sides of the road.
When you arrive at the intersection about 500m from the seaside you can turn right, following the directions for the A7 itinerary which leads to Ombrone. On the return take the main road to the beach. You can also take a longer itinerary which departs from Alberese, through the countryside to the southern extreme of the park and the town of Talamone. If you don’t have your own bike you can rent one from Il Rialto. More info>
Jim and I visited Capalbio for the first time last year. Watercolor journal in my satchel, we sat in the village and made several sketches.
I sat just below the wall in this video to make these watercolor sketches in my journal. There was a park bench where Jim and I sat in the small piazza. The village was quiet and we had the piazza to ourselves! From the top of the wall ~ a spectacular view of the sun setting over the sea.
A hint of Niki de Saint Phalle’s sculpture garden stands at the entrance of the walled city. Jim and I sat beside the towering beauty and ate our gelatos!
There is far more about Niki de Saint Phalle. Learn more>
I’ve always had a fascination with ancient civilizations. The Etruscans in particular ~ since making small red terra cotta replicas of Etruscan black painted vessels in high school! The opportunity to walk among the ruins, to feel the place, the earth, ~ well, I think I’ll take the watercolor journal and see what emerges.
OMG! I just received a confirmation note from Luca!
Castle Ruins, a Medieval Bridge, and an Archaeological Dig are on the Estate where we’ll be painting next fall!
Creativity Retreat at Archaeological Site
The 2500 acre Monteverdi estate is in the Maremma part of Southern Tuscany. I just booked it for our 2018 retreat!
It has a Medieval bridge, castle ruins, and it’s own chapel Sant’ Antonio!
I am SOOOOOOO excited! I can’t wait to paint this magical place! The rolling hills against the backdrop of Monte Amiata (an extinct volcano), the ruins, and it’s so close to the rocky coastline of the Tyrranian Sea! I so enjoyed painting the rocky coast of Brittany ~ this will be wonderful.
Monteverdi is dominated by a late 15th Century borgo with an 18th century church dedicated to St Anthony of Padua. Bought in 1904 by Luca’s grandfather as a hunting estate, it presently covers over 1000 hectares (2471 acres), with olive groves, vineyards, woodlands, rivers and arable farming land.
Our host is Luca Savelli, an Italian-English archaeologist and owner of the estate. His team is studying the Castellaccio of Monteverdi. It appears as a deserted medieval village, with a few structures still visible in the vegetation. It faces the river Ombrone and overlooks the ruined Medieval bridge connecting the NW shore to Sasso d’Ombrone.
The estate appears in early maps: in fact it is the location of several important sites, including at least one Roman site, a still very visible Medieval bridge over the River Ombrone which is overlooked by a ruined castle known as Il Castellaccio; the main Villa with its current origins from the 1490’s, and a family chapel dedicated to St Anthony of Padua from the 18th Century.
The Maremma is a large geographical region of southern Tuscany and northern Lazio, half way between Rome and Pisa/Florence. An Etruscan heartland and Roman colony in Ancient times.