Italy’s art cities, citta’ d’arte, are some of the world’s most popular cultural tourism destinations. Renowned for their art treasures, monuments, churches, castles, museums and historic dwellings, you can visit them any time of the year. Rome, Florence, Turin, Venice, Bologna, Padua, Pisa, Naples, Lecce, Palermo…The list is almost never-ending! Visiting these art-filled cities, which were once on the itinerary of the Grand Tour, is like retracing the ancient paths trodden by the eighteenth century’s greatest English writers, artists and thinkers. But since art is always evolving, be also inspired by Rome’s best street-art with its huge colorful murals and poignant contemporary message. Art is everywhere, all around you. With an expert guide on your side, you can skip queues and see more of your favourite city.


Must see Museums

According to UNESCO 60% of the world’s most important works of art are located in the art cities of Italy. Travelling throughout the country you’ll come across many must-see museums: The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Medici Villas, the Vatican Museums, the Galleria Borghese, the National Etruscan Museum, the Academy Gallery of Venice, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, the Brera Gallery in Milan and countless others.

The cities, themselves, are works of art

Italy’s art cities don’t just contain art. Marked intrinsically, as they are, by some of the world’s greatest artists and art patrons, these cities are in themselves true artistic masterpieces. It was during the Renaissance that a cluster of masterpieces were commissioned by the most powerful dynasty of the time, the Medici family. Men like Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and many others introduced new concepts that still speak to us today.


Florence the birthplace of the Renaissance, with a treasury of art like not other, over the past six centuries has attracted some of the world’s leading authors, from John Milton and Thomas Gray to the Brownings, the Shelleys, Charles Dickens, D.H. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, E.M. Forster, Mark Twain. It was French Nobel Prize winner, Albert Camus, who considered Florence to be ‘the most beautiful of the cities devised by man’. In retracing the steps of literary giants like Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, it is possible to discover what lies in the cultural heart of Italy.

Exclusive art classes

Since the Renaissance apprentices and students have been learning skills from their maestri in Florence.
Be inspired by highly qualified artists who are considered to be the most authentic representatives of long-held traditions. You may be a faux and trompe l’oeil painter, an interior designer, an antique restorer, a crafts expert or simply someone in love with art. You may either choose to enroll in a decorative painting program or arrange for a short personalised course of one or two weeks.

Courses are held by Alison Wooley, a professional artist and decorator specializing in Italian painted furniture and the owner of a painting and decoration art studio in Florence. Alison graduated with honors after winning two scholarships from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Canada. She moved to Florence and worked for more than 15 years under the guidance of Florentine master artisans before opening her own bottega. From her art studio she produces fine furniture finishes and decorative art for the interior design industry worldwide. She is a gifted teacher who likes to share her knowledge with students from all over the world. Classes may be arranged also at a beautiful estate in the Tuscan countryside.

Choose from an excellent selection of art courses

  • Chiaroscuro: This subject matter has a wide practical application, you learn to effectively create trompe l’oeil frames and ornament specifically, but the basics of mixing shades and working with light and shadow can be used generally throughout any type of decorative painting.
  • Painting Restoration: Learn professional, practical techniques for restoring oil paintings on canvas, very useful for anyone who wishes to buy and sell old paintings for additional income, or to work in the field of restoration.
  • Fresco and Sgraffito: Learn true fresco techniques with real lime plaster- useful to make high quality decorative panels or for the creation or restoration of decorative frescoes on site, indoors or outdoors. This course can be taken also for the pure pleasure of discovering this exciting medium.

  • Gilding: Italian water gilding techniques useful for making beautiful decorative panels, gilded furniture and frames, or for the restoration of antique frames.
  • Antique Furniture Painting Techniques: Learn the techniques and materials for the proper preparation of wooden objects, panels and furniture, casein paint techniques and wax finishes for creating Italian and French style ‘antiques’
  • Mural Painting : Learn techniques for creating full scale mural works, with focus on efficient use of time, colour harmony, perspective, and the imitation of surfaces.
  • Floral and Colour Ornament: This is a course with a lot of practical colour techniques, useful for honing colour, composition and brushwork skills.