Tuscany Creative Retreat:
Tenuta di Spannocchia
Apply Now for Spring 2019!
Offering a creative retreat for all disciplines: writing, painting, photography, and a ceramics workshop with wood-firing kiln!
April 25th - May 8th, 2019.
Send inquiries and apply at firstname.lastname@example.org,
with the subject “Tuscany Creative Retreat 2019.”
In early May this year 11 people traveled to the Tuscan region of Italy to experience an atmosphere of peace, incredible scenery, and a rich history of art and architecture during a two week stay at the Spannocchia property. Part of the Riserva Naturale Alto Merse, Spannocchia is difficult to sum up in few words – it is part bed and breakfast, part organic farm and holistic land management practice, part winery and kitchen, and part collaborative community.
The travelers in our group came with different motives in mind, some seeking inspiration for creativity, some a learning experience, and some looking to relax and re-center in a setting which proved to be conducive to all of these things.
Outings to nearby Florence and Sienna were arranged for the group and included visits to some of the many historical landmarks that have had a monumental impact on the evolution of art in the world.
Many of us also opted to participate in classes and tours on the property. We practiced traditional Italian cooking and pasta making, experienced tours and discussion on wine, olive oil, and pork production, and learned about their organic gardening practice while helping to prepare natural fermented compost catalysts such as teku kana and bokashi.
In the 1990's a couple of ceramic artists came to Spannocchia and converted their “Pig Palace,” and old pig sty, into a working ceramics studio space and have since built two wood kilns on an adjacent plot. The studio is rarely in use at present, seeing only one group from Eastern Tennessee State University for two weeks annually, and ASM is excited to bring clay artists to work in this creatively fertile environment.
The kindness and generosity of the people we met and worked with during our stay made a lasting impression, perhaps greater even than the one made by the bounty of amazing fresh food and wine constantly at our disposal. We are excited to go back next spring and introduce more people to this very special place and form new bonds and experiences around art and community!