Formally known as “Tuscany: A Journey for the Senses”, our programs were originally based in the Val d’Orcia of southern Tuscany.
Artful Journeys' programs have recently expanded to include art and cooking workshops, music and cultural tours throughout Europe, and more domestic cultural trips.
Owner & Director
In 2008, the seed of Artful Journeys was planted in her brain, when Joan brought together all of her life's passions, her love of music, an affinity for the beautiful things in life, and an ability to organize events to give birth to Artful Journeys, a program of art education trips for the soul. The company was first known by the rather wordy moniker of Tuscany: A Journey For The Senses, but in 2014 changed to Artful Journeys to encompass travels to other countries in Europe.
Joan was born and raised in the apple country of the Hudson River Valley in New York; her father was a gentle, very tolerant, educated land surveyor, and her mother was the efficient business administrator and home engineer. The youngest of four children, Joan was encouraged to pursue anything she wanted, but also to do her best. Sometimes that was difficult, especially succeeding three very accomplished siblings.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in German literature and working in Hamburg, Germany for one year, Joan realized her great joy of traveling. Joan has owned a bookkeeping business for architects and various small professional firms in New England since 1993, in which she is still active. She also has done leatherwork, labor law administration, medical research and foreign book sales. She is married, and has one pretty spectacular son, who, with his wife, has raised two adulting grandchildren.
Jessie grew up on Cape Cod and is very excited to be joining the Artful Journeys team! She studied music and psychology at Columbia University and is currently pursuing a PhD in musicology and physiology at Oxford University. With interests in choral performance and auditory perception, Jessie combines her interests in performing as a soprano and pianist with her love of academia. She loves the outdoors, learning and traveling.
Northern Virginia artist Lynn Goldstein has been making art professionally for twenty-five years. At first employed as a graphic designer and illustrator before following her passion for painting, Lynn’s work in pastel and other mixed-media has brought her national/international acclaim, particularly for her colorful expressive landscapes. Her work has been exhibited at the National Arts Club in New York City, Koehnline Museum of Art in Des Plaines, Ill, Eleven Pleasant Street Gallery in Kennebunk, ME, and at the Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago, IL, among other locations. Additionally, her work was profiled in the August 2009 issue of Pastel Journal.
Growing up in New York, surrounded by the flavors of the world, Liza developed a love for food and cooking. After fulfilling a career in outdoor education, she decided to explore her passion for food. Liza studied at The French Culinary Institute and then trained with some of the top chefs in New York City before being drawn to the mountains of Colorado. She joined the team at Food Lab, in Boulder, in the spring of 2016. There she teaches cooking skills and techniques to all ages as well as curriculum development for the educational programs. Liza will be taking the year off to be with her baby boy.
Instructor & Guide
Joe Marchio is a graduate of the College of Wooster, where he earned both a Bachelor’s degree in organ performance and a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies. He earned a Master of Divinity degree at the Yale University Institute of Sacred Music, and a Master of Music degree in choral conducting at the Boston Conservatory. Joe became Music Director of the Chatham Chorale in 2010. He is also the Pastor and Director of Music of the First Congregational Church of Chatham.
Clarinetist & Instructor
Among the most distinguished classical artists of his generation, clarinetist Jon Manasse is internationally recognized for his inspiring artistry, uniquely glorious sound and charismatic performing style.
Recent season highlights include return performances with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and debuts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, The Chappaqua Orchestra, Montana’s Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Oregon’s Rogue Valley Symphony. With pianist Jon Nakamatsu, he continues to tour throughout the United States as half of the acclaimed Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo. The Duo’s activities include the world premiere performances of Paquito D’Rivera’s The Cape Cod Concerto with Symphony Silicon Valley, conducted by Leslie B. Dunner.
Pianist & Instructor
American pianist Jon Nakamatsu continues to draw unanimous praise as a true aristocrat of the keyboard, whose playing combines elegance, clarity, and electrifying power. A native of California, Mr. Nakamatsu came to international attention in 1997 when he was named Gold Medalist of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the only American to have achieved this distinction since 1981. Mr. Nakamatsu has performed widely in North and South America, Europe, and the Far East, collaborating with such conductors as James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Osmo Vänskä and Hans Vonk. He also performed at a White House concert hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton.
Mr. Nakamatsu studied privately with Marina Derryberry and has worked with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, son of the great pianist Artur Schnabel. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in German Studies and a master's degree in Education.
Miguel Rodé was born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay and moved to the US in 2002 as part of his Information Technology career, currently residing in Seattle, WA. A life-long music lover, over the years Miguel developed a special fascination with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and in particular with his cantatas and other vocal works. During the Covid pandemic, Miguel initiated a series of virtual meetings called "The Cantata Trail" with the intent of sharing this incredibly rich musical universe with some close friends. This small community grew organically through word of mouth to its current size of about 70 members. As a musician, Miguel plays the baroque flute and is a member of several chamber ensembles in the Seattle area, for which he also enjoys transcribing and arranging music.
Many thanks to all who have helped me make this program a success!
To Larry Hill and my family for their support and enthusiasm.
To Gail Turner, whose pots sparked the concept. (Visit Gail's website: www.millstonepottery.com)
To Jeff Peterson, Robert Linn, and Keith Moskow who allow me flexibility in my other work.
To all our faculty for their hard work and enthusiasm.
To Jonny Wilkin, who mastered the first website.
And most of all, to Ma and Dad, for raising me to be giving and believe in myself.
Without these people, Artful Journeys would not be possible.
People often ask -
"Why do I have to go abroad to paint, or design flowers, do yoga...?"
You don't. But if you attend one of our classes, you will actually enter a world of retreat: you will not have to cook dinner for anyone; you will not have to pick up someone else's dirty socks; you will not have to remember to pick up Harry from the soccer game and then go to the dentist and then go home and clean. No, you will be creating the art you love: you will have time to relax; you will be in the company of like-minded individuals; you will have wonderful food and wine served to you every day; you will see one of the most beautiful parts of the world and have a taste of the wonderful local culture. You will stay in lovely hotels. Spas, thermal baths, very old, very photogenic towns, incredible landscapes, sculpture parks and historical places will be at your disposal.
I discovered Artful Journeys after years of solo travel and several group tours with companies such as Odysseys Unlimited and Smithsonian Journeys. After my first trip with Artful Journeys, I knew I had discovered my perfect travel companion!
How to describe my appreciation for trips with this excellent organization?
Truly a unique approach to travel.
A small group experience that affords substantial time in one location, unlike most other travel companies.
Trips with an educational focus. Carefully crafted itineraries designed around a specific musical or artistic theme or event and guided by expert instructors in the field.
A relaxed, unhurried atmosphere with ample time for group discussion, individual exploration, leisure time, and the opportunity to go beyond the “here today and on the road tomorrow” nature of trips offered by larger travel providers.
A no-worry itinerary with concert tickets, museum passes, lodging, in-country transport, and many meals included. Everything carefully designed to provide the most memorable kind of travel experience and the opportunity for a traveler to be immersed in the sights, sounds, food, and daily living of another culture.
The presence of Artful Journeys Director Joan Hill whose personal passion and creativity is reflected in the quality of the programs she develops, each of which is original as well as enlightening, enriching, and fun!
All meals were excellent. Apparent that much thought and selection were put into the planning. Especially liked the convenience of having meals included in the trip package. This negated the need to pay individually and to try and figure out individual meal/drinks cost and gratuities.
Schedule was well planned with tours and activities. Also with adequate downtime for rest and recuperation. Points of interest were well covered and having local resident (Paula Bianco) as our guide was a BIG PLUS. She is a gem! We immediately felt a kinship with her and look forward to revisiting with her or better still, hosting Paula and Alberto on their trip to the United States.
Excellent value! The trip was completely enjoyable. The 8 member group was the right size to get to know our fellow travelers and it was fun and a memorable experience. Came away feeling that it was a great experience and would do it again happily. Joan Hill was a valuable resource. She was on top of our daily activities and timetable with humor and compatibility. Never lost her cool! I think the best evaluator of a trip like this is the reassurance that we were in good hands at all times. Our flight was delayed 2 hours in Chicago and 6 hours in Heathrow. Joan arranged for a driver to meet us at Bologna Airport and he delivered us to Palazzo Trevi. I don't think this could be said of a large packaged tour operator. Thank you, Joan.
Magnificent in all aspects... views, food, death-defying climb, where else could we have experienced that evening? That was indeed special! I can't think of what I liked least on this trip other than the careening cab ride one evening! That was scarier than the Prendiparte Tower Climb.
Paula is a terrific guide, very knowledgeable and relaxed, lots of fun. The tours around Bologna were fun, and Ravenna and Modena were excellent side trips. Having enough time one afternoon to stop for tea was a highlight in the busy week. The wine tasting was unique and very enjoyable.
Best was the variety of places we saw and visiting the local manufacturers/artisans.
Tour and activities - first-rate. I loved the Parmesan and balsamic vinegar tours and thought the gelato tour was fun. Cooking classes: there can always be more of these for me, but I realize that once again, I’m probably an outlier in this category. Trip to Modena: surprisingly enjoyable. I would be happy to return to Modena, now that I’ve learned how to pronounce it. Mosaics: I’ve never known much about mosaics, and now appreciate much better what they are. You showed us truly stunning mosaics.
Value - I think the value for the price paid is excellent.
Tour and Activities were truly amazing. All of the scheduled activities were worth the time, cost, and were high-quality experiences. Even the Expo. It may have taken some time to get in but it was worth the time to see it even if the lines were long. There aren’t that many opportunities to see something like that. It was unique.
The value was close to amazing. I don’t know how you did it, Joan. You really delivered an awful lot for little money considering all we did.