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 Unique Visits to Artists' Studios and Homes

March 20 – 31, 2023

March 20 –31, 2023
Trip Status:  CLOSED
Tour Cost:  $6495

Single Supplement: $625
Activity Level: Medium or 2 hours of walking at a slow pace
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Artful Journeys is pleased to team up with clay artist Jeff Shapiro ( on a ceramics journey to Italy during which we will visit Jeff’s friends and colleagues in Lazio, Tuscany and Emilia Romagna.

Starting in Rome, we’ll explore art of the 16th and 17th centuries at the Palazzo Barberini and Baroque and Renaissance art at the Galleria Borghese, as well as mosaics preserved in churches. And, of course, we will spend time at Pots Rome, an active school, workshop, gallery and shop for clay art. In Rome, we will stay at The Fifteen Keys Hotel. 


From Rome, we will travel to Orvieto, near where ceramicist Marino Moretti lives. Marino is a friend of Jeff’s, and he will give us a studied understanding of the subtleties of the architecture and history of the Duomo, with its magnificent Pieta by Ippolito Scalza, frescoes and entrance sculptures.  We will then visit the tufa caves hidden beneath the town.  The next day Marino will give us a tour of his studio and works in the very small nearby town of Viceno. Here, we’ll also be regaled with a lunch of local food, wine and cheeses. In Orvieto, we will stay at Palazzo Piccolomini.

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From Orvieto, we make our way to Tenuta di Spannocchia, outside of Chiusdino in Tuscany. But, there’s always a stopover: this time at Abbazia di San Galgano, an abbey from the 13th century. The absence of its roof unites its original religious purpose with the universe in such magnificence that is breathtaking.

Finally, we arrive at Spannocchia, a complex from 1225, now part of a foundation to promote the arts and older traditions, such as farming and cooking. In 2004, Jeff, along with friend Tom Spleth, built a wood-burning kiln there.  (Have a look at the article "From Pig Palace to Clay Studio".)


We will have a day to completely relax at Spannocchia; perhaps there will be a cooking class to join.


The delectable, healthy, four-course dinners at Spannocchia are usually preceded by drinks on the terrace.

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From our central vantage point near Chiusdino, we will visit Siena.  There we can hope that the stone-inlaid floor in the Duomo will be uncovered.  However, although it is indeed a work of art and a religious history lesson, it is very seldom fully open for view, in order to preserve it from many feet wearing away the stone.

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On March 29, we will travel to Faenza (in Emilia Romagna) where we will stay at the Hotel Vittoria. Faenza is the center of ceramic art in Italy and where Carlo Zauli contributed greatly to the breakaway movement. His son Matteo continues to spread the word about his father. See this article by Jeff about his experience at the Zauli studio. (Clay Culture: The Zauli Experience - Ceramic Arts Network)

Our last full day of the ceramic-laden trip will take us to Ravenna to marvel at the mosaics in the Byzantine-inspired basilicas and baptistery there. It will be a day to behold ancient beauty. Our day will end with a farewell dinner in Faenza.  

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On Friday, March 31, we will bus to the Bologna Airport for our departure homeward.

Your Hosts:


Jeff Shapiro

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“I ‘look’ with the intent of perceiving the artistic elements of what I am viewing rather than the intellectual dissection of information.” — Jeff Shapiro

Jeff Shapiro was born in the Bronx, NY in 1949. He presently works and lives in upstate NY with his wife Hinako.  He studied ceramic arts while living in Japan for 9 years from 1973-1981. His work has been exhibited internationally in: Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, England, and Japan. His work can be found in numerous Museum collections including: The Carlo Zauli Museum, Faenza, Italy, The Massachusetts Museum of Fine Art, Boston MA, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, The Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY, The Fuller Museum, Brockton, MA. He has given workshops and seminars in many countries around the world, and has built 2 wood fire kilns in Italy.

Joan Hill

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.

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.


Journey Cost:


Trip cost is $6,495, d.o.

Single supplement is $625.

  • Includes all accommodations, most meals, transportation in Italy, museum & studio entry,  other scheduled activity fees, and teacher and admin fees

  • Not included are tips and gratuities, personal purchases, and pampering

  • NOTE: A deposit of $500 is required upon registration to secure a place on this Journey

  • Airfare to Rome and from Bologna is not included to enable travelers to use their “travel points,” upgrade flight arrangements, or to extend their trip

  • Travel insurance is strongly encouraged. Please see the Travel Insurance Form

  •  Covid vaccinations  required by the EU and Artful Journeys.

Please note that PayPal remittances must go through the form on this website.  Thank you.

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