Intimate Visits to Artists' Studios and Homes

With lots of Great Food, too!

March 21 – 31, 2023

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Artful Journeys is honored to team up with clay artist Jeff Shapiro (jeffshapiroceramics.com) 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 Etruscan art at the Villa Giulia, art of the 16th and 17th centuries at the Palazzo Barberini 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. (or similar).

On the fourth day, we will travel to Orvieto, near where ceramicist Marino Moretti lives. Marino is a friend of Jeff’s and he will spend time with us at the Duomo, with its magnificent Pieta by Ippolito Scalza, frescoes and entrance sculptures; and in the tufa caves hidden beneath the town and which provide lots of extra storage room for the inhabitants or Orvieto. 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 (or similar)

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Before heading up to the Siena area, we will stop at Civita di Bagno Reggio and walk across the swaying bridge to have a look at this eroding geological tufa island, which is actually much like Orvieto’s site, but more obvious in its desolation.

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From there, we get on 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 was part of a team who built a wood-burning kiln there. We will have a day for options at the farmhouse: just completely relax and do nothing; take a cooking class; or visit the Etruscan town of Volterra.
The delectable and healthy 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, it is indeed a work of art and a religious history lesson that is very seldom fully for view, in order to preserve it from too many feet wearing away the stone.

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On day 9, March 29, we will travel to Faenza (in Emilia Romagna) where we will stay at 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 and ceremony.

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

Your Hosts:

Jeff Shapiro

“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.

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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.



Trip cost is  $5,750, d.o.


  •  Proof of Covid vaccinations is required by the EU.

  • Includes all accommodations, most meals, transportation in Italy, museum &

studio entry, and other scheduled activity fees, and teacher and admin fees

  • $550 single supplement

  • 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


  • 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


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