Enroll as a Group* and save! Enroll 3 or more people for any of our 2010 workshops and save $100.00 per person! *Group discount applies to 3 or more people enrolling together in the same workshop program. New enrollment only.
Join us for a weeklong workshop with Al and Josie Rodriguez, two skilled artists and accomplished teachers, who will take you on an inspirational journey for your creative spirit. Surrounded by the beauty of Cortona, you will spend mornings learning to make a variety of journals that can be used in the afternoon poetry sessions in which Josie will guide you through several poetic forms. Some possibilities we will discuss and write are: prose poem, list, ode, point of view, haiku. Imagine being inspired by the surrounding beauty of the Tuscan countryside, the warm, friendly people, the delicious food and wine and by the many techniques that Al and Josie will share with you as these two art forms come together.
Each day will be different but based on the previous days work. Mid-week we will take a trip to Fabriano, the paper making center of Italy, where we will tour the world-famous paper museum, Museo della Carta e della Filigrana. By the end of the week you will have learned several elegant book structures with beautiful covers that you decorated yourself, plus a variety of poetic forms. We’ll cap off the week with a limited-edition book containing one of your and your classmates’ poems and have a poetry reading at our sumptuous farewell dinner on Friday night. It is well documented that writing poetry can relieve stress, promote well-being and assist in self understanding. John Fox, founder of the Association of Poetry Therapists has said, “Poetry puts words together in imaginative ways…poetic language reveals what we don’t know consciously, but inherently recognize.” Give yourself the luxury of finding your poetic voice in this lovely Tuscan hill town.
Al is a retired teacher of graphic arts and photography and has been a book artist for 20 years. He has a patient, informal style of teaching and is able to explain things in a simple manner that is easy to understand. His work is in the collections of people and institutions around the US.
Josie has written poetry for over 30 years and published two chapbooks and a book of poetry, Waiting Rooms of the Heart. She has conducted poetry workshops at conferences throughout the US, and within small group settings for medical interns and residents, and women survivors of cancer. Josie’s teaching style is very relaxed and encouraging. We will spend time discussing what poetry means to us and listen to the works of contemporary poets and discuss how their words affect us. These discussions will encouragement you to get your pen moving and you will have ample time to write in an environment that is incredibly beautiful. You can’t help but be inspired. Together, Al and Josie offer art and writing workshops and an art retreat at their home in San Diego, CA where students spend the night in a guest cottage, take art classes and are served gourmet meals.
among the sights and sounds of beautiful and romantic Tuscany: olive groves, vineyards, centuries-old buildings, winding streets, texture and vibrant sunlight.
in the warm ambiance of Cortona, overlooking Lake Trasimeno and the Val di Chiana, originally fortified by the Umbrians, claimed by the Etruscans, touched by the Renaissance, almost unchanged for centuries, one of Tuscany's jewels.
the joy of book arts and poetry writing in a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere with the expert instruction of nationally know artists and instructors and the camaraderie of a small group of learners.
great Italian food, delightful wines, new friends, breath-taking vistas, history and the hospitality of the people of Cortona.
About this Workshop
One of the joys of travel in Italy is the gloriously delicious cuisine. When you go to dinner after each workshop at one of Cortona’s fine restaurants, there are several courses: antipasti, appetizers; primi piatti, which means first dish and is usually a pasta dish; secondi piatti, second plate or the main course. Then there are side dishes, which are called contorni, followed by dessert, or dulce. Of course there is vino (needs no translation) during the meal and often, a digestivo, an after-dinner drink.
Your time in Cortona at Al & Josie’s workshop will be like a fine Italian meal with all the elements, antipasti, primi and secondi paitti, contorni, and dolce.
Saturday Arrival day. Your arrival will be followed by an antipasti: a wine and chocolate tasting and welcome reception dinner.
Sunday In the morning you will have your primi piatti. Three hours of decorating paper using paste paper and dyed paper techniques. These will be used for all the future book arts projects. In the afternoon, Josie will introduce you to the world of poetry as we discuss the art of seeing and awareness of the world around us with an introduction to the poetic forms which we will explore throughout the week.
Monday In the morning your secondi piatti will begin. Al will teach you how to make a simple two, three and four-hole pamphlet stitch booklet using your own decorated papers for the covers. These books can be used in the afternoon to record your responses to Josie’scontinuation of poetry as art with a focus on one of the poetic forms. Her goal for you is to have quiet creative moments inspired by your surroundings or the stirrings of your heart.
Tuesday In the morning will be a continuation of your “main course.” Al will show how to make several concertina fold books, again using your decorated paper for the covers.After lunch Josiewill discuss the connection between writing and healing using examples from her book, Waiting Rooms of the Heart. We will continue writing and sharing our work.
Wednesday Contorni day! A side trip to Fabriano, the site of the oldest papermaking mill in Europe, in use since the 12th century, and one of the fewest cities in the world where paper is still manufactured by hand. The sheets that are made in the “tubs” department are utilized for prestigious editions, artistic designs, art prints, correspondence, invitation paper, University degrees, treasury bonds, etc. We will take a tour of the Museo della Carta e della Filigrana (http://www.museodellacarta.com/default.asp) where we will be able to see the craftsmen making paper by hand and the production of watermarks. The train trip is a perfect time to take those books you made earlier and write your impressions and thoughts about what you see and experience this day. Write your poetry in any form you like.
Thursday The main course continues when you will make a four-section non-adhesive journal in the morning followed by a leisurely afternoon in Cortona visiting the museum, shopping, soaking up the local color and allowing your muse to be inspired.
Friday Friday is dolce day. Dessert. We will produce a limited-edition of your poetry to share with your classmates in the morning and have a poetry reading at our farewell dinner that evening at one of Cortona’s wonderful restaurants.
Travel with Josie & Al to Rome, Italy!
Depending on the final flight itinerary they will likely stop in either Atlanta, New York or Boston for the transatlantic flight to Rome. This initial itinerary will allow for about three days in Rome for touring and site visits before meeting as a group for the trip to Cortona. For those intersted in flying to Italy in the company of Al & Josie we will announce the intended flight itinerary and airline(s) at a later date. You may join them ifor departure in San Diego or the east-coast transatlantic point of departure. All ticketing and reservations will the the responsibility of each person. For more info please write: firstname.lastname@example.org
Al working en plein air in Cortona
Josie creating in Cortona
Saturday – Arrival in Cortona -Arrival and Check-in in Cortona -7:00p Welcome to Cortona wine and chocolate tasting at La Saletta. -8:00p Evening dinner in Cortona at La Loccanda nel Loggiatto Sunday - Cortona -9:00a-1:00p Morning Session -1:00p Lunch -3:00-6:00p Afternoon Session -7:30p Wine tasting -8:00p Evening dinner in Cortona Monday - Cortona -9:00a-1:00p Morning Session -1:00p Lunch -3:00-6:00p Afternoon Session -7:30p Wine tasting -8:00p Evening dinner in Cortona Tuesday - Cortona -9:00a-1:00p Morning Session -1:00p Lunch -3:00-6:00p Afternoon Session -7:30p Wine tasting -8:00p Evening dinner in Cortona Wednesday - Fabriano -7:30a - Day trip to Fabriano -7:30p Wine tasting -8:00p Evening dinner Thursday - Cortona -9:00a-1:00p Morning Session -1:00p Lunch -3:00-6:00p Afternoon Session -7:30p Wine tasting -8:00p Evening dinner in Cortona Friday - Cortona -9:00a-1:00p Morning Session -1:00p Lunch -3:00-6:00p Afternoon Session -8:00p Farewell Wine Tasting Dinner in Cortona Saturday – Cortona -Morning Check-out and departure from Cortona or we can help you plan an extended stay! -Each guest must make taxi/travel requests through the Hotel front desk.
Note: Toscana Americana reserves the right to alter this itinerary. All times are approximate
All-inclusive* workshop includes: Escorted group travel Rome to Cortona June 19, 2010**** Instruction in the classroom and on location Seven nights accommodations in historic Cortona** (Private room & bath) Local Etruscan Museum & Museo Diocesano All meals*** (Italian breakfast, lunch and dinner) Daily wine tasting opportunities Day trip to Fabriano & paper museum Open-air market in Camucia A farewell wine tasting dinner **Included with "Casa Betania" plans only. See details. ***Included with "Group Meal Plan" only. See details. ****Specific departure time only; to be announced *All-inclusive plans are Hotel plans A, C, E, G and Hostel plans I & K only. Air travel and ground transportation to/from Cortona is not included and is the responsibility of each participant.
Casa Betania proud partner of Toscana Americana Workshops since 2003
Visit Casa Betania online!
Cortona is one of the true jewels of the Tuscan “hill towns.” Cortona, which is often called the “City of Art,” has its origin as an Etruscan city that pre-dates Roman times with sections of its walls dating back some 2500 years. As is typical of Tuscan hill-towns, Cortona is a walled city that, for purposes of defense, was built atop a prominent geographical point. The stone buildings and streets not only have the romance, style, and charm that are particular to Tuscany, but also speak of the lives and times Cortona has witnessed. An encounter with Cortona is an encounter with music & art, with history and with spirituality. Getting to know this timeless city is a real rediscovery of our past. Cortona offers testimony to its history as well as an enchanting view of the landscape enclosed by Lake Trasimeno and the Apennine mountains.
Participant Supply List
For the book arts class...
1 - 12 x 18 self-healing cutting mat
1 - break-away blade knife or X-acto with spare blades
Travel with fellow artists, family & friends! In addition to Non-participating guest options, did you know that other workshops are offered this same week! Enjoy the experience together while immersed in different topics! View calendar for details!
Meet your hosts in Tuscany...
Angela Lucani was born and raised in Cortona and never tires of living within the walls of this vibrant Tuscan hilltown! She trained as an elementary school teacher and taught in various locals within Cortona from its mountain villages to the growing post-war part of Cortona known as Camucia. Angela has always been passionate about Tuscan cooking, which she began to learn at an early age aiding her mother in the kitchen. She maintains respect for local cooking traditions and recipes and shares that with Italians and foreign visitors through cooking classes conducted both in Italy and in America. She has extensive knowledge of Cortona's various areas, from the mountains to the fertile Val di Chiana, and continues to learn about its long and colorful history. She is also passionate about travel and enjoys learning about and experiencing customs, traditions and characteristics of other countries, cultures & people. Her travels destinations have included the United States, England, Egypt, South America, France, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Greece. She enjoys serving as a bridge between visitors to Tuscany and the local culture.
Patrick Mahoney (Miami University BA'80, MA'82) lives in Cortona where he continues a thirty-year career in the field of Arts & Entertainment producing events, workshops and tours and providing opportunities to share the Italy experience with travelers, artists and people who share his interests for foods, wine, art, culture. Patrick's passion is to conceive and realize various ways in which the human spirit can express and demonstrate its capacity to create. His ability to fearlessly think, conceive, and work "out of the box" has earned him the attention of artists & musicians, colleges & universities, public & private organizations, and business and industry. Patrick brings integrity and a unique vision to Toscana Americana and he is committed to realizing the opportunity for participants to create in an atmosphere of peace, joy, respect and mutual support. As a "slow traveler" and a supporter of "slow food" Mr. Mahoney rides trains, walks, lingers over lunch, dinner or a cup of espresso, stops to smell the roses and savors the sensory feast wherever he is!