From flower buds to budding artists – inspiration blooms in Tuscany!

One glimpse at a Tuscan landscape on a distant horizon, one footstep onto a flower-filled field, and you understand immediately why Florence and indeed Tuscany generally have long been the place of great art. How can one not be inspired when surrounded by such awe-inspiring vistas?


Our Tuscan gardens having been planted with brightly coloured spring flowers ? and most of which have survived except the wisteria cuttings which our stick-loving dog mistook for a buried treasure!


The surrounding countryside trees having gone from barren to bursting with luscious green in just a few short weeks.


The fruit and vegetable stalls are a palette of bright colours featuring spring specialties like wild asparagus, strawberries, artichokes and other spring delights.


These are the sights and experiences of Florence and Tuscany that have inspired a history of artists who have become and remained famous throughout time.

Whilst the Renaissance is certainly the most famous and acclaimed art period in the history of Florence and Tuscany (so far at least!), the region still abounds with artists and art schools where the long-standing trade continues to be nurtured.


For budding artists, university students, and even more mature artists looking for an enriching continuing educational experience, the Siena Art Institute (founded by Paul Getty III) is holding the following summer art courses in Siena:


3-week program: June 9-July 1, 2011:

Digital Multimedia: Reading Cities

Creative Writing: A Visitor from the Outside

Interdisciplinary Arts: Fictional Realities

Drawing & Painting: Personal Mythology

3-week Program: July 3-23, 2011:

Photography: Multi-Imaging – Beyond the Single Image

Advanced Drawing: How and Why Do We Draw?

Interdisciplinary Arts: Mind and Image

Printmaking: Etching and Related Methods

Art History: Medieval & Renaissance Art (SSLA*)

Methods of Art Restoration (SSLA*)

Book Arts & Book Restoration (SSLA*)


For more information, please contact the Siena Art Institute, at Via Tommaso Pendola 37, 53100 Siena, Italy or call +39 0577 532001. You can also visit or email


Artiva also organise small-group art tours such as our Masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery Tour including skip-the-line entry to the Uffizi Gallery plus a fantastic tour guide to bring the artworks to life!


To see what is often declared to be the most important work of art ever created ?Michelangelo’s statue of David- we have the Original David Tour which includes skip-the-line Accademia entry and a great tour guide who will also show you other sites in Florence pertitent to Michelangelo’s David.


If you would like to immerse yourself in the Tuscan scenery that has inspired so many great artworks, we have a small-group Best of Tuscany tour visiting Siena, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni, and stopping for lunch and wine tasting at an award-winning wine estate. See the highlights of Tuscany in one spectacular day tour from Florence ? Best of Tuscany small-group tour.

For the Best of Tuscany tour, Uffizi Gallery and Accademia guided tours, plus a city walk tour (our acclaimed Original Florence Walk small-group guided walking tour in Florence’s historic city centre – we have a great discounted Florence and Tuscany tours package.


The Best of Florence and Tuscany discount tours package includes Original Florence Walk tour of Florence, the Masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery tour, the Accademia tour and the Best of Tuscany full-day tour from Florence to Tuscany in one fabulous discount tours package.

You can also see where the makers of the Mona Lisa and David worked and played, see where Leonardo da Vinci tested his historic flying machine and the shaded hillside stone works where Michelangelo learned his craft on our Perfect Morning in Tuscany small-group walking tour. Leaving from Florence’s city centre and heading to the surrounding countryside, this small-group walking tour includes, well, walking in Tuscany, as well as lunch with wine at a stunning Renaissance Villa Estate, accompanied by an expert tour guide.


Visit our site for more wonderful things to see and do in Italy (besides, of course, just meeting the Artviva staff!), and email us on for more information.

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