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Posts Tagged ‘Tours of Italy’

There are very few small travel organizations in Italy who are part of the KM “Zero” movement. KM Zero Tours, owned and operated by Alessio and Arianna, established their company upon this philosophy: “…we would love to invite you to discover Tuscany from a different perspective, following its slow rhythms, meeting local, passionate producers and being inspired by their sustainable, authentic lifestyle.”

Alessio and Arianna of Km Zero Tours

Alessio and Arianna of KM Zero Tours

Private Italy Tours LTD does not partner with a large number of other such passionate owners in Italy. Our philosophy of travel melds seamlessly with KM Zero Tours and we very pleased to share true Italian cultural experiences with them.

It was thanks to their generous partnership that we visited the Villa del Cigliano, a private family owned and operated estate in the Chianti Area of Tuscany. The owners and managers of the estate, Anna Macaferri Montecchi and her husband inherited the estate from her mother. The estate was established in the 16th Century by the Antinori family and it has been in the care of that extended family ever since. Anna’s son, Niccolo’, cares for the grape and the production of wine. The long list of honors bestowed upon the wines created there speak to his loving and careful care of the production.

The video link below, though in Italian, shares both Anna and Niccolo’s passion for their work. Their spirit and enthusiasm come through, regardless of the language, though Italian is such a sensuous and beautiful language you can, if you don’t speak Italian, understand what they are saying.

 

While private tours and tastings can be arranged directly with the estate, my strong recommendation is to contact Arianna and Alessio at KM Zero tours so that they can share with you “their” Tuscany. The relationship that they have with Anna and Niccolo’ are unique and only through the partnership of the two passions will you truly experience all the Villa del Cigliano offers.

Km Zero Tours

Villa del Cigliano Via Cigliano 17 – 50026
San Casciano Val di Pesa
Firenze – Italy   tel +39.055.820033

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Marco Caretlli in Studio Siena

Marco Caratelli in his studio

One a blustery March day, I was walking behind the Duomo of Siena. A small table with a gorgeous Renaissance style icon, presenting the location of an artisan’s studio, drew my attention.

Upon entering the workshop, the young gentleman introduced himself as Marco Caratelli. A small dog was curled up on a pillow in the corner. Heat created a welcomed respite from the fresh late winter weather.

The shelves of the small workshop were lined with extraordinarily beautiful icons; wings of angels, faces as if freshly taken from a Duccio di Buoninsegna work of the early Renaissance.

Marco graduated with an art degree from the University of Siena’s School of Art in 1998 and began his exploration of ancient techniques, now refined under his well experienced hand.

Marco Caretlli Icon Foil

Gold Foil after application

His dedication to keeping the art form alive is reflected in his commitment to using techniques outlined in Cennino Cennini’s Il Libro del Arte, early 14th Century studies of artists and the materials used to create early Renaissance panels and frescoes. Most of the wood types he uses, aged at least thirty years and specially selected for his purpose, are walnut, poplar or chestnut. Gesso or plaster is then applied to the wood. Twenty-four carat gold leaf follows on top of a layer of “bolo armenico”, a mixture of red clay and water.

Special tools, called punzoni or bulini, are used to create the incised patters which form the halos or other ornamentation on the icon.

Marco Caratelli Icon One

A completed work

When the time comes to paint, Marco uses only natural pigments and colors, following the traditions of the Renaissance iconists.

The texture of Italian culture is formed of many sources; food, wine, landscape, history, architecture, and art. When Marco’s hands touch aged wood, apply gesso, gold and paint inspired by centuries of artistic heritage he brings the past alive. At a time when we are driven by an unfounded need to have everything ‘now’, artists like Marco, their work and their passionate commitment to cultural memory are reminders of how we arrived to today and how we must keep the past alive.

NEW YORK OPENING

In early April 2016, Marco travels to New  York City for an opening of his work titled, “Details”. This exhibit will be presented at the Ward-Nasse Gallery, 178 Prince Street, NY, NY 10012.

You can contact the gallery on +1.212.925.6951.

APRIL 8 – 17, 2016

DETAILS

THE ART OF MARCO CARATELLI

The opening reception, April 9, 2016 from 4:00PM to 7:00PM offers the opportunity to meet Marco and view his historically important work.

If you cannot attend this exhibit, are next in Siena or wish to perhaps own one of his works, you can contact him on www.passatonelpresente.com.

You can find Marco, of a day when in Siena, at Via Monna Agnese 20. The street is located down the hill below the Baptistery entrance of the Siena Duomo.

For those who understand Italian, the link below is a recent interview with Marco from Siena TV.

Marco Caratelli-Siena TV

 

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