Handwoven Textiles ~ Perugia to Florence, Italy

May 31 - June 12, 2018 (13 days)
SOLD OUT Waiting list only

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A tour for textile designers, weavers, fibre and craft lovers, taking in stunning handwoven textile studios and exclusive fabric houses in Perugia, regional Umbria, Tuscany and Florence. Enjoy 5 days of hands-on weaving workshops and 7 days exploring beautiful central Italy visiting the few remaining artisans and textile designers still working in the Italian handmade ‘tessitura a mano’ tradition.

We’ve worked with master weavers from Tela Umbra and Fondazione Lisio to create exclusive workshops for The Tour Studio. 

Choose one of two hand weaving workshops, both on original traditional floor looms:

  • Tela Umbra, located in Citta di Castello, caters to beginners and intermediate weavers
  • Fondazione Lisio, located in southern Florence, is suited to experienced weavers and textile designers.

Itinerary

Days 1-3

We begin in the superb historic centre of Perugia, where we meet for an aperitivo after you’ve checked in at the hotel and settled in. 

Day two in Perugia starts with "Caffe e Cornetti", an informal and fun Italian lesson with language expert and cultural tipster Flavia. We drop into the beautiful Perugian institution Pasticceria Sandri, before heading into Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria for a gallery short talk and guided tour through this stunning collection. 

At the amazing Brozzetti workshop located in the historic Church of St Francis for women, we'll meet Marta - a third generation weaver, textile and interior designer. Marta will guide us through her incredible atelier and discuss traditional and contemporary Umbrian textiles. 

We’ll also visit the historic glass studio of the Moretti Caselli family, where five generations of glass painters have worked since 1860 in a 15th century Perugian residence. 

On both days, there will be plenty of free time to wander Perugia, enjoy the local delicacies, and partake in those famed ‘siestas’. 

Days 4-9

By private bus we leave Perugia and travel to the Umbrian town of Citta di Castello. There we’ll meet the friendly handloom weavers of Tela Umbra. 

Following a tour through their studio and textile collection, we’ll split into two groups for the five-day weaving workshops. Participants in the Tela Umbra workshop will check-in to their Citta di Castello accommodation, while Fondazione LISIO workshop participants will be driven up to southern Florence.  


Tela Umbra Weaving Workshop

Founded in 1908 to conserve the Umbrian hand weaving ‘tessitura a mano’ tradition, Tela Umbra has a weaving studio, a textile museum and a shop. Fabrics produced here are made exclusively by hand from linen (Irish flax) and wool, utilising original late medieval and renaissance designs.

Weaving teachers Unna and Tiziana have been part of the Tela Umbra community of weavers since the early 1990s. During their workshop you will weave a project in wool and linen on Tela Umbra’s traditional floor handlooms. It is a rare experience and one of only a few of its kind in Europe.

Fondazione Lisio Weaving Workshop

The Fondazione Arte della Seta LISIO is dedicated to the art of traditional and contemporary weaving using the finest techniques for hand-weaving silks and precious metals. The foundation is located in the hills surrounding Florence and houses a specialist Library, Archives and a Collection of Ancient Textiles. 

LISIO have customised a workshop for us on their jacquard handlooms, where you will punch your own cards and weave a small personal project. This is a once in a lifetime experience, and an opportunity to work with an Italian master weaver. Workshop instructor Eva Basile is a designer and textile artist. She studied textile design and weaving at the Istituto Statale d'Arte Firenze, Visual Arts at University of Bologna and Jacquard woven design at Fondazione LISIO. She has exhibited widely, collaborated with various textile companies, and has studied weaving practices in Ghana and Turkey. Eva has been teaching at LISIO since 1994.

Accommodation for LISIO course participants is in the apartments on the foundation’s grounds.

Days 10-13

Reunited as a group, we commence the final leg of our tour with a day trip to the medieval hilltop town of Anghiari, for a private tour through the headquarters of Tuscan fabric house Busatti. Located in Palazzo Morgalanti, we’ll visit the original Busatti factory floor (with its vintage hand and mechanized looms), the extensive fabric showroom, and the original Busatti family apartment. 

From there we’ll head back to Florence where we’ll visit the very exclusive Antico Setificio Fiorentino, master weavers of Florence who since 1786 have produced luxurious silk brocades, damask, taffeta and passementerie. 

Taking in all that Florence has to offer, we’ll guide you through beautiful backstreets away from the tourist crowds, and meet local artisans (such as jeweller Elena in her eclectic Florentine shop.) There will be plenty of free time for shopping or visiting the sites of Florence, before departing to the airport or train station on the final day.

Accommodation & other activities

The tour includes 3 nights in beautiful Perugia, followed by 6 nights in either Citta di Castello or southern Florence (depending on the chosen workshop). After the workshops, we’ll reconvene for 3 nights in glorious central Florence, staying south of the Arno enjoying a quieter, more local side of the city. 

Outside of workshop hours and tours, you’ll have the chance to live like a local, enjoy a caffe and cornetti at your local bar, and work your way through the menus at the local trattorias. We'll help you get your bearings and suggest great local places to eat, shop and wander. With our custom guide and map of your local area, you’ll be enjoying the town like a local in no time.

Who will enjoy this tour?

Craftspeople, textile designers, weavers, decorative artists and textile design students. Practitioners interested in meeting other makers and practicing their craft in another culture. Those who enjoy learning about craft through hands-on experience.

Inclusions

  • Land transportation by private buses
  • Hotel accommodation in Perugia and central Florence
  • Hotel accommodation in Citta di Castello and apartment accommodation in southern Florence during the workshops
  • 5 day intensive weaving workshop, all materials included
  • Entry to all museums, private studios and ateliers
  • Meals (approx. 50%)

Exclusions

  • Flights to/from beginning and final destinations
  • Airport and train station transfers – while we can assist, requirements  will vary for each individual and as such they are not included in the tour price
  • Travel insurance

Cost

AUD$7250pp / US$5440 (twin share)

This tour has SOLD OUT, Waiting List registrations are open.