Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Stitching in Italy

We have just returned from a break to Italy, too busy stitching to blog, sorry about that however I am longing to share the news with you now.

We had our 8th visit to Pirapora a family run Agro tourism place that grows all its own fruit and vegetables, even the wine we drink with dinner.  The location is perfect, pleasant shady gardens where we stitch, weather allowing, with stunning views of the sea.

Everyone stitched their own design which added to interesting discussions and suggestions.  As before one outing to an interesting place was all I could encourage them to take – this year we went to a Roman/Norman site Catanzaro.   Our English speaking guide who with his knowledge adds a great deal to any of our trips and this time was no exception, we had a visit to an old olive press with the original machinery and an embroiderer’s work studio  and saw her working with the silks produced from the silk worms who enjoy the mulberry leaves grown in abundance in the area – we even fitted in lunch at a hill top restaurant with amazing views.

No-one there would leave without booking our 2016 visit – it is the 14 – 23 June! – let me know if you would like the full details.

However here is the exciting news, I have been approached to run an additional needlepoint course next September (2016) in the most beautiful location in Tuscany. 

Robert and I spent three days with the English owners and sampled some of the delights that would be built into the course – I always visit and explore any possible place and this would be perfect for those of you who would like to stitch but also get a taste of Tuscany, its villages, museums , the views down the valley to a lake and at that time of the year Autumn colour, even a tempting swimming pool in the garden.
One evening there is a trip to Sansepolcro a walled city built around the 1012AD Cathedral where I visited the Aboca Museum of Herbs and Health which I believe is the most beautiful museum I have ever seen.  The plan will be to meet up  afterwards to have a delicious dinner together.

Another highlight that we were also able to enjoy was Sunday lunch at Trattoria da Vasco, a family run restaurant that makes a special feature of Sundays, everyone sitting under parasols and eating a 7 course menu.

At the moment I am trying to design a needlepoint project to both reflect Tuscan heritage and offer flexibility for different levels of stitchers. The group will be maximum 9 people and I shall be on hand the whole time to offer help and advice.

To sum up the two places, if you want to concentrate on stitching in a friendly relaxed environment with home grown food and simple, spotless accommodation Pirapora is for you.   On the other hand if you fancy some really interesting visits in addition to stitching and prefer a little more luxury Borghetto Calcinaia is your best choice.   Either venue can have an additional stay organised by you – Sicily from Pirapora, Florence, Sienna, etc. etc. from the Borghetto.

The prices of the two do reflect the additional visits included in the Tuscan deal and the fact that Tuscany is better known for its beauty however I really believe that good value is offered in both cases.

(To sum up included for Pirapora is transport to and from Lamezia Therme airport; accommodation (units of two rooms, single occupancy with one shower room;  breakfast and dinner with wine, tuition with Anna.

Not included – flights to Lamezia (Ryan and Al Italia), lunches, the day outing usually under 100 euros, spending money for ice-creams etc. and your needlepoint project.

For the Borghetti collection from either Perugia Airport or Arezzo train station

Full board and lodging (single or double occupancy with shower room are offered at two prices).  All visits, transport and meals out (not any museums you might wish to visit)

Not included, your needlepoint project paid for to Anna, any travel arrangements to Perugia or Arezzo.)

There are fact sheets for both venues and if you are interested I should be happy to send them as already four people have put their names down