Tours designed and leadered by our Experts
Immersive week ends to discover your passion
One day special moments within your passion
Hands-on: explore your passion with the artisans
The Italian Tour Operator with an Artistic Direction.
We help to explore and experience your passion, curating your trip to Italy.
THREADS OF INSPIRATION: LACE & EMBROIDERY
This itinerary takes place in Brianza, north of Milan, a land in which there is a great tradition in lace and lace embroidery – here there is a bobbin lace school in Cantù, the center famous for its particular lace. The tour is based in an aristocratic villa from the 1700s, surrounded by a large park. The concomitance with the Biennial of Lace and Lace in Cantù will give the opportunity to visit the exhibition, even with an optional extension of 2 days (more info on request). The Villa is a perfect example of the local 18th century architecture, over time it has seen stories of family rides, undisturbed games in the large park. The lace making courses will be held in the vast rooms, furnished with original period furniture. In less than an hour from the Villa you can reach Como with its wonderful lake or even visit the center of Milan
TOWNS MADE OF MOSAICS IN NORTHERN ITALY
Designed by Elisabetta Gavazzi
The art of tiny pieces can shape a town. Floors and walls of northern Italian cities have been decorated with mosaics using different stiles. Stone mosaics in Milan’s Duomo, gold mosaics in Venice and the 4th – 11th centuries mosaics of Spilimbergo, Grado, and Aquileia, in Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The history of this ancient technique has been formally recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage by nominating eight monuments situated in Ravenna.
Two half-days workshop at Luciana Notturni mosaic school in Ravenna.
CONTEMPORARY MOSAICS IN CENTRAL ITALY
Mosaic artists have been part of the Italian tradition for centuries, since Roman times mosaic has been used to decorate villas, palaces, walls, and city centers. This ancient technique has survived through centuries and it is now being re-evaluated and used to produce contemporary artworks. Rome, Siena, Montepulciano, and Florence are privileged places to discover how the art of stone painting has evolved in centuries and is currently being used to create impressive artworks.
ANCIENT MOSAIC WONDERS IN SOUTHERN ITALY
By combining different pieces of stone, precious marble, or vitreous paste, the effect, the color, or the way light is reflected, change completely. Southern Italy hosts some of the most evocative sites of the ancient Roman empire and Norman Sicily empire, revealing hidden meanings, characteristic iconographies, and different ways the art of mosaics was used. In Naples, Pompei and Sicily is possible to observe the different styles and techniques used in centuries to enrichen and decorate buildings and monuments.
One day mosaic workshop in Syracuse.
ON CARAVAGGIO’S FOOTSTEPS
By Eleonora Onghi and Luca Vivona
Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, is considered to be one of the most famous Italian artists of all time. His use of light and shadows set the premises to the birth of Baroque and was then imitated by several international artists. By visiting Milan, Bologna, Florence, and Rome it is possible to discover his intense, short, and yet, very prolific artistic life.
Optional: Tuscany seaside extension.
ANCIENT TRADITIONS AND CRAFTS IN SARDINIA
By Alessio Neri and Giusi Carai
The island of Sardinia is a privileged place to understand the ancient Mediterranean ceramic and textile traditions. Here, both techniques have been preserved and re-evaluated thanks to contemporary esthetical adaptations. Cagliari, the fascinating capital of the island, hosts some amazing ceramic exhibitions, and in the interior cities of Oristano and Samugheo, Textiles Museums allow to discover these ancients traditions while in Orgosolo there is a mask exposition that explains the famous carnival tradition of Mamuthones.
Three half-days ceramic workshop in an experience Hotel in Oliena with time to discover and relax the environs.
ON DANTE’S FOOTSTEPS
Designed by Francesco Mazzai
Dante Alighieri is considered the father of Italian language. The Divine Comedy describes his imaginary journey through hell, purgatory and paradise. This journey through cities as Verona, Mantua, Padova, Ravenna and Florence among others is a proposal to follow his path, discovering the artistic inspiration he followed to paint an image of Italy.
FASHION IS CULTURE
Milan is a paradise for fashion and design lovers. Schools such us Marangoni, Naba and Domus are the best in the world for international professionals. This itinerary will take you to the discover the secrets of fashion and design through a workshop in Domus academy and the visits to famous designers, tailors and accessories experts around Lombardy. All in the magnificent setting of Italian culture and food.
CARRARA MARBLE EXPERIENCE
Entering a workshop is the only way to understand which techniques are used to polish and carve marble. The stone Michelangelo preferred to shape his famous sculputures, comes from the majestic marble Quarries of Carrara and are the result of centuries of sedimentation. The natural strength of marble and its secrets are hidden deep in the Earth’s womb and this journey is a privileged opportunity to uncover its beauty, not only from an aesthetical point of view. It is also a chance to taste the delicious lardo still produced following ancient methods in Colonnata and to admire the marble sculptures in the streets of Pietrasanta.
Five half-days marble workshop.
BORN TO RUN
Italy is famous for engineering and design. In the industrialised north, from Turin to Milan and all the way to Bologna innovations developed initially for agriculture and industries became the beating heart of a flourishing industry of beautiful and fast cars and motorcycles.
Enter the factories and the museums to admire old iconic cars such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Giulietta, the electric car presented in 1974 at the Ginevra Motor Show and learn about the innovation currently happening inside the companies currently producing in the so called Motor Valley, along the via Emilia such us as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Dallara, Pagani and Ducati.
This is a journey to discover how engines and details of the final product are built, visiting their laboratories andmuseums. Everything inside there changes quickly: and the car you see today, tomorrow will be different. Because it’s going to run faster.
Born in Modena, he holds a degree in History and Philosophy and has been working for many years in international organizations.
His passion for travel has taken him to many countries in South America and Africa. He is passionate about his Emilia Romagna and has created itineraries to share the many sectrets this region has to offer.
Scientific Director Elesta - Expert lecturer
Art historian and critic. She has a degree in Literature at the Bologna University, with a dissertation on the Grand Tour of English landscape painters of the sixteen Century. She holds a specialization diploma in History of Art and a PHD from the Siena University, focused on Maniera Tosco Emiliana and the relation between literature and art during the fourteen century and Leonardo discovery from the eighteen Century artists. She collaborated with the Esthetic department. She worked for FMR Edistion, she coordinated the cultural activities as well as the magazine of Arte Amica and FMR Symposium. She teaches art and culture in American Universities in Italy. For Elesta she is the scientific director.
Art historian, actor and theatre director. He holds a degree in Philosophy from Siena University, where he also finished a Ph.D. on Logos and representation. He has interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Esthetic, Art, and performance specializing in the heritage of ancient art in Modern and Contemporary art. At the same university, he thought aesthetics and researched the relation between philosophy and figurative arts. He worked for FRM, Franco Maria Ricci as editor of “arte amica” and “FMR Symposium”. He also curated all cultural activities reserved to art collectors of FMR. He was the director of Symposium, for UTET Grandi Opere, a series of museum lectures inside Museums and other art significant places in Italy.
After a degree in Communication and Political Science at the Luiss University in Rome he has been working in the cultural sector to support the promotion and communication of cultural destinations. Communication has always been his passion, he worked for a publishing house specialised in digital communication. With Fare Digital Media he is developing a community magazine for Italian tourism and with Elesta he curates itineraries in Sardinia.
Giusi holds a Master of Art from the King’s College in London, with a final dissertation on digital publishing and travel industry: “If Marco Polo had a blog. Travel publishing in the digital age”. She shares with Elesta the passion for arts and crafts and has developed an extensive knowledge of her region. She studied communication at the University of Siena and went on to specialize in communication for cultural heritage. Giusi and Alessio Neri are our preferred partners to design and create journeys in Sardinia.
Art & Gamification Expert
Francesco Mazzai in an expert guide in Verona. Francesco holds a degree in Cultural Tourism at the University of Padova and has been working to promote Cultural Heritage in northern Italy. Selected one of the most innovates ideas for cultural tourism in Italy he is able to combines his cultural knowledge with his gamification passion to create unique journeys. He is passionate about art and culture and has developed an innovative way to visit places, that transform the way to look at the world: telling stories to inspire a way of thinking that is research-oriented, even in everyday life.
ELISABETTA GAVAZZI CARISSIMO
Since her childhood, Elisabetta has been surrounded by culture; she was brought up believing in the importance of protecting Italy’s artistic treasures (her dad was a councilor at the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, in Milan, and at Italia Nostra, a Foundation dedicated to the preservation of Italy; her mum is an art historian). She became an architect, and worked for many different studios in Milan, such as Gardella, Albini-Helg-Piva, and Mangiarotti, working on projects for clients like Artemide e Mimmo Paladino. She moved to Germany, where she participated in international projects, and then came back to Florence to raise a family of two. She took numerous courses in art, and while studying the Munari System in Milan, started collaborating with the Art Group at the Centro Coscienza. Elisabetta cofounded Elesta, where she created numerous itineraries, she left to start the Museanti, a small company for guided tours in Milan but she still creates exclusive itineraries for Elesta.
Since obtaining her degree in Classical Literature with a dissertation on Etruscology from the University in Milan, Valeria has followed her passion for archaeology. As a guide, she specializes in classical archaeology and curates the elaboration and publication of itineraries at the Archeological Museum of Milan. She has excavation experience and research in Gortyna (Crete), Tarquinia, Villa del Foro, and Lavagnone in Italy. Valeria is currently president of GITEC, an Association of Italian Guides for Tourism and Culture. She supervises the creation of Archeologic journeys for Elesta.
Historic Houses Expert
Silvia holds a university degree in Heritage Conservation and Cultural Activities from the Insubria University. Her dissertation focused on the Historic Houses heritage and their value for Italian culture. Since then, in collaboration with Giovanni, she works to promote the historic houses heritage of the north of Italy designing itineraries and creating experiences. Silvia has a deep passion for historic houses in Italy, she believes they represent a huge and varied heritage, including country houses and mansions, palazzi, villas and castles, as well as gardens and farm estates. They are spread on all Italian territory and are mostly (80%) located in the countryside or in small cities. Each of these assets has a precise identity, unique in Europe, for its history, cultural value and are closely related with the surrounding environment.
Historic Houses Expert
Giovanni is a lawyer that also holds a university degree in Heritage Conservation and Cultural Activities from Insubria University. His dissertation focused on the Historic Houses heritage and their value for Italian culture. Since then, together with Silvia Brusadelli, Giovanni has worked to promote the historic houses heritage of the north of Italy designing itineraries and creating experiences. Through his public work in institutions, such as the department of touristic promotion of lake Como, he has promoted a deeper knowledge of this immense and vastly unknown heritage. Historic houses in Italy represent a huge and varied heritage, including country houses and mansions, palazzi, villas and castles, as well as gardens and farm estates. They are spread on all Italian territory and are mostly located in the countryside or in small cities. Each of these assets has a precise identity, unique in Europe, for its history, cultural value and are closely related to the surrounding environment.