The house, called Siliano Alto, stands solid and square on its own small hill ringed with trees; olives, walnuts, and stately pines. Behind it a verdant wood, and all around golden, rolling fields and distant mountains.
The estate, called "Le Coste" (meaning the border) is a hillside paradise for nature and peace. This wonderful setting gives you a rare opportunity to explore a stunning wooded and pastoral landscape, home to a wide variety of birds and animals including deer, porcupine and, more than the occasional, wild boar. White roads and tracks criss-cross this ancient estate giving you the chance to walk or cycle and breath the air of a natural reserve, surrounded by beautiful hundred-year-old pines, cypress trees and extraordinary views across the valleys of Tuscany and Umbria.
If that isn’t tempting enough there are also 3 beautiful swimming pools and 2 tennis courts to help you relax after a hard day at the easels. Wander through a hillside olive grove, walk between the shadows cast by majestic umbrella pines and cypress trees or simply be inspired by the landscape. Enjoy a glass of cold Prosecco or the sublime Brunello di Montalcino on one of our terraces whilst watching the sun set over the beautiful Tuscan town of Chiusi and the distant Montepulciano. In this environment you will paint and draw under the same mellow light that inspired the great Renaissance artists.
The guest house is now the restored cantinas and stables on the ground floor of the house. It has been no small feat to turn them into 4 beautifully proportioned rooms; a single, two lovely doubles/twins and a large, light and airy bedroom which can comfortably sleep 3. Together they form part of our two apartments, each of which also has a sitting room/dining room and a covered outside terrace, one facing the sunrise and the other the sunset.
A large, well-lit and beautifully designed artists’ studio, formerly the stables, has being carefully restored to provide all you could need during your stay. There is a large open work area with free-standing easels and an enormous 14 foot long chestnut table I also provide simple print-making facilities and an opportunity to work from digital photographs on a Mac.
The studio opens onto terraces either side with beautiful views over the surrounding countryside, from where you can comfortably sit and paint.
There is always a warm and friendly atmosphere in my studio and meals are often
enjoyed there as a group.
FOOD & WINE
The food is simple, delicious and Italian, using fresh ingredients from the local market in Chiusi, much of which is organically grown; pumpkin risotto, pasta al forno, slow roasted fennel with red onions, salads with wild rocket, prosciutto and fresh figs…
We enjoy good local wine, from the vineyards between Chiusi and the famous wine region of Montepulciano. This type of wine is called 'vino sfuso' or 'loose wine', and is natural and free of chemicals. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are enjoyed together as a group. The course fee includes all food and wine with your meals (excluding lunches on trip days). Some lunches may be served outside on one of the terraces or taken on location, and we also enjoy dinner together at a great local Tuscan trattoria towards the end of each week.