The Autumn Arts Festival
at the Dievole Chianti Classico Winery
October 21-30, 2014
Tuscany in autumn is a sensual feast. Russet and golden hills. Crisp air. Trees weighted with olives. Woods rich with mushrooms and chestnuts. The scent of grapes hangs over the valleys like mist.
The harvest is the soul of the Tuscans. In autumn the hilltowns revert to the locals. Their art is to prepare the bounty: prosciutto, nuts, olive oil and especially Chianti. Traditional festivals celebrate every phase from the vendemmia (harvesting of grapes for wine) to the wild boar. Music, folklore, dancing in the piazza.
And there, in the heart of Tuscany, is Siena. The legendary medieval town packed with history and art. In autumn, her museums and churches relax, uncrowded. The streets echo her architecture, art and heroes.
Since 1998, Il Chiostro has celebrated this time of the year in Tuscany with our final program of the year - The Autumn Arts Festival. The people of Dievole have become like family to us and our guests: Dino roasts the pigs in an over built in the 1700`s, Silvano prepares our welcome appetizers to greet us on the first day of arrival, Leonardo waits for us to pick his olives so he can teach our guests the technique that damages the olives the least, and Enzo the chef creates a magical meal based on the bounty of the season that we can enjoy dining in the vecchia cantina - the historic wine cellar from the original Dievole vineyards.
Painting, Photography, Tuscan Cuisine plus Italian Opera Appreciation
For the Autumn Arts Festival we offer 4 separate workshops - Painting, Photography and Cooking - that all overlap throughout this 10-day celebration of the arts, the harvest, the wine and this wonderful region of Italy. In addition we offer Italian Opera Appreciation each day that is open to everyone. For details about those workshops, click on the links below.
Select one of the following workshops as your primary activity during the festival:
- Painting in Watercolor & Acrylic with Lynn Stender
- Tuscan Cuisine with Linda Mironti
- Photography-Tuscany through your Camera Lens with J Michael Sullivan
- Paint Classic Tuscany in Pastel with Liz Haywood-Sullivan
Open to everyone is:
Dievole Wine Bottles by Gilbert Rios
Excursions and Activities
Generally your workshop will shape your activities at the Autumn Arts Festival. For example the cooking class may go olive picking while the painters spend the day in Radda painting the vistas of the Tuscan hills and the photographers travel to Montalcino or Pienza for a full day shoot. Then everyone will return to the winery in the evening for the opera class and dinner together.
But during the 10 days there will be several activities and excursions for everyone to enjoy. Here is a partial list that you can look forward to:
- a wine tour and tasting throughout the Dievole complex to give you a good understanding of Chianti`s greatest treasure, red wine.
- a full day excursion to Florence with an option to go to the Uffizi art gallery or to see Michelangolo`s exquisite sculpture of David.
- a mid-week pig roast - a harvest feast in the tradition of a typical Tuscan celebration
- a visit to the medieval city of Siena for time to explore the Duomo, the art museums, sit in the Piazza del Campo with a cappuccino or just shop the elegant stores along the main pedestrian street
- dinner in the old wine cellar, with local musicians and the chef`s most special meal from antipasto to dolci.
- a half day trip to the hilltown of San Gimignano, famous for the many medieval towers that still puncture the skyline
- plus some other surprises that don`t want to give away before you arrive!
Halloween pumpkins, Halloween coven
Lunch overlooking Montalcino, a photo op in Florence (photos by Alan Kuhlow)