Small Group Tours
Adventures for people who want to join a group with a desire to leap over the barrier that usually separates tourists from locals. Food and family are the way into this inner sanctum. If you’re also interested in fibres and textiles, you’ll find tours specially designed for you. Whatever your interests, you learn with Italian farmers and artisans who open their workshops and homes to you. They’re eager to exchange views and enrich their knowledge and yours. You discover a heritage hidden behind unmarked doors whose meaning requires explanation. As I explore and understand better, I’m continually surprised, enchanted and sometimes dismayed. This is the world I want to help you appreciate and carry home with you to enrich your own life. (Maximum 10 people; no large coaches, no guides waving umbrellas)
If you want to be part of a six-centuries old celebration, come to Sardinia for the feast of their patron Saint Antioco. After the party, you’ll discover the simplicity of pecorino cheese, gleaming salt pans, locally caught fish and knee-high grapevines coexisting with the intricate mysteries of layers of civilisation from the Bronze Age nuraghi to colonisers from Phoenicia, Carthage, Rome, Spain and Genoa, all of whom left their mark on the island’s cuisine.
The scents of Tuscany are vivid in the autumn air. The sweet smell of roasting chestnuts, the acrid smoke of wood fires, the grassy aromas of new olive oil, the mouldy scent of wet leaves, the musky odour of truffles and the heady perfume of new wine in the cellar. Reawaken your sense of smell as you meet the farmers and producers enthusiastic to introduce you to their traditional food and wine. It will be a season to remember.
This small-group tour takes you to visit the last of what was once a thriving tradition in the region around Lucca, in northwestern Tuscany, producing textiles ranging from rich silks for the church and aristocracy to the hand-spun hemp of farming families.
This small-group tour is a variation on our popular textile tour in May / June. To the traditional spinning, weaving and cuisine in the region around Lucca, in northwestern Tuscany, we’ve added velvet and leather in Florence, felting, basket weaving with marsh reeds, the vanishing art of making watermarked paper and a workshop with a young man who has discovered the magic of using his wine as a mordant for dyeing leather and fabric.