A Luxurious All inclusive Experience
With Esterita Austin
September 9 -16, 2017

In this seven-day trip, four days of which are workshops, your artwork will be inspired by the beautiful architecture and landscape of Tuscany. The workshops, with morning and afternoon sessions of instruction, lecture and demonstration, will be taught by professionals in their fields: an internationally known quilt artist and teacher, an international painter and instructor who is fluent in English and Italian and an art history professor and artist in his own right.

Tuscany is a region rich in history, art and culture. On our day trips you will learn about the cities you will be visiting, particularly their histories and their art treasures. The Renaissance comes to life. There will be an evening of music and dancing, an evening tour of the villas museum and wine cellar and a presentation on the resurrection of the villa from its ruins. The cooking classes, featuring authentic Tuscan recipes, will be taught by a professional gourmet chef in the villa's kitchen. You'll have plenty of time over lunch to enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you or your companion chooses not to take a class, you can just kick back and do nothing—or read by the pool or stroll through the vineyards and olive trees or have a game of tennis on the clay court. www.villabarberino.it

Each morning starts with a wonderful breakfast featuring a variety of foods and the best coffee on earth. A buffet lunch is included on the four workshop days and each evening ends with a sumptuous four-course dinner with new friends.

For two of the seven days, we will tour the sister cities of Siena and Florence. Siena is the medieval jewel of Tuscany, and Florence is the cradle of the Renaissance. We will see fabulous ancient architecture and centuries-old art works in two of the most beautiful cities on earth.

Whether you choose a workshop in art quilting, painting or cooking or prefer to indulge in cooking lessons, you'll be absorbed in creative activities, good company, and wonderful food—all in the beautiful environs of our Tuscan villa. Join us for this unique and unforgettable experience, create an art quilt, painting or fabulous meals -and make memories for years to come.

To download the enrollment form, click here and return at your earliest convenience.
Esterita2@aol.com - www.esteritaaustin.com

THE EIGHT DAY PACKAGE - $2990 in US Currency - See Details Below

Quilting, Painting, or Gourmet Cooking

The Art Quilt workshop - no sewing machines needed, short supply list

With Tuscan architecture, landscape and the villa as your inspiration, you will create a memorable piece in this week, four days of which are workshops. If you're a beginner, you'll be guided through the art quilt process in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. If you're an advanced quilter, you will get the kind of guidance you request. It's your workshop, so you let Esterita know what you need, and she will do her best to accommodate you. She will give you a selection of patterns which are inspired by nearby Tuscan cities, as well as the villa's immediate surroundings. One of the patterns is of the courtyard looking out from the quilt studio window and beyond to the rolling hlls. Or, if you prefer, you may bring your own design, and Esterita will work with you, via email, to prepare for the class. Using Esterita's techniques, you'll create either a fused art quilt or a paint-transfer quilt which would be a warm and cherished memento of your stay in Tuscany. Paint, brushes and fuse are included in the cost of the workshop and trip. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Tuscany and capture that beauty in your own art piece.

The Instructor: Esterita Austin

Quilt maker, designer and teacher, Esterita Austin created "The Well," a prize-winning piece in the American Museum of Folk Art's 2001 international competition "Quilted Constructions: The Spirit of Design." Her pieces have been published in the periodicals Quilting Arts, The Quilters Companion, American Quilter, Quilter's Newsletter, American Style and Distinction Magazine and Folk Art, as well as the books Contemporary Art Quilts and Fiber Arts 7. As an entrepreneur, Esterita has been featured on The Sally Jesse Raphael Show and in the "Threads" section of Newsday. Her work has appeared on the covers of the Indiana Gazette leisure section and the Arts and Lifestyles section of the Times Beacon and Times Record newspapers of Long Island, NY. You can see Esterita give a demonstration of her techniques on HGTV's Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson, segment 1134.

Esterita currently teaches, lectures and shows her work internationally. To see her full calendar and view her work, please visit her Web site at www.esteritaaustin.com

Painting workshop:

Our painting workshop day starts with a demonstration and lesson in watercolor or acrylic paint. Your instructor will make sure you have the foundation you'll need to build your work. The subjects for your studies include the vineyards and olive groves of the beautiful Chianti valley, along with its 13th-Century buildings and the lush gardens of the villa where we'll be staying. Painting classes will be taught "en plein air", but some lectures may take place indoors. There will be critiques in the late afternoon.

Gourmet Cooking

Here is a sample of the menus you may prepare:

A variety of homemade pastas
Pappa al Pomodoro: bread and tomato soup
Zuppa di Fagioli: white bean Tuscan soup
Panzanella: bread and vegetable salad with red-wine vinegar
Alla Brace: grilled herbed meat delicacies
Carpaccio: paper-thin slices of raw beef or fish served with Parmigiano-Reggiano and drizzled with olive oil
Cantucci di Prato: Traditional biscotti (twice-cooked) dessert biscuits
Tiramisù: favorite recipe with custard, pan di Spagna and liquori (not Tuscan by origin)

The gourmet cooking class is three mornings with afternoons free to enjoy the villa.

Our Excursions in Tuscany

In addition to the glorious days and nights at the villa, we will take two excursions by bus.


In Florence we will see the famous Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace and Piazza della Signoria and the Duomo. We also will visit the medieval city of Siena, where I spent a glorious spring in 1970 as a student at the University. In Florence we will spend a morning at The Uffizzi Gallery, where we will walk through the most important rooms and learn about the evolution of Italian art from the 12th Century to the 16th Century. After a leisurely lunch at any of Florence's great restaurants or perhaps a neighborhood trattoria, you are free to explore the great shopping treasures of this wonderful city, which include leather goods, jewelry and clothing. And, of course, a visit to Florence wouldn't be complete without a stop at an outdoor café for an afternoon gelato or a double shot of espresso.






We will start off our tour of Siena at the Tower of the city hall where we will view the wonderful frescoes and relief work that have survived for centuries. We then will go to the Cathedral, or Duomo, as the Sienese refer to it, that dominates the profile of the Siena skyline. The Duomo took more than 300 years to complete and is famous for its black and white striated marble. Siena is a glorious medieval city, centered around the famous Piazza del Campo, where the Palio, the famous horse race, is run twice a year, in July and August. The Palio, which means "flag" or "banner," is a race in horses and jockeys from the 17 contradas, or sections of the city, compete in a treacherous three-minute race around the ancient square. Each contrada has a special identity, flag and song.In the afternoon, you may sit in the middle of the Piazza del Campo at the Bar Il Palio with a cafè and just people watch, or perhaps you will want to shop at some of the finer stores in town. The Sienese feel that they're dialect is true Italian. The people are elegant,both in dress and demeanor. Siena is a truly romantic medieval city, a real fantasy. Make sure you bring along comfortable shoes for all of our walking tours, the streets are paved with cobblestones and many are hilly.

The Villa

We will stay at a 13th--Century villa used in the 15th Century by wealthy families from Siena and Florence as a summer residence. The villa sits on top of a hill overlooking vineyards, the valley and a lake. You can enjoy this vista clearly from the quilting studio and the grounds while you work. The villa is on a working farm, where olive oil, wine, Pecorino cheese, fresh vegetables and herbs are grown and harvested. Although it's been updated and modernized, the villa retains its old-world charm. Some apartments have a communal kitchen area, and all rooms are double-occupancy with a private bathroom.

Breakfast is at 7:30-10:00 and includes a varied menu of freshly baked breads, croissants, cereals, juice, yogurt and fresh eggs from the farm--and of course, cappuccino or espresso is included with breakfast.

Lunch is served buffet style in the dining room. Dinner is continental, served at 8 PM. We will spend our leisurely evenings dining by candlelight in the inner courtyard of the villa, weather permitting, or in the medieval dining hall.

You will enjoy homemade pasta, brick-oven bread, regional cheeses and antipasti, Tuscan meat and vegetable specialties and the world-renowned chianti wines. There is a crystal-clear swimming pool, which you're free to enjoy at any time. Wine and all beverages are additional at lunch and dinner. The villa is half an hour by train from Florence and from Arezzo.


Seven nights at the villa, double occupancy.
Six continental breakfasts and seven four-course gourmet dinners.
Daily morning and afternoon group workshop instruction, lecture and demonstration.
Lunch on days of workshop
Land transfers from Rome Fiumicino airport to Meleto and return
All day excursions by motorcoach/bus to Siena and Florence.
Supply lists for all workshops will be provided to all registrants.

Airfare to-Rome and return to USA
Basic workshop supplies (list provided)
Lunch on days away from the villa.
Bottled beverages of any kind; wine, beer, soda, mineral water ,etc
Telephone calls, either local or abroad
Laundry services
Admission to Uffizi Museum


Please download the enrollment form here and return at your earliest convenience.
Maximum class capacity is 15, and these spaces fill quickly. EARLY REGISTRATION IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Any questions please email esterita2@aol.com or call 631 331 3429.

Useful Links

Florence, Siena and the Arts
Firenze.net - Museums, monuments and exhibitions in Florence
The Art Guide of Florence - explore the monuments, historic periods, artists and art works of Florence
Galleria Degli Uffizi - official site for the Uffizzi Gallery in Florence
City of Siena Tourism - official site for the city of Siena
Tourist Office of Siena - official site for the Italian Tourist Office of Siena

Useful Travel Sites

Italian Railways - timetables and routes for train travel in Italy
Tourism in Tuscany - official site for tourist information in Tuscany
Weather in Tuscany - weather forecasts for cities in Tuscany

Additional Links

Itinerary Sheet
Travel Checklist
Workshop Supply List