Not that I’m biased in any way, but it never ceases to amaze me that, for such a relatively small country, the culture of Italy has had (and continues to have) such a profound effect on the rest of the world. The reach of its influence can be seen around the globe in our literature, art, science, gastronomy, architecture and virtually any other subject you care to delve into. Ok, I’ll admit it – I am biased.
It’s no secret, or surprise, that Italy (and, in particular, Tuscany) is one of the most aspirational destinations in the world. For the many clients I’m proud to be able to introduce to my wonderful country, the opportunity to explore the twin cultural treasures of art and wine appreciation is invariably grabbed with both hands.
The Art of the Treasure Hunt
The Art of the Treasure Hunt is a project that, as soon as I heard about, I knew I wanted to share with my clients. The endeavour was founded by the curator of the Tate Liverpool, Kasia Redzisz. Her goal was to engage travellers in the concept of Italy being not just an inspirational historic destination, but also one of intriguing contemporary appeal through the works of its modern artists.+
The programme takes visitors through the fabulous juxtaposition of styles and genres through its diverse itineraries of art shows and exhibitions to offer an experience that, on Kasia’s words, “oscillates between the old and the new”.
A Marriage of Old and New
The ways and means of immersing in the ‘old’ are well documented, through exploring the breadth of artistic treasures of the Tuscan gems like Florence, Siena and San Gimignano – homes to the most important Renaissance art in history. But the programme has touched upon an ingenious and very satisfying way of learning about the ‘new’ art of Italy, too. This is done by taking visitors to the finest Tuscan wineries to savour not only the skill and beauty of contemporary works, but also the fantastic flavours of the cheese, olive oils and famous aged wines. Il matrimonio perfetto!
An Ancient Tradition of Gastronomy and Art
The two grand Italian passions of art and food have been inextricably linked for centuries. They are part of our heritage – in fact, they are our heritage – and they form a tradition that’s proudly continued to this day in so many family-run wineries of the Tuscan region. While still using methods employed for hundreds of years, by introducing carefully chosen modern art works to such an ancient setting, the effect is unique and highly emotive. And, by being able to enjoy the experience in such a relaxed and unhurried way, without jostling crowds looking to move you on (ah, I’m sorry my old friends Accademia and Uffizi, but you know it’s true), guests are afforded a much deeper insight into the art and artists themselves.
A little wine and cheese make for the perfect companions to an art appreciation class. Even if you’re not already a die-hard art aficionado, a few tastings may just be enough to grease the wheels to becoming one!
I’m so proud to be able to offer the experience of The Art of the Treasure Hunt to our clients; I believe it’s a truly unique way of enjoying the huge cache of creative talent Italy has historically inspired – and will, I know, continue to do so.