Rates and Dates
August 24-30, 2019
$3350 based on double, land only
$495 single supplement
Program subject to change


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Discover Delicious Italy in Parma

Are you a fan of Mike Lowery‘s unique and entertaining illustrations? Are you ready for an Italian vacation away from the crowds of tourists? Do you have a passion for all things culinary (or just really love Italian food)? If so, ArtWalk Parma, Italy, with teaching-artist Mike Lowery, is the art workshop vacation of your dreams. We will show you the personal, authentic, and delicious side of Italy. Fill your sketchbook journal with drawings and water colors of your travels. Discover Parma in the region of Emilia-Romagna. (Two years ago, in recognition of the city’s rich cucina heritage, UNESCO named Parma, “Creative City for Gastronomy.” It is the first city in Italy to receive the honor.)

Mike Lowery’s ArtWalk Parma, Italy travel journal workshop will be a full week of daily, on-site sketching and water color classes and guided soft-adventure. We will take you to beautiful places to have unique experiences and meet wonderful people. It’s the perfect art workshop vacation. See yourself traveling with a small group of fellow artists along cobbled streets and country lanes, gathered around an abundant table filled with the best culinary delights. Spend time working with and learning from Mike as he shares his unique perspective and approach to travel journaling.

An example of Mike’s travel journal pages:

About ArtWalk Parma, Italy

Welcome to the region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Where, you may ask, is that? Nestled south of Venice and north of Florence, this lesser-visited neighbor has all the charming villages, verdant countryside, and abundance of interesting things to see and do – but without the teeming crowds. And, this is the culinary center of Italy. You know tortellini pasta, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, prosciutto di Parma, balsamic vinegar of Modena, and lasagna bolognese. These all have their roots in this little region of the world.

Parma, Italy

Parma is an elegant Italian city virtually untouched by mass tourism. Spend your evenings exploring it’s cobbled lanes. Enjoy evening aperitivo in an open air cafe and dinner in one of the many family-owned restaurants offering the best of Italy’s regional cuisine. In a city where food is culture and culture is food, Parma is not only home to the Barilla Pasta Company, Bertazzoni kitchen appliances, and the famed Alma Cooking School but an array of food museums dedicated to everything from salumi (cured meats) to tomatoes.

Our well appointed 4-star hotel perfectly located in the heart of the city will be your home away from home for the next six nights. Unpack only once! We will use the train and private transfers to explore the countryside and the nearby city of Modena. We will return to Parma at the end of every day. Our programs will end mid-afternoon on most days, providing time to explore and sketch on your own or with other ArtWalkers in the late afternoons and evenings.

Our days in Parma will take a leisurely pace. We will visit the impressive Piazza Duomo with its famous octagonal baptistery wrapped in rosy marble. We will stroll though Parco Ducale, also known simply as the Garden. Filled with splashing fountains, stately sculptures, and fruit and shade trees framing its graveled paths, it is the perfect place for an easy walk after a long lunch. Our walks and classes will take you through the historic center. You will have time to get to know Parma, recognize its landmarks, and feel that it is your city.

ArtWalk Parma Adventures

Our culinary-focused ArtWalk Parma will venture off the beaten path to visit artisan producers, and learn about the region’s rich culinary traditions. First we will visit a family owned and run Parmigiano-Reggiano caseificio, or cheesemaker. Then we will meet one of the few makers of true Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena. Originally used as a medical “balm”, balsamic vinegar made in the great tradition is an expression of passion and patience. It takes a minimum of 12 years required to make even the youngest batch.

Later that same day, we will visit master ceramist Caterina in her private studio in a converted farm building on land that has been in her family for over a century. Trained in Faenza, Italy, she will explain about maiolica, a ceramic painting technique traditional to Emilia-Romagna. Afterward try your hand at painting your own tile. You can bring it home as a keepsake of your travels. We will enjoy lunch on the beautiful terrace surrounded by Caterina’s abundant garden.

On our day-trip excursion we’ll travel from Parma to nearby Modena by first class rail. Known for its opera and fast cars (home to makers Ferrari and Maserati) Modena’s historic center is home to a lively cafe culture and art scene. We will take in the sights and sounds of the daily farmers market housed in a beautiful Art Deco building. There are many possible locations for class and sketching, including a family-owned restaurant around the corner from the market where we will have lunch.

An absolute highlight of ArtWalk Parma will be our hands-on cooking class and farewell dinner at our friend Antonia’s villa – a home she inherited from her grandmother. Antonia is a natural hostess with years of culinary experience. Her classes are organized and informative, but mostly just fun. Our time spent with her will be filled with wonderful stories, fabulous food, and lots of laughter. If the weather permits we will dine al fresco in her park-like garden, enjoying great conversation and the fruits of our labor under the stars.

ArtWalk Parma: What is Included

  • 6 Nights in Parma in 4-star, centrally located hotel
  • Complete program of sketching and watercolor classes with Mike Lowery in beautiful, on-site locations
  • Daily guided, leisurely walks to discover Parma and Modena
  • Daily customized itineraries
  • Daily full hot breakfast buffet
  • Fully hosted and escorted
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Aperitivo
  • 3 course lunch in Parma historic center
  • Visit beautiful ceramic studio and tile painting
  • Farm to table lunch in the countryside
  • Hands-on cooking class
  • Culinary tour in the countryside to visit artisan Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and balsamic vinegar makers
  • Visit to Modena by 1st class rail
  • Lunch in Modena
  • Farewell Dinner Parma
  • All transfers, taxes, and fees associated with the program

ArtWalk Parma begins and ends at our hotel in Parma, Italy. For information about getting to Parma, please follow this link.

(program subject to change)

ArtWalk Parma, Italy : Where in the World?

The Italian territory of Emilia-Romagna consists of a wide plain south of Lombardy and Veneto and bordered by the Po river, and a more mountainous area near its southern border with Tuscany. It is one of the most fertile and productive regions of Italy, thanks to the mitigating effect of the Adriatic Sea to the east. Parma is a city in the northern part of Emilia-Romagna, famous for its architecture, music, art, prosciutto (ham), cheese and surrounding countryside. It is home of Giuseppe Verde and to the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world.