Category Archives: Art Instruction

Nan Wood Surveys The Front Range: Sassi Drawing’s Latest Gem

Sassi Drawing and Sassi Italy Tours proudly present the latest masterpiece from Raphael Sassi.  It will be displayed at the Carla Massoni Gallery in Chestertown, MD beginning next week.  In addition to guided tours for aspiring artists and drawing from the masters, Raphael is available for private commissions.  Contact him here or at @SassiDrawing on Twitter and Facebook.

Good Things Afoot On The Arts Side Of The House

Look for an announcement in coming days on a piece that Raphael Sassi is presenting that is quite remarkable (we of course get sneak peeks in advance of the public).  Painting!  One of the best reasons to visit Italy with us.  In the meantime, consider the exquisite rendering of hands he did here–drawn with ballpoint (yes, really) pen, in this you see muscle, adipose tissue, skin, hair, sweat…the hands of baker hard at work.

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Oil Painting by Sassi Drawing

Visual arts master, portrait artist extraordinaire, and visionary behind Drawing from the Masters Raphael Sassi has unveiled his latest work, an oil painting commission.  His use of light and emotional honesty captures his subjects very spirit in such a way that you expect him to jump out of the tub at any moment.  Amazing.

Bathtub portrait

Deal Alert! Spring 2015 Special (Get It While It Lasts)

We’re offering a great package deal for our Introduction to Italy with Doug Sassi–fun for the experienced traveler who wants to get an artist and art historian’s inputs on “must-see” Italy, and an immersive trip of a lifetime for the first time Italy traveler.  For the artistic community, we can include our Drawing From the Masters option–with professional drawing instruction from Raphael Sassi–for a nominal surchage (inquire with group size and dates).

Pricing for this will be based on a departure from PHL, please inquire about departures from other airports as you require.

moses

Arrive in Rome via an overnight flight we’ll book for you.   Spend three days and nights in a boutique hotel near the Pantheon, with Doug Sassi’s art and art history expertise guiding you through all of Rome’s captivating attractions, including:

  • The Sistine Chapel (Vatican)
  • The Rooms of Raphael (Vatican)
  • Saint Peter’s Basilica
  • Michelangelo’s Pieta and Moses
  • Castel Sant’Angelo
  • Spanish Steps
  • Pantheon
  • Piazza Navona
  • Campo dei Fiori
  • Arch of Constantine
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Circus Maximus
  • The Coliseum
  • And many, many more

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Day trip to Siena after checking out in the morning and hopping a train from Rome for an excursion to this lovely Tuscan gem where you’ll see it’s famous Piazza del Campo and Duomo, and have a lovely lunch.  After more taking in of Siena’s cultural gems, a train to check in at your hotel in Florence (a centrally located boutique hotel just steps from the Brunelleschi’s Duomo), and then walk off dinner and grappa with an evening walking tour to take the monuments of the Renaissance with Doug Sassi.  Sleep well, as the next three days will be filled with Doug’s encyclopedic knowledge of the Fiorentine masters’ works.  With Doug, you’ll have an unforgettable viewing of the following and unlimited access to his lifetime of knowledge about The Cradle of the Renaissance:

  • Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo)
  • The David and the Accademia
  • The Uffizi
  • The Baptistry and its famous doors
  • Giotto’s Campanile
  • Santa Maria Novella
  • Santa Croce
  • Palazzo Vecchio
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • The Leather School
  • Piazza della Repubblica
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • Boboli Gardens and the Palazzo Pitti
  • And of course the view from Piazzale Michelangelo (stunning at night and at dusk)

After the fourth night in Florence, you’ll check out for a lovely train ride through the Emiglia Romagna and Veneto country sides to La Serenissima–you’ll arrive in the afternoon in Venice in time for a late lunch of cicchetti at our favorite cicchetti bar near Santi Apostoli and check in at our “home in Venice“.  After a quick siesta you’ll take an evening walking tour with Doug along Strada Nuova and then on to a lovely meal (dinner in Venice rarely starts before 730 or 8pm) at a local family run trattoria, and then take in the view from the Rialto at night.  You’ll spend three nights in Venice and enjoy Doug’s famous walking tour (when in Italy, his *Italian* friends ask him where to go and what to do in Venice), to include things most tourists and tour groups miss off-the-beaten-path:

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And much, much more.  Three nights in Venice with Sassi Italy Tours will prove an unforgettable experience that, on day four, you’ll be sad to see come to an end.  But you’ll be back!  This we are quite sure of.

This package includes:

  • all hotel accommodations in boutique hotels known for comfort, warmth, and welcoming atmosphere that Sassi Italy Tours has vetted and has established relationships with, guaranteeing you’ll enjoy your stay
  • airport transfers from Fiumicino to your hotel in Rome and to Venice Marco Polo via Alilaguna
  • vaporetto passes in Venice
  • taxis and shuttles as required in Rome
  • all museum and historical site entry fees
  • trains between cities
  • unlimited tour guidance from Doug Sassi himself
  • AIRFARE!  Our fee includes booking your airfare from PHL to Rome and back to PHL from Venice.

All you have to do is show up at the airport for departure and we handle the rest!  This package is $4300 per person for departures from December 2014 through February 2015, and $4600 per person for departures in March and April of 2015.  Availability is limited (max group size is 6, 8 people for family groups) and airfares are, as always, subject to change which may impact pricing in the future.

I’ve done some price shopping against the big name tour groups that cram you 50 people at a time onto a bus and give you an impersonal experience, and they’re no cheaper.   This is a chance to have your own private Italy expert for ten days and nights in an enchanted country!  Don’t miss it.

Drawing From The Masters This Spring

We’re proud to announce that the Bemis School of Art’s collaboration with Sassi Italy Tours and our Drawing From The Masters program is formally open for registration.  The initial departure is this February but fear not, more will follow in the future; some slots are already taken but a few remain and we strongly encourage you to contact Tara Thomas and get your deposit in now.  A course description is included at the registration link, and more information can be found here and a FAQ can be found here.

sassidrawinglittlegirl

Brunelleschi’s Magic

As I recall from the Nova special on this on PBS a few months back, experts are pretty sure Brunelleschi used a series of ropes from the floor (similar to the first theory examined in this video), making some of this seem a bit dated.  But nonetheless a great peek into the genius of the man who made one of the world’s great structures a possibility.

We have many tours lined up for this fall, but still have some openings–come see it with us!

 

Insights About The Scrovegni Chapel

A treasure in Padova; this video provides a great example of the sorts of insight Doug Sassi is able to offer about not just the well-worn tourist attractions in Rome, Florence, and Venice, but also the off the beaten path cultural treasures Italy has in small towns everywhere.

Cycling in Tuscany? We Can Help!

George Hincapie knows a thing or two about cycling in Europe, and I suspect his assessment–that one of the chief difficulties will be the constant temptation to stop for the view…or the food, or the wine, or the sights in the little towns–is entirely correct.

If you’re interested in biking your way around Italy, let us know and we’ll help you plan something (we have a couple avid cyclists on staff, as it happens, your author included).  Another good spot is the Euganean Hills in the Veneto–magical sites, sights, and did I mention wine stops?

Come ride with us.

Big News From Rizzoli And Amazon

This is no small honor–Sassi Italy Tours Drawing from the Masters instructor Raphael Sassi‘s work is to be featured in an upcoming release from Skira Rizzoli about contemporary figurative art called The Figure.”   You can go here and pre-order your copy now for the upcoming release.  We could not be more proud of Raphael’s work and stand in awe of the success he’s had, and recognize that having him on staff sets our offering apart.  Any tour company can find a museum for you, and some even have artists and art historians on staff, but I’m unaware of any that have a talent like his to guide you to the masters, and fewer still a  comparable ability to show you the masterpieces of the Renaissance with his astute eye.

This is a big deal.  Yes, I’m bragging. 🙂

Check it out.  We’ll be releasing some pricing information on the Drawing from the Masters tour offering here shortly for the general public; given the talent Raphael brings to the table and how much less our offering will be than comparable offerings, I must say it’s a powerful bargain for any student or academic institution looking to offer students something unique and compelling.

sassidrawinglittlegirl