Subject: Painting, Sculpture, writing, gastronomic, Holidays in Tuscany Italy.
No, Gretchen, I have never been on this tour--or on any other for that matter. I only submitted the information as a suggestion.

I do know a young American woman who does first-rate tours of Toscana though. She has arranged a van and driver for us many times and everything has always worked out in a first class manner. She studied art history in Florence and like many before her, has decided to live there as an expatriate. If you would like, I will send you her email address so that you can request information about her tours.

The famous restaurateur, cookbook author and who also has a currently running cooking show on television, Lidia Bastianich, has culinary tours in , Sicily, Fruili-Venezia-Giulia &Veneto, Piemonte, Toscana and Umbria that

look outstanding. I read the description of the tours and they looked very good. I knew of many of the restaurants that are included on these tours and all were among the best in Italy. Her site address is where you can read a good description of each the tours. These sound like a good fit for your objectives. By the way, I have no interest in any way in any of these businesses.

The two things that are on my tentative calendar though is a photography workshop in Tuscany and a language course (Italian one-on-one) at the University of Padova. I have to take them off the tentative calendar and truly calendarize them :-).

I did see Mrs. Bastianich recently at an Italian wine tasting fest in NYC. I asked her for the name of the charcoal grill in her kitchen, which I saw while watching her cooking program. It is imported from Italy so I will be on the lookout for it next week while I am in the south (primarily Napoli) of Italy.