Italy has an incredibly rich textile tradition form the middle ages through to the present day. Join me on a journey to discover the origins of this tradition in Central and Northern Italy and trace its evolution into the high fashion textiles of today.


We will enjoy up-close private viewings in museums, face to face meetings with artisans and a very special behind the scenes perpective of Italian fashion...all accompanied by spectacular locations and delicious food.


Check out the itinerary below and if you have any questions please get in touch.


This tour has a strictly limited number of places.

Cost per person: AU $5760 twin share Single supplement AU$600
A place may be reserved by paying a non-refundable (but transferable) deposit of AU$500



    14 - 30 SEPTEMBER, 2020


    Monday 14         We will meet in Milan at the hotel after lunch (check in time at the hotel). We will visit Milan’s famous fashion district and will visit the textile collection of the Poldi Pezzoli Museum and learn about the origins of Lombardy’s incredible textile industry. We will then get to know the group a little better over a typical Milanese meal.  


    Tuesday 15          In the morning we will visit Milan’s Civic fashion museum at Palazzo Morando, after lunch in a very special place (it’s a surprise!!) we will visit the atelier of fashion embroiderer Pino Grasso where we will learn about the process of creating couture embroideries and view his extensive archive of samples made for some of Italy’s most iconic designers.  


    Wednesday 16  We will check out of our hotel after breakfast but before leaving Milan we will visit the beautiful Armani Silos where we will trace the evolution of Armani’s career and see some of the exquisite work of Pino Grasso’s team in the flesh. We will then head towards Como stopping for lunch in the countryside along the way and visit the silk museum which gives a detailed description of the history of the silk industry in Como from its origins to the present day. We will then check into our accommodation and you will have time to browse in some of Como’s beautiful fabric shops and independent fashion boutiques before we meet for dinner on the shore of the Lake.


    Thursday 17        In the morning we will visit the Ratti Foundation and archive which houses one of Italy’s most important textile study collections we will then head out onto the lake towards Bellagio where we will have some lunch and you will have some time to explore the beautiful town before we return to Como for dinner.


    Friday 18              After breakfast we will check out and head towards Mantero’s factory and design studio just south of Como. Mantero is one of Italy’s most important textile printing and weaving companies and they are responsible for the production of fabrics for many of Italy, France and the UK’s leading brands. We will then travel towards Genova, stopping for lunch in the Ligurian hills along the way. Once we have checked into our hotel we will visit the textile gallery at Palazzo Bianco and have a special visit to their store rooms to see some of the typical textiles for which the area was famous; lace, velvet and indigo. In the evening we will eat in a typical place in the port quarter of Pré.


    Saturday 19         On Saturday we will head out into the incredible Gulf of Tigullio towards Rapallo. We will visit the Lace museum at Rapallo and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch. After lunch we will return to Genoa stopping to visit the ruined monastery of San Fruttuoso on the way. In the evening we will enjoy some typical Genoese home cooking at one of the favorite local haunts.


    Sunday 20            Sunday is a free day to spend as you wish. Genoa is a fascinating city rich in museums, churches and other monuments, or you could visit Portofino or the Cinque Terre which are both quite close by.


    Monday 21          In the morning we will travel to the textile town Prato to visit the museum and also have a special visit to their archive where we will see a selection of their rarest Italian textiles (including an exceptional late 16th/early17th century trousseaux) then we will continue on to Florence and settle into our accommodation before going out for a delicious Tuscan dinner.


    Tuesday 22          After breakfast we will visit the Costume Gallery in Palazzo Pitti which houses an extensive costume collection including the grave costumes of Cosimo de Medici and Eleonora of Toledo. We will then visit the Ferragamo museum. After lunch we will visit a couple of specialized thread and fabric shops and then you will have a little free time for shopping before dinner.


    Wednesday 23  In the morning we will visit the Capucci Museum which is located in Villa Bardini, the museum houses a wonderful collection of gowns by Roberto Capucci as well as sketches and other artworks. We will then have lunch in the villa’s loggia overlooking Florence and then visit Plissettatura Milady in the afternoon which is Florence’s last couture pleating workshop and the one which has worked extensively with Roberto Capucci over the years to bring his pleated masterpieces to life.


    Thursday 24        After breakfast we will leave Florence and travel to Citta’ di Castello in Umbria where we will visit the workshop and museum of the “Tela Umbra”. Their historical collection boasts a number of very early Renaissance Umbian textiles and we will see the looms where they still continue this tradition today. After lunch we will continue on to Perugia where we will visit the workshop of Giuditta Brozzi, housed in the first church which St Francis built outside Assisi and possibly the most beautiful weaving studio in Italy. We will then continue on to Assisi where we will settle into our hotel and then enjoy dinner looking over the main square of this beautiful hill town.


    Friday 25              In the morning we will travel to Foligno to visit the collection of Arnaldo Caprai, considered one of the finest collections of antique Italian textiles in the world, the collection not only boasts fine textiles but also rare and early books on the subject. We will also see how the collection serves to give inspiration to the designers in Caprai’s textile company which creates beautiful textiles for both fashion and home furnishing. As with all true gentlemen, Sig. Caprai appreciates the fine things of life in all their forms and also has a vineyard which we will visit and where we will enjoy a delicious lunch of local produce. We will then return to Assisi and you will have a little free time before dinner.


    Saturday 26         On Saturday we will enjoy the sites of Assisi; particularly the two Basilicas which house some exceptional and very interesting textile objects. We will also visit some shops that keep locally made textiles and supplies for embroidery.


    Sunday 27           On Sunday you will have a free day to relax and enjoy the Umbrian countryside.


    Monday 28          We will depart early in the morning and head towards the province of Forli where we will visit a workshop where they still create textiles which are printed with rust. We will see how they prepare the printing blocks, print and process the fabrics and hear all about the tradition. After lunch we will continue on to Venice where we will check into our accommodation and then enjoy a typical Venetian aperitif and dinner.  


    Tuesday 29         First thing in the morning we will have a private viewing of a selection of textiles and costumes in the storage of Palazzo Mocenigo, the Costume and textile museum, we will then have some time to visit the rest of the museum before heading to the Bevilacqua velvet weaving workshop where we will have a guided tour of the workshop and showroom. After lunch we will travel to Burano to visit the lace museum and see lace makers at work. We will then return to Venice for our last dinner together.


    Wednesday 30  In the morning we will all go to the station together where I can book a train to your preferred destination (Milan, Rome etc.) I am happy to book some extra nights for those who wish to stay on in Venice.


    Cost Per Person: AU$5760 twin share

    Single Supplement: AU$600


    Tour Price Includes:

    • Transport and accommodation from the tour meeting point to the drop off point
    • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
    • Museum entry and visits included in the itinerary
    • Embroidery tuition and kits


    It Does Not Include:

    • Airfares
    • Extra activities which participants choose to do on their free days
    • See Terms & Conditions HERE
Room Type

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