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Painting Classes and La Dolce Vita in the Tuscan countryside

For hundreds of years, Florence and Tuscany have been a paradise on earth for artists. Painters and sculptors from all over the world flock here every year to improve their technique, find inspiration and to enjoy La Dolce Vita of course.

The Dutch artist Marina des Tombe has made her home in Tuscany, and she offers painting courses and workshops from her house in the Tuscan countryside.

Marina moved to Italy 24 years ago, after spending time in various places including Sicily, she settled down in the idyllic landscape of the Chianti region in Tuscany. She lives with her two daughters just outside the village of San Casciano in Val di Pesa, 30 minutes south of Florence.

Marina des Tombe

Marina des Tombe
From an early age, Marina was interested in drawing, painting, and crafts. After completing her training at the Minerva Academy in Groningen and continuing her studies at the Academy Ruud Wacers in Amsterdam for several years, she decided it was time to pack her bags and move out into the world. Looking for a place where she could learn traditional oil painting she ended up at the Florence Academy of Art. In the Renaissance city, did she not only find what she was looking for on a professional level, but she also lost her heart to beautiful Italy and decided to stay.

Meanwhile, Marina has abandoned the traditional painting style and has developed her own contemporary expressive style. The subjects of her paintings and bronze sculptures are often closely connected to events and places of her life, but remain, maybe therefore, still very recognizable.

Always in motion, Marina already has a small exhibition space in San Casciano, and she has just opened a new gallery with a friend in nearby Montaione with painted ceramics, sculptures and paintings.

The art studio of Marina

I visited the inspiring art studio of Marina on a sunny day in March. Marina lives in a converted farmhouse in the idyllic countryside of Tuscany with a magnificent view over the surrounding vineyards and olive groves. The mimosa was still blooming when I was there, and during my exploration through the garden, I discovered an adorable blossom tree. From the garden you walk directly into an olive grove, a wonderful place to sit among the trees, relax and find new inspiration.
On the large terrace in front of the house you can also enjoy the sunshine while taking in the stunning view, but above all, it is a fantastic place to draw and paint alfresco.

When you enter the home of Marina, you’ll find yourself directly in the large living space that also serves as an art studio. Everywhere you look there are paintings standing and hanging, and there can be no doubt that you are in the home of an artist. The interior consists of a colorful mix and match of styles with homemade decorations, inspiring quotes and a statue of Buddha to complete the picture.

Courses and Workshops


Marina is an all-round artist, and that reflects in the various courses she offers. You can learn how to paint with oils, watercolor, and acrylic, ceramic painting and there are also special courses for children. Students of all levels are welcome. Thanks to the limited amount of students in every group everyone gets the personal attention that suits him or her best.

The number of classes, times and dates can all be adapted to your personal wishes. Spring and autumn are of course the best times of year to come to Tuscany.
On Marina’s website you will find all the information about the courses.

Workshops can also be organized in hotels, agriturismo or other locations. Marina can also come to you in Florence or another location.

Apartment rental

If you attend a course at Marina’s and you need a place to stay, you can rent the holiday apartment just across the road. Marina’s Art Residence is a two bedroom apartment on the first floor of a typical Italian country house with stunning views over the Tuscan hills. Located ideally you are just 30 minutes away by car from Florence and 45 minutes from Siena.
Of course, you can also rent the apartment without taking a painting course. But perhaps the Tuscan landscape will inspire you, and you will spontaneously want to pick up a brush and start painting. It has happened before.

Combine art with the Italian art of living

To fully enjoy all the beauty and good food that Tuscany has to offer, upon request, Marina can organize a memorable day for you where you can combine your art with the Italian art of living La Dolce Vita.
What do you think of an alfresco painting session, followed by a long tasty lunch and a visit to a wine cellar to taste the most delicious wines?
Contact Marina to discuss the possibilities.

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