Painting Umbria: Parks and Piazzas

with Jack Hannula & Nik Ajazi  


Whether you are just learning, or an accomplished painter -you’ll surely enjoy this dynamic workshop. We’ll visit many parks and classic Umbrian towns, exploring their captivating, polygonal piazzas and mazes of shadowy vicoli (passaways). We’ll explore archeological sites to find the best locations for a trophy painting of a triumphal arch, tempio or ghostly remains of a Roman bridge.

You are likely a painter and wish to improve –or solidify- your art, in an area of stimulating beauty and cultural charm. You may also be a poet, adventure writer or photographer and simply seek places of inspiration with like-minded “creatives”. No matter; you will surely grow –artistically and culturally- in this exceptional venue.

Guided by artist-architect, Jack Hannula; and painter-filmmaker, Nik Ajazi, you’ll discover the beauty and wonders of medieval Umbrian towns -some known- and others, “off the beaten path”. Arriving at our painting place in the early morning (after a hearty collazione (breakfast), we’ll begin the day with a demonstration. After, you’ll surely find a shady alcove or grove of gnarled olive trees, where you can pass the day, color-laden brush in hand, capturing an unforgettable scene.

We’ll take needed breaks to sip a cappuccino at a sidewalk café or, if needed, catnap on a park bench in the warm autumn sun. Jack and Nik will circulate to guide you in your art, helping you to paint your special scene, or to simply grow in your art. We’ll have lunch at a sidewalk restaurant or nearby giardino (garden). Tired? Then take a break for un cafe (espresso), sparkling San Pelegrino, or chilled glass of Orvieto Classico. The day will end with cena (dinner) back at La Romita, and a recap of the day (artistic, historical or simply social) in one of La Romita’s gardens.

Jack and Nik, both accomplished artists, will give many demos and circulate among you to answer questions -or just cheer you on. Jack will brief you on the place, and give you copies of his hand drawn maps of beautiful sites. Nik, a talented painter in an Impressionist style, will dazzle you with his lively brushwork and colorful palette.

This workshop will be held in October, early autumn, one of the best times of the year. The days will be warm, the evenings cool; we’ll see the foliage will change its palette under the azure skies. This is why this workshop could be enticingly titled: “Autumn in Umbria”.

Depending on the weather, we’ll take the school’s bus to visit approximately ten sites where we can paint, draw, craft poetry -and take lots of photos!  Jack, having been to La Romita several times to paint and write his book (in progress), Painting Umbria, knows the area well. His favorite places are the nearby towns of

  • Narni (where C.S. Lewis based his inspiration for the Chronicles of Narnia)
  • San Gemini, scenic and charming
  • Cesi, a picturesque village nestled into the base of a mountain

We’ll tour and paint in the archeological sites of

  • Carsulae, a Roman town destroyed by an earthquake
  • Cascata delle Marmore, a waterfall that thunders from a Roman-built lake on the hill above.

We’ll travel north and west to visit:

  • Castigliano del Lago, a medieval fortified town constructed on the edge of the lake, Lago Trasimene, where the Carthaginian general, Hannibal, defeated the Roman army in during the Second Punic War ( 217 B.C.)
  • Orvieto, a hilltop city known for its fine wines, fortifications and one of the finest examples of Italian gothic architecture, the Cathedral of Orvieto
  • Spoleto, a panoramic mountain town known for its many festivals

Time and weather permitting, we may also visit the medieval towns of Stronconi, Todi, and the ancient Etruscan town of Tarquinia, located in view of the Tyrrhenian Sea. In total, we’ll visit and explore a wide variety of places, each with its matchless charm and unforgettable beauty.

In all, you’ll surely enjoy this inspiring and well-organized class in such a lovely setting at an ideal time of the year: Autumn in Umbria. As the Romans said (in Latin): tempest fugit –time flees. Sign up -and make your “autumn in Umbria” one of the best ever.

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Workshop At-A-Glance

Jack Hannula & Nik Ajazi
Oct 8 - Oct 22
Important Trip Info
(including travel arrangements, enrollment, costs)
For more information:
Jack Hannula 202-265-4960 or Nick Ajazi 202-813-6812