GIUSEPPE AND DIANE ROSSI STORY – ARtuscany
Tuscany is synonymous with stunning vistas, extraordinary art and ancient heritage. There is so much to see and always such little time…Despite the fatigue of long distance travel and months of preparation, the sense of satisfaction grows ever stronger, making all the hard work worth while!
Giuseppe and Diane Rossi are the dynamic husband and wife team behind the concept of ‘ARTuscany’, which is a portal, born from an idea they had for many years, previous to their move to Castiglion Fiorentino in 2002. As a child Giuseppe was already dreaming of Tuscan skies and of working closely with others who shared his passion for art, nature and the history of ‘arguably the most beautiful and historically significant country in the world.’ “When I was 10 years old my family relocated to the area, I would spend every summer at the Priest’s Institute, situated at the foot of Cortona, named after ‘Don Orione’, an inspirational priest who helped hundreds of local families fight poverty and rescued many orphans from starvation. I always felt that Don Orione was guiding me… even though I decided to leave the Priesthood just short of becoming ordained. I never lost my vocation and promised myself that I would one day return to the area that I had so passionately fallen in love with.” Fate took Giuseppe to London where he met his kindred spirit and wife, Diane. Together they later decided to transfer as a family to Castiglion Fiorentino, where Rachael, Ben and Lucia completed their schooling. “At the time there weren’t many foreigners in the area and the children were quite a novelty! We are both so incredibly proud of their scholastic achievements and know that Castiglion Fiorentino will always remain dear to their hearts.” Giuseppe and Diane have not always found life easy but they are a strong couple who never give up, even when they feel that the odds are against them! Their positivity is infectious and their ethos is simple one… ‘follow your art.’ Their passion and enthusiasm for Italy, and Tuscany in particular, is due mainly to their love of the arts in general. They focus upon educational and creative soujourns in Italy, which will hopefully leave participants with memories, enriched by cultural and historical experience, as well as the natural beauty of the stunning Valdichiana and it’s environs. Giuseppe and Diane are not only highly professional but also extremely friendly and welcoming to the many diverse nationalities that partake and contribute to the classes and activities held in the region. These range from beginner levels of painting, drawing, mosaic, ceramic and sculpture to more advanced classes. All workshops have a practical and theoretical aspect. Those who partake in an ARTuscany experience embark upon a journey which begins with the ancient and forward thinking Etruscans and continues with the marvels of the Renaissance. Legendary architiects such as Brunelleschi and Vasari used their intelligence and vision to sculpt the landscape as it is seen today. The genius of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, resulted in Italy’s global fame as the artistic heart of the world. There are still jewels to be discovered and the intrigue offered by Tuscany and it’s treasures continue to lure thousands of people each year to Castiglion Fiorentino and the surrounding Val di Chio and Valdichiana, largely as a consequence of the success of ARTuscany and it’s tireless advertisement of the area as a historic and cultural centre. Diane and Giuseppe’s interests extend to a personal concern regarding the protection of the local environment and the increasing ‘brain drain’ which has sadly resulted in younger Italians moving abroad to seek their fortune. “If local home grown talent is not encouraged and nurtured then subsequent generations of foreign students will miss a great opportuntity to learn the ancient techniques which we are concerened to keep alive. “We have worked extremely hard over the past decade to promote Castiglion Fiorentino and to ensure the continuation of it’s growth in the tourist sector but we need local support to attract even more people to come and sample the delights of the area for themselves. Everyone will gain and the cultural heritage and artistic treasures will be preserved for subsequent generations, whether Italian or non Italian… We have and will continue to contribute to the city we love, even though the path of true love has and will not always run smoothly…”