By: Italo Rizzo – Guest Blogger

Florence has always been a great source of creative inspiration, (for painters, sculptors, musicians, actors, directors…) and I think the “cradle of Renaissance” is still the best place to make art happen, even if you aren’t an artist.

One of the most interesting activities to do in Florence, in fact, is joining a course at a local workshop to learn the “trade secrets.” If you dream of creating a unique work of art to show to your friends, I suggest learning the techniques from an expert craftsman or a teacher –  much better than an exhibition or reading a book.

Firenze Fresco PaintingFrom spectator to protagonist

When we talk about art, a very important issue is talent. I’m positive that a bit of creativity lies inside of everyone, but only a few get results.

To fulfill art-lover’s desires, there are courses offered at fresco laboratories in Florence, where an instructor explains how to create a Florentine fresco.

There are travel agencies that offer private guided tours in Florence with this artistic experience included. The latest trend, in fact, is to combine a history tour with a special art workshop, a 2-hour lesson to enhance your creativity.

Choose your colors

This workshop is very different from a standard lesson. An expert artist will introduce you to suitable tools and techniques, and then allow you to choose the stencil, design, and colours of your fresco. At the end of the experience, you get to take your masterpiece home – a very original souvenir!

What about art classes in Florence? There are many schools and academies that welcome students from all around the world, such as Accademia del Giglio, which offers a wide range of courses, like: drawing, painting, and training for Fine Arts Academies.

A one-time lesson might be a good start for people who don’t have the time or money to take a course or enroll at an academy. My advice is to first visit the locations that house the best frescoes in the city, and then join the workshop experience.

Firenze Tours and Art LessonDiscover the frescoes in Florence

The Oratorio dei Buonomini di San Martino is located in the historic city center, near Dante Alighieri’s house. A small oratory that hosts frescoes attributed to Domenico Ghirlandaio, it’s a hidden gem in Florence that is still undiscovered by many tourists.

This oratory was the meeting place of the confraternity of the Buonomini, formed in 1441 to aid the poor. The frescoes were a sort of instruction manual for their members, depicting men giving food to the poor, burying the dead, and visiting the sick – a summary of the group’s practice around Florence.

It’s certainly a less renowned venue than the Uffizi, so take advantage and visit this small church if you’re looking for an unusual itinerary!

There are also lots of other destinations to discover near the City of Lilies (Florence’s city symbol, the giglio, is a Iris/Lily) to get inspiration for your next works of art! Taking a special guided tour of Florence and its surroundings will help paint a complete portrait.