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May 26 - June 9

Mosaic Treasures of Italy: A Workshop and Tour with Rick Shelley

Mosaic Treasures of Italy: A Workshop and Tour with Rick Shelley

3.199,0€ – 5.950,0€
Workshop Dates:
May 26 - June 9
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About the Workshop

Experience some of the great mosaics treasures of the world and create your own mosaics!

Rick Shelley's comprehensive, two-week mosaic workshop welcomes both beginning and advanced mosaic enthusiasts.  Each week offers excursions to many magnificent treasures throughout Italy that will lead participants to a deeper understanding of mosaic arts.

Rick will teach you how to create mosaics.  At our studios in Monte Castello, learn to shape stone, glass and ceramic into tesserae. Experiment with glues and cements to adhere tesserae onto wooden panels. Work with the beautiful and traditional practice of gold-leafing glass.  Design and execute small mosaics using outlines, shadows and highlights - simple images, letters, or symbols are ideal subjects. You will learn first-hand, why mosaic is the most enduring form of pictorial art.  From our central location in Italy, tour outstanding monuments and collections in Rome, Ravenna, Venice, and more.  Visit mosaic schools and studios where you will meet Italian mosaic artists and study their techniques - all under the guidance of a master-mosaicist,  Rick Shelley. (To see Rick in action, see his video:"Making mosaics in Italy

The two-week format of the workshop, allows participants three options: Week 1 only/ Week 2 only/ or - both Weeks.

Week 1

  • Duomo of Orvieto, one of the masterworks of world architecture, with splendid gold mosaics covering the upper part of the cathedral's facade.
  • Palazzo Massimo - a museum filled with treasures from ancient Rome.
  • Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore - an early Christian Church with an expansive Cosmati floor and mosaics from the fifth century.
  • Ostia Antica - an ancient port city of Rome with fine examples of mosaic floors from public baths and villas.
  • Vatican Mosaic Workshop - where distinguished craftsmen create and restore masterworks
  • S.Peters and the Vatican - the great basilica designed by Bramante and Michelangelo and decorated with micro-mosaic paintings and tapestries
  • Cost of Week 1 (including the Saturday ONLY Infiorate visit, described below) is: € 3199

Infiorate Week-end

On Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, we have the extraordinary opportunity to visit the annual Infiorate of Spello.  The Infiorate, is a festival held on the feast of Corpus CristiIn Spello, the Infiorate is is a breathtaking event in which residents stay up all night on June 1, creating a wondrous "mosaic of flowers." Literally, the streets are covered with carpets of flower petals arranged in designs as well as images. (For wonderful insights into the festival and how these, "flower petal mosaics" come into being, see Michelle Damiani's wonderful website.)  The fragile "tapestry" lasts only until June 2.  With this schedule in mind, those in Week 1 only will attend the Saturday set up of the event. Those in Week 2, will be present for the procession through the streets of flowers.  (Anyone wishing to add an extra day to a one week event, in order to experience both days of the Infiorate, may do so on a "day-rate" basis. Please contact us at: for further info.)


Week 2:

Ravenna - a beautifully preserved city with monuments and mosaics from the 6th c.  Here we will participate in a day-long workshop with demonstrations on the Ravenna Method. 

Venice - where the magnificent church of San Marco, shimmers with mosaics inside and out. Here, we will visit the legendary Orsoni Furnace glassworks, and travel to the island of Murano to experience their incredible glassmaking traditions.

Cost of week 2 (including the Sunday ONLY Infiorate visit) is: € 3531


Both Weeks:   The cost of  BOTH, week-long workshops is: € 5950 and includes both Saturday and Sunday Infiorate visits.

Studio work in Monte Castello

Ancient Roman Mosaic Artists at Work

Between these excursions, the International Center for the Arts provides the perfect atmosphere to experience the mosaic arts. Surrounded by the Italian countryside, the studio at Monte Castello di Vibio is an oasis in which to work and learn.All the while, participants will be housed in the remarkably well-preserved Umbrian hill town of  Monte Castello di Vibio. Your workshop package is all-inclusive, providing welcome and departure services and airport transfer from the Rome Fiumicino, Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (FCO). Aboard our comfortable private bus, single occupancy accommodations with shared bath (a wide range of upgrades with private bath are available), 3 meals per day Monday-Thursday while in Monte Castello, Prosecco brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday (no meals are served on Friday, our excursion day.  On the final day of the workshop, participants will exhibit their work in our, Bocca al Luppo gallery with opening reception provided.  Of course, 24/7 access to facilities and 24/7 bi-lingual support are provided.  All supplies are included.

Our Mosaics in Italy with Rick Shelley workshop is a rare opportunity to study with a master of the medium in a country renowned for some of its greatest examples. All the while, participants will enjoy a rare immersion in traditional culture, enjoy incredible views made possible by our mountaintop location, delight in gourmet and traditional food prepared fresh by expert chefs from fresh, locally sourced ingredients all accompanied by excellent local wine (or optional selections from our wonderful Wine List, for an additional fee). It is a rare experience, available to only 10 participants.





About the Instructor

Rick Shelley

For thirty years, Rick has created mosaics and taught over a thousand students at the Mt. Royal Studio, the Walters Art Museum, the Creative Alliance, and the American Visionary Art Museum. Rick’s approach is inspired by the ancient mosaic masters and he blends their traditional methods with his own in order to create mosaics in all materials and styles. He has executed mosaics for museums, churches, private collections, and gardens.

Rick’s commissions include:

  • Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
    • Mosaic map of the ancient and medieval world.
  • Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD
    • Mosaic table designed for the exhibition, “Antioch, The Lost Ancient City”
  • Basilica of the Assumption, Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD.
    • Papal shield for the jubilee year.
  • St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1900 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD.
    • Mosaic image of the Winged Lion of St. Mark.
    • Mosaic processional cross.
  • St. Xavier Roman Catholic Church, Hunt Valley, MD.
    • Mosaiced Baptismal Font and Holy Water Font                            




Discover More

Included Amenities

Click on the links below for detailed information about our included amenities.
View Amenities Page »
  • Airport transfer from and to the Leonardo da Vinci Rome/Fiumicino Airport (FCO) aboard our private bus (on scheduled dates only). Bus departs the airport promptly at 12PM.
  • Airport welcome service and assistance with baggage
  • 24/7 bi-lingual support with manager on site at all times
  • All ground transport aboard private buses or our ICA van, unless otherwise specified. Licensed and insured professional driver and ICA guide accompany all excursions. Orientation at each destination is provided as is departure coordination (guide service is available upon request — unless specified — for an additional fee)
  • Complimentary bottle of local wine provided in rooms on arrival day and complimentary locally made soap
  • Village orientation and complimentary drinks provided on arrival day
  • Private access to our 5-storey tower at our Palazzo Persiane (on sign-up basis) for spectacular morning and evening views
  • Access to our art materials shop (during posted hours)
  • Thorough orientation lecture and maps provided the evening before departure
  • Return transport to the Rome/Fiumicino Airport (departs 5:30AM) with rest stop
  • Departure service/airport assistance at airport
  • Unless otherwise specified, single occupancy accommodation is provided in rooms with a view of the Tiber Valley that includes sink and vanity. Rooms are with shared bath on each level (3 rooms per bath) in our 14th century convent building, The Asilo. Apartments, rooms with private bath and AC, double rooms, group or villa accommodations are available for couples, business associates/ friends, or groups for an additional fee
  • Linens and towels provided
  • Weekly housekeeping service with change of towels and linens
  • Free washing machine access
  • Good Wi-Fi connection and access to our library and film collection
  • 3 chef-catered, gourmet meals per day (buffet breakfast, 3-course lunch, 4-course dinner) — with wine at lunch and dinner (table wine provided at lunch and dinner. An excellent wine list is offered at additional cost), while in Monte Castello
  • Group dining service is as follows, with breakfast and lunch served in our dining room, etc, with dinner (weather permitting) served on our private terrace overlooking the Tiber Valley
  • Lunch and dinner are plated as follows: pasta course, main course, vegetable, fruit/salad, dessert
  • When requested at registration, vegetarian, vegan, and special dietary options are provided
  • After dinner drinks on our terrace overlooking the Tiber valley
  • Dining service is as follows: Breakfast: 8:00 AM; Lunch: 1:00PM; Dinner: 8:00 PM. No meals are served on Fridays (excursion day) unless otherwise specified
  • On Saturday and Sunday, a full buffet brunch with fresh pastry and Prosecco is served at 11:00 AM
  • On Saturday, homemade, wood-fired pizza is served at 7:00 PM (except on departure days, when a special farewell dinner is served)
  • Sunday dinner with antipasti is served at 7:00 PM
  • Farewell dinner on the evening prior to departure
  • 24/7 access to our primary building and library is provided, including access to workspaces, studios, and ceramics facility
  • Special access to certain cultural and art collections is available upon request
  • private, or semi-private secure and monitored studio space is provided (24/7 access)
  • Free access to lectures and events at the Teatro Concordia
  • An end of the session exhibition with reception that includes hors d'oeuvres and Prosecco in our gallery. Posters are prepared to promote the event with copies provided to all participants
  • 1 excursion per week is included (unless otherwise specified in the itinerary) aboard our private bus. Additional trips can of course be scheduled and given our central location. (Day trips are possible to as far north as Siena or Florence and as far south as Rome.)
  • Advanced reservations and ticket purchases for groups and individuals
  • Concierge services provided upon request at an hourly rate
  • Restaurant reservations (provided under Concierge services)
  • Car rental
  • Critique series with visiting visual artists
  • Artist materials workshops
  • Drawing and painting sessions from the figure
  • Cooking classes
  • Cheesemaking workshop
  • Pizza-making workshop
  • Kids cooking classes
  • Wine appreciation and Sommelier Courses
  • Wine and olive oil tastings
  • Vineyard tours
  • Truffle hunting
  • Ballroom dance classes
  • Weekend excursions to flea markets and natural sites
  • Shopping excursions to cashmere and leather outlets, to Deruta famous for fine painted traditional ceramics, and antique stores
  • Overnight excursions to the sea and day-trips to Rome beaches
  • Hot air balloon tours
  • Hot springs excursions
  • Lake Trasimeno tours
  • Umbria abandoned castle and fortress tour
  • Sustainable farming tour 
  • Babysitting services
  • Soccer, archery, and horseback riding camps for kids
  • Motorized mountain bike rentals
  • Electric car rental 
  • Golf-cart tours of Rome and Florence
  • Hiking/naturalist guides to national/regional parks - mountain hiking available
  • Fishing/Hunting Excursions

Payment Options

  • Payment in full (€500 non-refundable deposit is included. No refunds will be issued within 60 days prior to the start of the workshop. See refund policy for more details).
  • Non-refundable €500 deposit (Balance due must be paid a minimum of 30 days prior to workshop).
  • Balance payment (after €500 deposit).

Required Forms

All ICA participants; whether coming independently, with a group or through a college / university, must provide the following completed forms and information to at least 2 weeks prior to attending their program. 
Emergency Contact & Medical Information »Liability Waiver »
Proof of Insurance / Travel Insurance
Itinerary and Passport
For detailed information and to download the required forms, please visit our Guides and Forms page.


Day 1: Sunday, May 26

  • Arrive Rome/Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO); Our Bus Departs FCO at 12:00 PM
  • Arrival at Monte Castello di Vibio appx.: 2:30 PM:Lunch/Orientation/Rest/ Tour of village
  • 8:00 PM Dinner

Day 2: Monday, May 27

  • 8:30 – 9:30 Breakfast
  • 9:30 – 1:00 Morning and Afternoon Session's: Explore mosaic tools and materials with a demonstration of glass cutters, mosaic nippers and pliers for making tesserae. Students will learn to cut sheet glass into tiny squares, triangles, circles, and other geometric shapes for use in their projects.
  • 1:00 – 2:00 Lunch
  • 2:00 – 6:30 Afternoon Session- Design and begin making a small glass mosaic on a wooden panel. Learn to use glues and cements. (The studio is open at all times for participants).
  • 8:00 – Dinner
  • 6:30 – 8:00 Free time or Independent work

Day 3: Tuesday, May 28

  • 8:30 – 9:30 Breakfast
  • 10:00 – 1:00 Study the geometric Cosmati style and the more naturalistic Byzantine style.
  • 1:00 – Lunch
  • 2:00 – 6:00 Continue working on mosaic projects.
  • 7:00—Lecture on the Cathedral of Orvieto.
  • 8:00 – Dinner.

Day 4: Wednesday, May 29

  • 8:30 – 9:30 Breakfast
  • 10:00 – Excursion to Orvieto. Visit the Cathedral and the Etruscan Museum. Enjoy free time in the city to have lunch on your own, to shop, or to visit other attractions.
  • 5:00 – Depart Orvieto
  • 8:00 – Dinner back in Monte Castello

Day 5: Thursday, May 30

  • 8:30 – 9:30 Breakfast
  • 10:00 – 1:00 Apply metal leaf to clear glass to make shimmering gold tesserae. Gold is used particularly in background areas to create an other-worldly atmosphere and to accent images.
  • 1:00 – Lunch
  • 2:00 – 6:00 Grout and polish mosaics. Begin a new project.
  • 7:00—Lecture on Roman mosaics
  • 8:00 Dinner

Day 6: Friday, May 31

  • Excursion:Rome to see the mosaic treasures in the Palazzo Massimo, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and Vatican Mosaic Workshop

Day 7: Saturday, June 1

  • Morning: free or Independent work
  • 11:00 AM Brunch
  • Afternoon/Evening: Spello: see preparations for the Infiorata, a festival of flower mosaics made with thousands of colored petals.

Day 8: Sunday, June 2

  • Week 1 Only: Group: departs for FCO Airport at 5:30 AM
  • Week 2: Only: Excursion to Spello and Pisignanno
  • Morning: Trip to Spello to see the completed projects, then on to Pissignano for the Flea Market and visits to Fonte del Clitunno and Campello sul Clitunno (Independent lunch is not included)
  • Afternoon: Return to Monte Castello
  • Dinner at 8:00

Day 9: Monday, June 3

  • 8:30 – 9:30 Breakfast
  • 9:30 – 1:00 Morning and Afternoon Sessions: A further exploration of mosaic tools and materials with an in-depth demonstration of glass cutters, mosaic nippers and pliers for shaping tesserae.  Learn new
  • ways to cut sheet glass into tiny squares, triangles, circles to make more geometric shapes. Try the hammer and hardie technique for stone and smalti. Begin new projects or continue with previous ones.
  • 1:00 – 2:00 Lunch
  • 2:00 – 6:00 Studio time
  • 7:00 – Lecture on the history and mosaics of Ravenna
  • 8:00 – Dinner

Day 10: Tuesday, June 4

Drive to Ravenna: Guided Tour of Monuments/Workshop

Ravenna: Workshop

Stay in Cioggia

Day 11: Wednesday, June 5

Venice: San Marco/Orsoni Glass/Murano (stained glass)

Return to Chioggia

Day 12: Thursday, June 6

Return to MC

Day 13: Friday, June 7

  • Return to Monte Castello
  • 8:00 Dinner

Day 14: Saturday, June 8


Day 15: Sunday, June 9

Depart for FCO

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