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10-20th OCTOBER 2019

A wonderful opportunity to visit Ravenna for the start of the Mosaic Biennale, while also attending the distinguished SISAM School of Mosaics for a 5 day course in Roman-Byzantine mosaics, using the traditional methods.  The course will run in the mornings from 9.00 to 1.30.  The afternoons and evenings will be free for you to visit the various activities of the Biennale, or just to have some quiet time on the beach nearby.  We will also be visiting Faenza for one day, where there is a wonderful ceramics museum and many small ceramic workshops around the town. 

6 - 10th OCTOBER 2019 



Why not start your holiday with a visit to see the fabulous sights of Venice?  We will then travel by train to Ravenna for our mosaic immersion!


Ravenna has played an important role in history,  It prospered in Roman times, was the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy, and later the capital of the Byzantine Empire in Italy.  During these periods of greatness many monuments were built with lavish mosaic decorations. Of the many churches and mausolems, 8 of them are World Heritage Sites.  During your stay in Ravenna you will have enough time to explore this vast array of churches and fabulous mosaics.  But there will also be many other exhibitions of modern mosaics, celebrated in the Mosaic Biennale. This starts on 10 October with a grand opening night - Il Notte d"Oro (the Night of Gold) which will continue into the early hours of the morning!


Accommodation will be at the Hotel Centrale Byron in central Ravenna,  This popular hotel is beautifully situated in a street leading to the main Piazza del Popolo, right in the heart of Ravenna. Here you will have easy access to shops, restaurants and all the activities of the Biennale.  The interior of the hotel is modern, clean and the beds are very comfortable.  Accommodation will be in single rooms (single supplement included) unless otherwise requested, and will include breakfast.  


The hotel is at the edge of the pedestrian zone, giving easy access to taxis and buses.  During the mosaic course at SISAM, a taxi will take us to and from the hotel to the mosaic school, which is by the beach resorts and the nature reserve of Marina Romea, about 10 minutes drive.

Hotel Centrale Byron reception

Hotel Centrale Byron reception

Breakfast Room

Breakfast Room

Bar area

Bar area

Single bedroom

Single bedroom

Exterior view looking towards Piazza

Exterior view looking towards Piazza

Rooftop view to Piazza del Popolo

Rooftop view to Piazza del Popolo

From Piazza del Popolo to the hotel

From Piazza del Popolo to the hotel

A busy summer evening

A busy summer evening



Roman Byzantine method

Roman Byzantine method

Valentino helping a student

Valentino helping a student

Using a hammer and hardie

Using a hammer and hardie

Preparing for the direct method

Preparing for the direct method

Enjoying the experience of mixing!

Enjoying the experience of mixing!

Some of our finished work

Some of our finished work

SISAM has been running courses in Roman-Byzantine mosaics and frescoes since 2001.  Our course has been designed for people who have some knowledge of mosaics, to make one small (approx 30x30 cms) mosaic work.  Depending on your expertise, this could be a copy of a fragment of a particular Ravenna mosaic, or, if you are more experienced, it could be a contemporary mosaic of your choice. In this case, you are encouraged to bring photos/drawings of your 

intended design with you.

Participants will learn to use a hammer and hardie, along with the traditional methods using lime and paste, as used in the making of the historical mosaics of Ravenna.

Stones, such as limestone, marble, brick, etc. are provided free, but students will be asked to pay for any coloured smalti as well as all silver and gold pieces.  



5th Oct      Arrive at 18.10 at Bologna Airport from Heathrow on flight BA 0542.  Minibus transfer                        to Hotel Centrale Byron in Ravenna (approximately 1 hour).  


6th Oct      Breakfast, then City Tour of Ravenna with an English speaking guide from SISAM                              School of Mosaics.  Welcome evening meal at Ca' de Vin.


7th Oct      Free day to discover more local places of interest.  Meet at the hotel in the evening                         and head for the Notte d’Oro celebrations – the grand opening of the Mosaic                                    Biennale.  Festivities continue through into the night, stay as late as you want!


8th Oct      A free day to recover from the night before, and maybe take a look around some of                        the other Biennale venues.


9th Oct      An early breakfast, followed by a 09.00 start at the SISAM School of Mosaics, in                                Marina Romea, a 10 minute taxi ride from Ravenna.  There will be an introductory talk                      on the history and language of mosaics, followed by a chance to choose your Roman-                    Byzantine subject from their files and prepare your substrates with the lime mixture.                        Finish at 13.30 and discover the local area.  Taxi back to town and free time after lunch.


10th Oct    Early breakfast followed by a 09.00 start at SISAM.  After a brief introduction to the                          materials and tools, prepare your grid ready to mosaic.  Start cutting the mosaic                              materials.  Finish at 13.30,   Taxi back to town and free time in the afternoon.


11th Oct     Early breakfast followed by a 09.00 start at SISAM.  Continue working on your mosaic                    until 13.30.  Taxi back to town and free time in the afternoon.


12th Oct    Early breakfast followed by a 09.00 start at SISAM.  Continue working on your mosaic                      until 13.30.  Taxi back to town and free time in the afternoon.

13th Oct    Early breakfast followed by a 09.00 start at SISAM.  The mosaic course ends!  Finish 

                   working on your mosaic.  Feedback session and receipt of certificates. Taxi back to                          town and free time in the afternoon.


14th Oct     A free day.


15th Oct     Breakfast at the hotel.  09.30 Coach to Faenza to visit the ceramics museum and                              a chance to wander around the town and discover some of the small ceramic                                   workshops in the area.   17.30  Coach to Brisighella, a village dating back to medieval                       times.  19.30  Farewell Dinner at La Grotta restaurant in Brisighella.


16th Oct    Our final breakfast at the hotel before checking out.  Our bus will leave the hotel at                           09.30 to take everyone to Bologna.    Flight BA 0541 departs Bologna Airport at                               12:35 and arrives at London Heathrow at 14:00.  

                    For those travelling on to Venice, the bus will take us on to the train station in                                     Bologna, where we will catch a train to Venice Santa Lucia (journey time                                             approximately one and a half hours).  On arrival we will take a taxi to the hotel.

17th-18th   Two full days to explore Venice.  


19th Oct    Check out of the hotel after breakfast.  Taxis will leave the hotel at 10:30 for the                                  Heathrow flight at 13:00, or taxis at 13:00 for the Gatwick flight at 15:35.






*this is for a hotel in central Venice; the cost can be reduced if you prefer a hotel outside central Venice - please ask for more details.




  • Bed and breakfast accommodation for the duration of your stay.

  • Welcome dinner at Ca' de Vin restaurant.

  • 5 x 4.5 hour workshops at SISAM School of Mosaic, studying Roman-Byzantine traditional methods (some materials included).

  • Taxis to and from SISAM for the mosaic course

  • Guided tour of the monuments in Ravenna.

  • One day excursion to Faenza and the ceramics museum.

  • Final farewell meal in the medieval village of Brisighella.

  • Transfers to and from Bologna/Venice airports.

  • Train to Venice (if staying on)



  • Flights to and from Bologna/Venice airport.

  • Glass, silver and gold smalti and mosaic paste. 

  • Any meals not specified above.


Please book on the following flights:

5th October 2017

London Heathrow to Bologna:

BA 0542  Departs London Heathrow at 14:55,                  Arrives Bologna at 18:05.

16th October 2017

Bologna to London Heathrow

BA 0541  Departs Bologna at 12:20

                Arrives London Heathrow at 13:40

19th October 2017

Venice to London Heathrow

BA 0597  Departs Venice at 16:15

                 Arrives London Heathrow at 17:40

Flights from other home destinations can be booked, but it may not be possible to guarantee airport transfers if times do not concur.

Click on image above to link to

British Airways booking site.

We have a very limited number of spaces for our holidays. To reserve your place please contact Linda as soon as possible via Phone, email or the contact form on this page.

Art Holidays Abroad


Phone: 07738707007



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