*Details for the 2015 Spring 2 Week Tour! Here!*

Tarot Art and History Tour
September 23rd - October 6th 2012
14 Day Tour of Northern Italy

Our visit to Milan 2011 While still basking in the warm glow of a blissful trip to Italy with our merry band of Tarot travelers, we are hard at work planning the next tour. Please join us on an enchanting two week sojourn, while we explore the beauty and mystery of this incredible country that gave birth to the Tarot during the Renaissance era. Enjoy tantalizing delicacies of local cuisines while we travel the Italian countryside together in our chartered tour bus.

Tour guide Morena, hosts Michael & Arnell Presenting your hosts Arnell Ando, with Michael McAteer, and most prestigiously, the director of Museo dei Tarocchi, Morena Poltronieri; along with Tarot luminaries and surprise guests who will share this wonderful journey. Michael and Arnell have gone on both memorable Tarot art history tours with Brian Williams in 1999 and 2000 and dedicate this tour to Brian's memory and legacy. Having visited Italy frequently we have become more deeply enamored with this wonderful place with each passing year.

Highlights of the Tour:
Here is a little musical video of our 2011 tour.
Dax Carlisle of Blog Talk Radio interviewed Mary K. Greer and me about the 2011 Tarot art & history Italy Tour. You can listen anytime.

Castello Sforzesco - Visconti Castle

This trip has been extended an extra two days to give us more time in favorite places!
We begin in cosmopolitan Milan, where we will visit the awe inspiring Renaissance fortress of the Castello Sforzesco (Visconti Castle), where the ancient Tarocchi cards were found in an abandoned well. We’ll bask in the beauty of frescoes by Leonardo da Vinci and art by Bonifacio Bembo; the creator of the earliest known Tarot deck. Our friends near fountain of Castello Sforzesco, Milan We will visit with Italian artists, publishers and scholars who are among the most prolific in the field. XIV Temperance from Visconti Tarot, 1450 We'll enjoy inspirational art depicting how the richness of this culture fostered the Tarot. Spending time with internationally renowned Tarot artist and publisher, Osvaldo Menegazzi one can not help but become mesmerized by his shop Il Meneghello. And later we will dine with Osvaldo and family at one of Milan’s finer eateries. We will revel in the beauty of Milan itself, with its incredible Gothic Cathedral and the famous plaza, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, (the world’s oldest Mall).

Our visit with Osvaldo Menegazzi of il Meneghello, 2011
Gorgeous handcrafted & rare Tarot collectables created & published by
Osvaldo Menegazzi of il Meneghello



Palazzo Schifanoia with ancient astrological paintings In the Renaissance village of Ferrara we'll spend 3 days in order to explore this charming town full of character and intrigue. Highlights include Palazzo Schifanoia; a 14th century Palace, boasting frescos by early Renaissance painter Francesco del Cossa, that depict astrological paintings having a correlation to Tarot symbology. And Massari Palace as well as a lovely Romanesque Cathedral with Baroque style interiors. A leisurely walk around a cobblestoned Jewish village is bound to inspire with its delicate beauty and unique architecture.
Estense Castle in Ferarra
We will visit historically rich and vibrant Bologna and take day tours with Morena Poltronieri. She will reveal early symbology inherent in Tarot found in the magnificent Saint Petroni Cathedral, and we will discover an ancient Temple of Isis with ties to Jerusalem found within the church of Saint Stefano. We will have time to visit wonderful museums, an elaborate open air bazaar and to sample the local cuisine on our own as well.

Then we will take a lovely bus ride up the mountain to Riola, where we will spend a day at the amazing Tarot Museum nestled in a small hilltop village, surrounded by majestic forests. An impressive array of original artworks from around the world, as well as a remarkable collection of decks from the rare to the unusual and most popular awaits us. The 400 year old building of the Tarot museum so beautifully restored, has many hidden treasures including tree trunks that open to reveal shelves of prized Tarocchi and tiny doors with lit windows hidden in stone walls that open to show off precious miniature artworks. The Museo folks will throw a special garden party for us with their artist friends. Museo dei Tarocchi - Tarot Museum

(Pictured right: Ernesto Fazioli & Morena Poltronieri; co-founders of Museo dei Tarocchi)

Morena & Ernesto of the Tarot Museum Next we will travel to the enchanting Tuscany region, with its tidy lines of cypress trees, endless olive groves, and lazy sunflowers…like gazing into an immense painting. Medieval castles and villages dot the landscape adding to this picturesque scene.

We will stay in a fabulous ancient castle for a week in charming suites while we travel the Tuscany countryside! The castle's personal chef Alexander will grill a special BBQ for us and treat us to yummy buffet style breakfast each morning.

Our home...Castle di Montalto We will visit Florence with time to explore its great and gentle beauty and wonder at its incredible Cathedral. You will be free to take in the Galleria del Accademia (home of Michelangelo's David), the Uffizi Gallery or other equally intriguing landmarks.

We'll also spend an afternoon in the quaint, tiny Renaissance town of Pienza with street signs like titles of Tarot Trumps and an unusual church boasting an underground labyrinth, as well as enticing shops with flavorful cheeses, sausages, candles, soaps, pottery and other handcrafted sundries.

We will spend time in Cortona, a beautiful Etruscan-Roman-Medieval city, from whose heights we can gaze down upon Lake Trasimeno. The town offers the Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca, a beautiful historic Duomo and the Museo Diocesano amongst other things...

We will explore the marvelous Medieval city of Siena which offers much to tantalize the palette and inspire the artist within; with its stunning B&W marbled Duomo di Siena, designed to fill the visitor with overwhelming awe. And see mosaics and frescoes with pre-Christian, Pagan imagery and symbology also found in ancient Tarot decks. Fabulous museums await with some of the greatest masterpieces of all time.
Cobblestone paths spiral out from the Campo de Piazza offering wonderful eateries and unusual shops. Tuscany, Italy

At the heart of our tour we will make a spiritual pilgrimage to the Tarot Garden of Niki De Saint Phalle. A breathtaking view of colorful sculptures loom large on the horizon as we draw near… Niki created this amazing magical place where all twenty two trumps welcome us to explore and play in sight of the Mediterranean sea, surrounded by a rocky landscape graced with olive and oak trees. Unlike most museums where you are not allowed to touch or even take photos, the Tarot garden invites us to interact with her compelling art. XIX Sun Welcomes us to the Tarot Garden Renaissance town of Pienza

The tour will end where it began, in Milan where we will savor a last supper while dining with dear Osvaldo Menegazzi and friends. And having come full circle, we can bask in the collective experience of a lifetime!

Our Italian artist friends await to make this tour very special and memorable. Space is limited and it's priced as low as possible so more folks can join this incredible adventure. For more info contact: Arnell Ando



*This tour explained in a nutshell in this cool Blog spot by Kat Conte

Morena Poltronieri is the director of Museo dei Tarocchi, an internationally renown Tarot Museum, and the Hermatena publishing house, which she co-created with her partner Ernesto Fazoli. She is a scholar and writer of Tarot, astrology and ancient symbolism, history and lore. Visit the elaborate Tarot Museum site here. Or for a quick overview visit this mini site, which includes many deck reviews.

Arnell Ando is a certified tour manager and a Jungian-based, Expressive Arts Therapist and has been passionately studying the Tarot since 1984. She has contributed to countless collaborative Tarot projects and has created 5 decks so far including, Transformational Tarot published by U.S. Games, and Hero’s Journey , which she has been handcrafting since 1994. Her latest offering is the Lucky Pack Tarot. Arnell has combined her studies in the spiritual and psychological realms to create her unique interpretation of the Tarot. She lives in San Diego with her husband & best friend Michael McAteer (who is the tour logistics manager & border collie). You can view Arnell’s art, decks, and a line of custom made miniature occult shops, or read her various articles on her site.

Here is a musical slideshow by our dear friend, Tero Hynynen who accompanied us on the last tour.

Tarot Art & History 14 Day Tour or Italy ~ September 23rd - October 6th 2012
(Hotel Check out: October 7th)


Magician from Masonic Deck by Osvaldo Michele Jackson with Chariot, Tarot Garden Tarot Garden of Niki de Saint Phalle

The 2012 Tour Conditions Agreement

For more information contact: Arnell Ando

Members of this tour please join our Private Forum which provides the trip details, photos, maps, menus, lodgings, useful tips for this tour and a way to connect with your merry band of travelers.