Our 3rd (14 day) Tour was Spring 2015
If you could not join us, good news...
Tarot Travel Guide of Italy
is now also available as a
eBook (updated Fall, 2017). Full of fascinating historical details, colorful
imagery, maps + live links
Here is our
2015 tour video
of highlights. It gives a nice sense of this enchanting tour...
PS: The following outline from last tour is useful reference for the next one. An updated webpage will be shared when we're ready to launch.
Excited about this (3rd) epic adventure with a merry band of Tarot travelers! We have over 30 folks joining us (so a price reduced to lowest possible rate.)
Our previous tours were special but this one has their highlights + wonderful new places to explore. With a special
of the original
Visconti/Sforza cards (from 1450) at the Carrara & the Visconti Brambilla cards on exhibit in Milan and even a private viewing of Sola Busca Trumps at the Brera!
Along with visits to some
ancient Tarocchi Frescoes,
& time devoted to
Milan, Bologna, Ferrara, Siena, Florence, Clusone & Bergamo...
Exploring the fascinating history of Tarot's progression, beginning with
deep roots in the Renaissance era of Northern Italy. Witness this symbolic art form's continuing evolution which is
discovered all over (sometimes in the most unlikely places.) Enjoy delectable local cuisines and travel the lovely countryside in a comfortable chartered bus. Our sacred world of archetypes, mythology, and symbolic
dreamscapes awaits in this colorful kaleidoscope of creative perspectives.
Presented by Tarot artist & writer
(certified tour organizer), along with
(tour logistics manager), and the illustrious
Director of the Museum of Tarot,
Morena Poltronieri and Ernesto Fazioli -
business partners at the Museo - and researcher/author/artists who will help guide our sojourn!
Highlights of the Spring 2015 Tarot Art & History Tour Include...
We'll begin our journey in
the birthplace of Tarot. Revel in her incredible beauty and sophistication as she glides effortlessly between a contemporary life and a dark and fascinating past. We’ll visit the Grand
and famous plaza -
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.
And make a pit stop in an old esoteric shop which we first discovered with
(back in 2000).
But Milan's most impressive magical emporium of Tarot awaits discerning collectors and art history enthusiasts! And we will have plenty of time to browse
and become mesmerized by the magnificent assortment of handcrafted Tarot sets, artworks, shadowboxes, and meticulously made historical decks which Osvaldo has
been producing for many decades. Later we’ll dine with his family & friends at one of Milan’s finer establishments.
The awe inspiring Renaissance fortress
Castello Sforzesco (Visconti Castle)
will surely impress with its majestic presence. It houses a curious collection of artifacts including an important Tarot fresco which evokes
a dark fairytale. And don't miss beautiful works by
Leonardo da Vinci
(the creator of the earliest known Tarot deck; the history of which may have all begun in this very Milanese castle.)
In the serene Renaissance town of
we will spend a relaxing time exploring this charming place full of character and intrigue which shares (along with Milan) an early connection to the evolution of
Tarot. Highlights include
a 14th century summer Palace, boasting frescos by early Renaissance painter
Francesco del Cossa
that depict astrological scenes with correlations to Tarot.
with Baroque style interiors that has a remarkable museum with a noteworthy collection of symbolic works, (especially as described by Morena) including the amazing
A leisurely walk through an old
cobblestoned Jewish village
with a long, proud past dating back to medieval times, is bound to inspire with its unique architecture and delicate beauty.
We will visit
a grand city with layers of rich history while having a thriving contemporary existence. Ms. Poltronieri will share the early symbology of Tarot found in the
Saint Petroni Cathedral.
We will discover an ancient
Temple of Isis
with strong ties to Jerusalem hidden within a church. Not to be missed is a visit to
and the unusual and elaborate shrine dedicated to a
500 year old mummified nun
(who according to some scholars is the inspiration for the
in certain vintage decks...) Bologna also boasts a huge, elaborate open air bazaar, sure to tempt with an ever changing assortment of
unusual treasures & novelties from many exotic cultures.
We will take a lovely journey up the mountain to
to rejuvenate our spirits in the incredible
of our guides Morena & Ernesto; which can be found nestled in this small hilltop village, surrounded by forests. An impressive array of
original Tarot 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 large 400 year old building which is home to
Museo dei Tarocchi
has been lovingly restored by Morena Poltronieri and Ernesto Fazioli. The museum has many secret treasures
including tree trunks that open to reveal shelves of prized Tarocchi and tiny doors with windows hidden in stone walls which
show off precious miniature artworks. Our dear friends from Museo dei Tarocchi will throw us a
with art friends (Tarot collectors & scholars may be familiar with or possess
many of their decks).
Pictured Above (Right):
welcoming us to Museo dei Tarocchi.
Mary K. Greer
& Gina Thies
enjoying the museum's bookshop. Pictured (Left): Their atmospheric kitchen with party treats. (Lower Right):
the famous children's book illustrator & popular artist of Museo dei Tarocchi.
attending our last party.
Next we travel to the enchanting
region, with its tidy lines of cypress trees and endless olive groves- like gazing into an immense painting. Medieval castles and villages dot the landscape
adding to this picturesque scene...
Magical Museum of Tarot in Riola, Italy
We will stay for a time, in both Siena and Florence. The marvelous
offers much to tantalize the palette and inspire the artist within. Its stunning B&W marbled
Duomo di Siena
is designed to fill the visitor with overwhelming awe. View mosaics and frescoes with pre-Christian, Pagan imagery and symbology
also found in ancient Tarot cards. 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 to explore.
shares her majestic presence with defined grace. Wonder at her magnificent Cathedral. Note the impressive sculptures camping out around the town
square (like mythical creatures on an Italian vacation!) You will be free to take in the fantastic
Galleria del Accademia
(home of Michelangelo's David), or the equally notable
other intriguing landmarks on this Free Day.
At the heart of our tour we will make a spiritual pilgrimage to the
Niki De Saint Phalle.
A breathtaking view of colorful sculptures loom large on the horizon as we draw near… Niki created this 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 take photos; the Tarot garden invites us to
interact with her compelling and remarkable artworks.
We can enjoy a blissful stay in the lovely hill-top town of
Accademia di Carrara.
We have been invited to a
viewing of the original Visconti-Sforza cards
(the oldest known Tarocchi deck) housed in the Academy Carrara, (which has been closed while under construction for
Bergamo is split into an ancient Renaissance town and a trendy, fashionable area, and we will have time to explore both
Incidentally, while in Bergamo researching the next tour with Morena, we were served a refreshing
in order to
''cleanse the palate for dessert.''
We fell under the spell of this lightly fragrant, citrus liqueur. Its like drinking liquid sunshine! So Arnell experimented with different versions and
our favorite Limoncello recipe.
And yes, we will return to that yummy restaurant with delectable Limoncello with this tour!
We will also travel to the quaint mountain village of
to view an amazing ancient astrological clock and one of the greatest surviving
known as the
Triumph of Death.
And we'll visit important, inspirational Tarocchi frescoes from the Renaissance era of the Lombardy region which can be discovered in private palaces such
Castle of Masnago
(which has ghostly remains of a charming 15th century Fresco depicting nobility playing cards while drifting in a tiny boat in
Then make our way back to
for a final surprise (or two!) and a farewell dinner with warm good-byes to dear Osvaldo Menegazzi & friends. The tour will end where it began and having come full circle,
we can bask in the collective experience of a lifetime!
The tour includes:
All hotel accommodations, all breakfasts, transportation within Italy (chartered tour bus), all scheduled events & tour fees, and
all but three dinners; along with wonderful surprises, special guests and Tarot luminaries.
And her short
trailer for a film
she is hopes to make. Brief glimpses of places we shared together...like fragments of a dream.
Incredible Tarot Garden by Niki de Saint Phalle
the director of
Museo dei Tarocchi
is seen with creative business partner Ernesto Fazioli. Their international Tarot Museum houses an impressive Tarot deck & art collection along with a publishing
house and gift shop. They are respected scholars of tarot, astrology, ancient esoteric history, symbolism & lore in both Italy (predominantly Ferrara
& Bologna; their 'home turf') and abroad. Check out this
which showcases the Tarot Museum, and offers Tarot deck reviews.
is a certified tour manager and this is the 3rd Tarot tour she has co-organized. She's a Jungian-based,
Expressive Arts Therapist who has passionately studied Tarot since the 1980's. She has contributed to countless collaborative Tarot projects and created five
decks so far including,
published by U.S. Games, and
which she has hand-crafted since '94. Her latest offering is
Lucky Pack Tarot.
She also publishes other artist's decks such as
Dark Goddess Tarot
and the Minoan Tarot. Arnell has combined studies in spiritual and psychological realms to create
her unique interpretation of Tarot. She lives in Chicago with husband/best friend
You can view Arnell's art, decks, and a line of custom-made miniature occult shops, or read her various articles
Michael & Arnell went on the infamous Tarot history tours with
(1999 & 2000) and dedicate these Italy tours to his brilliant legacy with much love and
Tarot Art & History Tour of Italy - 14 Days of Spring:
Sunday April 12th - Sunday the 26th, 2015
Collage of 2012 Tarot Art & History Tour Highlights
Wheels of Cheese in Tuscany Are Their Own Sort of Art
*Note* The three videos of: il Meneghello, the Tarot Museum & Tarot Garden are courtesy of
Linda Marson of
Global Spiritual Studies
where you can find an excellent range of Tarot master classes & courses from well-known authors & teachers including Mary K. Greer & Rachel Pollack.