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Travel experience with the Albaneses

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As an architect and painter, I find that travel is one of the most stimulating, creative experiences one can have. My interest in traveling is to anticipate every trip abroad as an adventure, a journey, and an opportunity of discovery. Being a tourist will get us to a destination; however, being a traveler, willing to experience how people of other cultures live, opens our eyes to a world of social, esthetic, and environmental enrichment. Painting and sketching can be our license to observe, listen, taste, or otherwise experience in every way possible, the daily vibrations of a new culture.

Every plaza, pedestrian street, or even modest market place has a cultural signature of its own. One only has to stop and observe to realize how much actually takes place in the cycle of daily life. I love to experience and share with those I travel with, the human signature of place and attempt to sensitize others while I capture the spirit of space in my paintings

For the past 23 years I, along with my wife Claire, have conducted trips through the Mediterranean in an attempt to teach the art of traveling and experiencing the most a cultural journey can offer. In our travels, we try to avoid being tourists as much as possible and take time to enjoy the history, art, architecture, and food of the Mediterranean. I enjoy focusing on the most beautiful places possible, in the limited time we usually have, and encourage those who travel with us to explore and "make memories" that only an individual or couple can experience on their own. Today, we have introduced places we love in Italy and Greece to over 600 college students and adults beyond college years. Not everyone sketches and paints, but everyone who travels with us inevitably learns to see much more in the places we visit.

About our trips:

  • Our trips are generally in the early summer and early fall, and alternate between Tuscany and the Greek Islands.
  • They are normally about 16 days in length and, for many, include extended side trips before or after the official trip itinerary.
  • There is a fixed cost that includes everything but airfares, lunches, and dinners. Our hotels are 3 and 4 star rated with private baths and AC, and are always located in the center of the town or village we are visiting.
  • After two decades of being responsible for an average of 25 people per trip, we have learned to avoid some of the difficulties of group travel but make enough spontaneous decisions along the way to make each trip an adventure.
  • We are informal and purposely not a tour; no lectures about where we are but plenty of antidotes about why we are there.
  • I conduct painting workshops before the trip for anyone who wants to participate, and do painting demonstrations for everyone who is interested in learning or watching how a painting comes about. Beginners and experienced artists are welcome, and there is always something for everyone in the group to do and enjoy.

When is our next trip?

  • The next Mediterranean trip is in June 2014
  • Places we will visit: Tuscany, Italy
  • Painting and sketching workshops included
  • For a detailed itinerary and trip cost contact me through this web site