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Friday, October 2, 2020

Our Mountain Creativity retreat in mid September






Our Creativity Workshop: painting, poetry, writing, adventuring.

Cittadella sits high up in the Sibillini range of mountains under the gaze of the Mt Vettore, the highest of the seven peaks which form a circle and which are linked together by ancient pathways.

It has been our workshop base for the past three years where we have collectively explored our creativity in painting, poetry and adventures in the natural beauty of its surrounding countryside, a magical playground which allows body, mind and spirit a release from the concerns and pressures of life and which gives free rein to the senses. We connect slowly to this world of huge skies, deep forests and mountain glades, gurgling streams and crashing waterfalls; a magical place where there are an ever increasing number of indigenous animals, as its flora and fauna return to their ancient habitats, encouraged by an enlightened re-wilding programme in the Sibillini National Park





Ci Kung morning lesson

Our days began early with Tai Ci and Ci Kung around the pool, where we push away things we don't want in our days, our lives; and then invite in things which we want and desire. Butterflies and honey bees abound in this unpolluted air, and we are all entranced by this symphony of life which abounds at this altitude. It feels as if we too are floating in the sky and it is the very best way to start the day

Then off we trip up the hill to have breakfast, meeting again at 9.30 to discuss the day ahead. 

Mornings were a gentle time at Cittadella. On one we went searching for glades to be alone in; being surprised by rustlings of creatures in the grass and the beauty of deer tearing past us. We spent a day  at Lu Vurghe, an ancient thermal spring near Ascoli, an old Roman resort which has recently been restored to provide hot mini baths above the beach alongside the river Tronto and its rapids. It was a day to dream about and we sketched and painted, wrote poetry and bathed in the hot water pouring from huge rocks. Some of us (one) braved the rapids too.



                                                      Lu Vurghe

Lu Vurghe.........

I lie here.

The river, driven by its own intent,

Fleetingly holds my shape,

Roughly caresses my body,

Rudely probes my secret places.

The future is elsewhere.

The past wiped clean.

Only now fills the void.

A poem by Ruth Dunsby (below)










Most afternoons we devoted ourselves to studio time, sharing ideas and taking time individually to go sketching or painting or writing Haikus and poetry, and dipping into the pool to cool down





Our evenings after dinner (delicious Italian food) were when we would get together to share stories about our daytime adventures. It is a good time, a time when friendships are made and when we relax in the beauty of twilight and the first whispering sounds of the night and the beauty of the stars in this clean mountain air. We were an eclectic group of different nationalities and age groups but so alike in many ways too; in our love of creativity in whatever form, and in our sense of wonder at life's possibilities












La Cena




The Garden at Cittadella



morning get together
















Dancing to the end of love (Leonard Cohen inspired)










Click on GALLERY; to see some of this year's work

                     


Michael Eldridge

Tel (whatsapp) +39. 3283535358 to know more about our creativity workshops in 2021

email; michael@starstone.org








Friday, January 3, 2020

Early summer in the mountains of Italy





Early June in the Sibillini mountains is an exquisite time of year. The winter snows have all but receded from Monte Vettore and her sister peaks, and although the Springtime starts a little later here than along the coastal strip, it bursts through suddenly at this time, in a riot of colour as if celebrating the very rebirth of nature, awakening the animals, the bears from their winter slumber and the wolves who are already nursing their newly born cubs and in the crystal clear blue sky above, the mountain eagles are scouring the fields below for food for their offspring. Butterflies and honey bees abound in this unpolluted air, and we are all entranced by this symphony of life which abounds at this altitude

Our days
We arise early of a morning before breakfast to stroll down to the pool for Tai Chi or Ci Kung





Here, it is as if we are floating in the sky, or at least the swallows and house martins might think we are as they swoop down and around us and falcons glide blissfully high up above us.

Staying at Cittadella, you can't help but become absorbed in Nature, and there are places close by amongst these mountains which are somehow sacred, by the waterfalls, the gushing streams and rivers, the ancient pathways. And our walks and adventures hereabouts allow us to shed ourselves for a while of the strains and stresses of our lives and to allow our creativity to flourish. We paint, we write poetry, we photograph, and we share our experiences with one another, forming new and lasting bonds in our lives.


Many past participants will be returning again this year; the finest of folks who love to share what they have learned....And there will be a places available for newcomers too.
So who would this attract?  I would say, folks who have some experience with art expression; any type at all photography, music, writing, sketching, painting, handicrafts, gardening,

They would have a love of sharing too and probably be less rational and more poetic by nature.


And if this gives you a tingle in your tummy, well, that's a positive sign,.And if you need to chat about the weekend, don't be shy, just call me on whatsapp +39 328 3535358. 

Or mail michael@starstone.org