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We had a Great time this past May 2011 !! 


Fattoria San Donato, IT

(Upper Left) Denise & Bruce... tour specialists!
Art Instructor, Tour Coordinator Denise Justice with Artists.

Dear Denise

Just wanted to let you know what a WONDERFUL trip it was.  I had a wonderful time, the scenery was breathtaking and San Donato was absolutely lovely.   You did a fantastic job.  You went above and beyond keeping us all happy.  Bruce did an excellent job following you in the car and everything he helped you with.  It was a trip of a lifetime and I'm so glad I didn't miss it.  We will all have a special bond. To go to Italy was something, but to also paint there was quite the experience.  I can't thank you and Bruce enough for all you did.  IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!!

Love, Judie (Roomie)   6/2011



We visited the town San Gimignano and staying at the Agriturismo FATTORIA SAN DONATO.
Photos by Denise


San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. It is mainly famous for its medieval architecture especially its towers, which may be seen from several kilometres outside the town. A formal rival to Florence in both wealth, and power, it fell to the black plague which killed 75 percent of the population. In the past few decades tourism and film makers have revitalized the town 'frozen' in time, making it one of the most sought after destinations when visiting the Tuscan area.

 The town also is known for the white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, grown in the area.



Fattoria San Donato, IT
Tasting Traditional Italian (D. Justice)



San Gimignano, IT / exterior wall (D.Justice)



San Gimignano, IT (D.Justice)



Fattoria San Donato / courtyard/ (D. Justice)


-- What can I say?  It was a trip to remember.  I'm still thinking about the beauty of Tuscany, the prosciutto at every meal, the gelati experiences, the wild auto trips to Florence, San Gimignano, and Siena.  Thank you Denise and Peter for accompanying me to church on Sunday.  It was an experience I will never forget, very memorable.  I would love to have a copy of the photos we took with the priest that day.  Our group was fantastic to travel with.  Many memories and laughs.  We must get the group together for a recap meeting complete with Italian food.  And last, but not least, kudos to our drivers, Denise and Bruce, who maneuvered the rotaries like race-car drivers.  Congratulations to Aleta for selling her beautiful painting.
Love, Terry


I loved the trip!  And our group was the best.  Ten is a good number.   San Donato was the perfect location for this particular venture, the hosts were most gracious, food was delicious, the wine never-ending...
My favorite town was San Gimignano, easy to negotiate, picturesque, and fun to explore.  Really enjoyed the Siena church/duomo.  Worth the trip there.  Personally, and I might be the only person feeling this way, I would have preferred that we have a more inclusive tour of the Uffizi museum instead of spending so much time on just a few paintings.  And if at all possible, more time to visit the city of Florence.
And lastly, I can't heap enough praise upon you, Denise, and Bruce, for being the amazing drivers that you were, as well as tour guides, group leaders, organizers, and teacher.  Thanks for a really good time.



I'm already missing San Donato and my fellow travelers. - No exotic breakfasts, no afterdinner wine, no Peter-jokes or Aleta responses.  I could go on and on but you get my meaning.

I wish you all a delightful summer and hope to see you in the fall. 

Hi everyone,
My thanks to all of you for your support and love during our trip to Italy.  You really helped me as I travel through my grieving process, and I am so glad that I made the trip.  
I'll catch up with you folks again in early June. 
Warm regards,
Denise's note *  In Memory of Rise Scharf, wife of Peter and an extraordinary woman! 
She is deeply missed, non greater than by her wonderful husband and family..
Rise lost her life to cancer shortly before our journey. May we find the cure - soon! We love you and miss you.

Photographs by Denise Justice. Copyright 2011-2014