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Summer Art Restoration Programs in Italy

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Messors Workshops - Cultural Heritage Preservation and Restoration in Italy:
Messors Workshops is offering summer Art Restoration Workshops on Fresco and Fine Arts, based in the rich cultural and historical setting of Altamura and Gravina in Puglia (Apulia) region of Southern Italy. We are located in the province of Bari, 45 km / 27 miles south-west of Bari, close to the border with Basilicata. The Frescoes are part of the rupestrian settlements (underground habitations) based in the Alta Murgia area in the Puglia region of Italy. Wood Statue and Canvases are provided by local churches and private collections.

Email: Contact us here     ( or request a callback ).
Program director Tonio Creanza encourages a 'hands on approach to restoration', and each participant has the opportunity to work directly on frescoes and paintings, experiencing the process of restoration as it unfolds.

Bari Airport serves the city of Bari and the Puglia Region. The airport is approximately 8 km (5 miles) north-west of the city centre.

Beyond The Mere Preservation:

Photo of Summer Art Restoration Programs in ItalyBeyond the mere preservation of the rupestral settlements and local historical artworks, Messors’s ultimate goal is to revitalize and restore these sites so that they may once again be centres for social and cultural interaction. This has already begun at the restored Masseria Jesce where a number of cultural events and activities such as concerts and children's educational programs have been conducted.

Messors’s body of knowledge and expertise has been enriched by contributors such as restorer Dr, Filip Petcu, Faculty of Arts, Department of Restoration, University of Timisoara (Romania), Dr. Giovanni Ragone, Geologist.

About Us:

Image of Summer Art Restoration Programs in ItalyMessors is a series of educational workshops branded out from Sinergie-Servizi Per I Beni Culturali that was established in 1989 under the direction of Tonio Creanza (Project Coordinator) in conjunction with the City of Altamura and the regional government.  It’s mandate has been to preserve the cultural heritage of the Altamurgia region. At its inception Sinergie worked on the research and restoration of the Masseria Jesce Site, a rural rupestral and archaeological site with frescoes dating from the 14th century. 

From 2004 to 2009, Sinergie formed a highly successful alliance with James Madison University in Virginia, which ran credited study programs through Sinergie. Throughout it’s existence the organization has also run open, non-credit programs for participants from around the world who are not affiliated with a University but wish to learn more about the areas cultural heritage and techniques of  preservation.

The program is now working on the rupestral settlements of Fornello and Carpentino, and with local parishes in the preservation of church statues and canvases.

Art Restoration Programs Summer 2018:

Photos of Messors Workshops - Cultural Heritage Preservation and Restoration in ItalyFresco & Fine Arts Preservation and Restoration Program
Period: July 2 - 17, 2018; August 8-21, 2018

The courses provide a practical focus, allowing students ample opportunity for participation in restoration technique, and are complimented by seminars in Art History, Geomorphological Studies and Iconography.

Participants will also review the completed and restored works from past projects': 17th century wood statues used in Religious processions, decorative paintings and stone reliefs of Francis Ford Coppola's Palazzo Margherita in Bernalda, exterior and interior frescoes, paintings in both private collections and that of the church.


Fieldwork, study, research and hands-on cultural landscape conservation and restoration.
July 23-August 3, 2018

*Shepherds & Food Culture
Food and Language of landscape
August 27 - September 3, 2018


Picture of Summer Art Restoration Programs in ItalyOur workshop home is located in the small southern town of Gravina in Puglia. The town, built of golden tufa stone, crops up over a thread of rupestrian dwellings and ravine that winds towards open wheat fields and the sounds of evening swallows.
With its ancient roots in the Peucetii culture and its position on the Appian way from Rome to the Mediterranean sea, Gravina is dense with history, archaeology and the arts. Emperor Frederick II chose the surrounding plateaus as his personal hunting grounds, referring to the area as “Grana dat et Vina”- meaning the land of wheat and wine.

An hour inland from the Adriatic coast and neighbour to the Unesco World Heritage site of Matera, Gravina has been ruled through history by the  Byzantines, Lombards, Normans, Swabians and North Africans and one of its native residents Vincenzo Maria Orsini, went on to become the Pope Benedict XIII.

Our private residence is in a 15th-century building in the historic town centre. The palazzo has retained some of its original features, however, it has been largely updated with modern amenities. Meals will be prepared in our kitchen and shared in the dining room, which leads to salons, bedrooms, bathrooms, and a balcony overlooking one of the narrow residential streets.

From our front door, walk to the piazza for a Peroni, and from the balcony, listen to the animated conversations that have inevitably turned to food. The region is home to seas of olive groves, almonds, durum wheat, Nero di Troia & Primitivo grapes and a foraging culture that brings wild oregano, fennel, and chicory to the local market. The town is a honeycomb of artisanal shops- cheese, focaccia, bread, cured meats, and osterias.

*Shared bedrooms and bathroom facilities.
**All amenities are available in town ( pharmacy, grocery, stamps, medical, hygiene etc.

Culinary & Shepherding Workshops - Harvesting Food Through History:

Images of Messors Workshops - Cultural Heritage Preservation and Restoration in ItalyWORKSHOP DATES
August 27 - September 3, 2018

Culinary & Shepherding: Harvesting Food through History- Cooking, eating and meeting its makers, the daily life of a shepherd.

Anthropology of Food and Life Style: The Rhythms and the Connections between Food, Culture and Landscape

The venerated cuisine of the Mediterranean has been created and re-created through the course of history by geography, social customs, migration and the mythical and religious universe wrapped around "eating". The Mediterranean diet is inclusive of "lifestyle" which upholds traditional methods of farming and fishing and nurtures the practice of family meals, and celebration.

Through hands-on activities, cooking, excursions, discussions and lectures, our workshop celebrates and promotes to preserve the culture, ingredients, production, and cooking methods of the "diet" deeply rooted in its predominantly Greek and Roman origins.

The workshop is led by Tonio Creanza, the Founder and Director of Messors, a native of Puglia, along with his colleagues of local farmers, cheese makers, shepherds, historians, restauranteurs, etc.

Participants are involved in the “food journey” to learn and understand the rhythms and the connections expressed by food: the seasonality, the social tempo of a weekly structured diet; the pace dictated by yeast rising in bread dough, or the time it takes to make cheese from basic ingredients.

Culural Heritage Preservation and Restoration:

Messors aims to promote the cultural heritage through hands-on and immersive experiences, which not only have a positive impact on the participant but on the region as well.

In all the workshops offered, participants interact with local professionals and everyday members of the area to explore ways in which heritage and its conservation can have a substantial impact on communities and larger cultural and social issues.

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Address: Altamura (Bari), Puglia, Italy
Some interested visitors submitting program inquiries to our school up to 2018-08-01 were from:

Casper, USA;   Solihull, UK & England;   Frankfurt, Germany;   Wisconsin, USA;   Durban, South Africa;   Geneva, Switzerland;   USA;   Yerevan, Armenia;   and more.
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