MOSAIC TOUR: the Mosaic Riches of Northern Italy

Category: Koko Events

Tour  the mosaic riches of  Northern Italy        

The tour runs from Saturday October 17th to Tuesday October 20th  

640 euros per person  
Includes:  Welcome aperitivo  and introduction, three and a half days of visiting sites, transportation, all museum entries,  guided visits by specialized guides, a final night dinner, and the services of two professional mosaicists. 
Not included:  lunches, two dinners, and items of a personal nature.  Hotel costs are not included as availability and price fluctuates according to season (approximately €150-180 hotel costs based on double occupancy ).  We stay at the same hotel and share rooms (singles are available with supplemental charge). Breakfasts are included in hotel costs.  
Price does not include Italian taxes, however, only Italian nationals/residents are subject to said taxes. 

Minimum of four people, maximum of eight.

TO BOOK: For more information or to reserve a space, please send an email to

The International Festival of Contemporary Mosaic (fourth edition) begins on Saturday October 10th with a range of openings, conferences, exhibitions and festivities.

To complement  the activities, Kokomosaico and Twin Dolphin Mosaics are offering a three and a half day exploration of mosaics in northern Italy, ranging from the Roman era right up to present-day expression.    

We begin with a visit to Pomposa, site of a medieval Benedictine monastery, whose church features an intricate and colorful mosaic floor.  
On to Spilimbergo, home to an important mosaic school since 1922. Wandering the school’s three floors packed with decades of mosaic work is an education in itself.  
A visit to a local studio gives us the opportunity to appreciate the differing philosophies and techniques of Ravenna and Spilimbergo.  
We’ll then spend a day at northern Italy’s most important archeological site, Aquileia. Here the Basilica is literally carpeted with early Christian mosaics, while the archeological museum features a wealth of Roman era mosaics.   
We conclude  our time together with  a visit to the famous Donà  smalti factory.   
Stephanie Jurs (Twin Dolphin Mosaics) and Arianna Gallo (Kokomosaico) are your hosts.   


Saturday October 17:  We meet in Ravenna in the morning for a brief introduction, then drive to Spilimbergo with a midday stop in Pomposa.  This was the site of a Benedictine monastery in the Middle Ages—once the most important spiritual and cultural center  of the region. The patchwork church floor includes fantastical animals executed in mosaic.  Once settled in our hotel in Spilimbergo, we’ll wander the medieval  centro storico, stopping for an aperitivo and a full introduction to the tour. 
Sunday October 18:  After a short morning walk we’ll take off for Aquileia near the Adriatic coast.  Once one of antiquity’s most prominent cities with a population over 100,000, today it is a fascinating archeological site (with a mere 3,500 inhabitants). We’ll wander the excavations on our own;  after lunch a specialized guide will take us through the Basilica with its early Christian mosaics,  and the museum with its Roman-era finds.  Antiquity and the  early Christian era come alive here like few other places.  
Monday October 19: We’ll spend the morning visiting the famous Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli, founded in 1922. The classrooms are open to visitors and we’ll wander the halls—three floors displaying a huge variety of mosaics, which tend to generate lively discussions on craft and art. In the afternoon we’ll visit a local studio whose work is represented worldwide.  A final night dinner celebrates our time together.   
Tuesday October 20:  After breakfast we’ll  take a tour of the Donà smalti factory,  where the palette of hundreds of colors will make you itch to get going on your next mosaic (and yes, you can buy supplies to take with you).  We then return to Ravenna, or you can continue on your travels. 
The itinerary is subject to slight changes due to weather, unforeseen circumstances or merely  in order to take advantage of  local offerings.   

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The trainees, followed by the teachers Enrico Poggiali, creator of the course, and Arianna Gallo, mosaic artist, will actively participate in all the phases of the work and will learn the basics of the floor mosaic (opus tessellatum), from the cutting of the materials to the preparation of the project, from the setting of the tesserae to the final cementing of the sections. Working in groups and on site, the students will create a permanent flooring inside the "Balneum", a Roman bath previously built in the Dimora Energia laboratory in Rimini. At the end of the course a certificate of attendance will be issued.Cost: € 350 (taxes, tuition and use of the tools included in the price)Duration: from Friday 1st June to Sunday 3rd June, for a total of 24 hoursGoal: to create a mosaic floor inside the "Balneum" of Dimora Energia.Location: Dimora Energia Laboratory, at EX-GATE, via Luigi Tonini 24, RiminiYou can register by April 20th, 2018, by contacting us via @ mail:


2018 MOSAIC COURSES SCHEDULE All mosaic classes are available: Ravenna’s techniques or Contemporary technique or opus vermiculatum/micro mosaicJanuary15-19 February19-23 April16-20 MarchNo classes availableMay07-11 14-18 21-25 Mosaic class not available, fully bookedJune1-3 special workshop for mosaic floors in the laboratory of Dimora Energia in Rimini11-15 July02-06 16-20 AugustMosaic workshops in Canada!September24-28 October 15-19 November12-16 December10-14 SHORT CLASSES, GROUP'S CLASSES, FAMILY COURSE AND MOSAIC DEMONSTRATION ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENTInfo and booking:

Vermiculatum class in Brussels

OPUS VERMICULATUM CLASSInstructor: Arianna Gallo                                   Dates: June 18-19Timetable: Saturday: 9:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00; Sunday 9:00-12:00Cost: €   230   The price includes instruction 8h a day, all materials, use of tools, the mosaic you have created, all taxes and insurance.                             To book please contact: or jice.artmosaico@gmail.comWHAT STUDENTS WILL LEARN: The workshop's focus is the special technique of direct application onto a temporary frame filled with clay.We will make a small detail from an opus vermiculatum mosaic of the Roman period.You can choose between a few examples of Italian vermiculatum mosaics belonging to the first century AD.First we will learn how to cut marble and stone into tiny tesserae using the traditional tools: hammer and hardie.During the course you will design and make a mosaic of approximately 5 cm x 5 cm (2x2 inches).                                                                 Keeping your design simple and choosing the smaller size mosaic substrate will help you to finish your mosaic by the workshop’s end. Materials, substrates and all necessary tools are provided.WHAT IS OPUS VERMICULATUM?It is the technique employed in the execution of the most refined mosaics (emblemata) in both the ancient Greek and Roman periods.                                                                                     The term vermiculatum (from the Latin vermiculus, little worm) refers either to the tiny, worm-like tesserae (from 1 to 4 mm) or to tesserae no longer square but irregular in shape, as well as to the wriggling following of shapes by flowing lines of small tesserae.SCHEDULEFirst day:Lecture#1: Presentation of the workshop. Focus on the technique with a slideshow of the making of the "Alexander the Great " mosaic.Selection of the vermiculatum detail to recreate in mosaic.Tracing the image with a special water-soluble pen.Selection of the marble and stone, according to the detail you've chosen.Cutting lesson: how to use the martellina and the tagliolo; how to cut marble and stone into tiny pieces and into the right shapes.Preparation of the temporary support and filling it with clay.Imprint the traced design onto the surface of the moist lime by laying the tracing paper on top of it.Execution of the mosaic.Application of the water-soluble glue.Removal of the clay from the interstices and the backs of every single tesserae.Preparation of the permanent support and cement for the new setting bed. (We will have to wait about 10 hours for the cement to dry.)Second day:Lecture #2: the various types of floor mosaics in the ancient Roman world. How many opus do you know?Removal of the glue from the surface of the mosaic.Smoothing of the surface with a diamond sponge.Grouting.Finishing touches on the mosaic, awarding the certificates, and group photo.Looking forward to seeing you very soon!Warm wishes,Arianna Gallo  

November 2016 Manga class

Mosaic your favorite manga Instructor:  Arianna Gallo                             Dates  2 - 6 Nov 2016 Time: 9:00-13:00 and 14:00-18:00 Cost: €  660 The price includes instruction 8h a day, all materials, use of tools, the mosaic you have created, all taxes, insurance, and a certificate attesting to successful completion of the course. You can pay the first day of the workshop, by cash or credit card. To book please contact: or info@kokomosaico.comThis course is suitable for both beginners and intermediates  WHAT STUDENTS WILL LEARN: The workshop's focus is the translation into mosaic of the manga drawing you have chosen. Together we will determine the best technique and the most appropriate materials to use (Orsoni's smalti and gold, marble and so on). Often when I do a manga mosaic I use lead as an outline, so one of the goals of this workshop is to learn how to cut, beat and shape the lead. During the course you will design and make a mosaic of approximately  12x16 inches or 12x12 inches (30x30 or 30x40 cm). Materials, substrates and all necessary tools are  provided. Participants can work with different and/or larger dimensions if they wish, but in that case please contact us 4 weeks in advance. Keeping your design simple and choosing the smaller size mosaic substrate will help you to finish your mosaic by the workshop’s end.   STUDENT PREPARATION FOR WORKSHOP Please send an e-mail to: and attach your manga designs  in advance, in order to discuss this with you.                             If you choose to do so, please begin your inquiries at LEAST 30 days prior to the class.                                                                                 If you can decide on your design beforehand, this will save you valuable time on the first day. If you don’t have time to prepare any designs before the course, then try and bring several pictorial references with you.                                     This could be anything from a book to a greeting card that you like, a picture from the web, etc. Please do your research and consider that a good drawing / illustration / picture is much easier to work from than a low resolution or out-of-focus picture. SCHEDULE Wednesday Nov 2: Lecture#1: Presentation of the workshop. Discussion about the best technique, the best support and the best materials to employ according to your chosen manga drawing. Tracing the image with a special water-soluble pen. Cutting lesson #1: how to use the martellina and the tagliolo and how to cut smalti and marble in a contemporary style. Cutting lesson #2: how to cut, beat and shape lead. Preparation of the support and the frame (mesh, wood, honeycomb and so on). Thursday Nov 3: Lecture #2: the relationship between the artist (painter, photographer…) and the mosaicist / the relationship between pictor imaginarius and musivarius in the past and nowadays. Execution of the mosaic. Friday Nov 4 and Saturday Nov 5: Work on the mosaic all day. Sunday Nov 6: Finishing touches on the mosaic, awarding the certificates, and group photo.   Looking forward to see you in November, Warm wishes,       Arianna Gallo