THE VISIONS IN THE MISCHTECHNIK SEMINAR
~ FLIGHTS ~
Registered students should think about booking their flights as soon as possible, since the earlier you book, the cheaper it is.
I’ve always used a website called http://www.expedia.com/, although there are similar sites which compare airline prices for you. I usually check the site 1 – 2 times per day for a couple of days, just to see how much the prices fluctuate. Certain airlines put ‘deals’ on-line for just a few hours. So, get a feel for it before you reserve a flight.
The closest international airport to Torri Superiore is Nice, France. You can also fly to London or Paris and get a cheap flight from there to Nice. A flight from Paris to Nice costs around €55 and leaves every hour.
~ INLAND TRANSPORTATION TO TORRI SUPERIORE ~
From Nice airport, you can easily arrange transport to the main train station called Gare de Nice Ville ~ there’ll be shuttles (“navettes”), buses, taxis, etc.. From there, you want to take one of the many trains that follow the coast (great views!) east across the French-Italian boarder to Ventimiglia Stasione in Italy (see map below). The French Railroad company is called SNCF, and their regular TER trains leave every 30 – 45 minutes. Tickets should cost you a whopping €6.60!
The trains in Europe are great! For longer distances (e.g. say, more than 500 miles / 800 km, like Paris to Nice), people usually fly, but for shorter distances than that its better to take the train. (Trains are also better for the environment!). If anyone is planning on travelling around Europe before of after the seminar, they should also look into rail passes (available only to non-Europeans).
Once you arrive at Ventimiglia Stasione (see the stunningly beautiful photo, below left!), there are information desks to help you. To catch the bus to Torri Superiore, you’ll walk for 5 minutes straight down the street in front of the station and turn right at the round about. You’ll find the bus stop under the big tree (see another great photo, below right, including ma petite amie Florence before the bus stop). The bus will take you to the village of Torri (which is on the river Bevera). Our seminar is at the smaller village of Torri Superiore which is just up the hill from Torri.
According to the Torri Superiore website (http://www.torri-superiore.org):
The bus stop is on the main Ventimiglia road (Via Cavour), about 50 meters away from the train station (walk straight, turn right at the first traffic light, the bus stop is under the only tree in sight). From the bus stop in Torri to the ecovillage it is an easy 400 meter walk (partially uphill). The ticket (Euro 1,20) is sold on the bus.
Bus time-table from Ventimiglia
Week days - 5:05 / 6:40 / 8:10 / 11:30 / 13:30 / 18:15 / 19:40
Holidays - 8:10 / 11:00 / 13:30 / 19:40
If you have a problem, call Lucilla at Torri Superiore (she speaks English). The telephone number is (39) 0184 215504. You can also try to reach Laurence on his French cell phone. The number is (33) 6 30 37 36 68.
~ WHERE IS TORRI SUPERIORE? ~
Torri Superiore is circled in red. It is close to the French border, between the Italian Riviera and the French Cote d’Azur. The closest international airport is in Nice France (bottom left).
~ CURRENCY ~
Bringing American dollars and trying to exchange them is not a good idea. Most of the exchange offices offer lousy rates (the best ones are in the airport). Travelers checks are ok, but you had better exchange them at the airport. It will be difficult to find a place afterward.
Your best option is to use your bank card to withdraw money from a bank machine. The rates are better and the charges are lower in comparison to exchange buros. (Remember to check with your bank before you leave. You might want to raise your weekly limit!).
There are bank machines in Ventimiglia, but not at Torri Superiore (which is a half hour drive away). In any case, once you’re in Torri Superiore, you won’t need much money anyway (except for extras like beer or wine).
~ FOOD ~
Your accommodation includes breakfast, lunch & dinner.
A couple of days into your stay, you’ll have the pleasure of meeting Nina, Torri’s magnificent chef. She’s friendly, open-minded and flexible. So, she can accommodate your particular needs, whether they be gluten-free, vegan or avowed carnivore. (Please inform us ahead of time.)
The small community organically grows enough food to supply its residents. But, the busy summer season requires that they outsource some of the food for their guests. This extra supply comes from the surrounding area, and is mostly ~ but not all! ~ organic.
You’ll soon discover that the residents are very environmentally conscious, and go to every effort to buy locally. Meanwhile, part of what you eat will come from Torri Superiore’s own farms (such as eggs, tomatoes, olives, salad) and they also produce their own olive oil, honey, spices, soap, pottery & other items.
A variety of different dishes are prepared for lunch & dinner. These are laid out on tables and you are free to help yourself. You’ll soon discover that meal times at Torri Superiore are a real event ~ a celebration of different culinary experiences…
Beer and wine are in constant supply thanks to the ‘trust fridge’ ~ open the door, take what you want, and leave the money in the basket on top (around €2 a beer, €10 a bottle of wine). There’s also a small shop down the hill if you just can’t live without crackers, chips and other cravings.
~ INTERNET ACCESS, ELECTRICITY ~
Torri Superiore has a small library that includes an Apple computer with internet access via ethernet cable or wifi. Various hot spots around the village allow wifi access if you bring your own computer. The connection is fast enough for skype, but don’t expect ultra high speed or fiber optic quality.
As for electricity, all of Europe runs on 220 volts (while the USA is 110 volts). Most computers now have their own transformer built into the cable (check for something like – “input 100 – 240 v, output 18.5 v” on the boxed part of your cable). But, you’ll still need an adapter ~ which simply changes the shape of the prongs at the end of your plug. The sockets at Torri Superiore take either type F or type L plugs (see this link for more info). Please try to bring your own adapters, although Torri Superiore has some that you can borrow.
~ STUDIO AMBIANCE ~
The studio will have a small set of speakers that connects to a computer or i-pod. So, please feel free to bring music to share with others while painting.
Each year we also build an altar, so feel free to bring a small image, talisman or piece of Nature from your own environs.
~ WHAT TO PACK ~
Here’s a list of what you should think of packing…
- Clothing for warm ~ hot summer weather
- Bathing suit & towel for the swimming grotto
- Running shoes (for the walk over rough rocks to the swimming grotto)
- Sandals (for the studio and around Torri Superiore)
- Mosquito spray
- Adapter for computer
For a list of the art supplies you’ll need, see the Required Materials page
~ AIRPORT SECURITY & PACKING PAINTS ~
Unfortunately, some students have had problems with airport security (particularly in the USA) because of oil paint tubes in their luggage (I’m sure their non-conservative appearance may have had something to do with it as well…).
Be sure to pack your oil paints in your checked-in luggage! Otherwise, you shouldn’t have any problems. If you do have problems, kindly explain that you’ve looked into the matter beforehand. To be extra safe, you could copy and print out the e-mail below, which was sent to us from the American Transportation Security Administration in response to our inquiries:
Thank you for your e-mail, asking about the carriage of oil paints in tubes in both checked and carry-on baggage. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not prohibit carriage of nonflammable oil paints or solvents in tubes in checked baggage. However, we recommend that passengers contact their airlines about any additional rules they may have concerning the carriage of nonflammable oil paints and solvents. TSA also recommends that passengers print out material safety data sheets from the internet and include it in their checked baggage with their oil paints and solvents.
Nonflammable oil paints are also allowed as carry-on items. However, passengers must observe the TSA policy for liquids, gels and aerosols. Travelers passing through security checkpoints may carry liquids, gels, and aerosols if these are in containers 3.4 ounces or smaller. All of these must be placed in one, quart-size, clear plastic, resealable bag and must fit comfortably in the bag (3-1-1 rule).
Please be aware that regardless of whether an item is on the TSA prohibited or permitted items list, the Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) have discretion to prohibit travelers from carrying items through the screening checkpoints or onboard aircraft if they believe the items pose security threats. TSA security screening personnel make the final decisions on whether to permit items like oil paints into the sterile areas of airports and onboard flights.
We hope this information is helpful.
-TSA Contact Center