Atelier Alupi
en français  in Italiano  en español  русский

An exceptional site

We stay in a small castle located near Amboise, in the Loire valley, 10 miles from Tours and 160 miles from Paris. The castle is surrounded by a large park featuring some very old trees, each of a different species. A small river with waterfalls runs accross the park.

The Castle

Accomodation is in the refurbished chateau itself. You have complete access to all of the castle, as well as to the grounds.

Please note that this workshop is not recommended for people looking for the comfort and services of a grand hotel. Comfort is basic and we are alone in the castle, there is no staff to clean up the rooms. Therefore, despite the outstanding location and building, do not expect to find yourself in a luxury resort.

We will work and live in this authentic XVIth century castle surrounded by a large park containing about 30 different species of trees, some of them rare and more than 200 years old (Lebanon, Atlas and Himalayas cedars, giant Sequoia, Ginkgo Biloba, Araucaria, Japan Sophora, etc.) As a testimony of their exceptional character, the park and the castle are registered on the national list of the French Historical Monuments.
Luxury is therefore not to be found in the material comfort, but in a setting which inspired the kings and Leonardo da Vinci, whose tomb is located but a few miles away in Amboise.

In the present times, there have been a number of alterations to the castle in order to introduce modern facilities. The inner parts have been entirely refurbished to install the heating and tap water, but not to the point of alienating its historical spirit. For instance, these modifications did not plan to set up a toilet in each room. Rooms, nevertheless, have each one a private lavatory with hot and cold tap water, and the toilets are located nearby, on the corridor (one toilet for two or three rooms). Some of the rooms have their own shower (an additional 50 Euros fee for the week is required for these).

In this setting, we will be working in a friendly atmosphere. Please bring along your musical instrument if you play any ! (There is already a piano in the castle).

The group is cosmopolite (to date, we have been lucky to having been visited by more the 40 nationalities, from Japan to Alaska), but the meals are definitely local, created using fresh produce, often brought up from the garden of our cook, who lives in the village. So of all these original international personalities gathered by art, we make a big family around the French home-made meals and desserts like "gratin dauphinois" or "profiteroles", and, naturally, like in any family, one can be served several times! (Because there is only a single menu, we are sorry not being able to satisfy the special diets.)


Art course

5h per day (see Teaching). If an outing is planned, it is possible that there will be an entrance fee to pay one or two times in the week (max. 12 euros). Thursday afternoon is free to visit other chateaux, vineyards, or simply relax.

Suggested activities after the classes or on Thursday afternoon (free) :

Visiting the famous Loire Châteaux. Some are considered Renaissance masterpieces and are included as such in the World Heritage list of the UNESCO : Amboise, Chenonceaux, Chaumont, Blois and Villandry are nearby.

The Loire Valley is also famous for its white and rosé wines, and numerous cellars offer free wine tasting around, you just need to stop by !

Each evening we sit down together for a delicious dinner and lively conversation after which we either go our own way, to read in the library for example, or we get together to go and explore Amboise, see a sound and light show at its castle or visit the famous ice-cream parlour. Board and quiz games are also organised and bikes and frisbees are available for the more energetic !

Example of daily schedule :

  • 8.30h : Breakfast
  • 9.30h - 12h : Art class (in the park of the Château or on another spot of the area)
  • 12.30h : Lunch
  • 15.30h - 18h : Art class
  •  20h : Dinner
  • Activities are proposed in the evening

Trees, oil - Nicolas Petrescu
drawing painting
Who we are
Where ?

Acrylic draft

The great garden of the Castle

The art workshop begins on Monday at noon and finishes on Sunday morning after breakfast.