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Learn the Art of Mosaic in Val di Noto

Val di Noto, described by Unesco as “representing the culmination and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe” comprises 8 towns in south-eastern Sicily. Following the infamous earthquake of 1693 which destroyed numerous towns in the region, the rebuilding and restoration of these towns in the late baroque style helped shape Val di Noto into the striking location it is today.

Cathedral San Nicolo, Noto

The team at Creative Italy want to share this most historic and picturesque location. Val di Noto is the perfect site to learn the ancient art of the mosaic. Stay in a historic house, learn at the side of an expert artisan and experience a truly unique retreat in Val di Noto!

Origins of Mosaic

The word “mosaic” is derived from the Latin mosaicus which has Greek origins, meaning “work of the Muses.” The art of mosaic involves arranging small pieces of coloured tiles, stone or glass to form an image or pattern. It could be said that it was the ancient Greeks who first took this art form to such an elevated level,  but it during the Roman empire that the art of the mosaic reached its peak. Mosaic work was often found as part of an ornamental frieze on the wall, floor, ceilings, or even as part of an inscription to greet guests.

The Artisan and our Retreat

Today new technologies in colour rendering, building techniques and materials are utilised. Our retreat ensures the Roman methods are not forgotten but also introduces you to these modern innovations. Guided by our talented expert, learn the technique of Mosaic Romano. Begin with a full-size drawing on cardboard. The lines and colours of the drawing will be replaced by tiles. The tiles or tesserae will be cut into small squares, rectangles or triangles and are arranged to form an image. Taking into account the effect of light reflection, the tesserae are fixed gradually on small sections of a plastered surface.

Learn to use tools such as the “martellina”, a special mosaic hammer with two cross-cut steel pegs on each side, and the “brush” which is used to spread the glue on paper. Become familiar with the “stucco iron’’ and ”spatulas”, which are used for applying the mastics, the ”tagliolo” which is driven into a block of wood to act as a counter-stroke to the cut of the hammer. Discover the ‘direct technique’ and ‘indirect technique.’

During our retreat you will also have the opportunity to step away from the tools and visit two stunning examples of Mosaic Romano, the Villa del Tellaro and Villa Romana del Casale. After all, we want you to see the real thing, feel inspired and experience first hand the wonderful world of the mosaic!

3 Reasons to Book our Mosaic Retreat

1. You are ensuring this ancient art and the artisans who practise it continue to thrive. Respecting the history and centuries old heritage. Learning the techniques and history of the craft will spread the knowledge and wonder of the mosaic

2. Mosaic making is accessible – you do not need prior knowledge or specific skills to get started. You will be guided by our expert artisan, who will teach you how to use the tools and show you the techniques of Mosaic Romano

3. The opportunity to express yourself artistically is incredibly therapeutic. Whether you are looking to relax, unwind or immerse yourself in an artistic activity, the health benefits are countless

Our package includes:

  • 5 nights’ accommodation
  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • 5 day mosaic workshop – 3 hours a day of mosaic workshop
  • Entrances at the Villa del Tellaro and Villa Del Casale
  • Guide at the Villa del Casale
  • Transportation to Villa del Tellaro and Villa del Casale

Our talented artisan will introduce you to the technique of Mosaic Romano

Booking Dates

  • 15th of September 2023
  • 6th of October 2023

*there may be other dates available upon request*

Immerse yourself in art of mosaic and book our retreat in Val di Noto today!


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