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Photo by John Rawlings

Italy Art History and Culture Tours

Join Caravan-Serai for an in-depth exploration of Italy with our friends and experts, John and Suheir Rawlings of Art & Soul International Tours.

April 2-16, 2016: Venice Through the Eyes of an Artist 

Join artist, historian, and story teller Professor John Rawlings on a two week adventure of discovery and exploration like no other. On this tour you will stay in a beautiful hotel hidden from the main tourist streets, eat in restaurants where they will know you by name at the end of the week. You will stand in front of Venice’s artistic treasures and feel the city’s quiet magic in the cool of the night. And together you will learn the city until you can move about like locals. 

September 13 – 27, 2016 Italian Art History

John and Suheir will lead the group through Venice and on to visit the cities of Ravenna, Urbino, Assisi, through Tuscany to Montemaggiore and Siena, San Gimignano, the Chianti wine region, and Florence. The tour will end back in Venice. Stay in small boutique hotels, enjoy a stay on a farm in Tuscany, and go wine tasting in Chianti. John and Suheir will show you the heart of Italy as you learn about the art history, culture and cuisine.

Your Tour Leaders:

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Photo by John Rawlings

John and Suheir Rawling have brought more than 15 groups to Italy over the last 20 years. Their love of the city of Venice, and depth of knowledge and appreciation they bring for the Italian experience is contagious.

John Rawlings is a sculptor and painter living in Whitefish, Montana and who discovered in 1985 that Venice felt more like home to him than any other city he had lived in.

London-born and Australian-raised John Rawlings has been exposed to cultures all over the world.  A graduate of the University of Guanajuato in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, he has taught art classes there in addition to Ogallala Community College on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in S.D., Northwest Community College in Powell, Wyo. and the University Alaska Southeast – Sitka Campus before moving to the Flathead Valley in 1988.  He began teaching art classes at FVCC and was hired as a full-time professor in 1993.  He has spent much time in Italy as he lived there twice and has led up to 15 study abroad trips to the country.  In 2006, he received global recognition at the Cairo International Biennale in Egypt; one of the largest visual arts exhibition in the world, where his ceramic sculpture pieces were displayed in the world-renowned show.

John was named the 2014 Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Faculty Member of the Year for the association’s North American Western Region and accepted the award at the ACCT Leadership Congress in Chicago. John was one of only five Professors recognized with the award from more than 1,200 colleges in the United States and Canada. He was recognized for his 49 years of classroom teaching and for his leadership role in steadily building an art department over the course of 25 years that, as stated in the nomination, “is now the gold standard for two-year art programs in the nation.” His charisma and instructional expertise have been enjoyed by countless students over his long career.  For the past twenty years John has been leading trips to Venice, introducing hundreds of travelers to its wonders.

Suheir Rawlings is a certified teacher with over 30 years of experience.  Her teaching credentials come from Pacific Oaks College—a premier teacher’s college emphasizing multi-cultural education.  She has certifications in Expressive Arts Education and degrees in Human Development.  Her art studies began in Florence, Italy at Studio Art Centers International.  She received awards in art school for Portraiture and worked under the guidance of renowned Tuscan Artist, Manfredi. She has assisted John in all of his tours and is proficient in Italian language.  Her assistance and insights compliment all Art & Soul Travel Programs.