~ WHAT TO PACK ~
~ Here's a list of personal items you should think of packing…
• Clothing for hot summer weather (it might get cool at night)
• A hat, sunglasses
• Running shoes (for the walk over rough rocks to the swimming grotto)
• Sandals (for the studio and around Torri Superiore)
• Bathing suit
• 2 Towels (one for shower and one for swimming)
• Water shoes are also recommended for rocky shore if you have sensitive feet
• Insect spray against mosquitoes and gnats
• Face make-up or clothing for the talent show (optional) and final night exhibition
• Adapter for phone and computer (see Internet Access & Electricity below)
• You can also bring your own small clip lamp if you like to paint in the evenings
~ HOW TO GET TO TORRI SUPERIORE ~
Via Torri Superiore 5,
18039 Ventimiglia IM, Italy
Phone number : +39 184 215504
or Whatsapp +39 351 900 6836
~ FLIGHTS ~
Registered students should think about booking their flights as soon as they register, since the earlier you book, the cheaper it is. 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 €150 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 minutes roughly, until 10pm. Tickets should cost you around €9.
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).
~ FROM VENTIMIGLIA STASIONE TO TORRI SUPERIORE ~
Once you arrive at Ventimiglia Stasione, there are information desks to help you. To catch the bus to Torri Superiore, walk down to the main Ventimiglia road (Via Cavour), about 50 meters away from the train station. Walk straight leaving the train station behind you, turn right at the first traffic light, the bus stop is under the only tree in sight.
The bus will take you near the church of Torri (which is on the river Bevera). The ticket is sold on the bus. Our seminar is at the smaller village of Torri Superiore which is a 400 meter walk up the hill from Torri. Expect a steep 10 minute walk. You might want to use a suitcase with wheels to avoid carrying too much on your back.
Bus time-table from Ventimiglia (we'll update it by mid-June)
Week days - 6:55 / 8:10 / 11:30 / 13:30 / 17:30 / 19:30
Sundays - 9:00 / 12:30 / 19:40
If you have a problem, please call Cristina or Lucilla at Torri Superiore (they speak English).
The telephone number is +39 184 215504, or +39 351 900 6836 on Whatsapp.
You can also try to reach Florence on her french cell phone. She also uses Whatsapp and Telegram .
Her number is +33 6 18 55 95 30
Ventimiglia Train Station
Ventimiglia bus stop
~ 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.
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 take a screen-shot and print out the e-mail below, which was sent to us from the American Transportation Security Administration in response to our inquiries.
~ TSA LETTER TO PRINT OUT ~
(For Americans Only)
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
~ INTERNET ACCESS & ELECTRICITY ~
Torri Superiore has a small library that includes a communal Apple computer and wifi modem. Various hot spots around the village allow access to wifi, 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 are mostly the old-style Italian three-prong type F sockets, although some have been updated to the Euro-style two-prong type L plugs (see this link for more info & photos). Please try to bring an adapter that can accommodate both, although Torri Superiore has some that you can borrow. For Americans, a good example of an adapter is given here.
Italian three-prong plug
Italian three-prong socket
Euro-style two-prong plug
Euro-style two-prong socket
~ 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).
Your best option is to use your bank card to withdraw money from a bank machine when you arrive in Europe. 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 (which is a half-hour drive away) but not at Torri Superiore, so make sure to withdraw some cash before you arrive at Torri Superiore. You won't need much since you're in full board accomodation. Only washing your clothes and drinking beer or wine in the evenings will require a bit of extra cash.
~ FOOD AND WASHING CLOTHES ~
Your accommodation includes breakfast, lunch & dinner. Very soon, you’ll have the pleasure of meeting the kitchen staff. They 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 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 available for purchase through the kitchen staff.
There are several washing machines at Torri Superiore and you'll have a chance to wash your clothes any time for a small extra fee.