November 18, 2013

Our first trip to Monte San Savino

Last week the pumpkin crew set sail to Italy to visit Monte San Savino and the much-vaunted miniature contest. Our expectations weren't deceived! It was a great show and an especially great weekend as the whole pumpkin crew and nearly all our pumpkin crew supporters were able to travel down to Monte. We had a really great time and so much fun!

Monte San Savino is in Tuscany in the province Arezzo. It is a small Italian city with old buildings and the typical atmosphere of ancient times. The narrow alleys seem impossible to be used by cars but obviously not for Italian drivers.
The Monte San Savino Show took place in the ancient Rocca del Cassero, a 14th-century fortress in the city center of Monte San Savino. It was a great location for the minitures and created a special atmosphere during the three days.

Day 1 - Thursday, November 7th
The pumpkin crew met in Wolfsberg, Austria, to travel down to Monte together in a small coach. It took us 10 hours to reach our final destination in Foiana della Chiana, where we rented a house for all of us. But the long drive went by rather quick since we were all together and we had enough food and coffee on board ;)
After our sweet landlady showed us around we finally settled in and enjoyed some delicious late night pasta and an apple pie, which the landlady had baked for us.

Androsch: ... That lady didn't speak a single word of English, but she sure as hell spoke apple-pie! YEEEHAAA!

Day 2 - Friday, November 8th
On the second day the weather good meant well and we could eat our first Italien breakfast on the patio in the sun. Around noon we all slipped into our brand new pumpkin crew outfits and climbed our coach to drive to Monte. In Monte a lot of friends were already there, entering their miniatures and catching up with another. From the first moment the atmosphere was relaxed, open and fun!

It's a long way to the top, if you want a Best of Shoooow ;)

We entered our miniatures, which you will also see on this blog in detail, and had a first quick look at the other entries. Wow, what a great competition! At Friday noon there were already so many great entries, so many fantastic ideas and so many wonderful paintjobs :)

Androsch: To be honest, the painting level was so high that I was trying hard not to let my jaw drop to the ground. Amazing...

On Friday we also did a quick tour through the city center of Monte San Savino. We visited the Palazzo Del Monte with the beautiful gardens Giardini pensili in the back, which looked more like an ancient open air theatre. From there you have a fantastic few of the surroundings of Monte.

Colouristo: Due to business trip I had to join my Pumpkin Painter fellows one day later, and I was glad to have a special transfer service from them from firenze aeroporto. Thanks a lot! And to be honest during the whole week I was always thinking about Monte! I heard so much about it and they already informed me during the transfer about the plenty and the extreme high level of entries ...

Day 3 - Saturday, November 9th
Since we were told that Saturday morning would be crazy in Monte as all the remaining participants had to enter their miniatures until noon we decided to visit Siena. Siena is west of Monte San Savino and this city is famous for the Palio di Siena, a horse race on the Piazza del Campo which takes place twice a year. It is also said that Siena is the most beautiful city in Tuscany.

Siena really is a beautiful city with an impressing city gate and a lot of narrow alleys. There we also learned how Italiens park their cars in front of a wall. They just keep driving until the front of the car touches the wall. Then it is parked perfectly!

Colouristo: In the afternoon we spent some hours at the exhibition. It was my first time at Monte, and it was absolutely fantastic. The entire atmosphere is great. It was crouded with unbelievable artists. A dream for us painters and modelers. It takes hours to have a first look at all these great works, and at the end your mind is blowing. And this is Monte, once is not enough, this I realised right at that time ;)
In the evening we returned to Monte to join the other painters for a true Italian dinner. We ate, we drank, we talked and we made new friends :)

A cappuccino  ... what else !

Day 4 - Sunday, November 10th
Final day of the miniature contest! Unfortunately it rained nearly the whole day, but since the show was inside it was not too bad.
We did another tour around the exibition and took some more photos. We also had the chance to get a closer look at some of the projects and talk to the other painters about their ideas and thoughts of the projects.

At 4 pm we all gathered in the Teatro Verdi where award ceremony took place. The theatre was really great. The seats and the loges had red velvet padding and golden ornaments. From the ceiling hung a big crystal chandelier. Everyboy was excited and full of expectations about whether they will get an award or not.

The award ceremony was great except the fact that is was most of the time in Italian (which none of is speaks) and there were no pictures of the winners miniatures. It's always nice to have a connection between the people and their projects!

The pumpkin crew was also lucky. Colouristo received a silver and a bronze medal, Androsch also got a silver medal. Congratulations!
And for the rest of the crew applies the saying "The most important thing is not to win but to take part!". Maybe next years we will also be lucky ;)

Colouristo: Being there the first time, the ceremony at the theatre was a little bit hectic. And at the same time impressive. A theatre full of history and packed with those great people and friends! Something I would not like to miss. And it keeps you fit. Especially at the time you are lucky and rewarded a medal. At that time you have to jump and run full speed through the corridors to enter the stage in time and join your group, before the next group of winners is announced :)

Day 5 - Monday, November 11th
Another rainy and also stormy day in Italy, so we canceled our trip to Florence and enjoyed a peaceful day at our house and did nothing except some painting (we added new pictures to our miniature transport box! Maybe you will see them on our blog soon.), playing board games, eating and chatting.

Androsch: Unfortunately the freaking weather was the reason why mine and Colouristo's plane didn't leave. We'll, to be more precise, Colouristo had to go to Bologna, to get a flight to Frankfurt and I stayed in hotel for the night, to drive home with my fellow pumpkin painters by bus the next day. Spending 8 hours at an airport wasn't exactly funny, but at least I got to know some nice people there. ^^
Colouristo: And we also improved our italian language skills - a phrase every real man will understand: "grande pForza miseria"
Androsch: Add this gesture....

Day 6 - Tuesday, November 12th
Back to Austria!
We had a really great time in Monte and we will return next year!

Androsch: I'll be back.

Colouristo: I would like to amend, ALL OF US will be back - it was a remarkable journey in every respect!!!!


  1. a great read Morgaine, was a pleasure to meet ya self and the rest of the gang at Monte!

  2. It was a pleasure to meet you too, John :) I hope we'll meet each other again at another miniature show.

  3. you are welcome and will always be welcome here in MSS. hope you keep good memories.
    if you wish to open the "old photobook", MSS photocontest is here:
    your vote is welcome!