Monday, September 23, 2013

Wine Country: Calistoga, Ca’toga Galleria d’Arte and Ca’toga Villa Tour

Ca’toga Galleria d’Arte  1206 Cedar St., (707) 942-3900.  Thur-M 11-6.  $25.  This stunning art gallery features a hand-painted ceiling mural by artist Carlo Marchiori.  In fact, everything inside the gallery is made by Carlo—ceramic plates decorated with roosters, coffee mugs with dog-head handles, traditional yet unusual paintings.

Ca’toga Villa Tour  Sat at 11am; May-Oct.  No children; no pets.  Artist Carlo Marchiori also leads tours of his private residence, an Italian villa reconstructed here with pieces he selected in Italy and shipped over here.  His Venetian-style trompe l’oeil frescoes are spectacular and seen throughout.  “It’s Italy without airlines,” says Marchiori.  He describes his house as “art you can live with” and started our tour with, “You’ve seen a few wineries, now you need something for the mind.”  After exploring the magnificent art treasures of the house, including a witty cage in which the sleeper is inside and the kitty is outside looking in, the tour moved on to the expansive grounds, which includes a manmade lake, fountains, and 18th-century follies.  Marchiori says he didn’t intend to have an attraction.  He started his retirement project
25 years ago on 5 acres of weedy land.  Now, everywhere you look is something wonderful.  “Be careful,” he warned us with a smile.  “Our liability extends to a get well card.”  Wear sturdy walking shoes.  

More things to do in the Wine Country.

More art galleries.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


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