Materials and supplies for experienced artists are a very personal matter and in most cases preferences are based on years of experience and work. We recommend that all participants study this page carefully with regard to art materials, travel and airport security issues before packing and setting out for a summer of painting with JSS in Civita.

Affiliate Group students – after carefully reading this page, please find the required materials list for your chosen workshops in the Course Description pages here.

Master Class students, Residents or those not sure of what they might need for a painting trip to Italy, the following recommended colors and work related tools are well tried choices:

Colors, Brushes and Tools – To download a general list of recommended colors and work related tools click here.


Easels – We recommend either a full or half-size French Easel over the less sturdy tripod type easels. The Jullian “Artist Collection” full (JB45D) and half (JB40) size are still the best based on our experience. Pochades which are widely used today among landscape painters who prefer carrying around lighter gear, are somewhat more portable than the French Easel but, here too, not very sturdy.

36069_1_m22_1-copyThe French Easel

Note: Unless you are arriving in Italy with plenty of time to shop in Rome or Florence before the start of your workshop, we ask that you arrive equipped with an easel – we do not sell or rent easels, neither are they easily available in the Civita Castellana area.

Sun Umbrellas – Can come in very handy in a Mediterranean summer landscape – worth considering.

Corot_1871-benCorot under his umbrella

Supports & Surfaces – Stretched canvases and panels add weight and bulk to a traveling artist’s baggage. For the sake of portability we recommend unstretched primed linen and/or sized or primed paper cut a few inches/centimeters under the width or length of the suitcase you will be taking with you. Lay the cut primed linen one on top of another in layers and roll it, priming side out, around a cardboard cylinder making sure the edges of the linen do not protrude beyond the cylinder’s edge. Pack this cylinder into your suitcase. JSS in Civita provides plywood or masonite (compressed board) panels for those wishing to affix or tape their canvas or papers to them for support.

Solvents & FluidsDo not pack or bring solvents, sprays or for that matter, any fluids or oils including those with flash points of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 Celsius) or below. JSS in Civita supplies all its participants with turps and linseed oil.

Cleaning products such as diaper wipes and paper towels are available in town – no need to pack such items. Sunblock too is easily available in Italy.

Packing Art Materials for Air Travel

We recommend that participants pack certain art supplies, such as paints, brushes and palette knives in their checkin luggage and NOT in their carryon. French easels can be either packed into your checkin luggage or if you have one with a cover, can be your carryon. If you make it your carryon please note: do not pack it with art supplies – stuff it with underwear, socks and T-shirts instead.

Packing Brushes

Oil Paint and Airport Security

Know and be prepared to state the following when asked about tubed oil colors: Artists’ oil colors are not hazardous since they do not contain solvents.

When an airport security official questions you about your tubed colors, be careful not to use the words OIL PAINTS, not even PAINT should be uttered when explaining what these are! The descriptive to use is: “Artists’ colors in vegetable oil”.

If you are packing Flake or Cremnitz white in your luggage, airport security personnel may become aroused because the lead content in such tubes will image black on an x-ray scan – lead being impenetrable to x-rays. Here too patiently explain that this is a lead based white artists’ color in vegetable oil.

Please Note: In the US “flammable liquids” are defined as those possessing flash point of 140 degrees Fahrenheit / 60 degree Celsius or less.

Please note: All art material manufacturers will upon request, provide a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on their products. You can contact your paint manufacturer and in most cases download an MSDS fact sheet from their websites to present to airport security when and if necessary.

You will be able to get basic supplies at local stores in Civita, and specialty products from Zecchi in Florence or Poggi in Rome. (Note: Zecchi is closed the entire month of August).

Shipping Supplies

We advise against shipping art supplies ahead of arrival from outside of Italy, particularly the US, to Civita Castellana. Be prepared to pay a 25% customs tax on declared value. If you must ship, plan on 2 weeks or more for delivery, and an additional 2 weeks just to clear through customs. You must include a detailed list of ALL of the items in the package, their individual value, and the total value, being sure that it does not exceed 100 euros, as you will be subject to a 25% customs tax. Warning: Boxes shipped to Italy have on occasion not been delivered or arrived after the sender has returned home – Not a good idea…

Paying for an extra suitcase is the way to go and is less expensive and time consuming than shipping supplies to Italy via postal service, Fed Ex or UPS. Most airlines charge approximately $70.00 for an extra suitcase conforming to the airline’s weight restriction per suitcase. Please check with your airline regarding weight limitations and extra luggage policy.

DO NOT, under any circumstance, ship any artwork of any form from Italy abroad, even if it is something you consider a scribble.

Very Important: Upon completion of the program, it is NOT recommended to ship your artworks home, nor will you receive any assistance for doing so. There is a very long, complicated and expensive process involved when artwork of any kind leaves or enters Italy. Flying with your artworks, however, causes no problems whatsoever. The best plan would be to remove canvases from their stretcher bars or boards, rolling up all of your paintings together (with the painted side facing out) and carry it with you on the plane. There are limits to sizes of carry-on items, so plan according to the guidelines your airline has. Usually, passengers can fly with a carry-on luggage and a purse: substitute instead your French easel and your roll of paintings, putting purse items into your pockets.

Art Supply Stores


Poggi – Via del Gesù 74 – near the Pantheon. Tel. 06-679-3674, 06-678-4477. Open daily 9:00 AM -1:00 PM and 4:00 PM – 7:30 PM. Closed on Sundays. Email poggi@getnet.it

Artetre – Via del Fiume 3a – near Piazza del Popolo. Tel – 06-321-9240, 06-324-4414. Open Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturdays, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Email info@arte3.it


Zecchi – Via Dello Studio, 19R, near the Duomo. Tel. 05-521-1470. Open 8:30 AM -12:30 PM and 3:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Saturday 8:30 AM -12:30 PM (except July), Closed July 30th – August 28th. Email zecchifi@tin.it


Klimt Art –  Via Alessandro Volta 27, in Viterbo, Italy. Tel – 07-613-05230. Open daily 9:00 AM -1:00 PM and 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM, closed Sunday and Monday mornings. Email info@klimtart.it

Art Supply & Hardware Stores in Civita Castellana

Decor Paint – Basic art supplies: Paints, mediums, brushes, gesso, canvas etc. Tel: 076 615 4221 email: decor.paintsrl@alice.it

Ferramenta Mozzicarelli  – Hardware store, is on Viale Repubblica where it becomes Viale Terni

Mozzicarelli Legnami – Lumberyard, will cut wooden panels to size

Visani – Paint and hardware store located on Via Fontana Matuccia

Ferramenta Mezzanotte – Hardware Store

Click on the following link for further info:

Art Materials in Italian