A general view is seen of a hill in the Tuscan village of Bagnone August 23, 2009. (Reuters)
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A theatre centre in an off-the-beaten path corner of Tuscany has become a creative hub for thespians from around the world, offering residencies for established drama professionals and courses for aspiring actors.The Funaro complex in Pistoia includes former blacksmith and carpenter workshops turned into apartments, two 100-seat theatres and a cafeteria which acts as the main social centre.The idea for the complex began during a theatre workshop in Pistoia where actors Francesca Giaconi and her friend Lisa Cantini, teenagers at the time, met Antonella Carrara and Mirella Corso as well as Neumann, who encouraged them to create "an incubator of projects".The centre also includes the archives of Andres Neumann -- an esteemed Bolivian-born international theatre producer who organises cultural events and is one of the sponsors of the theatre.As well as workshops in theatre, the Funaro offers classes on circus arts and creative writing.French award-winning writer Daniel Pennac has stayed at the centre twice, and was so at ease in the family atmosphere that he walked around barefoot.
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