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Le Marche/Rome Artisan Tour

11 Days of learning, working and sightseeing - October 11-22, 2018



Marche Art Retreat 2018

Join us on this beautifully crafted retreat designed to inspire in the history and the refined beauty of Italy. Nourish your self, and your creativity, while learning inspiring new designs and finishes for the decoration of interiors, furniture, and fabrics.

Introducing Le Marche:

ItalyOur creative retreat program is set this year in the Marche region of Italy, an undiscovered jewel of outstanding beauty. Le Marche (pronounced Mar-keh) is Italy at its best, the Spa of Europe, offering restorative natural beauty and cultural treasures. From the legendary Sibillini Mountain range to the sea coast with its beaches and castles, the Marche is dotted with authentic hill towns where the piazzas are welcoming like living rooms, and the views are breathtaking. Here you may explore diverse sights, from the enchanting spaces of the many ornate historical theaters, to the rustic beauty of the antique hermit's caves just up the hillside from La Campana, our agriturismo resort.

We will explore the regionÕs historical curiosities, like their glorious history in the international silkworm trade, as well as the harmonious balance of man and nature.

With our host Alessandro, a well-known European expert on natural dyes, we will learn about the ancient art of cultivating colors from plants, and weÕll each produce our own hand-dyed silk scarf.

Nourish Your Body and Spirit: the Marche region is home to great culinary traditions, world-famous for excellent wines and truffles. Enjoying a convivial meal with friends and getting to know others that share your interests is one of the best parts of these special retreats.

ItalyRestore and Relax: weÕve engaged a massage therapist for this trip to help with the relaxation process. You will have a neck and shoulders massage with a special oil from a local natural herb collection as part of the package, and you can book extra massages if you wish.

The Decorative Painting Course:

Alison Woolley and Gary Lord, the group leaders and teachers, have designed their workshops for this retreat around a theme of well-being, with decorative finishes created especially for contemplative and healing settings like meditation rooms, spas, pools, libraries, study rooms, and care facilities.

Subjects covered will be:

Students will produce samples of each finish and decorative motif to add to their portfolios.

About the teachers:

Gary Lord is well-respected for his decorative painting business Prismatic Painting Studio in Cincinnati. He is the author of 5 books on interior decoration and has taught decorative finishing for over 30 years. His wealth of practical knowledge includes a vast series of easy to execute, on-trend, highly effective finishes.

Alison Woolley runs a world-renowned art studio in Florence, Italy where she has lived for the past 30 years. Her studio is specialized in gilding and historical styles of painted decoration, and has produced custom work for the OpŽra of Versailles and Salvatore Ferragamo. Alison will be designing a special set of stencils on a theme of 'benessere', the Italian for 'living well', especially for this retreat.

Alison and Gary have worked together to custom design retreats in Italy many times in the past. Past participants have returned more than once and formed lasting friendships on these trips.

'I greatly enjoyed both trips I have taken with Alison Gary and Melanie! I learned so much plus learned a lot about Italy as well. You put together a trip that is just the right blend of learning/doing and play. Thank you for the opportunities!!' Margaret von Kaenel

Roman Holiday:


The retreat ends with 3 days in Rome where participants are free to join in on cultural tours or sightsee and shop on their own in the Eternal city. While in Rome two guided tours and three nights accommodation are included.


Day 1 October 11th Thursday:
Depart to arrive in Rome by noon the next day

Day 2 October 12th Friday:
Arrive in Rome and take bus to La Campana. There is time to settle in, walk the grounds then enjoy our welcome dinner.

Day 3 October 13th Saturday:
Breakfast at La Campana, then we go to the Sibillini Mountains nature park for truffle hunting with a very special truffle dog. After our outdoor activities we will follow up with a culinary class and light lunch that highlights the specialties of the Marche region. We will stop in a characteristic antique town on the way home to look around, and have dinner on your own, then transport back to la Campana

Day 4 October 14 Sunday:
Breakfast at La Campana, then class with Alessandro learning how he cultivates natural dye plants. Then class with Gary Lord exploring the use of natural pigments and finishes for the creation of soothing interiors. Catered lunch and dinner are included.

Day 5 & 6 October 15th Monday and October 16th Tuesday:
Breakfast at La Campana, then class with Gary and Alison incorporating Gary's decorative finishes and Alison's stencil motifs exclusively designed for this workshop suitable for spa and wellness centre interiors. The decorative work covered can be adapted either for private or public spaces.

Whether you want to simply make a space in your home more embracing or you are commissioned to decorate a meditation room, the techniques and materials covered can be used and adapted for furniture, fabric and to create luscious walls for calming environments. Catered lunch and dinner are included.

Day 7 October 17th Wednesday:
Breakfast at La Campana, then morning class with Alessandro to finish off our hand-dyed silk scarves. After a catered lunch we are off to Ascoli Piceno, the city centre of the 19th century silkworm industry. WeÕll stroll the cityÕs charming streets and central piazza, visit the city's main museum and decorated palaces. Explore for a while, and have dinner on your own in Ascoli Piceno

Day 8 October 18th Thursday:
Breakfast at La Campana, then we travel by bus to see the Adriatic coast, charming castle towns, then on to the cities of Macerata and Urbino. In Macerata we can visit a beautifully decorated theatre or tour the Palazzo Buonaccorsi. You are free to wander and have lunch on your own before we set off for Urbino. Urbino is one of the most fascinating cities of art in Italy. Its renaissance leader, the famous duke Federico of Montefeltro, left the city rich with artistic treasures. An unforgettable must-see for art lovers. Dinner on your own in Urbino, then transport back to La Campana.

Day 9 October 19th Friday:
Breakfast at La Campana then we travel to Rome by bus, arriving mid-day.

Day 10 October 20th Saturday:
Breakfast at the hotel then a tour of the Vatican museums.

Day 11 October 21st Sunday:
Breakfast at the hotel then a free day to explore Rome. Group farewell dinner in a restaurant.

Day 12 October 22nd Monday: departures from Rome airport


Tour cost $3,100 This reflects a savings of $195 by signing up prior to May 1st 2018. After May 1st cost is $3,295

Deposit (non refundable) $600 prior to May 1st, $795 after May 1st. 1st payment due June 1st $1,250 Final payment due September 1st $1,250

Cancellation policy:

75% return prior to June 15
50% return prior to August 1st
25% return prior to September 10th
0% return after September 10th

Included in this Package:

Tour does not include: airfare, tips or gratuities made at your discretion to hosting staff, extra wine or alcohol requested above the amount included in the hosted meals.

We recommend trip insurance as soon as you make your initial deposit. We do not suggest or endorse any particular company.

Call us to sign up for this marvelous opportunity!