Painting & Drawing Ancient Italian Hill Towns
Enjoy drawing and painting the beautiful scenery surrounding The Retreat. In the morning, there will be drawing and painting demonstrations, followed by practical sessions where you put into practice what you have learnt, observed and remembered. In the afternoon, there will be more opportunity to paint during practical sessions, critiqued where necessary by your tutor. In the evening, there will be seminars on the subject of plein-air, covering principals within the genre, examples, techniques, equipment all explained with references to painters past and present, to stimulate your appetite for more painting! The dialogue is fun, informative and focused and you will also have the opportunity to share your experiences.
Enjoy incorporating your learning experience into your paintings and relish in the improvement of your work during a week of intensive plein-air painting here at The Retreat. This course is a must for those new to Plein-air and wanting to accelerate their confidence in this demanding but ultimately very rewarding genre. It is also suitable for intermediate plein-air painters wishing to take a mirror check on their practice and find some quality time to improve in an ideal setting free from the encumbrances of daily life.
There are 6 individual guest bedrooms over 2 floors. 4 bedrooms have an en-suite
bathroom. Two bedrooms in a self-contained apartment on the ground floor share one bathroom.
There are tea/coffee-making facilities available all day.
Each bathroom/bedroom has a hairdryer provided, some toiletries and hand soap, linen and towels are provided.
Electric sockets have European two-pin 220-240V outlets. You may wish to bring a USB phone charger, which are widely and cheaply available to charge your phone. These work on most mobile phones.
Wi-fi is available throughout the property and parts of the garden.
There is a swimming pool open seasonally for guests to use, sun-loungers, a library, covered terraces with beautifully scented roses and wisterias providing shade while you’re drawing or relaxing on the terraces around the house. There are beautiful short and longer walking routes to the local town of Force, nearby vineyards and olive groves and an ancient chapel behind The Retreat providing for an uninterrupted 360 degree view across the region, towards the sea, mountains and myriads of hill-towns dotted across the rolling hills.
We believe that good food is part of a great holiday experience. This is why you will be able to enjoy healthy and delicious meals made from home-grown and local seasonal produce.
Over the years, we have gathered a wealth of yummy ideas and recipes for great summer meals that won’t add on the pounds. So, you will be able to enjoy a variety of local and international meals made from seasonal local produce.
There will be plenty of opportunity to indulge and enjoy fresh organic and locally grown produce together with the crisp locally made wines from the vineyards and local Cantina which can be found right behind The Retreat’s estate. The local white-wine grapes used to produce the deliciously fresh and light Pecorino white wine go back to Roman times, when sheppards would bring their sheep down from the mountains through the vineyards to their winter shelters. The sheep would feed on the grapes on their passage through the vineyards, and the wine, as well as the local cheese, originally produced from sheep milk were hence named Pecorino, after the word for sheep – pecore. The pecorino cheese is traditionally eaten with honey and walnuts or served with locally made hams and salumi.
The rich, fruity and superbly flavoured local red wine “Rosso Piceno” is named after the region’s symbol the ‘piceno’, the wood-pecker. The roots of the piceno population preceeds the romans and goes back to the times of the Sabiner tribes populating this area from ancient Greece. The rosso Piceno is a perfect wine to accompany the many grilled meat and pasta dishes, including the infamous ‘Vincisgrassi’, a rich lasagna created as a gift to emperor Napoleon when visiting this region. It is has many very fine layers of pasta sheets (more than a usual lasagna) and is yet much lighter and scrumptious.
The area around The Retreat is a popular spot for truffle hunters and the seasonally available summer black truffle and white winter truffle will have the opportunity to sample it’s delicate aromatic flavour in some meals during the truffle season.
And of course we know, that just because many of our guests love Italian food, they don’t necessarily want to eat pasta every day during their stay.
Vegetarian/vegan requirements can be accommodated. So, if you have any specific requirements, just let us know at the time of booking.
During your stay, at least one meal will be in a local restaurant.
- Accommodation, room according to type selected, linens, towels, hairdryer, soap/shampoo
- Daily breakfast
- Lunches and dinners at The Retreat (apart from selected meals on excursions
- Wine and Water during meals on-site
- Tea/Coffee and refreshments during painting breaks
- Daily aperitivi
- Painting Workshops with demonstrations and practical sessions
- All Art materials
- Transport to and from painting locations/excursions
- Transfer on arrival and departure day at specified times from San Benedetto del Tronto train and bus station
- Trips to historic local towns and locations of artistic interest
- Use of swimming pool (seasonal), library tea/coffee-making facilities
Not included are airfare/transfer to pick-up/drop-off location, selected meals during outings.
The Retreat is a traditional restored Italian farmhouse located in the magnificent countryside in the heart of the Le Marche Region, lovingly named by Italian’s “All of Italy in one region’ as it is one of the few regions boasting the sea, mountains and rolling hill-sides with its charming ancient towns within its panoramic views.
Force: An ancient hill-town named after the Roman word Fork, as several valleys spring from its location. It is famed for its copper beating tradition and other ancient crafts. From The Retreat you enjoy a wonderful panoramic view towards this ancient hill-town nestled in rolling countryside.
Ascoli Piceno: One of the oldest towns in Italy, it is named after the Roman word for woodpecker (piceno), the symbol of the Region. It’s origin and population pre-date that of ancient Rome. It boasts Italy’s finest Early Renaissance Travertine squares. There is also evidence of its Knights’ Templar history and medieval towers demonstrating it’s past merchants wealth and not to forget it’s past as paper-making town for the Papal State. Nestled on the ancient trade route of the Via Salaria, Ascoli Piceno is home to some of Italy’s oldest bridges across the majestic Tronto valley.
Nearest major airports: Rome Fumicino (Leonardo da Vinci Airport -FCO), Rome Ciampino Airport (CIA)
Nearest local airports: Ancona Falconara Airport, Pescara Airport, Bologna Airport, Rimini Airport, Perugia Airport
Train stations: San Benedetto del Tronto
For pick-up/drop-off times please see our comprehensive information booklet provided with your booking.
WHAT TO PACK:
Comfortable, casual clothing and sensible shoes, sandals, flip flops for the summer and comfortable shoes for when we are out and about during the day. Appropriate clothing for painting as clothes may get stained. Aprons will be provided.
- Phone charger (USB)
- Bathing suit/trunks – beach towels are provided
- Sun hat, sun-cream and insect repellent
7 DAY COURSES
|Room Type||7 Day Course|
|Twin/Double room p.p.||£ 1,200 € 1,350|
|Single Room||£ 1,400 € 1,550|
|Twin/Double en-suite p.p.||£ 1,300 € 1,450|
|Single en-suite p.p.||£ 1,500 € 1,650|
|Non-painters||£ 900 € 1,000|
Non-painting partners are welcome at a reduced rate and can join us on all our trips and excursions.
Deposit: 25% non-refundable
Full amount due: 45 days prior to course start date
For our full cancellation policy see our Terms & Conditions
10% discount for returning visitors
For Groups: If you are wishing to come to The Retreat with your painting group, we are happy to arrange a specific course of your choice for you. Group discounts apply. Simply contact us with your requirements.
A TYPICAL SCHEDULE:
DAY 1 (Arrival Day)
6:30 Welcome Drinks (Aperitivi) and Course Orientation
9:00 – 12:00 demonstration and practical drawing and painting session (coffee break 11:00 am)
15:00 – 17:30 Workshop Colour Theory and practical painting session
18:00 Aperitivi /Critique
21:00 Seminar on Plein-air painting.
9:00 – 12:00 Demonstration and practical session
15:00-17:30 Practical painting session on location
21:00 Seminar on the Principles of Painting
9:00-12:00 plein-air painting session
15:00-17:30 drawing & painting in local hill-town
9:00-12:00 Plein-air field trip
13:00 Lunch at local trattoria
15:00-17:30 continuation of plein-air painting
21:00 Seminar on Perspective
9:00 – 12:00 Plein-air painting
15:00-17:30 completion of work in studio and critique of work achieved during the course
19:30 Pizza night at local pizzeria
10:30 check-out/drop-off at San Benedetto del Tronto