Blog

Christmas and New Year and plenty of Superstitions in Italy

Italians are known for their superstitions and the festive season is a perfect excuse for having a large helping of traditions centred around ancient believes to ensure a prosperous near year. Offida Loreto Ascoli Piceno Light display di   Getting ready for the Festive Season Christmas is in Italy feels elegant and authentic and gentle.…
Read more

Christmas in Italy

  Italy a magical place at Christmas. Our local town of Ascoli Piceno is known for it's fine Renaissance Travertine Squares. It is a wonderful location for a 'passeggiata' (a stroll) in the afternoon and evenings in the run-up to Christmas. Not only are the shops decorated beautifully but the public buildings and squares are…
Read more

Truffle Hunting at The Retreat

    Hunting the infamous white gold - the Italian White Truffle    From The Retreat, nestled in beautiful rolling hill-side of the southern Piceno, we follow along the paths of our local trifolao Filippo (truffle hunter) and his keen dog. Having hunted for truffles in ourlocal woods surrounding The Retreat since his childhood, he…
Read more

Snow and Panettone delights

Lots of snow in Le Marche now. A good excuse to enjoy all those sweet delights Jana has been making for all the family. I especially love the mini panettones. Yum!Why not try out her recipe yourself. They make special presents or party gifts too, if wrapped up in baking paper. They are so easy…
Read more

La Dolce far niente – the essence of being a cat in Italy

Our beautiful Italian cats Brush, Rocky Racoon and narcoleptic Ginger enjoy the summer season to the full too. From admiring the views, realxing under the parasol, and of course, sleeping for hours on end. They have got the concept of 'La Dolce far niente' ('the sweetness of doing nothing') down to a fine art.
Read more

The summer opera- a seasonal highlight

  This weeks landscape painting group is off to Macerata's splendid open air opera Lo Sferisterio. On the program tonight: 'La Traviata' by Verdi. The composer, a son of this beautiful region of Le Marche, is celebrated through the summer opera festival at Macerata each year. The weather is gorgeous and with the shooting star…
Read more

Palette knife painting

Painting plein-air today with a very talented group followed by a cooling dip for the kids and John and some delicious home-cooked food while watching the stunning sunset.
Read more

Atmospheric Painting

Today's paintings jn progress... Contact The Retreat for details of our painting holidays in the heart of the Italian countryside.
Read more

The Retreat Views

This is the view north from the studio. I gunned the camera down the valley just including the onion crop that is in the foreground. The onions are out of focus- to be honest it's all a bit too hazy. So I manipulated the contrasts to give a bluer background and a warmer foreground. It's…
Read more

The 2018 Painting and Drawing Season is in full swing….

    This week, our painters are enjoying a glorious week painting in the heart of Tuscany. Today,we have been working in watercolour en-plein air in the monasteries garden at the foot of the Conti Guidi's castle in Poppi. The castle provided shelter to the poet Dante Alighieri during his exile from Florence. Here, he…
Read more