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Participants arrive Saturday, October 1st pick up in Lucca and dinner
Sunday, October 2, Optional activity organized by Ben
Monday, October 3-Friday, Oct 7. Workshop by Carmelo
Saturday, Sunday October 8/9  Optional activities by Ben
Participants leave Monday, October 10. Transportation to Lucca train station


From Monday, October 3rd through Friday, October 7th,  morning sessions start at about 9:00 AM, a break for lunch (outdoors if weather permits), and an afternoon session which ends at about 4:30  PM followed by free time, a cocktail hour and dinner. (Carmelo’s workshop and instruction will end on Friday afternoonOct 7th,  but you will have access to the studio to continue painting through the 8th-9th

( Saturday/ Sunday) Monday October 10th at 10 AM is departure.


Participants arrive Thursday, October 13th pick up in Lucca and dinner
Friday-Sunday, October 14-16th  Optional activities organized by Ben
Monday, October 17-Friday, October 21, Workshop by Carmelo
Saturday, October 22, participants leave; transportation to Lucca




From Monday, October 17th through Friday, October 21st, morning sessions start at about 9:00 AM, a break for lunch (outdoors if weather permits), and an afternoon session which ends at about 4:30  PM followed by free time, a cocktail hour and dinner. (Carmelo’s workshop and instruction will end on Friday afternoon Oct 21st. Departure for the second session is Saturday October 22nd, 10 AM.) Participants will have access to the studio prior to Carmelo's instruction in this session beginning on Friday 14th to Sunday 16th. Carmelo will be in and out of the grounds and happy to offer help and advice if needed prior to beginning painting on the 17th.


Ben Gooder is an award-winning feature film scriptwriter and documentary film producer.  He divides his time between Italy and the UK.  Ben realized his long held dream when he purchased Casa Berti from his family and began his restoration program. He is proud to have restored Casa Berti and he takes great pleasure in sharing his love for this place with visitors from around the world.



5 Rooms (all king or queen sized beds)
Lucca Room with private bath,

Blue Room with large private bath,

Ivory Room with new private bath,

Gold Room with private entrance and private bath,

Master bedroom and bath on ground floor


4 Double Rooms with large beds
Garden Suite with bath (ground floor)
3 double rooms upstairs each with private bath

2 single rooms that share a bath

You will have plenty of time to day trip to the Renaissance cities of Lucca, Barga and Florence or hire a driver and explore the Tuscan countryside using Casa Berti as your base.
If your prefer,  you can stay and relax at Casa Berti, hike,  or paint in the studio to pursue your own work outside of the time scheduled for instruction with Carmelo.
The studio will be available 24 hours if you wish to paint into the wee hours.

If it’s warm enough the pool will be available for your use 

In order to facilitate your travel to and from Italy, most materials for the workshop will be provided.  Each artist will have three large canvases, a supply of small practice canvases and plenty of  acrylic paint, cleaning buckets, etc.

A list of supplies will be given to you so you know what will be provided and you are free to bring your own colors if you have certain ones you prefer. However, make sure you pack them securely in your suitcase.

Do not bring oil colors. This is strictly an acrylic painting class.
Please bring your favorite LARGE brushes which will easily fit in your suitcase. NOTHING SMALLER THAN 1 INCH WIDE BRUSH.( Carmelo will take your tiny tiny brushes away if he’s sees you painting with them.)  A mailing tube will be provided to either mail or carry home your rolled completed canvases.   A materials charge of $300-400 will be additional. ( An order for materials will be placed with Jackson’s  Art Supplies in London and divided by the number of artists attending.) As artistic as Italy may be , for whatever reason, art materials are easier to come by when ordered in London and less expensive. Your canvases will be removed from the strecther and rolled for easier handling and travelling.Once you've registered we will supply you with a list of supplies that will be provided for you. We will get the best deals possible for you.


The villa and farmhouse feature 8 beautifully appointed and recently renovated and redecorated  double bedrooms, each with a private en-suite bath. 

The art studio where the workshop will be held is roomy and well lit with skylights and large windows  looking out to breathtaking views of the Tuscan valley below.  


Three meals daily are included in the workshop experience except for arrival ( dinner will be provided and departure breakfeast only). Lunches and dinners will be prepared by a local renowned chef, the handsome, brilliant and charming, Fabrizio Magnani. He can offer cooking lessons and there will also be a make your own pizza night at the outside forno. Wine is included at all meals.  Breakfast, which will be all laid out, is more of a do- it- yourself affair in the morning at the time you prefer. 

Chocolates (daily) and magazines in rooms for each participant
Wine available for cocktail hour and dinner

There are also several world class restaurants (not included in the price) nearby to choose from. I recommend going to Lucca on your off days to savour the delicious food in any of the trattorias.

You will will be hosted for a tour,  wine tasting and lunch at Laura Valgiano’s fabulous winery.  Amazing experience where we get to eat in her Tuscan kitchen and walk the grounds afterwards.

Possible Activities:
Olive oil harvest ( if in season)
Lunch at winery
Coach to Florence
Day trips to Barga, Pisa, marble quarries at Colonata, Pietrasanta, 
Pasta night
Pizza night
Make lemoncello


The city of Lucca is less than an hour away and Florence is about an hour and 20 minutes.
There are interesting places to walk or hike from the villa, including an Estruscan ruin. The  grounds and villa  provide peaceful  places to sit and read or do photography .  These activities may also be interesting for anyone not taking the workshop.  

(Because the villa and surrounding building are hundreds of years old and on a hillside,  the terrain and buildings have lots of stairs.   Please consider this if you have a mobility issue.)


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