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WORKSHOP I / September 6-September 16th 2023

Wednesday, September 6th pick up in Lucca, and welcome dinner at Casa Berti.
Thursday, Sept 7. Welcome to Casa Berti painting studio and set up / Introduction by Carmelo.

Friday September, 8-9, Workshops begin in Studio..

Sunday, September 10th Day Off from Studio. Lucca tour and walk about.
Monday, September 11-12th. Studio days.
Wednesday, September13th, Pietra Santa Visit for artist studio tours.

Thursday September 14th, Studio Day.

Friday, September 15th,  Studio pack-up day.
Participants leave Saturday, September 16th. Transportation to Lucca train station.

Morning sessions start at about 9:00 AM, with 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 September 15th,  but you will have access to the studio to continue painting throughout your stay.

( Saturday, September 16th, 10 AM is the departure.

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 stretcher and rolled for easier handling and traveling. 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 breakfest 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 savor the delicious food in any of the trattorias.

You will will be hosted for a tour of Pietra Santa, famously known for where Michaelangelo's marble came from. Here you will be able to visit other artist studios for inspiration.

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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