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WORKSHOP II / September 15th to 24 th  2024

Sunday September 15th pick up in Lucca,

Welcome to Casa Berti painting studio and set up / Introduction by Carmelo.

and welcome dinner at Casa Berti.
Monday.- Friday , Workshops begin in Studio 10 AM- 4 PM
Wednesday, Pietra Santa Visit for artist studio tours.

Friday, Studio pack-up day.
Participants leave Tuesday, September 24th at 10 AM. Transportation to Lucca train station.

Morning sessions start Monday at about 10:00 AM, with a break for lunch (outdoors if weather permits), and an afternoon session which ends at about 4:00 PM followed by free time, a cocktail hour, and dinner.

Ben Gooder is an award-winning feature film scriptwriter and documentary film producer who divides his time between Italy and the UK. He recently realized his long-held dream of purchasing Casa Berti from his family and began a restoration program. He takes great pride in having restored Casa Berti and now enjoys sharing his love for this place with visitors from all over the world.


Bedrooms will be assigned on a first-come-serve basis. 


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 a private bath

2 single rooms that share a bath


Explore and Unwind at Your Own Pace:


Embark on exciting day trips to discover Renaissance history in charming Lucca, Barga, and Florence. Casa Berti is the perfect Tuscan base from which to explore these cultural gems. Alternatively, if you prefer to unwind closer to home, Casa Berti welcomes you with open arms. Take a hike amidst the enchanting landscape, relax by the pool (weather permitting), or retreat to the studio and let your creativity flow during free time. You can use the studio 24/7 – inspiration can strike at any hour!

Art Supplies:

To ease your travel to and from Italy, we offer the option to pre-purchase most workshop materials for an additional $300 USD. This typically covers:

  • Three large canvases

  • A selection of smaller practice canvases

  • A comprehensive set of acrylic paints

  • Cleaning buckets and other necessary tools

You'll receive a detailed list of provided materials beforehand, allowing you to bring your own preferred colors if desired. Please ensure any personal supplies are securely packed 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.

Art Supplies and Materials:

Brushes: While Carmelo isn't a brush size dictator, he encourages using larger brushes for greater expressiveness in your painting. We recommend leaving your "tiny tiny" brushes at home for this workshop.

Canvases and Travel: A mailing tube will be provided for you to choose how you'd like to handle your completed canvases: either mail them securely back home or carry them yourself.

Materials Cost: An optional materials charge of $300-$400 may be added to your workshop fee and billed separately. This covers a comprehensive set of high-quality art supplies tailored to Carmelo's teaching style.

Sourcing: While Italy boasts artistic inspiration, for this workshop, we've found it more economical and accessible to source materials through Jackson's Art Supplies in London. The cost will be divided equally among workshop participants.

Canvas Preparation: To make travel easier, your canvases will be removed from their stretchers and rolled for safe transportation.

Transparency and Choice: Once you register, we'll provide you with a detailed list of the specific materials included in the $300-$400 fee. We strive to get the best possible deals for your supplies.


The villa and farmhouse boast 8 beautifully appointed double bedrooms, each offering a private en-suite bathroom. These recently renovated and redecorated havens invite peaceful rest after a day of creative expression.

The spacious art studio, bathed in natural light from skylights and large windows, unveils breathtaking views of the Tuscan valley below. This inspiring space, set for your artistic explorations, promises unparalleled focus and inspiration.

Meals and Culinary Experiences:

Three delicious meals are included daily throughout your workshop experience, except for the day of arrival (dinner will be provided) and departure (breakfast only). Our renowned local chef prepares both lunches and dinners, offering a delightful fusion of Tuscan flavors. You can also elevate your culinary skills with optional cooking lessons or unleash your inner pizzaiolo during a fun "make your pizza" night under the stars in our outdoor forno. Wine is generously included with all meals.

For breakfast, we embrace a relaxed approach. A continental spread will be laid out each morning, allowing you to enjoy a leisurely start at your own pace. As a sweet treat, daily chocolates and magazines await you in your room.

Evening Delights:

Beyond the included meals, the nearby area boasts several world-class restaurants worthy of exploration. On your free days, I recommend venturing into Lucca and savoring the authentic Tuscan cuisine at any of its charming trattorias.

Cultural Immersion:

To enhance your artistic inspiration, you'll be treated to a guided tour of Pietrasanta, the famed town where Michelangelo sourced his marble. Immerse yourself in the creative atmosphere and visit other artist studios for a glimpse into their creative processes.

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 limoncello


Exploring Beyond the Studio:

For those seeking peaceful reflection or vibrant discovery, the historic grounds and villa offer delightful options beyond the workshop. Stroll or hike scenic pathways, explore the intriguing Etruscan ruins, or simply settle with a book or camera – the tranquil atmosphere provides the perfect backdrop for relaxation and creative pursuits. These activities offer enjoyment for both workshop participants and companions alike.

Important Note:

Please be aware that the centuries-old villa and surrounding buildings, nestled on a hillside, have inherent features like uneven terrain and numerous stairs. For those with mobility limitations, navigating these aspects may require additional consideration.

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