Siena, Italy:

Art / Design Lab & Residency



DATE: AUGUST 4-17, 2019


JANUARY 20, 2019: $3,650 [EARLY]

COURSE FEE: $3,900


Program Overview

From the Duomo of Florence to the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Tuscany is rich in culture and history you can only experience firsthand. Discover unforgettable Tuscany at the AIP villa right outside of Siena, full of rolling hills, natural landscapes, and some of the most outstanding artworks in the world.


Years of study can begin to reveal the magnitude of Italian contributions to the world of art and design. We visit Italy each year to ignite our passion for the living culture of Italy. Examine history, while experiencing the cuisine and wine of Tuscany. Our villa serves farm to table cuisine each night with traditional recipes. Our home base is for making, relaxing and energizing your creative pursuits. Travel with the group on several day trips to Florence, Siena and other cities to see and experience more. Sign up for art and design courses, or as an artist in residence.

What's Included?

  • 14 days at the Italian Villa [based on group occupancy] *Rooms are shared with other guests unless you request and pay for a private room. 

  • Studio and exhibition space

  • All breakfasts [excluding independent travel days]

  • All lunches [excluding independent travel days] 

  • All dinners [excluding independent travel days]

  • Airport pickup and drop-off for arrival and return flights [Flight not included in price.]

  • Illustrated Map and Travel Guide to Siena and Florence

  • Three course credits may be offered depending on your school or if your course is approved for credit.

All workshop fees and supplies are purchased independently. Each course has a different lab fee that will be communicated in advance.

Course / Residency Outline

Italy was on the historic route of the grand tour, where artists would travel to see the world as part of their education. We are located within that path where famous painters, artists, writers and designers traveled to study the world. We offer various courses in art and design on our villa in Italy, including Creativity / Design & Culture, Architecture, Graphic Design, Sculpture, Film, Creative Writing, Pop-Up Book, Song Writing, Type Design, Printmaking, Painting & Drawing. Transform your practice examining contemporary and historic Italian art and design.


Using the villa as exhibition space, site-specific course space and an innovation platform, we aim to make a variety of work, sharing and exchanging perspectives, informed by the past and present. Cross-course critique and dialogue between students and professionals is an essential component to our horizontal platform. Risk taking and hard work is encouraged and nurtured. 


Study contemporary and traditional methods of design and art. Learn to paint, draw and design. Return home with a body of work produced, and broadened cultural perspective. 

Courses: Graphic Design. Sculpture. Film. Creative Writing. Pop-Up Book.Printmaking.


Instructor: Terence Gower

Investigate form, landscape, architecture and material at the villa and the surrounding context. Each student is encouraged to study their own encounters with the representation of nature. Projects, in any media, including writing, architecture, outdoor installations, drawing, and painting, are developed based on these personal histories layered with contemporary real-time experience of the landscape surrounding the AIP campus.

Creative Writing

Instructor: Rubén Gallo

Encapsulate and archive knowledge via paper and binding. This creative writing workshop will encourage students to immerse themselves in culture in Siena: talking to locals, visiting littleknown sites, and then write short narratives based on their experience. Each student will write biweekly pieces that will be read and discussed in workshop. The goal will be to produce a short story by the end of the two weeks.


Iain Antony Macleod

This course uses drawing and printmaking as means to explore and respond to both the cultural and physical attributes of Tuscany and its surrounding areas. The course is designed to help students hone and develop skills of visual observation, mark making, and visual storytelling by way of creating drawings and relief prints. Daily drawing times will be scheduled to explore how participants can capture their environment via the work of drawing and relief printmaking, with guidance by the faculty member. The outcome of this course will be a collection of drawings, linoleum prints, and a class set of relief prints. No prior printmaking or drawing experience necessary.

Graphic Design

Instructor: Peter Ahlberg

With Tuscany as your backdrop, students will unpack and analyze the spectacular visual languages of Italy, find inspiration and fresh ideas by studying the region's renowned classical art and architecture, and consider how—through collaboration and personal reflection—historical forms, artisan techniques, and eternal questions may be renewed, reinterpreted, and reinvigorated for the 21st century. A new space changes your process, a new process changes your work, and in doing so, you will hone your craft, refine technique, and discover new ways of approaching, thinking about, and working with design and typography.


Day 00

August 3rd

Departure from home country, suitcase packed with supplies.

Day 01

August 4th

Arrive in Rome. Greeted at airport, hotel check-in, group dinner!

Day 02

August 5th

Course / Residency, Tour of the villa, creative workshops

Day 03

August 6th

Course / Residency, art and design making, communal dinners, workshop, and presentations

Day 04

August 7th

Course / Residency, art and design making, communal dinners, workshop, and presentations

Day 05

August 8th

Course / Residency, art and design making, communal dinners, workshop, and presentations

Day 06

August 9th

Trip to Florence

Day 07

August 10th

Course / Residency, art and design making, communal dinners, critique and showcase

Day 08

August 11th

Trip to other sites around region

Day 09

August 12th

Course / Residency, art and design making, communal dinners, workshop, and presentations

Day 10

August 13th

Trip to Siena

Day 11

August 14th

Course / Residency, art and design making, communal dinners, workshop, and presentations

Day 12

August 15th

Course / Residency, art and design making, communal dinners, show set up

*Note this schedule is subject to change due to local weather, force majeure or new opportunities that better suit the needs of the group. This will help you get an accurate picture of what your experience will be like. 

Day 13

August 16th

Final Show, Celebration Dinner!

Day 14

August 17th

Departure: Airport drop-off, Buon viaggio! Ciao!

Location / Site

Italy is the perfect spot to not only study art, but to experience an artistic lifestyle. Tuscany is a haven for some of the most beautiful landscapes and cities in the world. Our villa is located 9 km from Siena Italy. In the Renaissance, masters combined disciplines into large scale artworks. Leonardo da Vinci, Brunelleschi and other individuals integrated art, design, architecture, and engineering into culturally impactful works of art. Disciplines overlapped, various perspectives were encouraged.


The villa, nature and the making of art are intertwined in perfect balance. Our experience offers time to create, travel to historic cities and multi-course dinners filled with creative conversation. We create a community of artists supporting each other while continuing to learn. The environment is a sanctuary for art making and focus. We study the art, food, architecture, design, and culture of Italy with a holistic experience for all participants. 


Visit Florence, Siena and other areas on this incredible journey. See the best of what these cities have to offer while living in Tuscany.


1 hour from Florence airport

2 hours and 45 minutes from Rome airport

Before you sign up

  • Transportation to Italy is not included. AIP will send you instructions for travel along with a list of supplies after registration.

  • Please let us know of your dietary restrictions and we will work with our chef to accommodate your needs. 

  • We recommend a visit to your health care provider before the trip [scheduled for a minimum of six weeks before travel]. If you have any ongoing medical conditions, please consider when registering.




All Italy participants will arrive at Rome “Leonardo da Vinci”—Fiumicino Airport (Italy FCO), and be picked up by bus. Participants must arrive in Rome at the Rome “Leonardo da Vinci”—Fiumicino Airport (Italy FCO) by 11 AM on August 4, 2019. If departing from the USA, you would depart August 3rd, the day before.

Participants will be transported by bus to and from the airport to the villa. Our transport leaves the airport promptly at 1 PM on August 4, 2019.

Your return flight should leave Rome “Leonardo da Vinci”—Fiumicino Airport (Italy FCO) in the afternoon. (The villa is 3 hours away from the airport) We need ample time to drive to the airport, and to allow time for you to check in. If you book a flight that leaves too early in the morning you must arrange your own transportation. 

Airport pickup and drop-off is only for the program dates indicated. You may choose to arrive early or stay late, where you will be responsible for your transportation arrangements and costs. If you are renting a car or would like to make other arrangements, you are welcome to arrive at the AIP location site on your own by rental car, taxi, bus, or other means.


AIP will collect flight details and alternative travel plans when you complete registration.


& Insurance


We require all participants to be in possession of a passport valid 6 months after your date of travel into the country.


U.S. Citizens do not need a visa when traveling to Italy. If you are traveling from a country that a visa is required when entering Italy, you should start the process as soon as possible after signing up.


All participants are enrolled in our international health insurance policy. We highly recommend participants enroll in travel insurance for trip cancelation and personal items. Travel insurance covers: trip delay, cancellation, or interruption due to an unforeseen event- plus lost, delayed, damaged, or stolen gear or bags. 


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123 Bowery

New York NY, 10002

(859) 414-6508