Siena, Italy:

Art / Design Lab & Residency






FEBRUARY 14, 2020: $3,400
[if registered and paid in full by deadline]


Program Overview

AIP Italy is set on a large and beautiful villa right outside of Siena. The day you arrive, we gather for an aperitif, followed by a celebration dinner with Tuscan food and wine. The villa has a bar and restaurant and numerous indoor and outdoor spaces for exploring. The villa serves gorgeous breakfasts on a large loggia terrace overlooking an expansive garden. Our studio space at the villa is where we gather to learn more about each other, make presentations and work. The entire villa is an exhibition space and workspace. Two large cloisters offer green space with corridors and numerous large rooms where participants can work and relax each day. 


Our lunches and dinners are shared dining experiences set in a beautiful outdoor space overlooking the cloister. Multi-course meals encourage you to relax and take time to enjoy each moment of the day. 


Classes are three hours a day, and participants work in the afternoon, take walks, and can ride a bus into Siena which picks you up at reception. We have a mid-program and final exposition to showcase work to the entire group. Along the way, faculty and program leaders make presentations on work and their course topics, to inspire and give a greater cultural context to Italy. Each day is full of creative conversation, encouraging you to relax and energize your creative pursuits.

Experience Includes

Gorgeous Villa with shared accommodation (Private rooms are available upon request for an extra fee based on availability)

AIP trip leaders to guide your entire experience

Private airport transfers and all ground transportation * Flight not included in price

All Villa meals included (except on trip days)

Luxury farm to table multi-course dinners with Tuscan wine

Access to the entire Villa including Studio and Exhibition Space 

Day trips to Florence and Siena with an Insider Tour of Florence 

Arrival and Final Celebration Dinners

Creative Presentations, Lectures, Critiques, and Workshops by AIP leaders and teachers

High-Speed wifi

Artistic Travel Guide to Italy 

International Health Insurance

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 Sculpture / Architecture, Graphic Design, Film, Creative Writing, Pop-Up Book/Illustration, 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. 

Classes: Three hours of one on one instruction each day. Our classes are small and you will spend a lot of time with your teacher learning with a hands-on approach.*

Creative Residencies: Workspace and access to wifi and creative conversations with students and professors

University Students: Course Credit if approved by your University

*Participants sign up for one course, although collaboration with other courses is encouraged. All art and design supplies are purchased by participants before the trip. Some courses may have a lab fee for shared materials and equipment which you will pay on or before the program.

Course Topics 

The AIP Experience

Sculpture / Architecture

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.


Theatre is immediate--it responds quickly and viscerally to current events and surroundings, galvanizing an audience through its liveness, flaws, and the energy of the performers. In this course, we will create theatre that responds to the world around us, using ourselves, the strengths and vulnerabilities of the group, and the space and city we're visiting. By engaging in myriad devising techniques, students will build a piece of theatre from the ground up, working thoughtfully and through instinct, with a final performance capping the process. No acting experience required, but a sense of adventure is.


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 / Moving Paper 

In this hands-on course students will learn the essentials of paper engineering and pop-up book design. They will then apply what they have learned towards designing and building their own pop-up book. During the first half of the course students will be familiarized with the tools and techniques used in the field by building examples of paper mechanisms for themselves. During the second half, students will apply the techniques learned at the start of the course to construct multi page pop-up books based on a subject matter of their choosing.

Making Books (for Artists, Writers, Photographers, Curators, and Designers) 

The book is a powerful object, unlimited in its potential as a medium and tool for expression, documentation, and communication. As a multidisciplinary and often collaborative practice, making a book is an empowering and illuminating creative endeavor. 


This course is for artists, writers, photographers, curators, and designers who are interested in exploring the medium of the book and learning how to make their own—from one-of-a-kind artist books to limited-edition multiples for sale and distribution. Students will explore and discuss every aspect of the book-making process including concept development and refinement, content creation, editing, basics of art direction and typography, as well as printing and binding. Studio work will be complimented by visits to local archives and libraries, traditional book and paper makers, printers, and more.

Painting / Drawing


This workshop will help artists of all levels strengthen their sense of observation and to convert their observations into successful compositions. Work outdoors, develop your drawing and painting skills while observing the magnificent Tuscan landscape. Whereas drawing and painting is the focus, urban sketching will be practiced while traveling. Lectures will be given on composition, design; paying special attention to color, color mixing, and paint application.


Day 00

July 31

Departure from home country, suitcase packed with supplies.

Day 01

August 1st

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

Day 02

August 2nd

Course / Residency, Tour of the villa, creative workshops

Day 03

August 3rd

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

Day 04

August 4th

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

Day 05

August 5th

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

Day 06

August 6th

Trip to Florence

Day 07

August 7th

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

Day 08

August 8th

Open day to visit Siena or take a trip to other sites around the region

Day 09

August 9th

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

Day 10

August 10th

Trip to Siena or relax at the villa

Day 11

August 11th

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

Day 12

August 12th

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

Day 13

August 13th

Final Show, Celebration Dinner!

*Note this schedule including dates 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. AIP programs are non-refundable.

Day 14

August 14th

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

The AIP Experience

Day 1 - Welcome to Italy! Arrive at the airport and have a cappuccino or espresso and be picked up by our private transportation from the airport to the villa located just outside of Siena. We will check in and relax and wait for the rest of the group to arrive, spend your afternoon relaxing and getting settled. Take a walk in the garden and chat with other guests. We have a nightly aperitif and meet and greet followed by a celebration dinner you can dress up for. We have multi course dinners made with local produce and ingredients, and of course tuscan wine!


Day 2 - Wake up in Tuscany and walk to the loggia for breakfast overlooking the Italian garden for Cappuccino’s croissants, eggs, yogurt and other delectables. We will gather in the studio space to introduce AIP and get to know the teachers, group organizers and talk about our goals for the trip and why we all came. Bring your supplies up to the classroom (all participants bring supplies with them so they are prepared to work right away) and meet with your class groups. Creative Residents can set up workspace and start working right away. Gather at 1 pm for lunch and take the afternoon to work on art, writing etc. You will have open time each day to be in the moment and share experiences with the community.


Day 3,4 & 5 - Wake up to another wonderful morning, meet for class followed by lunch and spend the afternoon working/ relaxing. Meet for an aperitif followed by presentations by professors and AIP trip leaders about there work and other creative topics. Arrive to dinner excited and chatting with other guests, asking questions and learning about each other and what interests you share.


Day 6 - Spend the Day in Florence. See the city with an AIP walking tour followed by Independent opportunities. Eat out on your own. We suggest the Duomo, Uffizi and Galleria Academia along with walking over the Ponte Vecchio bridge and meandering through medieval and renaissance streets.


Day 7 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Shared with more aperitifs, and a Mid Term Review of work of all courses, professors and residents. Review, look and discuss!


Day 8 - Traces to Siena exploring, seeing sites and shopping. Look out for the local flags of the neighborhoods! Siena is divided into 17 contrade , or neighborhoods, each with its own flag and identity! In August the city is alive with parades and celebrations for the Palio!


Day 9 - Shared meals, course sessions, group gatherings and time to create!


Day 10 - Open day to go into Siena or work. No class meetings.


Day 11, 12 - Shared meals, course sessions, group gatherings and time to create! Prep for final show.


Day 13 - Breakfast followed by our final exhibition. Tour the villa as a group to see and explore everyone's projects. Pack up your supplies and suitcases, enjoy a fantastic celebration and farewell dinner!


Day 14 - Wake up, enjoy breakfast and ride the private transport back to Roma to depart! If your staying longer, enjoy the rest of your trip.

The AIP Experience

The Artist Immersion Program experience is positive and friendly as our community of participants and instructors exchange ideas and support learning. Participants will spend time making art by hand, participate in lectures, conversations, and critiques- to understand the site and culture in a deep and meaningful way. We have class three hours a day and participants work independently for the rest of the day and are free to explore and relax. We plan presentations and activities where you can learn who the other teachers are, and learn more about the cultural region at large. 

We have designated time to make, enjoy planned meals, and to reflect and observe.  By making art/design while traveling, we believe you can translate your experience and explore a place in a deeply meaningful way. We travel to understand and grow with the world. On two-week trips, you have free days to explore cities and destinations independently, or with new friends.  


AIP programs are designed to include open and unstructured time. We believe that open and relaxed time is how you can experience the whole world as a learning environment. We believe in the individual experience, in listening and responding to the world. This requires quiet time to think and respond.


Siena / Tuscany

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.


Our Villa is located ten minutes away from Siena, 1 hour from Florence airport and 2 hours and 45 minutes from the Rome airport. 

Tips and Info

  • 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 July 31, 2020. If departing from the USA, you would depart July 30th, the day before.

Participants will be transported with private transport to and from the airport to the villa. Our transport leaves the airport promptly at 1 PM on July 31, 2020. You may choose to make your way to Siena or Florence and get to the villa on your own. Just let us know! 

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. 

JAPAN          FRANCE            SPAIN             ITALY            INDIA



123 Bowery

New York NY, 10002


+1 - 929 - 244 - 9771

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