Art, Design, and Culture workshops at an Italian Villa in Siena
Program Dates: August 5 – 18, 2021
Step into a glorious Tuscan villa, designed for monks spending their lives making illuminated manuscripts. Our villa is less than ten minutes drive from Siena and has a full restaurant along with a sprawling landscape, gorgeous interiors, and exteriors to delight every sensorial and imaginative realm.
Tuscany is the center of the Renaissance. The coalescence of art, culture design, and integration of all the art forms in its penultimate incarnate in the streets, architecture, interiors, language as graphic design, and in the paintings that line the walls of these cities, not to mention the wallpaper itself.
We will eat, drink and be merry, spending our days making, learning, and discussing the meaning of... well, life. Italians, must we say, know how to live.
Unlike many other programs, the price of an AIP program includes most everything on your trip, including food, housing, excursions, and in-country transportation. Many participants spend very little outside of this while on the trip. This allows you to know the actual cost upfront, so you know what to expect. We do our very best to design the trip - selecting incredible locations, with local food and experience you will never forget.
You will purchase your art/design supplies and flight before the trip. Besides that, it's all-inclusive. Food on day trips and any independent travel is paid for by you as well.
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 drive away from Siena, 1 hour from Florence airport and 2 hours and 45 minutes from the Rome airport.
Our Italian Community
We work with local artists and designers to design our programs in Italy. You will work directly with our community to get to know Italy from an insiders perspective.
TRAVEL WRITING CLASSIC
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Vaughan Hart and Peter Hicks
Tuscany in Mind,
Alive Leccese Powers
The Divine Comedy,
“Nothing can be compared to the new life that the discovery of another country provides for a thoughtful person. Although I am still the same I believe to have changed to the bones.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey
Residence at a Gorgeous historic and sprawling Tuscan villa right outside of Siena to use as your muse and studio. Shared accommodation provided (Private rooms are available upon request for an extra fee based on availability)
Villa meals from the private estate, most ingredients sourced from the organic gardens and or other local sources
Luxury farm to table multi-course dinners with Tuscan wine. Arrival and Final Celebration Dinners
AIP trip leaders to guide your entire experience
Private airport transfers and all ground transportation * Flight not included in price
(All meals except on trip days/ independent days)
Access to the entire Villa including Studio and Exhibition Space. Creative Presentations, Lectures, Critiques, and Workshops by AIP leaders and teachers
Day trips to Florence and Siena with an Insider Tour of Florence
Artistic Travel Guide to Italy
International Health Insurance
What you will do and learn.
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.
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. Topics include creative writing, architecture and sculpture, graphic design and printmaking.
Where we stay:
We will be at a gorgeous historic property, known for its cultural prowess and connection to cultural and academic rigors. This site is absolutely perfect for our communal and imaginative visit.
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.
Here is our best description of what your time will be like in Siena with AIP.
Day 1 - Let's Meet!
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 their 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 you're staying longer, enjoy the rest of your trip.
*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, due to the advanced planning required to make trips possible. We plan every detail to make sure our stay is excellent in every way.
Trip Details and Pricing
This experience includes almost everything you need.
*Rooms are all shared.
Private rooms available upon request with an upgrade fee.
Airfare to Italy is not included.
Other trip details:
Other cool things to do:
Visit Siena any day of the week, and take a quick train to Florence for more adventures. We are right in Tuscany, near many small towns, vineyards, wineries and other culinary and cultural enchantments. San Gimianiano is a fantastic day trip.
What is the Palio?
The Palio is a lively and wild event which takes place twice every summer in the Piazza del Campo, or open plaza right in the center of town. Siena is divided into seventeen neighborhoods, each with a flag and symbol representing that area of the city. Take your pick, from: the Eagle, Snail, Wave, Panther, Forest, Tortoise, Owl, Unicorn, Shell, Tower, Ram, Caterpillar, Dragon, Giraffe, Porcupine, She-Wolf and the Goose. You can purchase a scarf from a neighborhood to show your solidarity and take part in the fun.
AIP will email you when it is time to get your ticket. We will complete much planning in advance, and will email this to you ninety or more days before your tip. We will send more specific details once you sign up for the trip. You will be met at the airport, and we will all go to the hotel together.
Italy is hot in the summer and can get cool at night. Higher temperatures are around afternoon time, where its hot in the sun and much cooler in the shade. Modesty is respected in Italian culture, especially when visiting churches. We recommend nice looking clothes for your everyday experience. Scarves are helpful when visiting cities if you plan on attending churches or museums.