WHAT IF I'M NOT EXPERIENCED IN ART, IS THIS RETREAT STILL FOR ME?
Yes, all of our courses are intended for anyone who is a beginner or an intermediate painter looking to improve or just have a go for the first time. We also often work with more experienced painters who simply need a well-equipped studio space and our knowledge of the local area. Each course is different and is dependent on the nature of the group and Julian varies the content to keep it lively and fun, whilst ensuring that you go home with work you’re proud of.
CAN I BRING A FRIEND/PARTNER WHO DOESN'T WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ART CLASSES?
Yes, non-participants are welcome and there are plenty of activities around the area or just time and space to relax while we are in class. They are welcome to come along on day trips throughout the week and participate in any activity as they would like. These are offered at a discounted rate which is shown on each retreat page. You can just note the “non-painting partner” at sign up so we can make a note in the file.
WHAT IF I’M TRAVELING ALONE?
Many of our guests come alone and we match up based on guest profile which has always worked out really well. All the rooms are spacious with separate beds and private bathrooms. Plus most guests find that they are mainly only in the rooms to sleep as most tend to relax in the common areas (salons, terraces, pool, etc) when we're not in class, on daytrips, or having meals. It's up to you if you prefer the single room, but it's not required if signing up alone as we will pair you with another guest. There are a limited number of single rooms available for an extra supplement price. If the single rooms are sold-out, there is an option for single occupancy in a double room for a higher supplement as well. (See exact prices on specific retreat pages)
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE ROOMS?
Guests are provided with freshly laundered linens and towels on arrival, including a pool towel in season. There are toiletries such as soap, shower gel and shampoo provided, as well as hair dryers. A paid laundry service is available onsite as well.
IS THERE WIFI?
Yes there are three open signals available around the property.
DO WE NEED TO HIRE A CAR?
There is no need to hire a car, unless of course you are with a non-painting partner who wishes to explore the area, as there is so much to see within an hour's drive, such as Siena, Perugia, Montepulciano, Lake Trasimeno, Cortona etc.. However, non-painting partners can always enjoy the private estate with tennis courts, swimming pool (in season), beautiful walks through the woods and the chance to hire mountain bikes to explore the local area. Be warned, though, we do live in and around the Tuscan and Umbrian hills, some of which can be a little challenging on a pushbike!
HOW MANY GUESTS ARE ON EACH COURSE?
We aim to keep our numbers limited to ensure a lot of one-to-one teaching, and the average number on any course is around 6 with the maximum number being 8.
HOW DO I ARRIVE?
We provide transfers from the Chiusi train station which is convenient to many airports around the area (Florence, Rome, Pisa, Perugia, etc) and quite easy to arrive. Private car transports are available as well and we can give you the information you'd need to hire one. If you decide to have a car with you throughout the retreat we will give you instructions on how to arrive at the house.
DO YOU CATER FOR SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?
We provide simple delicious Italian food, using fresh local ingredients. We can cater for simple requests like vegetarian, but we do need to know in advance and you can include this in your sign up form. However we should point out that, in rural Italy, it can sometimes be difficult to obtain a full range of substitute items for some food intolerances. Please contact us for further details.
WHAT TIME IS CHECK-IN AND CHECK OUT?
Check-in is between 2pm and 6:30pm, as we officially begin around 7pm with an orientation and welcome aperitivo before our first dinner. Sorry, we can not accommodate early check-ins but if you arrive at the train station or the area early, we can suggest activities to occupy your time until pick-up, and if you arrive much later we can help you arrange a private taxi.
Check-out is between 7am and 11am and all departures must be scheduled by then. If you have a much earlier departure we can help you arrange a private taxi, and if you have a later departure we can suggest activities in the area.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
Sign up by using the "sign-up" link on any of the retreat pages after choosing your payment option (hold deposit or full payment) from the drop-down menu. It will add the retreat to your shopping cart, and when you're ready to check out, click to your shopping cart in the upper right hand corner. You will then fill out an information form, and then payment. We then will send you an official confirmation and welcome email with a disclosure and emergency contact form to fill out and sign, as well as any pertinent travel information you may need.