Tuscany Workshop

Sketch Tuscany with Leslie Fehling
September 23-30, 2017

7 days at Fattoria Bacio
in Certaldo, Italy

Italy captured my heart when I first visited several years ago, and I’ve fallen more in love with it every time I return. Sharing it with friends makes the whole experience even better. That’s why I’m inviting you to join me next fall for a week of drawing, painting, and exploring beautiful, incomparable Tuscany!

The chapel at Villa Bacio

It will be a feast for the senses. Just imagine dark green shutters on ancient stone buildings, terraced vineyards and silvery grey olive groves, pomegranate and lemon trees, window boxes overflowing with flowers, delicious organic wines, and the most wonderful food you’ve ever tasted!

Fattoria Bacio

September is grape harvest time in Tuscany, and we’ll be there to experience the sights, smells, and tastes of the harvest at Fattoria Bacio, a family-owned estate nestled in the heart of the Chianti hills. (“Fattoria” means wine estate or farm.) Just 30 km from Florence, Fattoria Bacio is surrounded by 340 acres of vineyards and olive groves, and will serve as the perfect home base for a week of painting, relaxing, and touring the Tuscan countryside.

Click here to download the schedule for the 7-day workshop.

Painting the view at Villa Bacio

Our home for the week will be Villa Bacio, the 19th century hilltop villa which is the centerpiece of the estate. The bedrooms all have views of the surrounding countryside and are conveniently located just down the hall from our sunny indoor studio.

View from the living room looking into the studio

The studio offers a great spot for us to gather for daily classes and late-night painting sessions, but most of the time we’ll be outdoors sketching the beauty all around us.

Stone buildings, gardens, huge olive oil pots, and stunning scenery will give us plenty to paint while we’re at Villa Bacio, and with walking trails, a chapel, a pool, and quiet garden spots, it’s a great place to relax.

Now let's talk about the food...it is incredible! At Bacio, we'll enjoy authentic Tuscan dinners prepared in the Italian style with first course, second course, sides, wine, and dessert. And our chef, Patrizia, caters to everyone’s dietary needs, happily preparing vegetarian and gluten-free selections that are just as delicious as the “regular” options. Trust me, you won't need a bedtime snack!

Breakfast is also included each day. Take your cappuccino and pastries out to the garden where you'll find tables and chairs set up for dining alfresco.

I LOVE Italian cappuccino! (Photo from italymagazine.com)

For lunch, we'll usually be out and about, eating in local cafes and restaurants.

Picture us having lunch in this cafe in San Gimignano

The weather in Tuscany in September is wonderful, with warm days and cooler nights. The air is clearer than in the hot summer months, making for excellent views and great painting weather. Also, there are fewer tourists, which makes everything more pleasant.

We’ll take day trips to sketch in Siena...

The spectacular Duomo in Siena
San Gimignano…

A street scene in San Gimignano just begging to be painted!

and to the tiny, unspoiled medieval village of Certaldo Alto.

During the workshop, you’ll be creating your own illustrated watercolor travel journal filled with sketches of the places you see, the adventures you have, and the things you discover that are distinctly Italian. I’ll show you how to add pizzazz to your sketchbook pages with the addition of hand lettering, borders, and exciting page designs. You’ll find yourself looking at the world differently as we go about our days, noticing design details where you never thought to look for them before.

I'll share practical step-by-step lessons on how to paint specific subject matter that we encounter in our wanderings, and my easy techniques for drawing buildings and handling perspective challenges will make drawing those quaint medieval village scenes easier than you imagined. With my encouragement and one-on-one guidance, and the inspiration you’ll find just from being in Tuscany, you’ll fill the pages of your travel sketchbook with images that are full of life and memories.

A page from my 2015 Italy travel journal

Travel sketching imprints a place on your mind like nothing else can. Why not join me at Fattoria Bacio in 2017 and experience it for yourself?

This workshop is being arranged through Artravelitaly, who will handle all booking arrangements. Artravelitaly will follow up on correspondence with students and receive the payments of deposit and balance from the students directly.

Contact: Alessia from Artravelitaly 
Email: info@lameridiana.fi.it
Telephone: +39 377 2709500

Everything is included in the cost of your week at Fattoria Bacio:
  • Accommodations in a single or double room
  • All tuition fees
  • Airport transfers and local transportation, including day trips to Certaldo, San Gimignano, Siena, and La Meridiana
  • All breakfasts and dinners
Prices for the all-inclusive package of seven nights at Fattoria Bacio are listed below.

It is suggested that you fly into Florence and arrive on Saturday morning, September 23, 2017 , and fly out from Florence on Saturday, September 30, 2017. Or you may wish to extend your trip by adding on a day or two at either end to explore Florence or other parts of Italy. In any case, pick-up for the workshop will be in Florence on September 23, 2017.

Cost: (US prices listed are approximate and will vary according to the monetary exchange rate at the time your payment is made.)
  • Double room with private bathroom € 2210 (~ $2350)
  • Single room with shared bathroom € 2310 (~ $2512) (maximum three people sharing)
  • Single room with private bath € 2610 (~ $2790)
Register: To sign up, a 600 € / ~ $650 deposit is requested. Reserve your place now, so you don't miss out! Early registration also gives you your choice of rooms. (Click here for a description of the guest rooms at Villa Bacio.) Contact Alessia, of Artravelitaly, to register.

Questions? Contact Leslie at ljfehling@gmail.com or Alessia from Artravelitaly at info@lameridiana.fi.it

For more photos of Fattoria Bacio and the surrounding area, click here.


Everyone should visit Italy at least once in their life. Make 2017 your year to sketch the Tuscan countryside, stroll through historic villages, enjoy a cappuccino in Siena, and eat a gelato in San Gimignano. Won't you come along with me? Tuscany is waiting...

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