Spend a week making art in the Sabine Hills just 1 hour north of Rome, exploring the local landscape and history while staying in a lovingly restored farmhouse and enjoying home-grown food and local wines.
Suitable for all abilities – from experienced artists to those at the beginning of their artistic journey.
Roccantica, our closest village
The base for the art retreat is a traditional farmhouse nestling between medieval hilltop villages off the tourist trail. La Casa Rosa retains its rustic charm.
The week offers opportunities to sketch during morning visits to sites with historic frescoes and spectacular landscape views. The afternoon is reserved for self-directed art-making and reflection. Discussions on our artistic or personal response to the sites visited are encouraged.
- Daily visits to sites that have Medieval or Renaissance frescoes in Romanesque churches, private chapels, and hermit grottoes.
- Visits to cafés in the local hilltop Medieval towns. This time offers an opportunity to discuss ideas.
The area’s colourful pagan and Christian history is reflected in the local architecture and frescoes. Dominican and Franciscan ‘ways’, on which religious and political travellers either passed through or settled, cross this picturesque region and pass by the famous Farfa Abbey, only 20 mins drive away (see video above).
Local scenery is also recreated in the background of some of the many medieval village church frescoes and appears almost unchanged. In turn this cultural past provides the foundation for interesting discussions and tempts us to capture its spirit in our art-making.
Grotto San Michele
There is always time for a coffee break
Some of the sites are unlocked especially for our group. We are given the local history by a guide and there is ample time to make observational drawings of the frescoes, architecture or surrounding landscape.
The frescoes we visit reveal cultural and religious attitudes preserved from the past; ideas, customs and social behaviour of a society. We might respond to the frescoes historically, culturally, emotionally, aesthetically, or negatively. Whichever of these, our artistic response may initiate discussion and a set of images or art processes to investigate that response.
The afternoons offer time to reflect, develop art work and make preparatory works. Alternatively, walk to nearby viewing points or relax by the pool.
There are other spaces around the property in which to work alone or with company.
The skills I teach relate to various aspects of the frescoes, such as materials and imagery.
Materials – I offer practical demonstrations on preparing some of the materials used for the frescoes such as gesso preparation, ink making and ochre pigment preparation.
Imagery – I offer inspiration, encouragement and exercises for those who request them to further develop their drawing skills.
As German American Josef Albers said when he summarised his experience of teaching: ‘Teaching is not a matter of method but of heart.’.
La Casa Rosa
The art week is available to book individually, or as a group. The art groups are kept small. The house sleeps a maximum of 6 guests. In addition there are comfortable local B&Bs.
The house is set in large grounds with a summer and winter kitchen, and studio. The pool is available for the guests’ use at any time.
One evening we have pizza made at home and cooked in our pizza oven.
Another evening we eat at one of many local restaurants offering good food reasonably priced.
Food shared around the table at home is an important part of the experience. This time offers an opportunity to discuss and reflect on the day’s activities and art work.
Meals are prepared using traditional methods and ingredients picked from the garden or sourced locally.
There are many fruit trees and the vegetable garden is productive in summer.
For further details concerning accommodation and testimonials go back to the menu at the top of this page.
Art weeks run from Sunday to the following Saturday: 22-28 August.
(Unfortunately due to Covid-19 restrictions the course in June is cancelled).
The cost of a week is 1300 euros per person. This is based on a shared apartment. It includes;
- Transportation to and from site visits (where no personal transportation has been arranged)
- 6 nights accommodation
- 6 breakfasts and picnic lunches
- 5 evening meals
- There will be separate pricing arrangements on requests for guests choosing single occupancy and/or B&B accommodation
One evening a meal out in a local restaurant is not included in the cost.
i) Transportation to and from Rome’s Fiumicino or Ciampino airports can be arranged if the group is arriving and leaving together.
ii) Guests are welcome to arrange their own car rental from the airports and directions to the house will be provided.
ii) Transportation is available to and from Poggio Mirteto, the local station, which has a direct link to Rome and to Fiumicino airport. Collection and drop off at the station can be arranged but a minimum of three hours notice prior to arrival and departure is required.
There is an early-bird discount of 100 euros for those booking 4 months in advance.
Larger party savings: Groups of 4 or more people will be offered a discount of 30 euros per day per person if they are staying in La Casa Rosa.
A deposit of 25% is payable on confirmation of a booking.
A local B&B can be booked for additional guests, or on request for guests who would prefer to sleep off site. It is five minutes drive away and is available with a discount. Cooking and yoga classes or beauty treatments can be arranged for the afternoon, with sufficient notice, and will be payable directly to the therapist.
Please make contact using the form below with any questions or bookings.
My dearest wish is that your week away will be an experience that will refresh and reinvigorate your creative spirit.
Art in the Sabine Hills