Italy Painting Workshop & Art Retreat

Live the Dream – paint in the heart of Italy

SEPTEMBER 20- 27, 2024

SEPTEMBER 21- 26, 2025

  • sunset on the villa balcony
  • Villa Italy painting retreat
  • Moonlight falls through the doors at the villa
  • moon over Italian hills, view from the villa
  • Tarquinia museum
  • Caravaggio at the museum in the nearby Medieval village of Pitigliano
  • On the way back from the cheese farm
  • gathering up the cheese fresh from the farm
  • dinnertime at the villa
  • Nightfall at the villa
  • full-moon-villa Farnese, Italy
  • Bedroom villa
  • Up on the roof with a 360 view, villa in Farnese, Italy
  • In the studio
  • Studio at the villa
  • Sunset at the villa
  • Cascading in the sun at the Villa, Farnese, Italy
  • Entry to villa
  • Balcony, Villa, Farnese, Italy
  • Farnese Villa aerial view
  • Olive Groves
  • Outdoor dining at the Villa, Farnese, Italy

Capture the 360-degree views of the sea, fields, and hills of Italy. All from the ease and comfort of a grand villa and atelier and the extensive grounds. Conveniently located just 1 1/2 hours from the Rome airport at the border of Tuscany and Umbria. Gain mastery while expressing the exquisite light and expressive colors native to Italy.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Italy in your private villa.

Find the perfect spot in the art studio or among the olive groves to paint. Not a landscape painter? No problem, we can find some other fun painting lessons – such as color, composition, or customized to your needs.

Everything is convenient at the villa.

Rest in the comfort of the well-appointed rooms. Savor the sumptuous local cuisine prepared fresh for you daily. Discuss painting and art with new friends under the stars. Unwind in one of the several comfortable living spaces in the spacious villa. The art retreat is designed to allow you to fully relax and expand while experiencing exhilarating outings and valuable lessons in painting.

Venture out and explore the Region.

It’s not all about painting. You can make the most of your painting vacation and go off exploring on your own or with the group to take in the Renaissance Art, ancient Etruscan historic sites and other interests in the region. The villa is at the outskirts of the medieval village of Farnese which has many intriguing points of interest and restaurants. Visit the wineries, olive presses or for a little pampering head to one of the many natural hot springs.

“Italy was a fabulous experience, and I would highly recommend it.”  

Rita P 2023

The private villa is located at the intersection of the fertile ground of Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany, abundant with olive groves. You will be sure to bring home amazing memories and paintings!

Each attendee’s experience will be optimized. Internationally recognized artist, Jill Nichols will be assisting you in honing your skills.

Your internationally acclaimed instructor Jill Harrington Nichols, MFA, leads painting workshops in her home state of Connecticut, USA, Italy, and online. Accustomed to teaching students at all levels, Jill has a way of instilling confidence and encouraging students to take risks with exceptional outcomes. Jill’s demos and talks will reveal the secrets of creating a successful painting. 

She has received awards from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and Connecticut Office of the Arts. Her commissioned painting of Washington D.C. appeared as a backdrop for former FBI Director James Comey’s interview on “Face the Nation” while another appeared on a mini-series, “The Comey Rule”. Her artworks Phi, and Juno, which embrace the divine feminine are installed in the Vatican Observatory Museum.

Jill will be working with each painter individually to enhance their painting practice and in achieving individual goals. We will investigate historic and contemporary approaches to painting techniques.

Italy Painting Workshop & Retreat

Live the Dream – Register Today!

Paint, relax, and discover Italy – All-inclusive
September 20- 27, 2024

Only one room left for 2024,
(single, couple, or shared room)
Registration for 2025 is open.
All-inclusive 8 Days – 7 nights accommodations
5 days OF instruction, all levels, beginner to advanced
5 days OF fresh local cuisine & regional wine

Painter $3450.
Non Painting Companion, $1775.
Deposit of $500. will hold your spot,
full payment due by August 20, 2024.
Even the food is a work of art.
Figs picked from the villa property.

“The week in Farnese as part of the workshop filled our senses and left an edible mark that won’t be soon forgotten. From the early morning meditation walks, the tantalizing and delectable freshly cooked local cuisine, the wonderful company of newfound friendships, to the wealth of knowledge and craft shared by an outstanding mentor and teacher – it was pure Italian and artistic perfection!”

Cindy M

At left, print “Phi” in the Vatican Observatory. At right, Jill Nichols with her painting, “Phi”, and the Director of the Vatican Observatory, Brother Guy.

A few of the sights nearby!

Please note that transportation for arrival on September 20th Friday afternoon and departure on September 27th between the villa and Fiumicino Airport, Rome is provided*.

*A fee of $250. per party, roundtrip applies, includes group transportation during workshop.

Pick-up time is 2 pm at FCO airport on September 20th and departure time is noon on Friday, September 27th. Other times can be arranged at $500. per person. It is a 1.5-hour drive north of the airport and renting a car is an easy option.

A Tour of the Vatican Observatory to view Jill’s artwork, the Papal Gardens, and the Palace in Castel Gandolfo is available to Jill’s Workshop participants at an additional fee—details to be provided.

Note that airfare is not included.

Daily Snapshot

  • Paint the sunrise (optional) -this will be a quiet time of painting without instruction
  • Breakfast, in the Italian style of sweet and savory 
  • A moment of quiet reflection and walking meditation to ease the mind and focus 
  • Morning immersed in painting
  • Lunch served 
  • Rest, relaxation and revitalization
  • Capture the Italian landscape bathed in the late afternoon light, go on outing, or take a siesta
  • Savor a sumptuous dinner, abundant with the region’s fresh flavors

A complete updated list of suggested materials will be provided upon registration

  • Canvas and solvent will be provided.
  • Demos will be in oil and watercolor/gouache paints. All other mediums are fine, such as watercolors, acrylics, caseins, gouache, multi-media, and pastels. A list of suggested colors and other materials and travel tips will be provided after registration. A variety of paints will be at your disposal for experimenting with subtle temperature/value shifts.

Find out more!

Find out more about the Italy Workshop and Retreat by filling out this simple form.

Register Here!


How do I get there?

Book your flight into Fiumicino Airport, Rome, Italy – round trip transportation will be provided on Friday afternoon September, 20th to the villa and for the return to Fiumicino on Friday, September 25th. If you miss the transport there are other options such as car rental, private car for $500., or carpooling. Please coordinate this with Jill before your travel. We recommend renting a car, very simple to do with your driver’s license. The trip to the villa is a very easy drive. Driving is on the same side as in America.

Note that air transportation costs are not included.

I’m traveling alone, is anyone else?

This retreat is a wonderful opportunity to meet and make new friends and a friendly and welcoming environment for the solo traveler… We will introduce the workshop attendees to each other via email previous to travel.

What is your teaching style? Jill will be working one on one with students and well as holding a few demos and talks that will review color, composition, perspective, overlapping, and often overlooked aspects, and her own insights into what goes into a successful painting.

Is the Studio at the Villa? Yes, the studio is only a short walk across the courtyard from the main house. The grounds and views are extensive and surrounded by olive groves. There are some photos above to give you an idea of where you will spend 8 spectacular days.

Where is Italy is it? An hour and a half north of the Rome airport (FCO), on the outskirts of the medieval village of Farnese, VT. Here is the link to Google maps so you can see exactly where it is:

Map – FCO airport to Farnese, Italy

Jill’s Farnese, Italy Paintings and Demos

Ask Jill

Painting Workshops
Castle Marouatte

5 thoughts on “Italy Painting Workshop & Art Retreat”

  1. Dear Madelane,

    Thank you for your interest in the September workshop in Italy. I hope that you can make it this year, 2022, September 23-30! Bring you oils, acrylics and gouache paints! You can apply a lot of the oil techniques to gouache and acrylics. In addition, I would recommend bringing your watercolors if you have some. I often enjoy combining the transparency of the watercolors with the opacity of the gouache. Once you are registered I will send a suggested list of materials and more detailed information about the workshop.

    I think that you will be most comfortable traveling solo. In the past the group has been made up of both single females and couples. It is too soon to tell the make-up of this group, however I am sure that there will be other singles there, including me. We have a lot of fun painting and going off on excursions together. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions- you can reply to my email that I sent you.


  2. Madelane Shane

    I am interested in your September 2021 workshop in September. I’m currently painting w gouache,love oils And have used acrylic as well. Watercolor scares me :). Although I have someone who might be interested as well I must probably will be traveling alone I’m wondering about the group dynamics Or if this would be an issue. Thank you.

  3. Dear Marina,

    Thank you for your interest in the Italy Painting Retreat. It would be great if you and your mom could join in this year September 23-30, 2022. We are a small intimate group. The villa has great interior and exterior space and the studio is set off from the main area allowing individuals to be as involved with others as they see fit. I have found that artists are usually respectful of each other’s needs for personal space. I’m looking forward to getting to Italy after a long wait.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions for me. I tried emailing you but it came back. If you would like to stay abreast with my activities, news and updates please be sure to register on my contact page:


  4. Hi! I would love to be apart of your program with my mom (most likely for next year or two). Is there any information on that the enrollment size? She’s social when she has to be but the smaller the number the better. Love the full moon pictures and reflection/meditation addition. Excited to experience it one day in the future!

  5. In a designer and your retreat sounds like the best vacation! Do you have a mailing list or schedule of upcoming trips?

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