Northern Italy, September 13-22, 2024

If you are interested in the arts, culture, and magnificent beauty of Northern Italy and Venice, this retreat is for you! Join us for a nine day exploration of the Dolomite region of Italy. We'll hike through the breathtaking alpine region and enjoy authentic Italian fare beside crystal lakes. Writers will have the chance to work on writing poetry or a children's story with Marianne and then begin illustrating your work in watercolor paints with renowned Italian illustrator, Gaia Marfurt! (Sessions for more experienced artists are also available). The trip will conclude with a few days in the vibrant arts scene of Venice. Join us for an unforgettable opportunity to learn about the artistic culture of this fascinating region. 


A more detailed itinerary will be provided three months before the trip, but the trip will be slow paced with time to savor and absorb the magnificent surroundings. There will be time to meet one on one with Marianne about writing, art, photography, travel, publishing, and more. Gaia is available to answer questions about culture, language, and illustration. 


We limit participants to 12 to keep the trip personable and sustainable. If you have questions, feel free to use the Contact Me page. 


We can accomodate most dietary restrictions. A signed travel waiver is required. Upon booking, you'll have the opportunity to express your preferences, so the final itinerary is customized to the group. 


If you're looking for deep, slow travel with a chance to connect with other creatives, this is a great retreat for you. If you are interested in exploring art forms, culture, and history, this will be great for you. If you're looking for adventure and willing to step outside your comfort zone, this will be a good fit. 


It's probably not the best fit if you're wanting to hit every single tourist spot (you can extend your trip before or after). These retreats focus on slow, sustainable travel and meaningful experiences with local people.


September 13: Explore Venice from the home base of a charming restored palazzo in the center of town. Dinner together to set creative intentions and start off the trip. 

September 14: A full day to explore the beauties of Venice. Options to visit local museums and churches, learn about lace making and glass blowing, traditional arts of the region. In the evening, the group will take a Street Food Tour with a local to explore the food scene. 

September 15: Morning in Venice, afternoon transfer to Dolomites. Dinner prepared by local Italian chef with farm ingredients. Time for planning our mountain explorations. 

September 16: Dolomites. Time to explore and work on creative projects. 

September 17:  Hike through the incredible landscape of the Dolomites with a local guide. Time for photography, artwork, and exploring mountain lakes. 

September 18: Work with Italian illustrator Gaia Marfurt on watercolor illustrations of your choice. Option to paint the gorgeous mountain scenery from our balcony.

September 19: Explore a small town and ruins in the mountain region, with options to enjoy local cuisine and wine. 

September 20: Breakfast at our mountain villa. Afternoon transfer to an elegant 300 year old lake home on the shores of Lake Garda. 

September 21: A full day to enjoy Lake Garda, including afternoon boat tour to the east coast of the lake with a chance to explore Sirmione. Option to swim. 

September 22: Breakfast at Lake Garda and goodbyes; transfer to airports for travel home or onward. 




Transfers within the country, guides, workshops, and group sessions

All breakfasts and some dinners

All lodging


Not Included:


Free time meals and spending money 



*Deposit: $800 to hold your spot 

Deposit is non-refundable but if you need to cancel, you can sell your spot


$3,000: shared room

$3,300: private room (may not always be available)

Half is due by March 1st, 2024, and the final payment is due July 1st, 2024


The price ensures paying local people a living wage and partnering with organizations that respect the environment and are committed to sustainable travel development. 


In the unlikely event that we cancel the trip, we will reschedule and apply your deposit to a future trip of your choice. 



Illustration by Gaia Marfurt

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