Tuscany, Italy

with Weatherly Stroh and Lizzie Larock

SOLD OUT!

Oct 5-12, 2024

 

Save my spot in Tuscany!

it's time...

to download that Italian language app, watch Under the Tuscan Sun one more time and save your spot in the Art of Life Creativity Retreat with Weatherly Stroh and Lizzie Larock in Tuscany, Italy! 

inspiring,

RELAXING & 
NOURISHING

This is your invitation to a 7-night creativity retreat at Villa Santa Gelsa, in Torrita di Siena, Italy, Oct 5-12, 2024.

We have an extraordinary week planned at this 300-year old Tuscan villa near Montepulciano and Siena that you do not want to miss.

Are you drooling, yet, just thinking about spending this kind of relaxing, inspiring, nourishing week in Tuscany with us?

creative, funny, warm

& WELCOMING HOSTS

If you've been craving a getaway with creative, funny, warm & welcoming hosts and a lovely group of fun-loving people... in Italy, then put down that biscotto and save your spot before they all book up (because our retreats fill up faster than a Ferrari). 

We are Weatherly & Lizzie, your Art of Life retreat hosts, and we can't wait to have you join us!

(photos: This is Weatherly & Lizzie by the sea in Cinque Terre. Photo below is a Fiat 500 not a Ferrari, but you get the picture to sign up soon because how adorable is Tuscany?!).

a week of

PAINTING, PHOTOGRAPHY, POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY & PASTA

Plus sketching, savoring, snapping photos and sipping on wines in stunning Torrita di Siena, Italy.

a room with a view

STREAMING SUNLIGHT, AND CYPRESS TREES.

Morning cappuccinos and evening aperitivo.

What could be better than a soul-nourishing week at our Art of Life Retreat in Tuscany?

This is our backdrop for a fulfilling week of art workshops, daily yoga, decadent meals from our private chef, a pasta-making class, a wine-tasting at a Tuscan vineyard, and adventures to lovely Tuscan towns (plus a few surprises) with a group of funny, warm and creative people. 

If our last retreats are any indication, you'll never want to leave this dreamy setting or this wonderful group of people. 

painting

& SKETCHING

Bring beautiful little moments to life in your travel sketchbook workshops with Weatherly. No experience needed!

If you've always wanted to play with paint or it's been a few decades since you've held a paintbrush, our Tuscan retreat is perfect for you. We even have hilariously funny (and easy) art activities for those who don't "think" they're an artist.

You truly do not need any experience to enjoy the creativity workshops at the retreat. Permission to let go of perfectionism and play with the forgiving and fun medium of travel painting and simple sketching. 

If you're an advanced painter, you'll love letting your creative side run wild with Italian inspiration and Art of Life playfulness. Weatherly is there to teach you while the stunning scenery inspires you. Art is EVERYWHERE in Italy.

This retreat is for EVERYONE regardless of their artistic skill levels.

photography

& WRITING

In Lizzie's workshops, you'll learn how to be more curious, present, joyful and in awe much more often through creative iPhone photography and easy writing exercises. You'll have plenty of positive psychology tools to take home with you, and who doesn't want to know how to take photos that you LOVE on your iPhone?

The writing workshops are loose and fun with just a little intentional time to reflect and see your everyday life through a new lens.

This is the art of capturing everyday moments in the most creative and accessible ways.

the art of slowing

DOWN AND SAVORING...

You'll be fluent in the art of slowing down and savoring by the end of this retreat with plenty of downtime for il dolce far niente (translation: the sweetness of doing absolutely nothing!). Because who wouldn't want to spend plenty of downtime in this setting?

While the relaxation of most vacations rubs off at the airport returning home, at this retreat, you'll learn the positive psychology and wellbeing tips to thrive long after you're back to the busyness of daily life. 

Along with daily yoga, an Italian cooking class, wine tasting & more.

While it's tempting to never leave our gorgeous villa, we will have relaxing and adventurous ways to explore the neighboring centuries-old Tuscan towns.

Always wanted to ride a Vespa up winding Italian roads or bike amidst the rolling hills? Or maybe you've always wanted to photowalk and capture the textured walls, antique windows, carved doors, and bustling cafes in quaint Italian towns.

Or perhaps you'd love a luxuriously long picnic lunch in an olive grove?

You can do as much or as little as you like on this retreat. The only requirement is to enjoy yourself. 

Beautiful experiences will also be brought right to our door with a flavorful cooking class at the villa, daily gentle yoga classes, an on-site massage therapist, and an Italian (swearing?) lesson just for fun.

Daily Gentle Yoga

IS INCLUDED

Everything is optional, the only requirement is to ENJOY YOURSELF!

Do a little or a lot, enjoy the workshops and activities, or let yourself get some rest and relaxation. You can master that art of doing nothing or make sure you don't miss out on a thing.

This retreat is your own masterpiece. This is the Art of Life.

Nothing is mandatory, everything is optional and the only requirement is that you nourish and enjoy yourself (which shouldn't be very difficult in this gorgeous setting).

"Thank you for one of the most magical weeks of my LIFE! Truly. I have had more inspiration and moments of joy than I have had in as long as I can remember. This is what my soul was screaming for. Here is to the next chapter of Art of Life retreats. I will be there." - Hadley

a sample

OF OUR ITINERARY
  • Saturday: Arrival¬†aperitivo¬†& welcome dinner.¬†
  • Sunday:
    8am: breakfast
    9am: yoga
    10am: creativity workshops (mix and match choices of watercolor or gouache painting, sketching, and mindful iPhone photography)
    1pm: Italian al fresco lunch
    3:30pm: afternoon free for plein-air painting, photowalks, journaling, panoramic hikes, reading poolside, optional excursions, *massages and il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).
    6pm aperitivo
    7pm dinner 
  • Monday:
    8am: breakfast
    9am: yoga
    10am: creativity workshops
    1pm: Italian al fresco lunch
    afternoon free for plein-air painting, photowalks, journaling, panoramic hikes, reading poolside, and massages.
    4pm pasta-making class with our private chef
    6pm aperitivo
    7pm dinner
  • Tuesday:
    8am breakfast
    9am yoga
    10am creativity workshops
    1pm Italian al fresco lunch
    3pm excursion to Montepulciano
    7pm: Dinner* out (join the group or dine out on your own) and enjoy the town.
  • Wednesday:¬†
    8am: breakfast
    9am: yoga
    10am: creativity workshops
    13:00: picnic lunch at winery
    2:00pm: wine tasting and vineyard tour
    6:30pm: aperitivo
    7:30pm dinner
  • Thursday:¬†
    8am: breakfast
    9am: yoga
    10am: creativity workshops
    1pm: Italian al fresco lunch
    2pm: Vespa tour of Tuscany (optional add-on)
    6pm: aperitivo
    7:00pm: dinner
  • Friday:¬†
    8am: breakfast
    9am: yoga
    10am: creativity workshops
    1pm: Italian al fresco lunch.
    Afternoon free.
    7pm: Aperitivo and Art of Life last night Pizza Party.
  • Saturday:
    8am: breakfast
    Departure Day

 *massages, e-bike rides, Vespa tours, vintage race car driving are all optional retreat add-ons.

flexible, nourishing

& INSPIRING

This is meant to be a flexible, nourishing, inspiring and creative retreat, not a rigid schedule. You'll have plenty of ways to truly relax and enjoy the Tuscan culture, savor incredible cuisine, take walks, sip cappucinos in town, learn from Weatherly and Lizzie and sink into the creative camaraderie of our group.

"Wow. You two did an amazing job making a very creative and festive retreat. We all had a wonderful time! We ate, laughed, danced, sang, wrote, drew, painted, photographed, cooked, shared and just plain LIVED. Thank you for putting together this retreat. It was such a gift!" -Pam (Tuscany 2023)

bike photo by Hadley Moore, Art of Life, Tuscany, 2023

"The location, the people, the hosts and the food were all sensational.

You are both truly unique and talented leaders. It is a gift for anyone who has the opportunity to be in your presences at one of your retreats.

Thank you for giving us time and space to expore, paint, take photowalks, drink wine and eat way too much food. I can't wait to do it, again, on another one of your retreats." -Katy (Tuscany 2023)

a private chef,

 a pizza party & a cooking class.

What would a week in Italy be without the most delicious local flavors? We have a private chef at our villa, delicious and decadent meals planned, plus plenty of free time to explore Tuscan cuisine on your own. 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included in the retreat along with nightly wines and aperitivi.

life is a

COMBINATION OF MAGIC AND PASTA.
-federico fellini

Meals are beautifully prepared by our private chef at Villa Santa Gelsa.

There's even a cooking class planned for one of our evenings and a brick oven pizza party planned, as well. (This is probably not the vacation to cut out carbs!). 

 

camaraderie, creativity, connection & cooking

in a gorgeous 300-year old villa with Weatherly, Lizzie and a wonderful group of people, seriously, what could be better? 

This gorgeous three-story villa has 12 luxury bedrooms each with their own ensuite bathroom.

We have king and twin-bed configurations available for our retreat guests.

There's a service elevator for luggage (no need to lug it all up flights of stairs), a well-appointed kitchen with commercial appliances (and a private chef!), lush gardens, cozy couches on the veranda, and a beautiful pool area with plenty of umbrellas for relaxing in the shade. There are plenty of lovely sitting and dining areas indoors if the weather is brisk. 

     about

Tuscany

Dramatic landscapes, historic cities, towering Cypress trees, winding roads, verdant valleys all drenched in the best wine, food and art in the world. This is Tuscany.

October is an idyllic time to visit. The days still have a hint of warmth, the nights have the delicious crispness of fall. It's the perfect time to explore the countryside.

And the golden hues of the fall foliage begin to match the jewel-toned architecture throughout the historic villages.

Local life is in full swing as the crowds of summer have dwindled. 

The heart of Tuscany's

WINE COUNTRY

Besides its many shades of yellow, this part of Tuscany is quintessential wine country.

Chianti, Brunellos and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (70% sangiovese) are all produced in the surrounding towns of our villa. 

We'll be sampling, sipping and savoring some delicious Tuscan favorites at a local winery, along with the extra virgin olive oil and pecorino cheese that are also famous to this region.

Door photo by Shawn Donnelly, Art of Life Retreat, Tuscany, 2023

how to get there

Our villa is located in Torrita di Siena. It is about an hour and 20 minutes taxi or car ride from Florence.

You can rent your own car, grab a taxi at the airport or take the train from Florence. 
photo by Lizzie in Pietrasanta, Tuscany Art of Life Retreat, 2023

about your hosts:

WEATHERLY & LIZZIE

 

Weatherly

STROH

Weatherly has been a full-time artist for 12 years now, but has had a lifelong fascination with Italy.

Having spent two semesters of college in Florence and a semester of graduate school outside of Perugia, she makes a point of returning each year to paint en-plein-air.

Sadly her Italian is terrible, though she is fully adept at ordering her favorite gelato with lots of hand gestures and a smile.

Her favorite time of the day is the siesta, a practice she brought home with her from college and has perfected in her Florida art studio when time allows. 

Lizzie

LAROCK

Lizzie is a writer, photographer and positive-psychology based coach.

She teaches creativity, writing and photography workshops through her signature Life Feast mashup of curiosity, awe, mindfulness, wonder & photography.

She's taught everyone from 8 year olds to 78 year olds, CEOs, lawyers, accountants (and anyone else who doesn't think they are creative) how to find beauty in the tiniest details of everyday  life. 

Lizzie adores Italy, and considers herself a lifelong pizzatarian with a love of homemade pasta being a very close second in her well-fed heart! 

Weatherly and Lizzie have been close friends for over 38 years. 

Weatherly has always been taller and Lizzie has always been louder, but we've shared a deep friendship along with a mutual love of art, creativity and a hilarious history of tweenage and teenage shenanigans. Don't ask us about the Guns 'n Roses Toledo Speedway incident in 1991...

Our friendship has only gotten better over the last 3 decades (and, thankfully, so has our fashion sense - both of us are slightly horrified that we wore Patagonia coats, backpacks and ball caps in ITALY back in 1994)!

Our previous Art of Life Creativity retreats have been in Lucca, Italy (Tuscany) and the island of Sardinia. We can't wait to be in Torrita di Siena with you. 

Torrita di Siena 

HISTORY

Torrita di Siena is known for being "a mini Siena" with the same stylish atmosphere and rich history as its big Tuscan sister, but on a much more petite scale. 

The city walls that surround Torrita di Siena were built in the 1200s. The Porta Gavina offers gorgeous views across the Valdichiana, the tower is similar to the Torre del Mangia in Siena and the church even has a carved bas-relief lunette by Donatello.

Torrita's Old World charm is classic Tuscany. You'll love the postcard picture perfect landscapes of olive groves, grapevines, medieval towers and tall Cypress trees.

It's strategic location between Siena and Montepulciano meant that it was a highly valuable location as a castle hamlet. For us, it means that it's in the perfect location for the best food and wine tastings of Tuscany without the crowds of other regions.

Villa Santa

GELSA

Our retreat villa sits on a private estate and farm, owned and managed by the family. The farm produces Chianti, Merlot and Syrah wines, as well as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a variety of grains.

This sprawling grand estate with plenty of privacy and gorgeous views is also right next to the medieval village of Torrita di Siena with several cafes just a quick jaunt right outside our door.

You will live like a local, this week, either sipping your cappucino from our Italian villa hosts on the veranda by the pool or by sampling an espresso e cornetto made at the local caffe just down the street. 

There is also a notable butcher, a delightful pizzeria and a weekly farmers market just outside of our villa’s 300-year old walls.   

it's the perfect villa

for our Art of Life retreat!

"This week has been above & beyond. Such a beautiful, picturesque setting and experiences I will remember forever. And to have you both guide us and impart wonderful words and share your knowledge has all been icing on top." - Amie (Tuscany Retreat)

tutto è bene (all is good!)

AT THIS RETREAT! 

Not only will you be immersed in all things creativity, cuisine, culture, camaraderie, and connection, but there will also be time and space for il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).

This retreat is not about how artistic or creative you are (not at all), or how many activities you can squeeze into a week (probably a lot) or how delicious the food is (it's amazing) ... this retreat is actually about seeing, savoring, and slowing down long enough to soak up the sweetest parts of life.

We'd love to have you join us! THERE IS ONLY ONE ROOM LEFT (it can accommodate 1 or two retreat participants). Book right away to join us!

Arrivederci!

Weatherly & Lizzie

have questions?

"5 stars! Would highly recommend!

I have had so much fun, laughed so hard, and I learned so much about Italy and myself. I made new friends, learned how to tap back into my creative self that's been long dormant and was welcomed with such warmth.

I can now paint in gouache, curse in Italian and now know how to look for 3 good things. And I can't wait for your next retreat." - Sue (Tuscany 2023)

photo by Lizzie, Pietrasanta sidewalk, Art of Life Tuscany 2023

you had me at Italy!

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

Wonderful! We can't wait to be in Tuscany with you!

SOLD OUT! THIS RETREAT IS NOW SOLD OUT.
If you want to be on the waitlist or be notified as soon as we open another retreat, email us: [email protected]

PRICE:

The all-inclusive retreat price is: $5300/person in a shared luxury room with ensuite bathroom. There is a single occupancy additional supplement of $1480.00

INCLUSIONS:

The retreat price includes 7-nights of luxury accommodations at our villa, all meals/wine/soft drinks at the villa, transportation to our group excursion to a beautiful Tuscan town, wine tasting, olive oil tasting, private group cooking class, daily yoga (all props also provided), all art supplies for the workshops, painting, photography, writing and positive psychology workshops. Plus a few surprises! 

RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY:

SORRY! We are sold out for this retreat. Please reach out to us to get on the waitlist or be notified of future retreats before they sell out: [email protected]

Our Art of Life retreats are an experience you do not want to miss.

We can't wait to have you join us for our 2024 Art of Life Creative Tuscany Torrita di Siena Retreat. 

Single Occupancy Room
Double Occupancy Room

Have a question? Email: [email protected] and Lizzie or Weatherly will get right back to you.