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Artists Workshop in Tuscany 

May 7 - 16, 2024 

Plein Air Painting  & Drawing

Guest Artist Kelly Medford will return! 

The Location  

We return to the medieval, walled hilltown of Barga in northwest Tuscany, which offers breathtaking overlooks, small winding streets to explore, wonderful historic architecture and quiet gardens.  Barga has an active arts community, an art museum, galleries,  a historic  Duomo and smaller churches. Many charming local bar-cafes  welcome you for a coffee, pastry, gelato or panini. Several trattoria and ristorante feature wonderful local cuisine. Those wishing to visit Lucca or nearby small villages on their own, can travel by bus or taxi. Or visit Florence by train.   

Note: Barga is literally a hill town and requires some walking up steep hills. Participants should be able to walk up and down steep hills, and stairs, and carry their gear to and from each location.

Artists and Non-Artists Welcome 

 Artists  will paint or draw with, and learn from, Kelly Medford, a noted painter whose work includes landscapes, cityscapes, interiors and still life. Artists will have lots of free time after classes to work independently or relax

Guests  can explore the friendly village, or hike paths on the surrounding hills. Occasionally there is music on one of the piazzas. Often  classes in Italian cooking or language can be arranged.  Side trips on your own to see nearby villages can be arranged. 

The Guest Artist-Instructor 

Kelly Medford, an American living and teaching in Rome, will return in 2024 to once again be our special guest instructor. This time focusing on composition.

Last workshop Kelly briliantly modified instruction to meet needs of members of our small group, which ranged from watercolor, drawing in dry media, and acrylic painting.  Kelly has a lovely way of helping participants at all levels as they focus on developing their own style

The theme of the 2024 workshop will be composition, arguably the most important aspect of making artwork en plein air and applicable to all media. The workshop will be in a relaxed and informal environment and is open to artists and non artists alike. Artists are welcome to work in the media of their choice. 


We will meet for 1 session each day to work en plein air around Barga. Each session will include a demonstration or talk on addressing that day’s particular location.  Artists will get 1-on-1 feedback on a daily basis plus group feedback sessions to facilitate a positive and constructive learning environment. 

Kelly's students say, "Kelly is an experienced artist who teaches with a gentle encouraging style. She promotes a relaxed approach to help students explore their potential while quietly developing their skills."  

More about Kelly


Photo of Barga hillside by Don Krohn 
Painting by Kelly Medford
Paintings by Kelly Medford  (Apologies  - some are cropped to show detail  or to  include on this website.) 


We stay in an historic villa, beautifully restored into a charming and comfortable family-run hotel with beautiful outdoor areas and terraces. Our host is gracious and helpful. Accommodations are in shared rooms, with a few private rooms available. Sumptuous Tuscan breakfasts served daily in the spacious dining room.  Four group dinners at  local ristorante are provided. Other nights you can enjoy dinner on your own at your choice of the town's trattoria or ristorante. Lunch on your own daily.

Fee & Payments

Fee of $2995 includes: daily classes for artists plus discussions and critiques; shared accommodations for nine nights (some private rooms available for an extra fee);  ground transportation to and from the Pisa airport;  delicious full Tuscan breakfast daily; and group dinners four nights.  $200 discount for guests not attanding the classes.

The maximum number of participants is 10 and registration is on a first-come basis. To secure your spot, application form and $1000 deposit due by November of 2023.  Second payment of $1000 due January, 2024.  Balance due March, 2024. (Full refund if the minimum of 6 participants for trip is not reached. )


Making Your Own Air Travel Arrangements

Flights to Pisa (not included in the workshop fee) should be made in advance so that you arrive by noon on May 7 (the day the workshop begins) when our van will pick everyone up from the Pisa airport around noon.  At the end of the workshop, a van will take all to the Pisa airport the morning of May 16. .   

Workshops Italia was founded in 2002 by Donna Magnani, an artist and former nonprofit administrator, who has painted and traveled throughout Italy since 1984. Her love of Italy and familiarity with Tuscany and Umbria inspired the launch of Workshops Italia to offer small group stays in quaint, off-the-beaten-path spots, with delicious local cuisine and the inspiration of the Italian countryside. Past trips have included study with noted artists, independent work, a writing workshop. Ocasionally Italian cooking or language classes can be arranged.  And always the enjoyment of the lifestyle and beauty of Italy away from the crowds. 

Donna's study (a BFA in Painting & Education from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago), plus her former career in cultural and educational organizations, helped her develop Workshops Italia, initially a part time project.  Now retired, Donna devotes more time to Workshops Italia.   

From Donna

I enjoy organizing and being one of the artists in these workshops. It is a joy to watch others become inspired by the guest artist-instructor and the location while focusing on their artistic goals. Or just relaxing and sharing in life in a small village away-from-the-crowds in the Italian countryside.   

I look forward to you joining us! 


Donna Magnani 


For more information, or an application form, please contact me.  I am always delighted to share information and answer your questions.  USA 815-307-4567.