Our Trip to Italy Was Amazing!

Cortona Group 2019 at our last dinner together.

Workshop in Cortona, Italy

Cortona Group 2019 at our last dinner together.

Artistic Adventures Abroad recently returned from a week-long workshop/trip to Cortona, Italy with 10 amazing women! I cannot tell you what a blessed time it was to share the beauty that is Tuscany with these fine ladies. Italy had experienced a very cold and rainy May so by the time we arrived June 8-15th, the roses and poppies were in full bloom, the grasses were lush and the air was warm.

We painted as often as we could, ate al fresco in the garden overlooking the Chiana valley, went to Siena and saw important art and architecture with our fabulous guide, ate lots of pasta, drank great wine, saw gorgeous churches, painted some more, went to see where St. Francis of Assisi lived in Le Celle, climbed to the top of Cortona (whew), took many pictures, had a guide teach us art history and show us some hidden masterpieces, learned about Etruscan ruins, journaled and sketched, had a private wine tasting and education on Italian wines, painted some more, put on medieval costumes, attended the Archidado festival, dinner celebration and even danced, dipped in the refreshing swimming pool on hot days, dined in many different places– both in restaurants and at the villa with a private chef where we ate beneath the stars, we attended the “Wine, Dine and Shine” event with amazing dishes all paired with Sicilian wines and much more.

The week flew by.  The women were fun, supportive, curious, willing to take risks with their art and discuss what creativity meant in their lives. I was in awe of their paintings and their dedication to discovery. My intention was that they be open to new experiences and to find or reconnect with their creative sides–and I believe they did.

Artistic Adventures Abroad will lead another women’s only trip to Cortona in May 2020 and a trip to Kilarney, Ireland May 9-16, 2020. So stay tuned for more information about those upcoming adventures


Cathy plein-air painting Santa Maria Nuova Church.

Dinner at the villa dining al fresco.

Katherine painting the beautiful Chianna Valley

Wine store in Cortona.

The roses were in full bloom in Cortona in early June–breathtaking.

Walking up to the top of Cortona to Santa Margherita Church.

Some delicious wild boar sauce with Brunello wine.





“Wine, Dine and Shine” dinner at La Loggetta.

A delicious first course at Toninos restaurant in Cortona, Italy.

We dressed in medieval dresses for the Archidado dinner.

Margaret and Lara in Cortona.

Siena, Italy…Piazza del Campo.


Interior of the Piccolomini Library inside the Siena Cathedral or Duomo.

The swimming pool at the villa.

Dinner at a Trattoria in Cortona. Wonderful time!

Lisa painting in the field…gorgeous outcome too!

Painting Santa Maria Nuova Church in Cortona.

Poppies were in bloom everywhere in Cortona…so beautiful!

Kathy, Cathy and Karin inside Del Brenna Store in Cortona.

Cynthia sketching by the villa.

Lara painting a peach– working on texture that morning.

Our crew at the top of Cortona with the Chiana Valley behind us.

Rachael McCampbell