Eat, Paint, Love Italy- the Amalfi Coast & Capri

DATES: 09/09/2024 - 09/19/2024
PRICE: $4,695.00

Rebecca Zdybel is a professional artist from Myrtle Beach, SC. She is an award-winning signature Member in Excellence of the South Carolina Watermedia Association who regularly teaches art and painting in her studio and around the area.  She loves leading Travel Art Adventures and has done so for many years through Il Chiostro. Her work is adventurous and her methods and materials are varied. More of her paintings and her blog may be viewed on her website and on Facebook/Instagram @ Rebecca Z- Artist.

Artist’s Statement:
The beauty of the world around me has always been apparent and exciting to me. I began to paint as an attempt to capture that beauty in some way through my art. Playing with shape and color, line and texture, I like to go beyond what I see and explore possibility in my work. I don’t want to limit my perspective or technique, nor do I want to constrain my approach in any way. I love having every option available to me. This makes the journey toward completion of a painting exhilarating. Anything is possible! My perspective is reflected in the variety of mediums and approaches used in my work.

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Why I teach:

The exchange between my students and I is the most personally rewarding thing I do as an artist. I know first-hand how art can transform people’s lives in a positive way. I love to share that transformative energy with my students. Art is a gift, and for me that gift is not complete until it is given away.

Personal Goals:
I have the goal of teaching and traveling as an artist. Along with that goal, I hope to use my art as a means of giving something back. I’ve been blessed with many opportunities and gifts throughout the years. I like to honor that fact through charitable giving. 30% of all my art sales are donated to charity.

You can contact Rebecca directly at with questions about this program.

Comments from students:

Rebecca, thank you for all the wonderful positive energy and encouragement you bring to class as a teacher and fellow artist. I am so enjoying all that is unfolding….it`s all inspiring – learning – much needed for me as an artist on so many different levels. You are a gift.

You touch and make a difference more than you realize…you have lit the fire and i look forward to all the gasoline you can muster …I look forward to that ROAR.

Let’s slow down and savor life in the beautiful Amalfi Coast…

This will be a 10-day program to explore this amazing strip of coast in southern Italy.  Andy we’ll do that through touring, painting, and eating our way around this gorgeous part of Italy. Extra opportunities to enrich your experience will be available through optional cooking classes and painting classes. Painting opportunities will abound whether you prefer plein air or painting in the comfort of our villa and gardens.  Il Chiostro always attracts interesting people, and together we take day trips to visit beautifully authentic and wonderfully scenic towns along the Amalfi Coast and the mythic isle of Capri.

Coastal town

We will revel in what the Amalfi Coast has to offer: delicious cuisine, exquisite panoramic sea-side views, boutique shopping, visits to picturesque towns, all having something unique to share with us.

Painting is optional, not required. I would describe this week as- “Experience Intense and Art Light” 

In many of our stops, I will paint/photograph, or draw on site. I will give art lessons and regularly have studio time, making every effort to be available to help those who choose to paint or draw during the trip. I would encourage planning to paint in a sketchbook to minimize equipment requirements. Our priority will be to see our destinations and enjoy them, enhancing the experience through art if desired.  For those of you who would simply like to visit the Amalfi Coast, and shop or photograph your way through this beautiful part of the world, I can assure you that the sites we visit will be like a visual candy store!

A Note from Rebecca:

After my trips to this region, I know that the Amalfi Coast continues to charm and reveal itself to me again and again in ever surprising ways. It’s just that special! Having our own villa, out of the fray of the coastal towns, will insure that we can experience this area in comfort and peace.  I love being able to tour and paint the days away without having to answer the question: “what will we do for dinner?”. Our program managers will take care of all of that, and we can bond as a group over our nightly dinners with delicious local wines. We also can get space from one another and freedom to wander as we please on our excursions. We have drivers to all our destinations, and that means we can enjoy a little wine with our lunch! It’s really the ideal format for a tour.

Along the coast

Here is a typical Itinerary(with local dinners and breakfast at the villa each day)

  • Monday: Meet in Naples, take private vans to our Villa in Conca dei Marini, enjoy a relaxing orientation in the garden followed by dinner at a nearby trattoria.
  • Tuesday: a day exploring the immediate area and painting / sunset cocktail at the 5 star hotel there, dinner at Bonta with a possible lesson in making Limoncello
  • Wednesday: explore the actual town of Amalfi to paint, dinner in Atrani
  • Thursday: take the ferry to the isle of Capri, spend the day exploring this home of the Roman Emperor Tiberius with an option of a boat trip to the famous Blue Grotto
  • Friday: a day of rest, painting and lounging by the pool at our villa
  • Saturday: local ferry to the town of Sorrento on the opposite coast for a day to shop/paint
  • Sunday: Ravello, perched atop the coastal area, with lesson painting in the square
  • Monday: day of rest and painting at the villa with cooking lesson at nearby restaurant
  • Tuesday:  visit the luxury resort town of Positano
  • Wednesday: day of rest at the villa with the option to independently revisit something as desired
  • Thursday: transfer back to Naples after breakfast

Boats, photo by Rebecca Zdybel

Who should consider spending this time with us in Amalfi/Capri?

  • Come if you like food and eating authentic coastal fare. (Seafood, lemons, local wines nurtured by the volcanic soil of Mt. Vesuvius.). Dinners will always be eaten as a group and lunch will give you the opportunity to seek out local favorites wherever we are. Lunch is always a priority, and since we have drivers, we can safely enjoy sampling different local wines. Our daily breakfast is prepared by our program managers and available on our terrace of in the garden of the villa.
  • Come with us if you have an interest in painting or drawing or photographing beautiful sites while you travel. Plein air painting opportunities will be available for those who choose to take advantage. As your instructor on this trip, I’ll give lessons and offer tips on how you can approach making art while we travel. I have lessons planned, and even have some preprinted drawings which you can simply paint if you wish. I will have some ideas of good locations for painting or drawing.
  • Come with us if you enjoy wine! This region of Italy is famous for their wines (think Aglianico or Mediterranean whites). Our wine is included with our meals every evening.
  • Come with us if you’d like to tour other parts of Europe or Italy, before or after our week together. Feel free to add on to your travels at both ends of the trip. So long as we all meet at the appointed time in Naples, your itinerary and travel plans are your own.

Come with us if you want to slow down and savor life as though you are living in your Italian villa overlooking the Mediterranean! Every moment will not be scheduled. When we get to our destinations, I will let you explore things in your own way and let you know when to return for your ride back to home base.  I want more of this kind of living in my life and bringing a group of like-minded people along with me will make it an even more ideal experience. If that sounds attractive to you, I can assure you that my students tend to be positive, bright, adventurous, artistic, kind, and fun. If that sounds like a group you’d enjoy, then come along!

Dear Rebecca…
Thank you for providing such an exceptional trip…my dream come true! Your preplanning was so evident and made for a smooth exciting week. It was enriching to have you as our guide, teacher, host and traveling companions. You are examples of life “well lived” and sharing it with others… I wish you all the best, and will continue to savor these precious memories…     2014 Participant

Andiamo! (let’s go!) – join me for an Eat, Paint, Cook Tour of Tuscany… painting, drawing, photographing, touring, cooking, sipping, eating and savoring all that this lovely region has to offer!

Program Highlights:

  • time to relax and slow down at our elegant villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea
  • 2 Italian hosts will guide the group throughout the week
  • breakfast provided daily at the villa
  • 9 dinners together (with one evening for you to explore the local restaurants on your own):
    • 4 dinners together at local trattorie
    • 4 dinners prepared by our private chef at the villa
    • Cooking class to prepare dinner featuring the cuisine of the Amalfi Coast
  • Excursion to the exquisite hilltop town of Ravello
  • Ferry to spend a day on the magical Isle of Capri
  • Wine tasting presentation with our own sommelier
  • Plenty of time to explore on your own

Accommodations and Meals:

Villa Elena, in the small town of Conca dei Marini, will be our exclusive home for the week.  Click the Accommodations tab above for more details.

NOTE:  the Villa can only be reached via a set of 65 steps!  The Amalfi Coast is built entirely on hillsides, so there is no avoiding steps in each town.  We recommend this program only for participants who can climb up and down a couple of times per day. (We guarantee you’ll be stronger by the end of the program!)  There will be assistance to take your large bags up to the villa on arrival and departure.

A leisurely breakfast will be prepared at the villa each day for us by our program managers.  Dinners will be a mix of eating in local restaurants and at home, always with the emphasis on exploring and appreciating the food of the area.  Local wine will be served with each dinner.

Most lunches are independent, with plenty of options either on excursions or near the villa.

Lunch with a view!


  • $4,695 p/p for 10 nights
  • Single Room Supplement: $695


  • Shared double room with modern, ensuite bathroom
  • Daily traditional breakfast
  • 9 dinners, including wine
  • Daily guided activities with Rebecca
  • Excursions to nearby towns like Ravello, Amalfi, Sorrento and Positano
  • All local transportation provided by taxis or chauffeured vans
  • Guides/escorts included throughout the program and for every excursion
  • Transfer from/to Naples on the first and last days

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch
  • Gratuities (we recommend 10-20 euros per guest per day)
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing

To Register:  just click on the Sign Up Now button.  A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to secure your spot in the workshop.  Payment can be made on line with a credit card, or you can follow the instructions to send in your registration and payment by mail.  Once we receive your deposit we will send you a formal Registration Confirmation with further information about the program.  You will receive 2-3 other correspondences by email prior to the workshop with information about Italy, a supplies list and an electronic invoice for the balance.  Final Balance is due by August 1st.  Any time prior to your arrival, if you have questions about anything regarding the trip or the program, you can contact us by email or phone and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Contact us for more information: or speak to us live at 800-990-3506.

The Amalfi Coast is notorious for its crowds in every season.  For that reason we have chosen an elegant villa above the crowds in the smaller town of Conca dei Marini.  This is between Positano and the town of Amalfi, just below Ravello.

It is called Villa Elena, a prestigious and exclusive villa with incredible sea views, surrounded by verdant, manicured gardens. There are 7 bedrooms, each with private bathroom, gardens surrounding the property and a fabulous swimming pool overlooking the sea. There are several terraces with panoramic views with plenty of private spaces to relax, enjoy your coffee or meditate.  The swimming pool is perched on the side of the hill with views up and down the coast plus a jacuzzi with hydromassage.

NOTE:  the Villa can only be reached via a set of 65 steps!  The Amalfi Coast is built entirely on hillsides, so there is no avoiding steps in each town.  We recommend this program only for participants who can climb up and down a couple of times per day. (We guarantee you’ll be stronger by the end of the program!)

The dining room can comfortably accommodate our group on the evenings when we will have dinner at home.  A full kitchen and laundry room add to the comfort and conveniences of our home for the week.

All seven bedrooms have a private, ensuite bathroom and are furnished in an elegant Baroque style.

It will be hard to leave Villa Elena when we go out on our excursions, but you will be delighted to come back “home” in the evenings.



Our villa on the Amalfi Coast is in the small town of Conca dei Marini, between the town of Amalfi and Positano.  One of our guides will meet the group at the Naples airport from where we’ll have a van to transfer us directly to the villa.

Time and exact meeting place TBA.

If you would prefer to find your own way to the villa, no problem.  We’ll send you directions and plan to meet you there the afternoon of our arrival day.

On the final day, we’ll arrange another transfer back to Naples.  Again, participants are free to make their own arrangements if you will be traveling on independently.

Full details will be supplied in the correspondence closer to the dates of the program.

The Costiera Amalfitana in Italian is more informally known by most Americans as simply “Amalfi”.  The peninsula, across from the metropolis of Naples and under the shadow of the volcano Vesuvius, consists of Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, Ravello and Capri among many other small towns and villages.

Magically suspended between the blue sky and the iridescent colored sea, the Amalfi Coast enchants the visitor who, at the first glance, may doubt that it is even real. Lemon blossoms harmonize with the Mediterranean vegetation and the saltiness of the sea.  It is visually stunning with tiny villages on top of cliffs that plunge dramatically into the sea. On closer inspection, the whole area is a labyrinth of stairways and narrow alleys, connecting towns, the mountains and the sea. We can see the history of survival in the mountainsides that over centuries were terraced with human labor to create arable land.

All the towns of the Amalfi coast are connected by the scenic yet diabolic winding road carved into the hillside that follows the natural course of the coastline.  Before the construction of the coastal road, locals reached all the towns via still existing mule tracks and footpaths.

Conca dei Marini, where our villa is located, is a coastal village with a centuries-old maritime tradition.  It is a natural “balcony” overlooking the sea, surrounded by the Mediterranean vegetation and terraced gardens planted with lemon groves.

Historically, the inhabitants of Conca dei Marini were skilled sailors and experienced traders. Its houses are the typical Mediterranean style with whitewashed walls, balconies with beautiful flowers tumbling into a spectacular view over the sea.  Conca dei Marini was a preferred resort of important writers, artists and chiefs of state, such as: Princess Margaret of England, Gianni Agnelli, Jacqueline Kennedy, the Queen of Holland, Carlo Ponti and Moet & Chandon.

Click here for a look around the Amalfi Coast with Rick Steves.