Eat Paint Love Venice!

DATES: 10/01/2022 - 10/08/2022
PRICE: $3,395.00

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 wake up our senses in the most fascinating city in the world…

Venice! – spectacular, sensual, inspirational, decadent, confounding and awe inspiring!  It shouldn’t still exist – but it does, floating in the lagoon as it has for over 12 centuries.  This will be a week of getting to know this unusual city through photography, drawing and painting, cooking classes and plein air painting.  We are sure to travel with interesting people, and visit beautifully authentic neighborhoods, opulent architecture, endless canals, baffling alleys and grand and glorious sites in this city of northern Italy once known as La Serenissima!

Venice Canal, photo by Rebecca Zdybel

Watercolor by Rebecca

Here is the Venice Itinerary we propose: 

(There will be numerous opportunities to paint with assistance and review from Rebecca throughout the tour.)

Saturday: arrive in Venice independently, meet at the Pensione Accademia in the Dorsoduro.  Orientation, first dinner.

Sunday: opportunity to paint/draw/ photograph on location. Non-painters can explore the area around our hotel. Afternoon  lunch at a classic apartment on the Grand Canal right across from our hotel.  Evening free to explore.

Monday: tour of the Dorsoduro section including the Scuola San Rocco, which represents much of the master painter Titian’s life work.  Afternoon painting with Rebecca.

Tuesday: morning walk to the Rialto fish market where we will purchase food for our cooking class/lunch. Evening concert.

Wednesday: excursion to the colorful island of Burano by vaporetto.  Paint, shop, photograph.  Evening is free.

Thursday: morning tour of the Jewish quarter (where the word “ghetto” was coined).  Dinner together at a traditional Venetian trattoria.

Friday: visit the Peggy Guggenheim gallery.  Farewell exhibit.  Dinner together.

Saturday: Breakfast and independent departures

Watercolor by Rebecca Zdybel

Who should consider spending a week with us?

  • Come with us if you enjoy food, wine and visual stimulation.
  • Come with us if you have an interest in painting or drawing or photographing beautiful sites while you travel. Plein air painting opportunities and studio time 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 will offer a few gentle review sessions where we can share the challenges of painting plein air, and take a look at our paintings together throughout the week. I’ve been to most of the places we are visiting, and along with our Il Chiostro hosts, I will have some ideas of good locations for painting or drawing. I will make a printer available for photos, and even have some photos which you may want to draw upon in advance of arrival. That way time on site can be spent painting. I have traveled quite a bit for purposes of making art, and can show you a few tricks of the trade.
  • Venice watercolor by Rebecca Zdybel

    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 Verona (or Venice) on the first afternoon, your itinerary and travel plans are your own.

  • Come with us if you want to slow down and savor life.  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

San Giorgio, photo by Rebecca Zdybel

General Activities:

In addition to the activities of the workshop, we will also explore this area with various excursions:

  • 2 guided walking tours
  • boat trip to Burano
  • Cooking class/lunch at a palazzo on the Grand Canal
  • Evening Vivaldi concert
  • 5 dinners together in Venice

We’ll look forward to meeting before dinner every day for a spritz or pro secco beside one of the canals as the sun sets.  We can share our adventures and discoveries in this magical city.

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 to home base. In many of our stops, I plan to be painting/photographing, and/or drawing on site. I will give art lessons regularly, and make every effort to be available to help you if you choose to paint or draw during the trip.
For those of you who would simply like to photograph your way through Venice, I can assure you that the sites we are visiting will be like a visual candy store!

Note from Rebecca About the Painting Option

Window boxes, watercolor by Rebecca

Throughout our travels together, I will be seeking out locations to paint and those who wish can paint alongside me. I always encourage non-painters to give it a shot; you never know what inner artist may surface!  Regular sharing and lesson time will be woven into the day to day schedule for those interested. Lessons are always optional and often on location, so those who may be accompanied by non-painters can also use lesson time as “free time”.

For painters, we will concentrate on watercolor sketching in our journals.  The assignment for the week will be to head out with our journals and paint something that moves us or illustrates a moment we’d like to remember.  Any painting “lessons” will be short, meant to enhance, not replace other activities, and will often be times for us to share our journal work and explore different ways of capturing a scene.  I like to provide the platform for creating art as we travel, offering a few hints and tricks.  We will use our gathering times to share what we come up with, and the struggles of working on location. 

Painting demo shot on location in Chianti region of Tuscany Italy on a previous EAT PAINT COOK TOUR of TUSCANY with Rebecca Zdybel.

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

Burano Bike, photo by Rebecca Zdybel

Price:  $3,395, optional $550 single room supplement


  • Shared double room in Pensione Accademia, Venice (single rooms available for a supplement, see above)
  • Daily traditional breakfast and 5 dinners together, including wine
  • Daily workshop activities
  • Excursions and tours as noted above
  • All local transportation
  • Fully escorted by the Il Chiostro staff

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch
  • Gratuities
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing

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

In Venice we will stay at the charming Pensione Accademia for the week.  This hotel, which once was a 17th century private villa, was used in the filming of the Katherine Hepburn movie, Summertime.  It is tucked away in an alley in the Dorsoduro section of Venice, right near the Accademia Bridge.

Once you enter the gates, you are in a quiet oasis with a pleasant garden and a view out onto the Grand Canal.  This will be the perfect place for painting in the garden, enjoying pro secco in the evening and watching the traffic cruise along the Grand Canal.  The Accademia is centrally located within easy walking distance of many of the important sites of Venice like the Accademia Museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Zattere, Campo San Barnaba, the vaporetto stop, etc.

If you are taking advantage of the 3-day add-on in Lake Garda:

We will meet at the train station in Verona, then proceed to the lake by private coach.  Verona has a small airport with connections to all major airports in Europe.  On our final day at the lake, we will proceed to Venice by private coach with a 1/2 day stop in the town of Sirmione, at the base of the lake.

For convenience, we suggest you book flights that arrive in Verona and depart from Venice.  For departure, try to book a flight that leaves Venice at 12 noon or later.  From the hotel you will need to take a boat to the airport, which takes some time.  Earlier flights are possible, but you’ll be more relaxed if you can leave later in the day.

For those participating in the week in Venice only:

Please plan to meet the group at the Pensione Accademia by 6pm on the first Saturday.  We will send specific directions for arriving from either the train station or the airport, but essentially:

  • From the train station – take a water taxi to the hotel or take the vaporetto to the Academia bridge and walk around the corner from there.
  • From the airport – take a water taxi to the hotel or the Alilaguna ferry to either the Zattere or Ca’Rezzonico and walk to the hotel.


Venice, city, empire, wonder of the world, is one of the most visually stimulating places on Earth. Stripes of canals, Byzantine mosaics glittering in the sun, window cases of blown glass, leather-bound books, plumed masks, woodcut puppets. Each step through the crooked passages is a delight. Spend a week (or two) probing unknown corners. Stay long enough to lounge at a café. Get to know the old woman at the vegetable stall. Return to that tiny mask shop again and again. Photograph it. Artists and writers have been interpreting Venice since it was born in the lagoon centuries ago, from the Grand Canal to the tiny sculptures above the doorframes. Get lost in the sensuality.

Because Venice is such a visual feast that is a collection of its past, our program offers weeklong workshops in painting or photography. Participants coming from the different disciplines will capture and be stimulated by the passion of Venice.  Throughout the week the groups inspire one another to see in new ways and to experiment with their work in a city that has awed writers, painters, colonels and kings.

Bartosek-rialto sunset

Rialto Sunset by Cindy Bartosek