Il Chiostro 25th Anniversary – Special Alumni Week!

DATES: 10/10/2020 - 10/17/2020
LOCATION: Venice
PRICE: $2,525.00
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

1995 was the first time we organized our program in Tuscany.  We rented a villa northeast of Siena – sight unseen! – and invited artists who we knew to come and work on their own creative projects.  All the elements seemed right, so we decided to do it again the following year, and the next and the next until we realized that we were growing a small business.  Something that started out simply as a way for us to spend more time in Italy morphed into the Il Chiostro of today, but with the same goal – to share what we love about Italy with others.

Now, 25 years later, we have expanded from that little farm house to Venice, the Cinque Terre, Lake Garda, Sicily and now, thanks to our Upside Down programs, to places in the southern hemisphere like South Africa and New Zealand.  The 2 of us can’t physically be everywhere so we have our wonderful staff, led by Michael Ferris (affectionately dubbed “Michelino” to distinguish him from Michael Mele) to carry on our tradition of providing the Il Chiostro Experience for all of our participants.

To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we want to try to recreate that feeling of the early programs at the farm house.  We hope this alumni week will do just that.  The accommodations have been significantly upgraded from the old contessa’s place and Michael isn’t leading his Broadway stretch class any more, but Linda still sings and the familial feeling, sense of exploration and openness to the Italian culture should still be there.  We look forward to spending an inspiring week rediscovering ourselves and coaxing our creativity to blossom along with the spring poppies in the magical land of Tuscany.

Linda and Michael
Directors of Il Chiostro- Arts Workshops in Italy since 1995

 

1995 was the first time we organized our program in Tuscany.  We rented a villa northeast of Siena – sight unseen! – and invited artists who we knew to come and work on their own creative projects.  All the elements seemed right, so we decided to do it again the following year, and the next and the next until we realized that we were growing a small business.  Something that started out simply as a way for us to spend more time in Italy morphed into the Il Chiostro of today, but with the same goal – to share what we love about Italy with others.

Now, 25 years later, we have expanded from that little farm house to Venice, the Cinque Terre, Lake Garda, Sicily and now, thanks to our Upside Down programs, to places in the southern hemisphere like South Africa and New Zealand.  The 2 of us can’t physically be everywhere so we have our wonderful staff, led by Michael Ferris (affectionately dubbed “Michelino” to distinguish him from Michael Mele) to carry on our tradition of providing the Il Chiostro Experience for all of our participants.

To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we want to try to recreate that feeling of the early programs at the farm house.  We hope this alumni week will do just that.  The accommodations have been significantly upgraded from the old contessa’s place and Michael isn’t leading his Broadway stretch class any more, but Linda still sings and the familial feeling, sense of exploration and openness to the Italian culture should still be there.  We look forward to spending an inspiring week rediscovering ourselves and coaxing our creativity to blossom along with the spring poppies in the magical land of Tuscany.

Linda and Michael
Directors of Il Chiostro- Arts Workshops in Italy since 1995

 

Come Back to Venice and celebrate our 25th Anniversary!

We are so excited to announce this special program celebrating 25 years of Il Chiostro offered exclusively to Alumni!

Yes, 25 years ago, this June we began bringing folks to Italy to work on creative projects in the hope that they would be inspired, as we had been, by all that Italy has to offer.

Back in 1995 our desire was to share Italy in an intimate way, as if participants were coming to visit their Italian family.  We imagined that each person would work on a creative project while we created the experiences to immerse them in the Italian culture through cuisine, wine, culture, the Italian landscape and, of course, the people.

Now, in 2020, we have designed an exciting week for Il Chiostro Alumni.  Along with the planned festivities listed below, if the spirit moves you, we encourage you to work on your own creative project.  Venice is such an inspiring location – maybe the most unique city in the world!  You might find yourself wanting to write a travel blog, pick up a camera (or cell phone) to document your impressions or even a watercolor journal for your creative expression.  Just like the early days of Il Chiostro, it will be Linda and Michael as your hosts!

Venice Grand Canal, by Lester Lefkowitz


Activities

Vegetable boat in San Barnaba

Together we will be exploring – or re-visiting – magical Venice.  Of course everything will be optional, but some of the things we are planning are:

  • Local food – an excursion to the Rialto fish market where we’ll buy whatever is fresh and seasonal to begin a cooking adventure with Linda.
  • Burano, Murano and Torcello – we’ll take a private boat out into the lagoon to visit some of these islands.
  • Cicchetti & Spritz! – this is Venice’s version of tapas at small bars scattered around town.  Linda will lead us on a cicchetti crawl to experience the best of these.  Then we’ll meet on the Zattere for a sunset drink like all of the Italians.
  • Art – there are so many museums and galleries in Venice.  We’ll organize a day to explore some of the more interesting venues.
  • Music – Vivaldi created most of his music here in Venice.  An evening concert of the 4 Seasons or concerto for strings is the best way to feel the spirit of Venice
  • Alvise’s Walking Tour –  history and art are in every step you take in Venice.  Alvise has been our tour guide for nearly 20 years.  Let him lead us through the small churches, quiet neighborhoods and public squares to get a sense of Venice from a native.

Venice cafe, by Andy Holtzman

Dinners: During the week we will have 5 dinners together. To experience a good cross-section of typical Venetian cuisine we will sample diverse neighborhood trattorie and Michael and Linda will host our group for two home-cooked meals with ingredients from the outdoor market. Two nights of the week you will be on your own to follow your nose to restaurants or concerts or the opera or whatever else might pique your curiosity. There is plenty of time for independent exploration.


Price: $2,525* p/p

*25th Anniversary Special:  to celebrate we will apply a discount of  $25 for each workshop you have taken with Il Chiostro since 1995.

Supplement:  $475 for single room, limited availability

$500 deposit due upon registration.  Balance due by August 15, 2020.

Includes:

  • Shared double room with private bathroom in refurbished convent (single room available for a supplement)
  • Daily traditional breakfast and 5 dinners, (including wine),  one of which will be prepared by Linda at our staff apartment
  • Selected excursions:  Burano, fish market, etc.
  • Walking tour with Alvise

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing

Wine buzz, photo by Denise Reisen

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 15th.  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: info@ilchiostro.com or speak to us live at 800-990-3506.


 

For our week in Venice we’ll be staying at the renovated convent Domus Ciliota near Campo Santo Stefano in the San Marco sector of Venice.  It is a short walk to the Accademia Bridge or to Saint Mark’s Square.  There is an abundance of cafes, shops and restaurants nearby.

Rooms are single or double, clean and simply decorated.  Each room has a modern private bathroom with a shower.  There is a small lounge area on each floor.

Breakfast is served every morning in the dining room beside the sunlit courtyard.

Our studio for the week will be the spacious ex-church of the convent.

To arrive either you can fly directly into Venice or into Milan and then take the train to Venice. Specific arrival instructions will follow, but from the train station you can take the vaporetto #2 and get off at San Samuele.  From the airport you can take the Alilaguna ferry (Orange Line) and get off at the Sant’Angelo.  In either case, we’ll send you easy walking directions so you won’t get lost.  Remember that Venice is a walking city, so pack light because you will have to pull your luggage down the alleys and over the bridges – there’s just no getting around that.

Our first activity will be an orientation at 6pm on the first day, followed by dinner with the group.

Departure is after breakfast on the final day.  If you are flying out that day you might try to arrange your flights for 11am or later to avoid getting up at the crack of dawn.

If you have time you might want to explore the Lakes district or enchanting towns like Bergamo or Verona, the site of Romeo and Juliet, before you arrive in Venice. This will give you plenty of time to recover from jet-lag before you settle in at the convent and start your workshop. Besides, Italy is not something that should be experienced in a hurry. Its charms need to seep into your skin while you linger at a café or amble through a piazza.

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