Paint the Villas and Gardens of Italy-SOLD OUT

DATES: 05/06/2023 - 05/13/2023
PRICE: $2,995.00

Pat Fiorello is an award-winning fine artist, instructor and author of the book, Bella Italia, Italy Through the Eyes of an Artist.  Her work has been featured in 20 one-woman shows and been included in over 85 juried exhibitions, including the American Impressionist Society, Oil Painters of America and NOAPS. As a finalist in the Florals and Gardens challenge, Pat’s work appeared in International Artists magazine and was also published in The Richeson International Still Life and Floral competition book in 2021. She won first prize in the “Fete de Peinture” plein air competition in Giverny, France.

Inspired to devote her life to creating and sharing beauty, Pat made a radical career shift following a 20-year career in Marketing. After attending the Harvard Business School and serving as Vice President of Marketing of The Coca-Cola Company, in 2002 she followed her calling and dedicated her life to creating art on a full-time basis.

Pat creates paintings that bring beauty to collectors the world over so they can feel energized and lifted above the stressful demands of everyday life. She also inspires others through teaching art and has led 18 international workshops in Italy, Spain, New Zealand, and France, including private workshops at Monet’s Gardens in Giverny. Streamline Publishing has produced a full-length instructional video on Pat’s  floral painting methods, soon to be released worldwide.

Pat, you have a magic that speaks to me.  Thank you.  BK

You are such a blessing and inspiration Pat, thank you!!!  AW
Pat, Once again, you shared your heart out during our painting class.  You are one of the most generous human beings I ever met!  MD

Read More

Pat is a Signature Member and past President of the Georgia Watercolor Society and her work has been in “Splash 11- Best of Watercolor” published by North Light Books.

Feedback from past students is available at:  Recent article on Pat in Atlanta`s Simply Buckhead MagazineEat, Paint, Love

Bella Italia, Italy through the eyes of an Artist by Pat Fiorello

Pat Fiorello has been teaching painting at Il Chiostro for several years.  This book contains over 80 of her paintings of Italy, including many from places which will be familiar to Il Chiostro alumni:  Lake Garda, Tuscany, Florence, Siena, and Venice.

Fiorello invites readers on an irresistible visual journey to share in her most vibrant memories of Italy—its grandeur and splendid views of sparkling blue lakes, breathtaking hilltops, quaint villages and sunlit gardens. Because of her reverence for exquisite light and color, the works of art emanating from Fiorello’s easel beckon viewers to open their eyes more fully, and to breathe in all the enchanting sights—near and far—that the world has to offer.
Michelle Morton, Morton Media Arts

For more information about this book and to order copies, go to:

This workshop with Pat is sold out, but send us a note if you would like to be added to her waiting list.
Pat is planning a new workshop in the Cinque Terre  May 18-25, 2023.  Send us a note if you would like to be put on the list for early registration.

Early May in Tuscany is full of wildflowers!

Be immersed in a week of beauty and painting in this brand new workshop offered by instructor Pat Fiorello and Il Chiostro. Our focus for the week will be painting scenes of gardens and flowers with some of the distinctive architectural features of Tuscan villages and villas. You will learn how to simplify the landscape, improve your compositions and keep your color fresh working in an alla prima approach en plein air. Workshop is open to artists of all levels and mediums.

Chianti Charm, by Pat Fiorello

We don’t need to go very far from the comfort of our home – the historic Villa Barberino between Florence and Siena – to find inspiring scenes to paint.   The manicured gardens there are spectacular and could keep us busy painting for a month, but we’ll also look at the nearby towns for inspiration.  Just a pot of red geraniums on the windowsill of a Tuscan stone home can be as beautiful as a field of wild poppies.  This area is famous for it’s gentle landscapes, its lines of vineyards and its ancient stonework.

This workshop is open to artists of all skill levels painting in all mediums.  If you’re a painter who has not painted in Italy yet, you owe it to yourself to join us and if you’ve been to Italy before we know you’ll want to be back for more memorable times in an all new location.

Sunflower Still Life, by Pat Fiorello

Other Activities:

  • excursions to nearby towns, like San Gimignano, Volterra, etc.
  • tour of the historic cantina on the property
  • dinners onsite at their award-winning restaurant

This workshop will be limited to 10-12 painters only.  Please save your spot by registering early.

Price: $2,995 p/p; non-painters $2,695


  • $450 for single room, limited availability – none available
  • $150 p/p for shared Jr. suite

$500 deposit due upon registration.  Balance due by March 15, 2023.

Tuscan Villa, by Pat Fiorello


  • Shared double room with private bathroom in palazzo (single room available for a supplement)
  • Daily traditional breakfast and dinner, (including wine) prepared by our chef
  • Daily plein air classes with Pat
  • Escorted excursions to nearby towns
  • Transportation for all local excursions
  • Pick up from Florence train station at 3:30pm on arrival Saturday

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch
  • Art supplies
  • 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 March 15th, 2023.  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.

Historic Villa Barberino Courtyard

For this workshop, we will be staying at the Villa Barberino in the town of Meleto in the Val d’Arno between Florence, Siena and Arezzo.  This is in the historic and artistic heart of Tuscany.

All rooms are unique, decorated in the traditional Tuscan style.  Each room has a modern, ensuite bathroom with shower and hair dryer.

Manicured hedges of Villa Barberino

Part of the structure, in its own ancient hamlet, was originally the watch tower of a castle dating back over 1,000 years.  Over the years, particularly after World War II, it fell into disrepair and was eventually abandoned until 1988 when a Tuscan family assumed ownership and began a 20 year project to renovate the estate entirely.  Much of the original structure is still visible including the ancient underground wine cellar that is still intact with hundreds of bottles of wine from their active vineyards.

Today, Villa Barberino is a comfortable, well-appointed venue for guests, with a pool, private garden, tennis court and its own restaurant.

Florence will be our meeting point on the first day of the workshop. A van will pick up the group at the train station at about 3:30 pm on Saturday afternoon.

Above the Ponte Vecchio, photo by Andy Holtzman

We recommend that you fly into either Florence, Pisa or Rome (Milan is a bit too far away). Florence is closer but it doesn`t have an intercontinental airport, so there are no direct flights from the US. You would have to change planes in a larger European city. From the Florence airport you must take a shuttle bus (Volainbus) into the center (20 minutes).  

There are more scheduled flights from the US to Rome, many of them direct. From Rome, you will need to take a train to Florence (about 2 1/2 hours).

Important! In making your return flight arrangements, if you are flying home on Saturday after the workshop, try not to book a flight too early. From our location allow 1½ hours to get to the Florence airport or 3 ½ hours to get to the Rome airport.

For suggestions about getting to Rome or Florence, accommodations or other logistics, please consult our Traveling to Italy link in the main menu bar above. Renting a car from all the major rental agencies is possible if you prefer to be more independent during the week.

If you have time, it is a nice treat to stay in Florence before the workshop starts.  It gives you a chance to get over jet-lag while at the same time allows you to see this incredible Renaissance City.  It is filled with incomparable artwork, architecture and history – not to mention great shopping.  Why not stop in for a few days.  (Look at our Travel to Italy tab above for accommodations suggestions.)


Florence: Sunrise Over City, photo by Anne Benvenuto


The side of the Duomo, photo by Andy Holtzman

The Food: For us at Il Chiostro, helping our guests experience the food in one of the earth`s richest, most sensual areas is our pleasure. This area is part of Italy`s famous wine and olive oil producing region, but is specifically famous for truffles. Here we want to expose you to the wonders of simple Italian cooking.  The chef uses seasonal, organic products, locally produced by small farms and family shops.  Tuscan cuisine is a simple art that has been refined over the centuries to surprise our palates while the local Chianti wine comforts our souls. Come explore what food can really be all about.

An excerpt from a recent article in the NY Times (February, 2013):

The diet that seems so valuable is our old friend the “Mediterranean” diet. It’s as straightforward as it is un-American: low in red meat, low in sugar and hyperprocessed carbs, low in junk. High in just about everything else — healthful fat (especially olive oil), vegetables, fruits, legumes and what the people who designed the diet determined to be beneficial, or at least less-harmful, animal products; in this case eggs and low-fat dairy. This is real food, delicious food, mostly easy-to-make food. You can eat this way without guilt and be happy and healthy.

In addition to your workshop, optional activities offered with this program will focus on the cultural, gastronomic, historical and artistic heritage of Tuscany. This area has been an inspiration to countless people for centuries. What Tuscany offers its visitors is truly astounding:

Art – Villa Barberino, itself an old castle, is located near the cities of Medieval Siena and Renaissance Florence packed with some of the most famous masterpieces in the world.

Wine -You are in the heart of the wine growing region, synonomous with the most famous wine that Italy produces – Chianti. But the innovative Tuscan vintners are also producing Super Tuscans, red varietals that are quickly ascending the ranks of world-class wine.

History – this area was settled by the Etruscans centuries before the Romans were a civilized society. Their necropoli dot the fields throughout the area. Nearby towns like Radda, Vagliagli and Castellina date from the early Middle Ages. Florence was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. San Fedele witnessed most of this from its panoramic perch atop the hillside.

Foodcucina povera is the typical Tuscan cuisine that has become popular around the world. The recipes are simple, emphasizing local and seasonal products: porcini mushrooms, salumi, legumes, vegetables, pasta, bread and game meats. Visiting an outdoor food market, you will understand the wisdom of this very healthy cuisine.

Crafts – perhaps the harmony of the landscape has been the inspiration for many local craftsmen. Exquisite hand-painted ceramics are the prime example, closely followed by mosaics, leather, woodworking, and textiles.

Photo by Lester Lefkowitz