Painting in Sicily!

DATES: 09/15/2021 - 09/22/2021
PRICE: $3,895.00

Pat Fiorello is a professional artist and seasoned instructor whose work has been exhibited in over 75-juried shows and more than a dozen solo exhibitions. She is known for her romantic landscapes, garden and floral paintings, in both oil and watercolor. Pat has a love for Italy, in part stemming from her family heritage, and is author of the book, Bella Italia, Italy through the Eyes of an Artist containing over 80 of her paintings of italy in both oil and watercolor.

A very popular instructor who has led classes and workshops for over 20 years, Pat has taught in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe including painting workshops at Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, France. She is a long-time instructor with Il Chiostro, having taught many workshops in Tuscany, Lake Garda and New Zealand over the past 10 years. She receives high marks as a patient, encouraging and fun instructor who communicates clearly. Pat is committed to students learning and growing along their own personal artistic path while experiencing the joy of painting and discovering new places with the eyes of an artist.

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:

Article reproduced from American Art Collector:

This new workshop is sold out!  But please contact us to get on the waiting list.  Look for our announcement for our next workshop with Pat in Sicily.

Join Pat Fiorello in the land of her ancestors for a new spring painting adventure.

Wildflowers in May, photo by Linda Mironti

Sicily is the island off the southwestern coast of Italy.  Being the crossroads of every Mediterranean culture since time began, it is rich in cultural history, art and culinary tradition.  It is also filled with natural beauty, from its volcanic mountains, pristine seacoast and spectacular array of spring flowers.  Sicily, where so many of America’s immigrants originated, is synonymous with the best of Italian cuisine and wine.

In this program we will spend time in the capital, Palermo, and the area around Agrigento in the south central section of the island.  Agrigento is a UNESCO World Heritage site, particularly famous for the Valley of the Temples, an archeological treasure of ruins from the classical Greek period.  Sicily in the spring is magical.  Come explore with us, capturing your impressions in watercolor, acrylic or oils.

This program will immerse you in the natural beauty of Sicily in the spring.

Roses, by Pat Fiorello

We will paint on location each day, primarily on the grounds of the Fontes Episcopi resort where we are staying which has gardens, a pool and characteristic views everywhere. We will also go on a few field trips to nearby towns, and the famous ancient temples of Agrigento.

Special emphasis will be given to simplifying what you see in front of you and designing strong compositions for your paintings. Attention will be given to loosening up to capture the essence and sense of place as well as instruction on value and mixing colors. Program will include a combination of short demonstrations or lessons, individual student painting time with instructor guidance as desired and critiques throughout the week.

You don’t have to be an experienced painter to join in the fun.  You can work in the medium of your choice- watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastel, sketching.  Our focus will be taking the inspiration before our eyes and translating that into paintings that capture the essence and beauty of this special place.

Itinerary Highlights: (breakfast and dinner provided daily)

Day 1:  meet at our hotel in Palermo, orientation and first dinner together

Ancient temple at Agrigento

Day 2:  morning walking tour of the center of Palermo, transfer to Monreale for independent exploration and lunch.  Proceed to the Agrigento area and Fontes Episcopi, our home for the next 6 nights.

Day 3:  after breakfast the first painting class of the workshop in the Fontes gardens.  Dinner at home with local wine.

Day 4:  morning paint, followed by an independent lunch.  Afternoon guided tour of the Valley of Temples in Agrigento.

Making pastry at the pasticceria, photo by Linda Mironti

Day 5:  excursion to village of Sant’Angelo Muxaro, paint locally in town or fantastic vistas overlooking the landscape to the sea, typical Sicilian pizza lunch, wine tasting.

Day 6:  excursion to private beach of Cala del Re, painting and independent lunch; visit to pasticceria in Favara where they make “the best cannolis in Sicily!”

Day 7:  painting on site at Fontes, optional cooking class to prepare lunch, final exhibit and dinner

Day 8: morning transfer back to Palermo and airport (3 hrs.)

Accommodations and Meals:

Fontes, our home outside of Agrigento, used to be the mansion of the local bishop.  It is an intimate venue full of Sicilian charm, from the original artifacts displayed throughout the property to the traditional kitchen where the owner will prepare our meals for us.  There are vistas of the Sicilian countryside from every angle and window, but there are also smaller, intimate corners and gardens where you can absorb the peaceful atmosphere, imagining yourself traveling back in time to a gentler era.  The entire venue will be reserved exclusively for our group, so it should feel like home after just a few days.  There are only 7 guest rooms at the inn so our group will feel like a family sitting around the dinner table every night.

Breakfast and dinner is included each day.  We try to offer typical Sicilian culinary experiences with local products and seasonal produce.  Local wine will be served with each dinner.

Floral urn, by Pat Fiorello


  • $3,895 p/p, $3,595 non-painting participants
  • $550 single room supplement


  • Shared double room in Palermo hotel and Fontes resort
  • Daily traditional breakfast and dinner, including wine
  • Daily painting classes and critiques with Pat
  • Excursions to Agrigento, including guided tour of the ancient temples
  • Other half-day excursions to explore and paint the area
  • All local transportation provided
  • Guides/escorts included for every excursion
  • Transfer to Palermo center or airport on final day

NOTE: the venue is fairly small with only 7 guest rooms.  When you register, please specify which of the following types of accommodation you request:

  • Shared double room, 2 twin beds – 0 available
  • Shared double room for couple, 1 queen bed3 0 available
  • Single room (supplement applies) 3  0 available
  • Shared double room, 1 queen and 1 twin bed 2 0 available

Does Not Include:

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

Still Life, by Pat Fiorello

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, 2021.  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.

We will spend our first night at the Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa in the center of Palermo.  The group will meet there, have an orientation and go out to a typical Sicilian restaurant for our first dinner together.

NOTE:  if you want to arrive early and spend a few extra days in Palermo, feel free to contact the Piazza Borsa hotel directly to book your room.

The next day we will be transported to Fontes Episcopi, an authentic, family-owned and run resort in the countryside outside of Agrigento.  There are only 7 rooms in this historic mansion that once welcomed the guests of a local bishop for gathering and enjoying nature.


Today the mansion has been transformed into a small hotel and wellness center, with gardens, fountains and a swimming pool.  The guiding philosophy of Fontes is to preserve the beauty and methodology of Sicilian life by raising much of their own food, displaying antique artifacts and sharing their traditional way of life with appreciative travelers.  We will take over the entire facility, so we will have free access to all gardens, common spaces, courtyards and suggestive corners to paint undisturbed.

Rooms have been carefully restored for comfort and relaxed country charm, each with a private bathroom.

The house chef and owner will prepare breakfast and dinner for us each evening in their rural kitchen.  They serve their own local wine.


We will meet as a group at a hotel in the center of the capital city of Palermo.  On the final day of the program, we will return the group to Palermo, so it is best to fly in and out of the Palermo International Airport (Falcone-Borsellino).

The airport is about 30 km from the center.  We recommend taking a taxi (especially with luggage) into the city of Palermo and to our hotel (about 40 euros, which you should confirm when you get into the taxi).  There are also buses (Prestia e Comande) that will take you to the center for about 7 euros.  You can purchase tickets from outside the airport where the buses are parked.  The trip takes about 50 minutes.  And finally there is a train, the Trinacria Express, that connects to the main train station in Palermo.

Palermo is one of the most important cultural centers of Italy.  We’ll only be staying there one night together, so if you have time, you might consider extending your stay there on either end of the trip.  There are many important things to see there.

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.  Southwest of the Italian mainland, many imagine it as the “football” being kicked by the “boot” that is Italy.

Home to about 5 million people, Sicily has been a crossroads of civilizations all around the Mediterranean for nearly 10,000 years.  It has stunning natural beauty from mountains to seasides (it is an island!).  The culture is a grand mix of ancient peoples and modern Italians. It was a kingdom under many dynasties until if was united with the rest of Italy in 1860.

The food and wines are reputed to be among the best on the planet, thanks to its fertile, volcanic soil and warm climate.

Thanks to all of those civilizations leaving behind their culture, artwork and history, Sicily has a remarkably rich heritage.  There are many web sites with information about Sicily.  Here are some that we find particularly useful: