Watercolor Adventures in Tuscany – with Steve and Janet Rogers

DATES: 05/20/2023 - 05/30/2023
LOCATION: Tuscany, San Fedele
PRICE: $3,590.00
(Janet Rogers)

(Steve Rogers)
Janet Rogers
Steve Rogers

Janet Rogers AWS, FWS – has been a working professional artist for almost 30 years, and has achieved Signature Status in The American Watercolor Society, The Florida Watercolor Society, South Carolina Watercolor Society and others.  She has garnered many awards over the years for her sensitive paintings of people, which are spontaneous, direct, and expressive.  Janet shares easily with others her passion and joy for the fluid and unexpected nature of watercolor, which results in her impressionistic and loose style.

Steve Rogers AWS, NWS, TWSA – His paintings have won hundreds of awards in juried competitions including the National Watercolor Society Purchase Award -“Best of Show” in 2006 and four awards in the American Watercolor Society. Steve is a Signature Member of the American Watercolor Society and was an Ambassador/Director of AWS and is also a Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society and Transparent Watercolor Society of America. He was the National Invited Juror for the 2007 AWS Exhibition where he served on the Jury of Selection. He was the Chairman of the Jury of Awards for the 2010 AWS Exhibition and he is this year’s  Juror and sole Awards Judge for TWSA .

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More about Janet

Her inspiring workshops and demonstrations featuring impressions of figures, faces, flowers, and now landscape studies are very popular across the United States, Canada, and in Europe.  As well as her busy schedule of teaching, demonstrating and serving as Juror, she has contributed to several publications, including the book The One-Hour Watercolorist,  and has had four instructional and inspiring DVDs produced by Artist Palette Productions.

Janet Rogers is an inspiring, knowledgeable and humorous teacher. She has a beautiful light touch with both the brush and the pencil, which results in fantastic fresh paintings. Janet openly shares all of her watercolour experience, techniques and secrets with her students. Highly recommend! Nora MacPhail – Toronto Watercolor Society


“I love the qualities of watercolor – its fluid nature.  To me, the interaction of artist with the medium is like a dance – full of motion, feeling and expression.  I love to watch the painting develop and to discover new color and composition.  As a teacher, I would like to enable students to find their connections with watercolor in new and expressive ways.”   Janet Rogers, AWS

More about Steve

Steve’s work has been featured  in the  magazines Watercolor Magazine, Watercolor Magic, International Artist, l’Art de l’Aquaelle, Pratique des Arts and the books Expressing the Visual Language of the Landscape, Secrets from the Contemporary Watercolor Masters – vol. 1 (in Chinese), The One Hour Watercolorist,  and a Gallery of Marine Art, as well as  two best-selling DVD’s – 7 Secrets of Painting Reflections in Watercolor and The Secrets of Painting Light and Shadow in Watercolor.

Steve and Janet are scheduling this workshop in the Chianti area in May – with an optional add-on in their favorite Tuscan town, Cortona!  



Victorian Lady in Green Dress, by Janet Rogers

Saturday-Saturday May 20-27, San Fedele in the Chianti area of Tuscany

Saturday-Wednesday, May 27-30 – Cortona

Our initial meeting point will be in Florence where a coach will transfer the group to San Fedele outside of Siena – a beautifully restored ex-monastery dating back to 1203 AD.  This venue is located in the stunning Chianti region of Tuscany.  Here we can relax and just breathe in the beauty of this extraordinary countryside.  At San Fedele we will have wonderful accommodations  and enjoy authentic Tuscan cooking by our own private chef!

Then on Saturday, our coach will take us to Cortona for 3 days (optional) in this classic hill town just on the border of Umbria.

Our painting adventure will include lessons and painting time in the studio at San Fedele, and excursions to historic and charming hill towns, located nearby.

Steve and Janet Rogers will be available at all times to help facilitate your painting experience in any way we can.   Our lessons will include approaching painting en plein air, capturing the feeling of what we see, simplifying what we see, and connecting with the beautiful colors before us.  Some of the subject matter we will cover will include landscape, flowers, people, etc.  Class instruction as well as plenty of individual help will be available.  All levels of experience are welcome.  There are two of us!

We will meet together to have “show and tell” so that we can share in our new discoveries as we paint together!  We all learn from each other, and that is what makes this trip so special – sharing our unique visions of this glorious and historic country!

Study of Chef Andrea, watercolor by Janet Rogers

Additional Activities: Our daily painting will be combined with other adventures such as:

  • Day trip to Medieval Siena to sketch, take photos, explore and shop
  • Excursions to nearby hilltowns like Radda, Castellina, Monteriggioni, etc.
  • Visit to Chianti winery for a tour and tasting
  • Variety of plein air locations to paint landscapes, villages, and the Tuscan light
  • Discussions of Tuscan cuisine with our chef.

After excursions or painting on location, we’ll return each evening to relax in our 1,000 year old monastery to enjoy the surroundings, have a glass of wine and an informal critique of the day’s work. Then we will move to the dining room (the authentic refectory where the monks used to assemble) to enjoy our local chef’s authentic, home-made Tuscan meal, recapping the day’s adventure with good company.

Optional Add-on:

May 27-30:  3 Days in Cortona, Steve and Janet’s favorite town in Tuscany.  Cortona is the place Frances Mayes, the Under the Tuscan Sun author, captures so well in her books.  It too is a medieval town with much to explore from the Etruscan museum to the monastery started by St. Francis of Assisi.  This is a great walking city with several piazzas to sit in for painting or just to have a cappuccino and watch the world go by.

We’ll stay at the Hotel San Luca, right at the entrance to the main street of Cortona.  We’ll have 2 dinners together, a tour of the town emphasizing its history and an opportunity to visit “Le Celle” the still-operating monastery founded by St. Francis in the 13th century.


Tuscany Only:  $3,590 p/p based on double occupancy; (non-painters $3,095)
Optional supplements:

  • $575 for single room-limited availability
  • $275 p/p for Jr. Suite

Optional Cortona 3-day extension:  Add $795 (total: $4,190 p/p)

  • Single supplement: add $225 ($800 for both programs)


  • Pick up from Florence train station at 2:30pm on first day
  • Transfer to San Fedele in the Chianti area and then to Cortona the next Saturday
  • At San Fedele:  shared double room with ensuite bathroom in restored monastery (single rooms available for a supplement, see above)
  • Cortona extension includes: 3 nights at Hotel San Luca, 2 dinners with the group, walking tour of the town
  • Daily traditional breakfast and dinner, including wine
  • Daily painting classes and critiques
  • Excursion to Siena
  • ½ day painting excursions to nearby plein air settings and hilltowns (Monteriggioni, Radda, Volpaia…)
  • We will transfer those who wish back to Florence on the final day after Cortona.

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch (we’ll make sure we have access to lunch options when we are on excursions)
  • Art supplies
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing
  • Gratuities

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 April 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.

Borgo San Fedele

— San Fedele is a restored 12th century monastery floating in the Chianti hills —

©Lester Lefkowitz 7003-001Il Chiostro at San Fedele is the combined skills of Linda and Michael of Il Chiostro joining together with Nicolo and Renata of San Fedele to produce a unique and inspiring environment rooted in the traditional Tuscan values of beauty, great food, an appreciation for nature and the value of community.  The monastery, dating back to the 12th century, was meticulously restored using traditional building methods and all original materials. Today, the monastery remains true to its original spirit, rich architectural detail. The 16 rooms and suites where participants are housed have lovely modern bathrooms, screened windows, air conditioning, period furniture, wi-fi internet service, satellite television and minibar, all designed to perfectly compliment the medieval surroundings.

The original soaring chapel is now used as a large art studio or workshop space. The monks’ refectory, where a lost 16th century fresco was uncovered during renovation, is now the dining room connected to a state-of-the-art kitchen and the old stone cantinas where they stored their wine have been transformed into studio and classroom space.

Common/Studio space in the ex-chapel

For information about the history of this monastery, Click here to go to San Fedele’s web site…


Rather than  hotel, San Fedele is classified as a historic residence in Italy.  That means that it is an intimate setting, preserved along strict historical guidelines to preserve the spirit of the setting.  The owners are on site to oversee this unique combination of historic landmark and modern day comfort.

Accommodations are spacious shared double rooms or junior suites. Each room, because it was converted from the original structure of the monastery without altering the building, is unique in shape. Furnishings and decor were selected to coordinate with the historic, subdued feeling of the monastery, but in a comfortable, modern style. All rooms have two beds that can be separated into twins or combined into one large matrimonial. There is a sitting area, refrigerator, DSL wi-fi, television, air-conditioning, heating, modern private bathroom with shower and hair dryers.

lester-lefkowitz-room3 lester-lefkowitz-room2

There are a limited number of single rooms available at a supplement of $575.

2 Jr. Suites for a minimum of 2 people are available for a supplement of $275 per person.

Night shot piazza©Lester Lefkowitz 7003-010© Lester Lefkowitz 7184-022Archway from rose garden and breakfast buffet in the refectory (photos by Lester Lefkowitz)

Terrace-MJossThe back of San Fedele is surrounded by a large al fresco dining terrace with the original terra cotta tile designs reproduced down to the smallest details. The terrace overlooks the same organic vegetable and flower garden tended by the monks for centuries. Beyond are the rolling Chianti vineyards that make this part of Tuscany so breathtaking.

Other common spaces include a large classroom carved into the rock of the ancient wine cellar, an expansive private piazza, a 16 x 7 meter swimming pool and sprawling landscaped grounds on a rolling hillside.

The upper pool at San Fedele

To San Fedele-LMFlorence 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.

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 1 ½ 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 ourTraveling to Italy link. Renting a car from all the major rental agencies is possible if you prefer to be more independent during the week.

Fall vineyards

Fall vineyards


Borgo San Fedele sits conveniently on a country road connecting the charming medieval walled town of Radda and the village of Vagliagli. Other nearby hilltowns include Castellina-in-Chianti, Monteriggioni and Volpaia. It is about 45 minutes from San Gimignano and Volterra. Many of these towns have roots in the earlier Etruscan civilization that permeated this area prior to the Romans.

San Fedele is located about 12 km northeast of Siena and 45 km south of Florence.

The Food

For us at Il Chiostro, helping our guests to experience the traditional food in one of the earth`s richest, most sensual areas is our pleasure. The Chianti region of Tuscany is Italy’s famous wine and olive oil producing region. Here we want to expose you to the wonders of simple Italian cooking known in the area as cucina povera. Our chef is a Tuscan native who uses recipes from her mother and grandmother to bring the tradition of not only Tuscany, but specifically the Chianti region, to the table each evening.  We use seasonal, organic products, locally produced by small farms and family shops. Our chef searches for the best of Tuscany to serve you. Tuscan cuisine is a simple art that has been refined over the centuries to surprise our palates while the red chianti wine comforts our souls. Come explore what food can really be all about.

© Lester Lefkowitz 7184-057Candle Light Dinner2-CharlesAnderson
About Your Il Chiostro Hosts
Linda and Michael, and their program managers will host your program in Tuscany. They have been organizing workshops in Italy since 1995 and each person brings a special talent to the program. You can read more about them by following the About Il Chiostro link. At the Tuscan Renaissance Center, the owners of San Fedele, Nicolo and Renata, live on site. They will be available throughout the program to talk about the history of the monastery, the renovation and this area of Tuscany they call home.

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:

Bell tower-smallArt – San Fedele is located conveniently between 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 Chianti region, synonomous with the most famous wine that Italy produces. 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.