Art and Creativity Workshop in Italy

Write, sketch, and paint on the Italian Riviera with teaching artist Jill Badonsky
Jill Badonsky art teacher

All the sunshine, color, and flavor of the Riviera

Dates: October 14-20, 2024 SOLD OUT (waiting list available)
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
Start: Milan, Italy
Hotel Location: Rapallo, Italy
End: Milan, Italy
Sites: Rapallo, Portofino, Cinque Terre, Camogli and Chiavari
Cost: from $3595 USD based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: $595
Max Group Size: 14
Land only. Solo traveler roomshares available. All prices are in US dollars. Program subject to change.

Art and Creativity Workshop in Italy

Join us for a week on the sunny Italian Riviera. Learn with teaching artist and creativity coach Jill Badonsky to use intuitive watercolor sketching and free-spirited writing to capture your travels. After arriving in Milan, we will spend 6 nights on the seaside. There, we’ll discover colorful Italian villages and towns through daily walks, art class, and free time. Not only a vacation, this art and creativity workshop is a fun, immersive experience of Italy. 

Jill’s approach plugs into mindfulness, playfulness, and intuitive techniques that inspire fresh directions. Free your creative voice from perfectionistic standards. You will capture the enchantment of the Italian Riviera with a joy-filled experience of creative flow that will last the rest of your life.


Art and Creativity Workshop in Italy

Art Program

Arriving in the enchantment of a country you’ve always wanted to visit is a natural aphrodisiac to an amplified sense of creativity. Jill will capitalize on that energy and teach you loose and easy methods of generating sketches, adding simple watercolor painting. Additionally, we will savor and deepen the experience in effortless creative writing that captures the feel of the moment. Finally, you’ll create smartphone photographs that go beyond just snapping a scene and quickly moving on.  

Daily sessions will: 

  • show you how to get through your fears and doubts about art on the scene
  • unleash your creativity with simple suggestions
  • make travel sketching easy, even for the timid
  • provide writing prompts, laughter, and surprises that heighten your experience

A scavenger hunt of creative and mindful prompts will make it easier to be in the creative moment.  

Each day Jill will lead her creativity workshops classes on site, in the places we visit. Participants will go away with sketchbooks and journals filled with sketched, painted, and written souvenirs they created from instruction Jill calls “Wild Abandon,” an approach for nervous beginners as well as seasoned pros wanting to loosen up. NO experience necessary.


Join an Art Walk. Equal parts art workshop and travel vacation, spend a week immersed in beautiful Italy. Your time begins with a train ride from Milan to the harbor town of Rapallo on the coast of Liguria.

Charming all on its own, Rapallo is perfectly situated for easy daily excursions to nearby towns. One day we will visit the fishing villages of Cinque Terre nestled into the dramatic coastline. Another, we will stroll the seaside path between Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino. Traveling by foot and by local train we will explore a new destination each day. Throughout, you will savor traditional Italian cooking with the finest regional ingredients.

Experience an authentic Italy. Meet new friends. Capture it all in your very own travel sketchbook. This truly will be an art-filled travel adventure.


What You’ll Love

Art and Creativity Workshop in Italy

1. Planning with Care

We take care of the details. You enjoy your vacation.

2. Small group classes

With a maximum class size of 14, expect quality time during art classes. Additionally, we travel places large tour groups can’t.

3. Movable studio

Develop skills and techniques to use whenever you travel. Specifically, learn to pack light and create as you go.

4. Capture Your Experience

Your sketchbook will evolve into a personal travel journal filled with memories to last a lifetime.

Pesto pasta dining walking vacation Collage Travel Journal Workshop in Italy


Art and Creativity Workshop in Italy

Program subject to change

Rapallo, Italy calm sea sunset walking vacation

Day 1

Meet at Milano Centrale Station for an escorted train ride to Rapallo. Once we arrive, a welcome meeting gives an overview of the week. Then, we take an orientation walk to get to know the neighborhood.


Montallegro, Italy walking vacation view

Day 2

After an easy morning we’ll travel to the scenic Montallegro by funivia. Then stretch your legs with an easy walk through the oaks. There, overlooking the Portofino Peninsula, you’ll enjoy a welcome meal and class with Jill.

Cinque Terre watercolor sketchbook journal Italy

Day 3

Start the day sketching at the colorful farmer’s market in Rapallo. In the afternoon and into the evening we will explore the ancient fishing villages of the Cinque Terre by foot and rail.

Walking vacation Portofino Italy

Day 4

Walk the spectacular coastline between colorful Santa Margherita Ligure and famous Portofino. If you’d like, continue by ferry to the village of San Frutuosso, accessible only by boat or footpath. When you are ready, return to Rapallo by a scenic ferry ride. Later, we’ll gather for a fun food and wine tasting of local specialties.

Italian market customers and vendors art and creativity workshop in Italy

Day 5

Begin the day with an art class in the midst of  the weekly market in Chiavari. Tour colorful stalls and practice speaking a little Italian with friendly vendors. Afterwards, you’ll have time to shop, enjoy a little sand and sea at the beach, or simply take a long leisurely lunch in a sunny piazza watching the world go by.

San Rocco view Camogli Italy walking vacation art workshop

Day 6

After breakfast a brief bus ride brings us to the heights of the Portofino Peninsula. From here we will take in the beautiful views as we walk down to the seaside town of Camogli for a final creative art class of writing and painting. Later we will gather in Rapallo for a festive aperitivo and farewell dinner.


Sketchbook watercolor classes in Santa Margherita Ligure art and creativity workshop

Day 7

In the morning our small group of artist-friends will transfer by first class train back to Milan’s Central Station. From there it is time to say goodbye until our next arting adventure.

Art and Creativity Workshop in Italy

Create experiences to last a lifetime.


Art and Creativity Workshop in Italy

  • Assistance of your host / guide throughout the program
  • Jill Badonsky’s daily Art and Creativity Workshop
  • 6 nights at our 4-star hotel in Rapallo’s waterfront
  • All hotel taxes and service fees
  • Daily full buffet breakfast
  • All transport per the itinerary
  • First-class roundtrip transfer by train between Milan and Rapallo
  • Rapallo orientation walk
  • Round trip funivia to the hills above Rapallo
  • Welcome lunch overlooking Portofino
  • Guided walk along coast from Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino
  • Ferry return to Rapallo from Portofino
  • Cinque Terre train and park admission to visit the villages
  • Guided walk from San Rocco to Camogli
  • Informal wine and cheese tasting
  • Visit Chiavari market
  • Farewell dinner
  • Optional cooking class
  • Optional ferry and visit to San Fruttuoso
  • Optional self-guided hikes between Cinque Terre’s famous seaside towns

Programs are subject to change. 

Manarola Cinque Terre Italy walking vacation

Where in the World?

Italy has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine while remaining utterly true to its traditions. Our walking or art workshop vacation will tour Italy’s northern regions. First, our small group meets in Milan, the center of global fashion and design. Then, we will travel to and from Rapallo by train.

Airport Information

Three international airports serve Milan: Malpensa, Linate, and Bergamo. Malpensa Airport (MXP) is the largest. It usually has the best connections for North American cities. Also, MXP is well connected to Milano Centrale Station by both train and airport busses. You may find information on how to get to Milan from the airport on our blog.

Linate Airport (LIN) is the closest airport to the city. It is located just 7km away from Milano Centrale. From LIN an airport bus can bring you directly to the station.

Bergamo Airport (BGY) is a great choice for anyone traveling on low cost, regional airlines. Specifically, Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air offer regular flights to and from Bergamo. Bergamo is also served by shuttles and public transport to Milan’s center.

Generally speaking, most will find it most convenient and cost effective to fly in and out of Malpensa Airport.

Starting and Ending Locations

The program will start at Milano Centrale Station. From there we will depart for Rapallo. At the end of the tour, a group return from Rapallo to Milano Centrale is included. We should arrive to the station by 11:00am.

Milan to Rapallo Italy Map

Important Notes

Travel Sketchbook Workshop in Italy


Your place on a tour is secured once we have received and confirmed your deposit payment. Before the final payment date, a non-refundable deposit of $500 for walking vacations and $750 for art vacation workshops is required. After the final payment date, the entire tour amount must be received to hold a space on a program. 

You may cancel for any reason up to 90 days prior to departure and your non-refundable deposit may be forwarded to a future tour. Any balance on your account will be returned. For complete details please see our Terms and Conditions.

Solo travelers and single supplements

For our guests who are traveling solo... We offer a single supplement for an additional fee if you wish to guarantee a private room.

If you do not request a private room, you will share a twin room with another trip participant of the same sex (Roomshare). When you sign up, if no Roomshare is available, a 50% single supplement will be included on your invoice and is due at final payment. However, if a roommate is found before your trip departs, you will be matched and the single supplement will be removed or refunded.

A single supplement guarantees a private room. Whenever possible singles will be placed in the same room type as our double or twin rooms.

Twin / Double Rooms

Please be aware twin beds in Europe may have very little or no space between beds. Also, for double beds, instead of a king or queen mattress, double beds are often two adjoining twin mattresses secured together and made with double bedding.


Walking is a part of this program. It is both a means of visiting locations and a way to immerse yourself in a place. Our scheduled walks are usually 1-2 hours long at a casual pace. We provide a general description of our walks here. It is your responsibility to know your own physical and medical condition with respect to the advisability of participating in a chosen trip. We suggest you prepare by doing at least 1 hour of walking several times per week, and a longer walk at least once per week. Ideally, include walks with elevation change and stairs. (There are always stairs.)

As with any exercise program, we recommend you consult with your physician prior to your arrival regarding the suitability of a walking tour.

Some of our guests find trekking poles helpful on steep or uneven terrain. In Europe they are quite common. Before using them on a vacation, please practice at home. We strongly advise you get comfortable using trekking  poles on familiar paths first.


For additional information on these topics and more, please see our FAQ page.

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