Sketchbook Art Workshop in Venice, Padua and Parma, Italy

Join teaching artist Anne Leuck's art workshop! Explore off-the-beaten path Venice, beautiful Padua, and the Italian culinary heartland in Parma, Italy
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Anne Leuck sketchbook journal teacher

To learn more about Anne Leuck's art and teaching, visit her page.

October 21-27, 2024
Cost: $3745
Optional Single Supplement: $595
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
Start: Padua, Italy
End: Parma, Italy
Max Group Size: 14
Land only. All prices in US dollars. Program subject to change.

Join artist and illustrator Anne Leuck on a colorful, captivating art workshop in Venice, Padua, and Parma, Italy. Have you dreamed of Venice, with it’s sleepy canals and sleek gondolas? Do you have visions of sharing a meal in the garden of an Italian villa? Passing platters of amazing food made from recipes handed down through generations? And each day, learning how to better capture your adventures in your very own art journal? If so, our Sketchbook Art Workshop in Venice, Padua and Parma, Italy is the experience for you.

Come along on this small-group travel and art vacation. Find an authentic Italy of today steeped in rich beauty and a colorful past.  Each day Anne will teach a class inspired by the places we visit and adventures you have. You will enjoy a blend of bucket-list destinations and off-the-beaten-path discoveries. We have created a custom 6-night itinerary to give you an immersive taste of both. Amazing food, deep traditions, and great company are part of every day.

What to Expect

art workshop in Venice

Art Program

Journaling while traveling offers the most unique way of fully engaging with a place, discovering details and beauty that might otherwise escape, unnoticed. In my teaching, I strive to foster a warm and welcoming environment for all students to see with new eyes, playfully express their creativity and hone their art making skills. We become more than just a group of travelers – we form friendships and become cheerleaders and sources of inspiration for one another. It is just as much an art adventure as a travel one!

In our sketchbooks, we’ll not only capture the beauty and culture of the places we visit but also document the story of our trip…it’s not just about what we see. Using all the senses, I will guide you in documenting the story of your trip, capturing the magical and silly moments, conversations, tastes, sights and sounds that might otherwise fade from memory. By doing so, you can share your journey with others when you return home and relive the incredible adventure through the pages of your travelogue.

For me, nurturing a safe space for creativity is essential. Alongside sharing my techniques and artistic process, I will address common fears related to drawing, using color, perfectionism, and celebrating your own unique style and creativity. The constant question of “Am I doing this right?” fades away, enabling you to explore your artistic potential without self-doubt.

The Take-home

At the end of your trip you will have a travelogue recounting your unique experiences. From illustrated storyboard pages capturing your days through my signature process of combining words and images, to sketches employing my favorite drawing methods like blind contour, scribble and wash techniques. We will explore pattern, color, lettering, page layouts and even incorporate collage and haikus to add additional whimsy and individuality to your journal. While I provide journaling prompts and techniques, your journal is yours to fill. Whether you find inspiration in scenic landscapes, cityscapes, or café scenes, you’ll have numerous opportunities to immortalize your adventures in a unique and personal way.

Before departure

Our journey begins with a pre-trip Zoom meeting to acquaint ourselves and offer you the option to share your work, even before we set off on our adventure. Additionally, I will provide you with my complimentary online sketch journaling self-study workshop: ‘Draw Your Heart Out’, introducing you to my process. If this sparks your interest, I would love for you to join me for a trip, where we will immortalize our journey in a creative journal full of memories that you will cherish forever.

Anne Leuck and students sketching Santorini Greece
Anne Leuck sketchbook journal teaching artist gallery
Anne Leuck and students laughing Manarola Italy

Above: 1) Anne Leuck and art workshop students sketching in Santorini, Greece 2) a sketchbook page from Anne’s art workshop in Greece, and 3) having a laugh in Manarola, Italy 

Travel and Touring

Our art workshop in Venice, Padua, and Parma, Italy features exclusive itineraries and personal experiences. We will spend 3 nights in Padua and 3 nights in Parma. Every half-day outing will introduce local artisans, their traditions and craft. 

In Padua and Venice we will travel by foot, rail, and ferry. Then, we will transfer by train to lovely Parma. Once there we will explore on foot and a private van will provide a tour of artisian producers.

Only 30 minutes from Venice, Padua is a beautiful Italian city with historic markets and lively piazzas. Home to one of Italy’s oldest universities, it’s culture is rich and diverse. 

In Venice, you’ll leave the cruise ships crowds behind. Walk the most scenic and uncrowded areas. Explore with a local guide to learn the unique history and current issues that have shaped this city of islands. 

Parma is UNESCO’s Creative City for Gastronomy. The first Italian city to be given such a recognition. Loved by Stanley Tucci, the region of Emilia-Romagna, where Parma is located, is home to globally renowned and protected food products. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, prosciutto de Parma, and traditional balsamic vinegar are but a few. Virtually unknown by mass tourism, Parma is still a beautiful Italian city and an undiscovered gem.

Anne Leuck and students in wine shop Rapallo Italy (1)
Anne Leuck and students sailing Santorini Greece

Above: Anne Leuck and art workshop students 1) visiting a wine shop in Rapallo, Italy 2) on a sunset cruise in Santorini, Greece

What You’ll Love

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.


Sketchbook Art Workshop in Venice, Padua and Parma

Program subject to change. Daily schedule may differ.

Art journal workshop in Italy walking vacation

Day 1 : Arrivals

To begin, our art workshop will gather in the afternoon at our hotel in historic Padua.  First we will get to know one another, and Anne will introduce her art workshop program. Then there will be an overview of the week ahead. Finally, we will head out for an orientation walk to see our neighborhood.

Sketchbook art vacation in Venice, Italy

Day 2 : Venice & Padua

In the morning, Anne will teach class in Padua’s beautiful Piazza dei Signori. Then, a short train ride will carry us to Venice. After a canal-side welcome lunch, our local guide will take us on a private walking tour of Venice. Avoiding the crowds and touristy streets, we will discover hidden corners and charming atelier shops. Along the way she will reveal the rich culture and history of Venice. We will hear about everyday life, its complexities, and what it is like to live in this extraordinary city. 

Afterward, the remainder of the day and evening is free to explore on your own or with fellow artists. You may cruise the Grand Canal, visit the Rialto Bridge, and tour Piazza San Marco. Alternatively, simply enjoy being in Venice by wandering, sketching the many alleyways, and watching the sun set over a sleepy canal. 

Glass blowing itinerary Venice walking vacation

Day 3 : Venice and Padua

The day begins with a vaporetto (ferry)  Venice’s outer island of Murano. There, you’ll discover Murano’s centuries-old glass tradition. In an open workshop, you’ll meet master artisans and see how the glass is fired, pulled and shaped. 

Your included vaporetto pass is good for the remainder of the day. At your leisure you may wander through Murano, visit nearby Burano with its colorful houses by the sea, or explore more of Venice. In the early evening our art workshop in Venice will reconvene for a sketchbook class and to share the day’s discoveries.

street scene itinerary Parma Italy walking vacation

Day 4 : Parma

After breakfast, our Venice, Padua and Parma, Italy art workshop will transfer to the city of Parma. Featured in Stanley Tucci’s visit to the area, Parma was named Italy’s Capital of Culture in 2020 and 2021. Besides having amazing cuisine, it is also has a wonderfully preserved historic center, many theaters, galleries, and a university.

After checking into our hotel, we will set off for an orientation walk to get to know the neighborhood. Next, Anne will teach another sketchbook art class.

Parma’s historic center is car-free and a world away from a tourist town. Its cobbled streets are filled with handsome architecture, boutique shops, galleries, and, of course, wonderful restaurants. Here you will eat very, very well.

Parma, Italy walking vacation, travel journal, art workshop, vacation, small group, Parmesan, culinary tour

Day 5 : Parma Countryside

In Parma, our art workshop will take a culinary focus. (Although we will be eating well everywhere we go.) Here, we will venture into the countryside to visit artisan producers and learn about their rich culinary traditions.

First, we will visit a family-owned and run Parmigiano-Reggiano cheesemaker. Afterwards, we will meet one of the few makers of true Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena. We know it as balsamic vinegar, but you’ve never had it like this. Of course, you will have to taste a little of everything along the way. We will return to Parma for art class with Anne. 

Garden dinner table itinerary Parma Italy walking vacation

Day 6 : Parma Cooking Class & Dinner

The day begins with a final art workshop class. The afternoon is yours to relax and enjoy Parma in your own time. In the evening we will take a scenic walk through the neighborhoods and parks of Parma to our friend Antonia’s home – a historic family villa set on a beautiful property.

First, we start with a welcome aperitivo. Then Antonia will teach a fun, hands-on cooking class of local specialties. (The class is optional if cooking is not your thing.)

Lastly, the evening concludes with a final dinner feast. This is a meal like no other – set in her beautiful garden surrounded by friends and laughter. As abundant platters are passed and wine is poured, you will feel a part of the family. Antonia is a consummate host, and this dinner is always a highlight of the trip.

small group in front of Italian villa in Parma, Italy, Blue Walk sketchbook travel journal classes

Day 7 : Departures

After breakfast, our art workshop in Venice, Padua and Parma, Italy comes to a close. We bid farewell to our fellow artists and traveling companions until the next time. No group events are scheduled for this day. You may depart at your leisure. Our hotel will hold your luggage if you plan to leave after checkout time.

Quiet canals, local insight, and culinary tradition

passageway Venice walking vacation

What’s Included

Sketchbook Art Workshop in Venice, Padua and Parma, Italy

  • Anne Leuck’s daily sketchbook journal art classes
  • Assistance of your host / guide throughout the Art Workshop in Venice, Padua and Parma, Italy
  • Four-star hotel in Padua, Italy (3 nights)
  • Four-star hotel in Parma, Italy (3 nights)
  • Daily full buffet breakfast
  • Welcome gelato
  • Welcome dinner
  • Venice walking tour with local guide
  • Vaporetto day pass for free travel throughout Venice and surrounds
  • Live demonstration at an authentic Murano glass factory
  • All tram, train, and ferry transfers per the itinerary
  • Authentic Italian apertivo
  • Private culinary tour into the countryside to meet artisan producers of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Aceto Balsamico di Modena
  • Fun hands-on cooking class of regional specialties
  • Farewell dinner
  • All hotel taxes and service charges

Where in the World?

Sketchbook Art Workshop in Venice and Parma, Italy

Venice, the capital of Northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no car roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces.

Padua is a city in Northern Italy’s Veneto region. It’s known for the frescoes by Giotto in its Scrovegni Chapel and the vast, domed  Basilica of St. Anthony. In Padua’s old town are arcaded streets and stylish cafes frequented by students of the University of Padua, established in 1222.

Parma is a university city in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region famed for Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. Romanesque buildings, including the frescoed Parma Cathedral and the pink marble Baptistery, grace the city center. 

Venice Parma Italy Map Where in the world

Travel Planning


For arrivals, the most convenient airport to fly into for our art workshop in Venice, Padua and Parma, Italy is the Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE). From the airport our Padua hotel may be reached by car in about 45 minutes or by bus / train in about 75 minutes.

Our program begins at 4 pm on the first day at our hotel in Padua. We recommend arriving at least 4 hours before then to allow time for passport control, transfer to Padua, and some time to catch your breath. If you are able, arriving a day or two early for a more relaxed entry. 


On the last day breakfast is included, and no formal group events are planned. You may depart The program ends at our hotel in Parma and you may depart at any time. Our hotel will hold your luggage if you are staying in Parma after check-out.

You can get from Parma to any major airport in Italy by train. (Parma has a small airport, but it serves a limited number of aircraft and does not host large international flights.) If you can find a good flight out of Bologna, that is the closest departure airport with about 1.5 hours travel time from hotel to airport. The next best options are Milan (~2.5 hrs) or Rome (~4.5 hrs). In every instance there is one transfer from a train station to reach the airport, but it is fairly straightforward. Of course there is always an option to hire a private car to take you from the hotel to the airport.

For destinations outside of the EU we recommend getting to the airport at least 3 hours in advance.

Important Notes

Sketchbook Art Workshop in Venice and Parma, 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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