Watercolor Sketchbook Art Workshop in Italy

Ohn Mar Win teaches an art vacation workshop on the Italian Riviera and Lake Como
Waiting List
Ohn Mar Win teaching artist

All the sunshine, color, and flavor of Italy

Dates: October  7-14, 2024 SOLD OUT (waiting list available)
Duration: 7 nights
Start: Milan, Italy
End: Lake Como, Italy
Sites: Rapallo, Portofino, Cinque Terre, Bellagio, Varenna, and Lenno
Cost: from $3795 USD based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: $745
Max Class Size: 14
All prices are in US dollars. Land only. Solo Traveler Roomshares bases on availability. Program subject to change.

Watercolor Sketchbook Workshop in Italy

Join teaching artist Onh Mar Win for a week of watercolor sketching and wonderful walks in northern Italy. After a quick transfer from Milan to the coast, we will tour the beautiful Italian Riviera and then Lake Como. Not only a vacation, this art workshop is an immersive experience of Italy. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, you will find inspiration, guidance, and support throughout the week. So, pack your sketchbooks and come join us for a week of creativity and fun.


Art Workshop in Italy

Art Program

In this 7-day art workshop in Italy you will be immersed in equal parts travel and art program. During this fabulous week in Italy, Ohn Mar will encourage you to explore your creativity and improve your sketchbook skills. The art workshop focus will be on sketching and watercolor techniques. Also, there will be a special emphasis on capturing the essence of a scene using mixed media.

A main focus of Ohn Mar’s sketchbook classes is how to overcome the fear of the blank page. Starting a new artwork can be daunting. Inspired by the amazing places we will visit, Ohn Mar will provide tips and techniques to help you approach the page with confidence and enthusiasm. You will learn how to observe, make quick sketches, and overcome any creative blocks that may arise.

Our travel journal art workshop will also explore watercolor and mixed media techniques. Working intuitively, you’ll create expressive and dynamic sketches. Techniques will include collage and use of brush pens. These will help simplify and aide contrast in your sketches.

Art classes will be primarily on site. You will practice interpreting and simplifying complicated scenes using line, shape, and contrast. In addition, your art workshop will discuss how to gather and work from photographic references. During our time together you will learn how to capture the essence of a scene and distill it down to its essential elements. By the end of the tour you will have a sketchbook full of dynamic and expressive sketches that are both visually compelling and evocative of your time in Italy.


The program begins after a train ride from Milan to the harbor town of Rapallo on the coast of Liguria. First we visit pastel villages nestled into the coastline of Cinque Terre by foot and rail. Next, stroll the coastal path between Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino. Then it is time to transfer to the region of Lombardy at the base of the Italian Alps. There, during class you will sit and sketch overlooking peaceful Lake Como. Throughout, you can 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.

I can’t say enough about how wonderful Ohn Mar’s teaching style is.  I have attended many in-person and online workshops with her. Her relaxed approach encourages every participant to experiment with their own art practice.  I truly appreciate how she is always experimenting and learning in her own practice and branching out to try new media, subject matter, and style

Eva Ellis

What You’ll Love

Ohn Mar’s Sketchbook 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.

Ohn Mar Win teaching artist


Watercolor Sketchook 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 walks through the oaks. There, overlooking the Portofino Peninsula, you’ll enjoy a welcome meal and class with Ohn Mar.


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.

Portofino Italy harbor boats colorful buildings walking vacation

Day 4

Walk the spectacular coastline between colorful Santa Margherita Ligure and famous Portofino. When you are ready, return to Rapallo by a scenic ferry ride. Later, we’ll gather for a food and wine tasting of local specialties.

Italian walking tour vacation Lake Como Italy

Day 5

After breakfast a private transfer brings us to Lake Como at the base of the Italian Alps. First, an orientation walk will help you get your bearings. Afterwards stretch your legs with a walk to Villa Monastero. Then sketch while sitting beside the pristine lakeshore.


small group cooking class Lenno Italy walking vacation 600x400

Day 6

Some may start the day early with a cooking class. Others will enjoy a stroll along the lakeshore. In the afternoon a short ferry ride carries us all to Bellagio. Then Ohn Mar will lead you through a lesson. After, wander Bellagio at your leisure.

Bellagio street scene art retreat in Italy

Day 7

Start the day with a beautiful walk along Lake Como’s ancient Roman road. In a small village by the lake we’ll gather for a final class. Later enjoy our farewell meal at an intimate lakeside trattoria. 

Italy walking vacation lake como smiling group picture

Day 8

Finally it is time to say goodbye. There are no group activities planned on this day. You may depart at any time. The hotel will hold your bags if your depature is after checkout.

Watercolor Sketchbook Art Workshop in Italy

Create memories that last a lifetime.


Travel Sketchbook Workshop in Italy

  • Assistance of your host / guide throughout the program
  • Ohn Mar Win’s daily Art Workshop
  • 4 nights at our 4-star hotel in Rapallo’s waterfront
  • 3 nights at select boutique hotel on Lake Como
  • All hotel taxes and service fees
  • Daily full buffet breakfast
  • All transport per the itinerary (start Milan train station and end at Lake Como Hotel)
  • Transfer from Milan to Rapallo
  • Rapallo orientation walk
  • Gelato!
  • Round trip funivia to the hills above Rapallo
  • Welcome lunch 
  • Guided walk along coast to Portofino
  • Ferry return to Rapallo from Portofino
  • Cinque Terre train and park admission to visit the villages
  • Optional self-guided hikes between Cinque Terre’s famous seaside towns
  • Transfer from Rapallo to Lake Como
  • Orientation walk to get to know your neighborhood
  • Informal wine and cheese tasting
  • Mid-lake ferry passes on Lake Como to visit neighboring villages per itinerary
  • Guided walk along the Lake Como Greenway
  • Admission to Villa Monastero
  • Optional cooking class
  • 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. Next, we explore the sunny Italian Riviera in Liguria. Finally, our vacation ends in the serene foothills of the Alps and stunning Lake Como.

Travel Journal Workshop in Italy trip map

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.

For departures, we advise arriving to the airport at least 3 hours early for non-european final destinations and at least 2 hours prior for flights within Europe.

Malpensa is located closer to Lake Como than Linate. From Como, Malpensa also enjoys more frequent and better train connections than Bergamo. Generally speaking, you will find it most convenient and cost effective to fly in and out of Malpensa Airport.

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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