Art Escape Italy | Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between a workshop and a retreat?


  • Our art workshops take place at a studio in the city of Florence and include tuition (plus extras, such as welcome aperitivo and leaving drinks). Accommodation is not included, but we are happy to give you recommendations!

  • Our art retreats take place in the countryside of Tuscany, and are all inclusive of tuition, accommodation, meals, transfers and extras.

What's included in the price?

Art Workshop 

  • Tuition.

  • Welcome aperitivo and leaving drinks.

  • Easels, solvents and brush cleaner.

  • Wifi

  • 22% VAT.

Art Retreat

  • 6 nights accommodation.

  • 5 days of tuition (6 hours per day).

  • Transfers to and from the venue on the first and last days of the retreat.

  • All meals and drinks (breakfasts, lunches, dinners and drinks). 

  • Alcohol (wine grown at the venue).

  • Extra activities (such as an afternoon in Vinci, pizza night or wine tour and tasting).

  • Laundry and detergent.

  • Hairdryer, shampoo, soap.

  • Wifi

  • Easel, solvents and brush cleaner.

  • 22% VAT.

What's NOT included in the price?

Art Workshop 

  • Accommodation.

  • Meals.

  • Transfers.

  • Art materials needed for each specific workshop, such as paints, palette, palette knife and canvas. 

  • Credit card or bank transfer fees. We suggest using credit card company Stripe or Bank transfer company Transferwise for low transaction fees.

  • Flights, transportation costs.

Art Retreat

  • Art materials needed for each specific retreat, such as paints, palette, palette knife and canvas. 

  • Credit card or bank transfer fees. We suggest using credit card company Stripe or Bank transfer company Transferwise for low transaction fees.

  • Flights, transportation costs (except for our complimentary transfers on the first and last day).

Transfers/How do I get to the retreat?

If you are attending an all-inclusive art retreat with Art Escape Italy and will be staying with us for the duration, we offer a complimentary group transfer to and from the venue departing from Empoli train station. The drive to the venue takes around 20 minutes.

Our transfer to the accommodation will collect you on the first day of the workshop from Empoli Station at either 3pm or 6pm, you must confirm in advance which of these transfers you will meet. Our transfers from the accommodation will take you back on the final day of the workshop to Empoli train Station, departing at 9am and 11am.

If you would like to book a private transfer or taxi from a different location email us at (please note private transfers are not included in the price of the workshop).

How do I get to the studio in Florence?

Our studio in Florence is easily walk-able if you are staying anywhere in the city center of Florence (email us for advice on where to stay in city). The studio is located in Santo Spirito, the full address is: Eurocentres Firenze, Piazza Santo Spirito 9, 50125, Firenze, Tuscany.

Which airport should I fly to?

Depending on which country you are flying from, you will find that airfares differ depending on which of Italy's airports you fly to. Below we have provided some information about the travel options and distances from each airport to Florence Santa Maria Novella train station (Firenze S. M. Novella) and to Empoli. If you are attending one of our workshops look at trains to Firenze S. M. Novella, if you are attending a retreat look at trains to Empoli.

Important notes when travelling by train: 

1) We recommend that you use to see train times and purchase your tickets online in advance if possible.

2) Make sure to stamp (validate) your train ticket before boarding the train, using one of the green and white stamp machines you will see on the walls at every station.


- Florence Peretola Airport is the closest airport to our meeting point. You can take a shuttle bus or a taxi from Florence Airport to Florence S. M. Novella station, either of which options take around 15-20 minutes. The bus station and taxis are both located right outside the airport. You should be able to purchase your bus ticket from the bus driver or inside the airport - tickets cost roughly €6.

- Pisa International Airport: Take a bus from right outside Pisa airport (you can purchase a ticket outside next to the airport exit, the signs are big and the people working there speak English), this bus will take you directly to Florence Santa Maria Novella station, the journey should last around 1 hr 10 mins and tickets cost roughly €14. 

If you are travelling to Empoli train station, you will need to take the Pisa Mover train from the airport to Pisa Central Station and then take a direct train to Empoli train station. 

- Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport: Take the Aerobus from Bologna Airport to Bologna Station (Bologna Stazione Centrale) the bus runs every 11 minutes and the journey lasts 20 minutes, tickets can be purchased online or inside the airport. The price of the ticket is €6. Once at Bologna Central Station purchase a train ticket to Florence Santa Maria Novella Station (Firenze S. M. Novella). The train journey can take between 35 minutes - 1hr and 45 minutes, make sure to choose a fast train.

- Rome Leonardo Da Vinci - Fiumicino Airport: You can take a train directly from Fiumicino Airport to Florence S. M. Novella station which takes 2hrs and 15 minutes. Alternatively some trains have one change (either at Roma Tiburtina or Roma Termini) these trains can take around 2hrs and 25 minutes. Make sure to book your ticket in advance and take a fast train otherwise the journey from Rome airport can take upwards of 4 hours. 

- Milan Malpensa Airport: Milan has 3 airports - Malpensa Airport is the biggest and most commonly used for international flights.  Trains run every hour from Malpensa Airport Terminal 1 (Malpensa Aeroporto T1). The train ride should take 2hrs and 46 minutes and changes once at Milan Central station (Milano Centrale). Make sure to book your train in advance and choose the fast train otherwise you journey can take upwards of 7 hours.

If you are travelling to Empoli from any of these airports you will need to change at Florence S. M. Novella train station,  there are on average 3 trains departing to Empoli each hour, the train ride takes between 30-35 minutes and the ticket costs under €5.

Reception? Retreat

If you are meeting our transfer at Empoli station, you will need to wait at the meeting point, which will be emailed to you a few months before the workshop start.

You will be greeted at the station by co-owner Dorian, who will be holding a sign which reads Art Escape Italy. When you arrive at the venue both Tana and Dorian will be there to welcome you and show you around.

Reception? Workshop

We invite you to join us and the workshop instructor for a welcome aperitivo the night before the workshop, full details about the meeting place will be given a few months before the workshop.

How do I book and pay?


To book one of our workshops or retreats, go to the information page for that workshop and click on the button which says 'Book Now', from there you will be taken to a different page which will allow you fill in your registration details and make your payment.


What if I need to cancel my booking?


Please see our Terms and Conditions page for full details about our cancellation policy. See our updated policy regarding Coronavirus here.


What happens if the workshop or retreat I booked is cancelled?


If a given workshop has fewer than the minimum number of bookings before the course is due to start, the workshop will be cancelled and any persons who have booked to attend will be notified immediately. If a course is cancelled by Art Escape Italy, the full payment (including deposit) will be 100% refunded immediately.  We only refund payments made in relation to bookings with Art Escape Italy, we do not refund the cost of travel. We advise you to book travel insurance.


If I am attending a retreat, can I bring a non-participating partner/friend?


Yes, we encourage you to bring along a non-participating partner or friend. The non-participant rate includes all meals, accommodation, extra activities, transfers and 22% vat. We will assist in scheduling alternative activities (at additional cost, depending on the activity).


Do I need to have painting experience to attend a workshop or retreat?


No. Our workshops and retreats are open to all levels from beginner to advanced, our instructors are all sufficiently experienced as teachers to be able to personalize the level of instruction to each student’s level. If in doubt, please email us with any questions.

What should I bring with me?

You will need to bring all of the necessary art materials listed on workshop page. We will provide medium, solvent, and easels.

If you also wish to work on a personal project during your holiday with Art Escape Italy, you will need to bring the materials specific to your project, and we will provide you with easels (studio or plein air). 

Studio Access?

Guests attending one of our art retreats are welcome to use the studio at any time of the day. Guests attending one of our workshops are welcome to use the art studio from 9am-6pm.

What will the meals be like during the retreat?

If you are attending one of our all-inclusive art retreats then we will provide a continental style breakfast. Italian style lunches and dinners will be cooked onsite. All dinners will be accompanied by Tuscan wine, grown and produced at the venue. You can also purchase additional wine to take home with you from the venue.

We happily cater to dietary intolerances or allergies, please let us know at the time of booking.

How many students are normally on a course?

We expect an average of 15 students on each workshop and retreat, we welcome anywhere between 10-18 students unless specified otherwise.

How can I take my paintings home at the end of the course?

We recommend that you purchase a wet painting carrier from these are easy to carry and not too expensive, although these are only suitable for carrying panels. For transporting canvases which are still attached to their stretcher bars you can look at 


Make sure to buy one that fits the size of the canvas or panel you will be painting on.


If these options don't suit you then we can help you to wrap and package work into your suitcase or help arrange shipment of your work to you - the cost will depend on the shipping company. This is an extra service we provide for your comfort, if any damage occurs during shipping this is not the responsibility of Art Escape Italy.

Coronavirus Updates

Keep safe, be creative & stay positive!

First of all, obviously this coronavirus is a surreal, unexpected turn of events for all of us and we are doing our best to keep on top of all news related to the virus, and make sure that it does not affect your workshop with us. Your safety, peace of mind and trust in us are of utmost importance. 

Our policy regarding the Coronavirus:

If you are booked on a workshop or retreat with us or thinking of booking one with us and are concerned about the coronavirus, you do not need to be concerned about losing any payment you make to us in the event of a workshop or retreat being cancelled or postponed. Read our policy regarding COVID-19 below:

  • Our 2020 Spring & Summer workshops have all been postponed until the end of this year. If you were booked on one of these workshops or retreats you will have been notified by now.

With regards to our 2020 Fall & Winter workshops & retreats:

  • 4 months before the start date of the workshop we will review the situation regarding the virus here in Italy. If it is safe for the workshop to go ahead and it is safe to travel then we will go ahead with the workshop as planned.

  • If the virus is still largely present here in Italy, there are travel restrictions in place, or it is deemed not safe or risky to travel, then we will postpone the workshop until the Springtime or Summertime of 2021 instead.

  • If the workshop is cancelled and not postponed to a later date we will refund your payment in full.

Our advice to you:

  • When booking flights or accommodation make sure to book travel insurance.

  • Do not be concerned about losing any of your payment to us, as written above if a workshop or retreat is cancelled you will be refunded and if a workshop or retreat is postponed to a later date, but you do not want to attend the new set date, then you will be refunded in full.

  • If you'd like to support our business during this difficult time then rather than requesting a refund, another option is to keep your payment with us to use as credit for a future workshop instead. If you are willing to put your trust and support in us we sincerely appreciate that and would like to thank you by offering you a discounted rate on a future workshop.


News about the Coronavirus in Italy

It is difficult to give advice on a situation like this, as of course we are not infectious disease specialists, doctors or scientists and only know what we have read in the news, but we will aim to keep you updated with news relating to COVID-19 in Italy and how this might affect upcoming workshops & retreats with us.

  • As a way of containing the spread of the virus Italy and many other counties are under lockdown.

  • These strict measures are showing signs of reducing the daily cases here in Italy.

  • Predictions are changing daily, for now we hope that by mid-Summer this virus will have gone.

We hope to see you in Italy!


Questions? Contact us