Drawing & Painting Flowers in Italy with Diane Cardaci, June 6-13, 2020

Imagine This…

Warm sun on your shoulders, filtered through the branches of an ancient olive tree. A sketch book in your lap, a pencil in your hand and your eyes dancing across the scene before you: a shimmering lake, impossibly red poppies swaying in the breeze and and the green hills of Italy reaching out to infinity – dotted with villages, towers and castles. Here you are! Immersing yourself in the beauty of flowers – in Italy!

What is it about Flowers?

Why do we love flowers so much?!! Flowers are fleeting—we must be in the moment to enjoy them or we will miss them! In fact, flowers really serve no purpose for us humans, other than to provide enjoyment and beauty. We love flowers so much that we decorate our fabrics, our plates, silverware and vases with flower patterns. We show our love or appreciation for someone with flowers. We will stop along a pathway, just to admire a flower.

And we draw Flowers.

Join Diane Cardaci on a drawing journey in Italy that celebrates the beauty of flowers! You’ll explore medieval villages, Italian gardens and countryside lanes flanked by wildflowers, all while learning how to capture the beauty of a flower on paper, alongside an exceptional teacher.

Plus, this is Italy!

This ancient land with its characteristic landscapes and incredible light will envelope you, as it has countless creatives before you, including some of the greatest artists the world has ever known, like Leonardo di Vinci and Michelangelo and Raffaello. It’s a land of incredible natural beauty, exquisite light and nearly palpable with the energy of inspiration.

About Diane Cardaci

Diane is author, teacher and artist whose florals are nothing less than stunning! And now she’s inviting you to draw, to learn and to celebrate the beautiful of flowers with her in one of the most inspiring places int the world.

Let’s get real for a moment. 

Youtube drawing tutorials of flowers and online drawing courses are just not the same as the real thing. To really build your confidence, and to propel your drawing ability to the next level, you need to learn directly from a teacher. Live and in person. An extraordinary teacher, who can guide you personally through your own unique, creative journey. Because an extraordinary drawing teacher transforms your learning curve into a jump-off point that leads straight to unlimited confidence and boundless inspiration. 

Diane Cardaci is that Teacher

Her resume is long! Are you ready?… She was awarded signature status by the American Society of Portrait Artists and was a contributing writer for the organization’s publications, she’s made several TV appearances on ABC (discussing her outlook on creativity), her work hangs in corporate, public and private collections, she’s exhibited nationally and internationally, she directed The Academy of Classical Art in West Palm Beach, FL, for 4 years (and her school was featured numerous times on local television), she’s taught numerous drawing classes and workshops AND has authored six of Walter Foster’s best-selling series of drawing books that have been published in multiple languages and are available all over the world – including her ever-popular floral drawing books. That’s some creds, right there. Visit Diane’s website at dianecardaci.com

THE WHYS (i.e. What’s So Special About This Workshop?)

You’re going to learn…

  • how to capture the irresistible beauty of flowers, and Mother Nature’s stunning palette – the cheerful yellows of sunflowers, passionate reds of roses, rich magenta of bougainvillea, gentle purples of the violet and peaceful blues of hydrangeas
  • how to “see” the basic shapes of flowers
  • how to capture the delicacy of petals
  • the fascinating anatomy flowers and why it’s a must-know for improving your flower drawings
  • how to draw and paint the supporting roles of stems, leaves and branch
  • how to create a variety of textures in flowers, leaves and stems
  • better ways to sketch in the field and take color notes
  • how to create stunning compositions and with an eye for design that will improve your sketches and studio work
  • tips on how to make the most of your camera, and create high-quality reference materials for use in the studio
  • ways to make your sketchbook your floral-sketch companion
  • how to simplify the overwhelming detail of a garden
  • how to explore different compositional techniques to discover and express your own personal style
  • how to infuse emotional aspects of color to give your painting deeper meaning
  • how to choose flowers for arrangements that speak to your soul
  • how to consider stems, leaves and shapes of flowers when designing an arrangement for studio work
  • how to create a botanical painting
  • how to enhance your skills in both pencil and watercolor
  • how to strengthen the 3 dimensional quality of your drawings and paintings
  • tips to move forward, continuing to develop your floral art

“The science of design, or of line-drawing, if you like to use this term, is the source and very essence of painting, sculpture, architecture… Sometimes… it seems to me that… all the works of the human brain and hand are either design itself or a branch of that art.” ~ Michelangelo Buonarotti

MORE WHYS (Did we mention this is Italy?)


  • 17th century villa
  • morning cappuccino under a rose-covered pergola
  • fresh-baked crostata
  • toes dangling in the pool
  • morning walks in a private vineyard
  • winding alleyways in medieval villages
  • dazzling, red poppy fields
  • priceless works of art in humble churches
  • wine and cheese tastings
  • geraniums spilling from window boxes
  • dinners under the Tuscan stars
  • Click to view villa accommodations


“Each class was special. You are a knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher and your love of art, teaching and beauty came through in every class. Because of these lessons, I am able to “see” better and therefore believe my drawing skills have improved greatly. I found your instruction and style of teaching to be extraordinarily inspirational.”  ~Hilary W.

“Being able to realize that showing form, dimension, perspective, etc on a two dimensional surface is really a tricky skill that took ages to develop was fascinating to me…..You are the only teacher who has helped me to know how to get started on drawing a picture.”  ~ Phoebe K.

“You identified what each of us needed and focused your comments/critique on making it better, taking into consideration each of our levels of progress… Thanks, again, Diane, for sharing your passion and knowledge with us. It is contagious!”  ~ Kat P.


Day 1 – June 6: Arrival Poggio alle Trese

  • Welcome and trip orientation, vineyard walk (optional), aperitivo, welcome dinner
  • Dinner

AFTERNOON: From Rome Fiumicino Airport you’ll journey through the rolling hills of Tuscany and Umbria to your elegant villa accommodations, Poggio alla Trese, nestled along the border between the two regions. After a friendly welcome and check-in, take some time to get acquitted with your fellow drawing enthusiasts before an oh-so-fun trip orientation with Diane. Then it’s time for a friendly aperitivo hour followed by a delectable welcome dinner. 

Day 2 – June 7: Deruta

  • Spotlight on Flowers in Art: Decoration, Symbolism and Spirituality
  • Highlights: Hands-on ceramic lesson with floral designs, sketching with Diane in historic town center
  • Breakfast and dinner

Today you’ll be heading back in time, into the fascinating history, tradition and symbolism of flowers in art—particularly in ceramics, as you visit, Deruta, one of Italy’s major centers of majolica production since medieval times. First stop is the historic center of this fabulous medieval village for sketching with Diane along the town’s charming avenues with decorative ceramics around every turn. In fact, after lunch on your own, you’ll connect with the centuries long tradition of using flowers as decoration by painting your own ceramic plate – in a factory that has been making majolica ceramics since 1500! 

After a fabulous day of immersion in the history of flowers in decoration, symbolism and spirituality, its back to the villa for an inviting aperitivo, followed by a delectable chef-prepared dinner. 

Day 3 – June 8: Villa Poggio alle Trese 

  • Spotlight on Flowers in Nature
  • Highlights: instruction with Diane, foraging for wildflowers, mini-lesson on Italian herbs, edible flowers 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After a delicious breakfast at Villa Poggio alla Trese, you’ll join Diane along the nearby countryside lane to forage for wildflowers. June brings a virtual cacophony of wildflowers, and to seek and gather flowers along a meandering countryside lane in Italy, well, that’s simply special. First lesson is sketching in the field, as Diane shares with you her best tips for quick ways to sketch onsite and to take color notes.

Afterwards, you’ll gather your own flowers to place in a vase back at the villa, as Diane helps you to notice and observe their basic shapes and anatomy. Then the fun really begins, as you learn to draw and paint the delicacy of petals, as well as the supporting roles of stems, leaves and branches, where you’ll add eye-catching textures. 

Lunch today will be served up at the villa, picnic style, followed by a bit of free time to relax or sketch on your own. Then it’s time for an “herb walk” with Paola, where you’ll learn about Italian herbs and how they’re used in both cooking and wellness, followed by a mini-lesson on edible flowers.

The day wraps up with a friendly aperitivo hour and delicious, chef-prepared dinner.

Day 4 – June 9: Spello

  • Spotlight on Flowers in Towns and Villages
  • Highlights: Floral-decorated avenues, sketching on-the-spot, composition and design, photographing reference materials, Renaissance art
  • Breakfast and dinner

Today, after a lovely breakfast at the villa, it’s off to Spello, one of Umbria’s most picturesque hill-top villages, that is renowned for its special celebration of flowers. Be prepared to be charmed by Spello’s flowers that spill from windows ledges and doorways, from balconies and terraces. The towns narrow, medieval streets are decorated with flowers from May through August, creating an irresistible spectacle.

Here, you’ll learn the history behind Spello’s passion for flowers, as Diane teaches you how to sketch on the spot, to capture the spectacular floral colors and arrangements so lovingly created by the town’s residents. Today’s lessons focus on composition and design to help improve your sketches and studio work. Plus, Diane will be sharing tips on how to make the most of your camera to create additional reference material to bring home to your studio. Bonus! See first-hand the beautiful paintings of an important Renaissance artist.

Lunch is on your own at one of Spello’s welcoming trattorie. This evening you’ll enjoy another cozy apertivo followed by a buffet-style dinner at the villa.

Day 5 – June 10: Città della Pieve, La Foce

  • Spotlight on Flowers in Gardens
  • Highlights: Instruction with Diane, visit to saffron shop, tour of La Foce gardens
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, you’ll be heading to tour and sketch on site at the beautiful gardens of Villa La Foce, a historic villa overlooking Tuscany’s stunning Val d’Orcia with its rolling hills and winding, cypress-lined lanes.
Today Diane will be teaching you how to simplify the overwhelming detail of a garden with your sketch book, as well as how to explore different compositional techniques to express your own personal style. Plus you’ll learn how to enhance the emotional aspect of colors to give your paintings deeper meaning, as well as create value thumbnail sketches to create better designs in your sketches and paintings.

Afterwards, it’s off to the lovely town of Città della Pieve for lunch on your own before meeting up with Alessandro at his tucked-away saffron shop, where  you’ll learn how artists have used saffron in their paintings for centuries.

Late afternoon back at the villa brings more time to work on your sketches, or perhaps a bit of relaxing poolside, followed by apertivo and an a delicious, chef-prepared dinner.

Day 6 – June 11: Pienza, Puscina Flower Farm

  • Spotlight on Flowers at the Farm
  • Highlights: Instruction with Diane, organic flower farm, sketching on site, choosing and gathering flowers
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today you’re in for a treat! After breakfast at the villa, our private driver will be transporting you to the gorgeous UNESCO region of the Val d’Orcia, in the heart of Tuscany. Here you’ll join Diane for a visit and onsite sketching at an awe-inspiring organic flower farm. Gather magnificent blooms from their incredible varieties of flowers to create your own individual bouquet, and enjoy an inspiring lesson with Diane on choosing flowers that express your very soul. You’ll also learn how to consider the stems, leaves and shapes of the flowers to create a floral arrangement for studio painting, plus tips on how to create a botanical painting.

After lunch, served up at the flower farm (oh, the views!), you’ll return to the villa with your bouquet to begin preparations and drawings for tomorrow’s studio day at the villa. Then it’s time for an aperitivo and reflection on the day, before enjoying a delicious dinner together.

Day 7 – June 12: Villa Poggio alle Trese 

  • Spotlight on Flowers in the Studio
  • Highlights: Instruction with Diane, table settings with flowers, gallery celebration 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today, you’ll enjoy another lovely breakfast served up at the villa, followed by a special studio session with Diane. Today, she’ll show you how to pull it all together by recreating the studio experience in the company of your fellow artists. Under Diane’s expert guidance, you’ll learn specific tips for enhancing your skills in both pencil and watercolor, plus how to strengthen the 3 dimensional quality of your drawings and paintings – a must-know for enhancing the renderings of your flower arrangements.

After lunch, featuring seasonal specialties, Diane will share with you her invaluable tips and ideas for moving forward and continuing your development of drawing and painting flowers.

Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a special gallery showing and apertivo, followed by a farewell dinner prepared by Chef Doriana.

Day 8 – June 13: Departure  

Alas, it’s time to say arrivederci. This morning our drivers will be transporting you to Florence Peretola Airport.

DATES & PRICES: 8 Days/7 Nights

  • June 6-13, 2020
  • Arrival and departure airport: Florence Peretola Airport
  • Trip Price
    • $3,750 per person, private room with private, ensuite bathroom
    • $3,650 per person, private room with shared bathroom (max 2 people per bathroom – same gender)
  • 7 month payment plan available for a limited time – automatically charged to your credit card each month
  • Accommodations are 17th century Villa Poggio alla Trese. Learn more.


Drawing & Painting Flowers in Italy with Diane Cardaci Includes:

  • 7 nights’ stay at Villa Poggio alla Trese, located near Chiusi, Tuscany, Italy
  • Private group transfer via Mercedes Benz vans to/from Florence Peretola Airport
  • Private Mercedes Benz van service to/from all side trip locations included in the itinerary
  • All abundant breakfasts featuring Italian pastries, fruits, cheeses, cold cuts, cereals, yogurts and eggs, along with caffè, cappuccino, teas and juices
  • One lunch
  • All delectable dinners featuring traditional dishes from the regions of Tuscany and Umbria, locally grown, organic produce and wine and olive oil from the villa’s estate
  • Daily, onsite sketching lessons with Diane Cardaci, featuring techniques and methods straight from Italy’s master artists
  • One-on-one, personalized instruction with Diane
  • Evening aperitivo hour for connecting and reflecting on the day’s events with your new friends
  • Diane Cardaci Sketch Kit, featuring exceptional Fabriano paper and portable watercolors
  • Diane’s daily “treasure hunt” sketch assignments – a delightful way to practice what you’re learning!
  • Private Facebook group
  • Daily, onsite support and accompaniment by Strada Toscana

Have questions? Contact us.