Favolosi Florals! Tuscany with Elizabeth St. Hilaire - September 17-23, 2023

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… for Favolosi Florals! Tuscany – her ever popular collage experience that is the ideal combination of personalized art instruction, spectacular inspiration and stunning florals!

Open to students of all artistic levels, each day of Favolosi Florals! Tuscany brings a new collage or paper-painting lesson with Elizabeth, all based on the gorgeous flowers of Tuscany, in the stunning setting of a private, Italian villa. Although some painting experience is helpful, it is definitely not necessary.


🌻  choose flowers based on pre-determined palette

🌻  arrange flowers in a free-flow still-life (ideal for collaging!)

🌻  easily see basic shapes in flowers

🌻  create a stunning, floral underpainting

🌻  hand paint, stain, stamp and pattern your own papers (sooo fun!)

🌻  paint papers based on your desired palette

🌻  use hand-painted and found papers that infuse your floral project with your own personal style 

🌻  develop imagery and form so that your collage has depth and interest

🌻  incorporate essential light and shadow into your paper painting

🌻  master directional ripping (Elizabeth’s signature technique) so that your project has a painterly look

🌻  use Elizabeth’s “paper mosaic” technique to add interest to your project

🌻  varnish and display your paper paintings

🌻  post your artwork on social media


Favolosi Florals! Tuscany is more than a collage workshop. It’s a week of fellowship, camaraderie and fun beyond your wildest dreams – situated at a medieval village, nestled in the gorgeous Italian countryside. In addition to carefully crafted, daily lessons with Elizabeth St. Hilaire, you’ll enjoy excursions, hands-on experiences and private visits with locals that are nothing less than extraordinary.


DAY 1 – Sunday, September 17: Arrival

  • Arrival, village walking tour, introduction with Elizabeth
  • Dinner

Upon your arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport, our private drivers will transport you to the Italian countryside, and your boutique hotel accommodations in the unspoiled village of Città della Pieve. After check in, you’ll enjoy a walking tour of the historic center of the village with trip facilitator, Pamela Haack, followed by a workshop overview with Elizabeth. Afterwards it’s time to enjoy a welcome aperitivo, followed by a delectable, Tuscan-style dinner.

DAY 2 – Monday, September 18: Puscina Flower Farm 

  • Visit to organic flower farm, flower arranging class, instruction with Elizabeth
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning after a delicious breakfast at the villa, you’ll head off with Elizabeth to a romantic, organic flower farm in the heart of Tuscany’s wine country. Sisters Laura and Teresa will give you a personal tour of their incredible farm (where they grow more than 500 varieties of flowers!), followed by a hands-on, free-form flower arranging class. Afterwards you’ll enjoy a leisurely lunch under the old olive tree as you soak in the atmosphere of this authentic, family-run farm.

In the afternoon, it’s back to the villa with Elizabeth – and your flower arrangement – where you’ll being the beautiful process of creating a collage from a living subject. This evening’s aperitivo is followed by a delicious, Tuscan-style dinner. 

DAY 3 – Tuesday, September 19: Studio Day

  • Instruction with Elizabeth, paper painting techniques
  • Breakfast, lunch

This morning, after breakfast, get ready for a fun-filled, inspiring day with Elizabeth! First, you’ll be heading to the onsite studio to learn a plethora of methods for painting paper. From stamps to rollers to stencils – and so much more – you’ll be learning Elizabeth’s signature techniques and tips for creating a multitude of designs and textures on your painted papers, plus she’ll reveal her best tips for developing imagery and form.

After lunch, at our friend, Cristian’s tucked-away bistrot, you’ll continue painting a variety of papers, as you develop your special, Italy-inspired paper painting project. In late afternoon it’s time for a break – and perhaps a dip in the pool – before gathering together for aperitivo. Dinner this evening is on your own. 

DAY 4 – Wednesday, September 20: Marbled Paper Class

  • Instruction with Elizabeth, marbled paper lesson
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning after breakfast, it’s off to the ancient town of Orvieto, perched on a dramatic, stone outcropping that overlooks the picturesque Val di Chiana. After taking in the facade of the town’s magnificent duomo, you’ll meet up with our friend, Lamberto, for a fun and fascinating lesson on making marbled paper. After designing your own sheet of marbled paper, with Lamberto expert guidance, it’s off to explore, shop and eat lunch on your own in Orvieto. 

In afternoon, it’s back to the villa for an afternoon of inspiring instruction with Elizabeth, as you continue to bring your project to life. This evening we’ll meet up for pizza at our favorite family-owned pizzeria. 

DAY 5 – Thursday, September 21: Ripping and Gluing

  • Instruction with Elizabeth, saffron tasting and painting
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning after breakfast, Elizabeth will be sharing more of her sought-after techniques and best-kept secrets for creating a floral collage that looks like a painting. In late morning, we head to our friend, Alessandro’s, saffron shop for a saffron tasting, saffron and light lunch (so fun!) followed by free time. 

In the afternoon it’s back to the studio with Elizabeth for more ripping and glueing as you bring your project to life, while Elizabeth offers demonstrations and one-to-one instruction. After an inspiring, full day working in the studio, this evening you’re free for dinner on your own. 

DAY 6 – Friday, September 22: Grande Finale

  • Instruction with Elizabeth, gallery finale with Elizabeth
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning, after breakfast, you’ll be heading to the onsite studio for instruction and one-on-one assistance from Elizabeth. At this stage it’s so exciting to see your piece coming together! For lunch today, we head once again to Cristian’s. 

In late afternoon the time has come to hand over your completed project 😄  before gathering together with Elizabeth in a “secret” location for a gallery celebration and very special farewell dinner – the perfect culmination to an extraordinary week!

Saturday, September 23: Departure

Early morning departure to Rome Fiumicino Airport.

VENUE Boutique Hotel Vannucci

Hotel Vannucci began as a project of Vittoria Spinola, daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele II, who fled Pisa (and an arranged marriage with her elderly husband) to start a new life with her lover in Città della Pieve. Here, she and her soon-to-be new husband, Paolo, built two villas that became luxurious holiday accommodations for wealthy Romans vacationing in the countryside. In 1903 one of the villas became Hotel Vannucci, and today it maintains the elegance and refinement of its inception, with luxurious sleeping rooms, marble bathrooms and inviting gardens. A stay here is truly special, nestled just outside the medieval walls of the historic, and unspoiled, village of Città della Pieve. 

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  • 7 days/6 nights at boutique, luxury Hotel Vannucci
  • Group transportation by private transportation service to/from Rome Fiumicino Airport on arrival and departure dates. 
  • Private transportation service to/from all towns and sites included in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts
  • Several lunches  
  • 4 dinners with local wines 
  • Evening aperitivo
  • Elizabeth St. Hilaire’s in-depth lessons, demonstrations, presentations and one-to-one instruction
  • Fluid acrylic paints in a variety of colors and acrylic collage adhesive
  • Canvas panels
  • Saffron “water color” painting and saffron tasting
  • Visit to organic flower farm 
  • Hands-on flower arrangement class
  • Marbled paper lesson
  • Pizza night!
  • Time on your own for shopping and exploring

Not included: Paper and brushes (Elizabeth prefers that you bring your own personal papers and brushes) airfare, meals or transportation outside of that which is specifically listed in the trip package, gratuities for staff and drivers

The Unexpected is Part of the Journey: At Strada Toscana we weave amazing, authentic experiences into every trip, but sometimes unexpected things come up. If a site has an unscheduled closing, we improvise to include something equally as wonderful and interesting. The quality of the retreat is never at risk, as our team is committed to excellence, along with our vast, local, Italian connections.


Elizabeth’s love of collage started with a scrap box of mementos from her childhood. She decided to incorporate these memorable papers, notes and snippets of her family’s past into something both memorable and beautiful. Thus was born a representational collage “painting.” This piece, Looking in on Jane (a portrait of her mother), won Best of Show at Orlando Visual Artists League in 2005, and for a second time at the Women’s Caucus for Arts’ Matriarchs and Madonnas exhibit in 2007. The success of this piece plunged Elizabeth head-first into her love affair with collage. Her inspiring work has earned her a Signature Member status with the National Collage Society, a solo exhibit at the Maitland Museum of Art and can be viewed in numerous galleries across the US. You’ll also find Elizabeth’s paper paintings reproduced on everything from prints to comforters in stores such at Kohls and Pier One.

Her technique has evolved as a result of experimentation with hand-painted, hand-made, and a wide variety of textured and patterned papers, focusing on intense and vibrant colors combined with a sensibility of design. “My collages invite the viewer to look, and having looked, to linger,” says Elizabeth. “Layering and weaving, pushing and pulling the colors, patterns, and values makes collage liken to music. I go back and forth, alternating and overlapping until the rhythm creates something I love.”

In her article for the HUFFINGTON POST, BJ Gallanger wrote this about Elizabeth: “Once in a great while, an artist comes along whose work is so distinctive, so unusual, so imaginative, and so colorful that it stands out from the crowd, much like a peacock stands out in a colony of penguins. Elizabeth St. Hilaire is such an artist.”

Learn more about Elizabeth St. Hilaire by visiting her website PaperPaintings.com


  • Favolosi Florals! Tuscany with Elizabeth St. Hilaire
  • Dates: September 17-22, 2023
  • 7 Days/6 Nights
  • Arrival and departure airport is Rome Fiumicino
  • Trip Price (choose your room configuration upon booking):
    • $3,670 USD per person – Single Room – single bed with ensuite bathroom
    • $3,970 USD per person – Classic Room Single Occupancy – double bed with ensuite bathroom
    • $4,150 USD per person – Deluxe Room Single Occupancy – double bed with sitting area and ensuite bathroom
    • $3,670 USD per person – Deluxe Room Double Occupancy – double bed or 2 twins with ensuite bathroom (Companions are welcome! Non- participant companion fee $2,670 USD)
  • A $500 deposit is required to book your space
  • Arrival and departure airport Rome Fiumicino
  • View our Terms and Cancellation Policy