Sustainable Floral Design in Italy with Kelly Marie Thompson, April 27 - May 2, 2025

ALL NEW for 2025

🍃 Join Kelly Marie for her all-new Sustainable Floral Design in Italy ~ Inspired by the Tuscan Sunset. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Italian countryside, this unique and captivating floral design class offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the art of sustainable floristry.

🍃 Led by Kelly Marie Thompson of Fleur (based in Chicago) a passionate, eco-conscious instructor, this immersive course guides participants through the entire lifecycle of floral arrangements – from sourcing locally-grown, seasonal blooms to crafting exquisite bouquets and centerpieces using traditional techniques.

🍃 In addition to honing your floral design skills, you’ll delve into the rich history and cultural significance of flowers in Italian art and cuisine, providing a holistic understanding of this time-honored craft. Through hands-on lessons, you’ll also discover the importance of using sustainable, low-impact practices, such as avoiding floral foam and minimizing waste.

🍃 Between design sessions, you can look forward to savoring locally-sourced meals, touring nearby vineyards, and basking in the serene, picturesque surroundings that have inspired generations of artists.

🍃 This workshop is open to all experience levels and additionally, and a time slot for Floral Mentoring of the Minds will be provided for accomplished designers to discuss all the back end of floral business (Accounting, standard operating procedures and more!). By the end of this transformative experience, participants will leave with not only a portfolio of exquisite, eco-friendly floral arrangements, but also a profound appreciation for the beauty and resilience of nature, and the importance of adopting sustainable practices in the floral industry.

🍃 Visit an organic floral farm and biodynamic vineyard – both women owned! Through their tireless work and commitment to sustainability, they are ensuring that the rich culinary heritage of their homeland can be enjoyed for centuries to come, in harmony with the delicate ecosystems that have nurtured it.



ABOUT Kelly Marie

Listed as a top Martha Stewart florist, Kelly Marie’s style has been described as “organic, giving the illusion that floral design is effortless” and “always romantic, but with a unexpected element that is sure to delight”. Her work has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Town and Country, Vogue, The Knot, Better Homes and Gardens and many more.

Flowers and foliage are Kelly Marie’s language. She works with students to craft an experience that stirs the heart, creates a mood & tells a story.  With imagination and technique, she helps you weave every petal, frond and vine into your next chapter of flowers.



LEARN TO…

  • Seek out biodynamic sources for florals
  • Create beautiful and sustainable floral designs
  • Design large scale vase arrangements with Kelly Marie’s distinct organic style
  • Create small and medium scale compositions for tablescaping
  • Differentiate your table settings with classy touches and symmetry
  • Use thoughtful composition (the foundation to eye-popping arrangements)
  • Choose palettes that act as a bridge to your overall design
  • Select the right size and scale of blooms
  • Incorporate different sized blooms into your design
  • Hand-tie airy, loose, organic arrangements (Kelly’s signature look!)
  • Select just the right vessel for your arrangement and design
  • Prepare a vase the right way (this is a must-know!)
  • Use loose linens and fabrics in your tablescaping to create a cohesive flow to your design
  • See your designs through the eyes of a photographer for creating the best imagery
  • Select flowers and greenery to add that extra “wow” element to your design
  • Properly treat freshly cut blooms for your designs
  • Create sweet, lovely corsages and boutonnieres

WHO Should Attend

  • flower enthusiasts and hobbyists
  • beginning floral designers
  • experienced floral designers
  • event planners
  • wedding planners
  • lifestyle bloggers
  • design enthusiasts
  • photographers
  • anyone who wants to improve their floral design skills


ITINERARY


Day 1: Arrival 

  • Highlights: Arrival from Rome Airport, welcome and overview with Kelly Marie
  • 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, followed by an overview of this fabulous workshop with Kelly Marie.

This evening you’ll enjoy a sunset apertivo and delicious welcome dinner. 


Day 2: Floral Class and Flower Farm

  • Highlights: organic flower gardens, onsite instruction with Kelly Marie, saffron tasting
  • Breakfast, lunch, aperitivo

This morning, after breakfast, our drivers with transport you through the stunning Tuscan landscape as you make your way to beautiful Puscina Flower Farm – run by sisters Laura and Teresa. Here you’ll enjoy an up-close tour of the gardens, which feature hundreds of varieties of organically grown flowers, followed by time to cut your own stems. Then it’s back to the farm’s light-filled workshop space for hands-on instruction with Kelly Marie. Afterwards you’re in for a treat as you enjoy lunch right here, featuring exceptional foods produced on the farm. 

In the afternoon you’ll return to Città della Pieve for continued instruction with Kelly Marie, followed by a visit to our friend, Alessandro’s, saffron shop for a lesson on saffron and a delicious tasting.  


Day 3: Floral Class and Biodynamic Vineyard

  • Highlights: instruction with Kelly Marie, photo shoot, wine tasting at local winery
  • Breakfast, dinner

This morning, after breakfast, you’ll join Kelly Marie for an inspirational floral design class, where you’ll work on Still Life Styling learn how to create organic, eye-catching compositions with the gorgeous Tuscany blooms you collected at Puscina Flowers. Then you’ll be joined by photographer, Sara Cencetti, for an oh-so-fun photo shoot of your beautiful creations – and you! Lunch today is on your own, followed by time to rest and relax.

In the afternoon our drivers will transport us to a woman-owned sustainable winery for a tour of the sweeping vineyards and production facility, followed by an informal wine tasting and light dinner.


Day 4: Floral Class and Dolce Lesson

  • Highlights: Renaissance art walk, instruction with Kelly Marie, dolce lesson
  • Breakfast, dinner

This morning, after breakfast, you’ll enjoy an optional exploratory walk along some of most picturesque alleyways in the village, along with some amazing Renaissance masterpieces, before joining Kelly Marie for an inspirational design class in the studio space. Lunch today is on your own, followed by free time.  

In the afternoon we head (with flowers!) to our friend, Cristian’s, bistrot, for a tablescaping sesson with Kelly Marie, followed by a delightful dolce lesson with Cristian, where you’ll learn about his practices to keep Italian cooking authentic. You’ll also enjoy a tour beneath his 15th wine cantina before settling in for dinner, featuring your hand-made pasta, of course.


Day 5: Floral Class

  • Highlights: instruction with Kelly Marie, meadow installation
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner

This morning you’ll enjoy a leisurely breakfast, followed by instruction with Kelly Marie that includes  making corsages, boutonnieres and portable meadows. Afterwards you’ll have some free time to shop before we head to lunch at a local cafe. 

In the afternoon, you’ll walk to a private home for some outdoor designing, followed by a celebratory aperitivo and pizza night! 


Day 6: Departure 

Early morning transport to Rome Fiumicino Airport. 



WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Daily group and individualized instruction and demos with Kelly Marie, with a focus on sustainable floristry
  • 5 nights stay at Boutique Hotel Vannucci
  • Private transportation to/from Rome Fiumicino Airport on arrival and departure days
  • Private transportation service to/from all towns and sites included in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 5 dinners featuring regional specialties and accompanied by local wines
  • Use of various vessels, cutters and styling tools and props throughout the workshop
  • Visit to an organic, eco-friendly Tuscan flower farm
  • Visit and wine tasting at a biodynamic Tuscany vineyard
  • Cooking lesson at farm-to-table bistrot
  • Stylized photo shoot with Sara Cencetti
  • Entrance fees to all sites included in trip itinerary
  • Daily accompaniment with a Strada Toscana team host or guide

Not included: Airfare, ground or water transportation outside of that listed in the trip itinerary, alcoholic drinks, wines or meals ordered “on your own”, gratuities for drivers and hotel staff

The Unexpected is Part of the Journey: Sometimes unexpected things come up. If there is unscheduled closing or schedule change, we carefully pivot to include something that is equally as wonderful and interesting, so that the quality of your experience is never at risk. ☺️



ACCOMMODATIONS 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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DATES & DETAILS:

  • Dates: April 27 – May 2, 2025
  • Trip Price: $3,695-$4,195 USD
  • Room Descriptions:
    • Single: Single occupancy, single bed, private ensuite bathroom
    • Classic: Single occupancy, double bed, private ensuite bathroom with walk-in shower
    • Superior: Single occupancy, double bed, private ensuite bathroom with tub/shower combination
    • Deluxe: Double occupancy, double bed or two singles, private ensuite bathroom with tub and shower (specifically for couples or friends traveling together)
  • A $700 deposit is required to reserve your space
  • View our terms and cancellation policy

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