Art & Study Retreats in Italy

In the Footsteps of Michelangelo

“So great is our innate love of learning and knowledge that no one can doubt that man’s nature is strongly attracted to these things without the incentive of any material gain.” Cicero, On Moral Ends 5. 18. 48

People have spiritual as well as material needs. We all delight in learning; we hunger for the self-transcendence that comes from experiencing beauty. And we crave the contemplative leisure and tranquility of soul that makes this experience possible.

We use the particular expertise and skills we have acquired from some thirty years of teaching, writing, painting, and living for shorter or longer periods in Italy to address these spiritual needs by organizing short art and study retreats in beautiful settings in Italian cities or in the countryside. Some retreats will consist of instruction in an art form, such as drawing, pastel painting and watercolor. Others will consist in the study of a particular topic, such as the life, times, and art of Michelangelo. We may even offer two at once, such as the study of Dante’s Divine Comedy and instruction in drawing, and offer participants the choice of either or both activities. Our goal is to give people a rest from today’s frenetic pace of life, and an opportunity to enrich their minds.

Michelangelo’s Italy

We’ve created “In the Footsteps of Michelangelo,” a fascinating art retreat and tour. We will focus on Michelangelo’s works, life, and times, including some of his more famous Renaissance predecessors such as Masaccio in painting and Donatello in sculpture.

We will host it at the Pensione Bencistà, in the hills east of Florence.

We will offer instruction on how to look at and appreciate artistic forms, especially painting and sculpture. Martha, as a practicing painter, can speak about the color and composition of works we’ll be viewing. We will also offer readings and on-site lectures on the theology, philosophy, and history of the Renaissance and the individual works of art we will see.  Afternoons are free for you to explore Florence on you own, or just relax at the Bencistà.  The goal of our Art Retreats in Italy is to provide the contemplative leisure people so desperately need today.

Martha and I will lead much of our excursion, but will also invite other scholars and art historians to give some on-site lectures in order to give you variety and other points of view.

Email This Page