2017 Early Summer Botanical Painting Holidays

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The included excursion on each of the Spring weeks will be Assisi
Assisi is best known as the birthplace of St. Francis, Italy's patron saint and lies amid Umbria's rolling hills. A delightful medieval town with lots of hidden corners, its cobblestone streets and ancient town squares are just so perfectly Italian.

Some of the churches contain masterpieces of art. Visit San Francesco for 28 frescoes by Giotto telling the life of St. Francis.

If shopping is your thing, take a leisurely stroll, away from the big tourist sites, stopping for a coffee, a pastry or a glass of wine. Wander further down some of the side streets and explore the squares to find quality leather goods, pottery, woven and embroidered textiles, olive oil, and regional foods.

Note: those not wishing to take this excursion will have full use of the studio (untutored day) and a 2 course lunch at hotel.

25 May–1 June 2017

‘Flowers and Fruits of Early Summer’

A chance to draw and paint summer berries, cherries and meadow wild flowers

  •  Wild Muscari

    Wild Muscari

  •  Native orchids

    Native orchids

  •  Fresh Cherries

    Fresh Cherries

  •  Assisi frescoes

    Assisi frescoes

  •  Assisi lanes

    Assisi lanes

  •  Assisi shopping

    Assisi shopping

  •  Cake break!

    Cake break!

2 – 9 June 2017

‘Wild Flower Composition’

Explore ways of creating an effective small composition choosing local wildflowers and maybe also the grasses and wild herbs that share their habitat.

  •  Field Poppies

    Field Poppies

  •  Native orchids

    Native orchids

  •  Rosa Canina

    Rosa Canina

  •  Forage for herbs

    Forage for herbs


Sharing a room

825 euros
7 nights
Single occupancy of room + 105 euros
Apartment + 105 euros per person
Deposit 500 euros at booking


Sharing a room

1150 euros
7 nights
Single occupancy of room + 105 euros
Apartment + 105 euros per person
Deposit 500 euros at booking
Whats included?
  • Accommodation in one of our en-suite hotel rooms or an apartment.
  • Full board* and half bottle of wine with dinner
  • Excursion to Assisi (lunch not provided)
  • Studio tuition by Elaine Searle (painters only)
  • Equipment : Drawing boards, light box, water pots, paper towel.
  • Free tea and coffee to make yourself in studio
* dinner only on day of arrival, breakfast only on day of departure.

Get 1 extra day FREE when you book both this and the following weeks course!


Sharing a room

1590 euros
15 nights
Single occupancy of room + 105 euros per week
Apartment + 105 euros per person per week
Deposit 500 euros at booking


Sharing a room

2240 euros
15 nights
Single occupancy of room + 105 euros per week
Apartment + 105 euros per person per week
Deposit 500 euros at booking

For enquiries or bookings please contact Kevin Hendry

Tuition, Travel and General Information

Tuition focus
Each week will be themed, but within this there is still flexibility. You can tackle a small study in pencil, or a full painting in watercolour… with my support through guidance and demonstrations.

Tuition style
Specimens are provided and everyone works on the same theme. The tuition is a mixture of group discussion, demonstration and individual guidance. One of the hallmarks of these holidays is how generously the artists share knowledge with each other regardless of experience level.

Day 1 always starts with a short slideshow of themed historical and contemporary paintings to give you inspiration. Each person then gets to decide with my guidance an approach appropriate to their level of experience. My aim is that everyone enjoys learning, and trying out new skills in a friendly, non-competitive environment.

Each morning I will give group demonstrations and tour the class to give individual guidance. After lunch you are free to work on in the studio and I will join you again at 4pm until around 5.30pm for further guidance and critiques. Remember this is a holiday not a boot camp and you should always feel free to sunbathe, swim, walk or simply relax during the afternoons should you prefer. It would be a terrible shame to come to such a beautiful spot and then spend all your time indoors!

Arrivals from the UK by air

The shortest way to travel from the UK is to fly with Ryanair from Stansted to Perugia. (Check their website for current schedule).
You can also fly to Rome (many carriers operate daily)

Arrivals from the Europe, USA or other long-haul destinations
The nearest airport is Rome. If you are travelling long distance, you may wish to consider breaking your journey with a short stay in Rome before transfer to Umbria.
AIRPORT TRANSFERS - how they work

Kevin Hendry from il Collaccio has supplied the following information to help you plan your journey

In order to make your journey to Il Collaccio as smooth as possible and to minimise the cost of getting here from the airport, we organise shared transfers from the following two airports:

Rome Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci)
Transfer time 2hrs, 30mins

Morning transfer – for flights arriving up to 12 noon

Afternoon transfer – for flights arriving up to 3pm

Transfer time 1hr, 10mins (one flight only from London Stansted)

Sharing – we do our best to match up flight times but we have no control over this so we cannot guarantee your transfer will be shared with others. Even if you book your flight within the above time windows, it’s possible you may find yourself as the only person on the transfer if no one else has booked similar flight times. If your flight is outside these time windows you almost certainly will be alone. In this happens, a solo transfer will cost around 220 euros each way. This a heavily discounted price on the normal shared transfer cost.

Delays – you will receive information from Il Collaccio before your arrival to advise you of the latest flight time on your transfer so you will know if you will have to wait in the arrivals lounge for others to arrive (there are bars and cafes with seating). If one of the flights on a shared transfer is delayed, the taxi will wait for the last person to arrive if this is within a reasonable timescale.

Train/taxi transfer
There is a viable option to reach Il Collaccio from Rome airport. This may be a good alternative if you find yourself on a solo transfer. Italian trains are very reliable and punctual.

You can see train times by visiting www.trenitalia.it

Rome airport train shuttle (Leonardo Express departs every 30 mins direct from the airport) to Rome Termini station – 30 mins, 13 euros.
Train from Rome Termini to Spoleto – 1hr, 30mins, 8 euros (2nd Class).
Taxi from Spoleto to Il Collaccio – 45 mins, 90 euros.

Road transfers from airports
Il Collaccio can arrange private transfers by car either from Rome Fiumencino Airport, Perugia Airport or Spoleto Train Station. These can be arranged direct with Kevin Hendry, the event co-ordinator at Il Collaccio. There is an English-speaking driver and the transfers are cheaper than a normal taxi. The cost would be divided down between passengers collected together. For more information and to arrange your transfer please contact Kevin Hendry

Hiring a car
Should you prefer more independence and the use of a car throughout your stay Perugia and Rome airports have several car hire companies. Car hire can also be arranged in advance from Spoleto rail station. Full directions can be supplied by Il Collaccio for the drive from the airport.

Arrival Day
Guests arrive throughout the day according to their transfer/flight times
Pre-dinner Welcome Meeting 7.30pm
An opportunity for for you to meet Kevin Hendry (event co-ordinator for Il Collaccio) who can answer queries and share his local knowledge.
Dinner in hotel restaurant .

Normal Days
Continental Breakfast Buffet is available 8.00am onwards
Tutored morning session: 9.30am - 12.45
Buffet lunch served at 1.00pm
After lunch you are free to work on in the studio, relax or explore
Tutored session in studio: 4pm - 5.30pm
Dinner in hotel restaurant

Excursion Day*
Continental Breakfast Buffet is available 8.00am onwards
Departure promptly after breakfast
We return mid/late afternoon
Dinner in hotel restaurant
* those opting not to join the excursion may work in the studio with a 2 course lunch at the hotel restaurant included

Departure Day
Continental Breakfast Buffet is available 8.00am onwards
Guests depart according to their transfer/flight times. For those departing later in the day the studio is available to you until lunchtime.

Individual tables (or two sharing larger ones)* with a drawing board slope, water pots and paper towels. The studio has good, even ‘daylight temperature’ lighting as well as some natural light, and is equipped with a good light box and a small fridge for specimens. *allocation of studio positions is by a fair ‘draw from a hat’ lottery each week not on a first come first served basis.
Your choice of drawing and watercolour painting materials (a small kit suited to travelling) plus a small amount of Hot Pressed watercolour paper.
LIGHTING: The lighting in the studio is daylight corrected and extremely even. You will need to bring a small battery operated light (ones that recharge are good) . This will enable you to give additional directional light to your subject to control highlights and shadows. These can be obtained for as little as £10 on amazon and I am happy to supply further details if you contact me.
The studio is on the ground floor of the Locanda building where the hotel bedrooms are located. It is open at all times – great for early bird or insomniac painters! You may also leave your painting materials in the studio throughout your stay. Valuables such as computers/phones should not be left unattended.
There are excellent facilities with free teas and coffee in a kitchen adjacent to the studio but not in the bedrooms. If you would like to make a hot drink in your room we recommend you bring a small travel kettle.
The hotel is informal and smart casual clothes will be acceptable. Late May/early June should be sunny and warm but can occasionally be inclement and may be coolish in early mornings and evenings as the hotel is at 600 meters. The same is true of September. Come prepared. A cardigan or fleece and a light rain jacket is recommended. A pair of sturdy flat-soled shoes or trainers. Walking boots if you plan to hike a lot otherwise trainers will do. Sun cream and insect repellent (not a major problem but advisable as it is not available on site).
There are two outdoor but unheated pools. You may take the towels from your bathroom for pool use and these will be replaced.
Generally, yes. The studio is on the ground floor and there are also two bedrooms available on the ground floor of the Locanda building. There is a walk of about 100 meters with a gentle incline from the Locanda to the hotel reception and the restaurant where all meals are taken.
Yes. There are 4 or 5 walks of varying duration and difficulty from Il Collaccio. The area is generally quite hilly. Walks are not accompanied by a guide but are well marked and free maps with directions are available from reception. For the serious walkers there are countless other walking opportunities within the national park.
Included in the cost of your holiday is a group excursion, by coach. Of course, you can opt out to continue painting in the studio or relax for the day at Il Collaccio. You will need to confirm your intention at the beginning so that we can confirm transport. You can explore independently by car should you choose to hire one on arrival at the airport/rail station.
Yes there is a small shop selling drinks, snacks and some basic toiletries.
You can pay for your room and most services by credit card. Bar bills are cash euros only.
Breakfast is simple as is the Italian tradition with fruit juice,coffee /tea, croissant, bread and jam and cereals.

Lunch is a cold and hot buffet with a selection of delicious local dishes and salads. An ice cream for dessert and coffee is included. This will be served out on the restaurant terrace weather permitting.

Dinner in the restaurant is classic Umbrian cuisine with a starter, then pasta or fish or meat followed by desert (see website www.ilcollaccio.com to view the standard restaurant menu and the type of dishes served). At dinner you may also choose superb wood-fired pizzas. The area is famous for its black truffles, prosciutto, salami, wild boar, sausages, river trout, sheep’s cheese and lentils. Half a bottle of wine, water or soft drinks are included.
Yes, no problem but It is very important that you advise the hotel when you book.
Yes. A wi-fi internet connection is available. The system is run independently and works by people registering with their credit card details and paying as they go. The prices are: 2 hrs - €1,1 day - €3, 3 days - €6, 7 days - €9. There is also a public computer for guests use.
The rural location of the hotel means that 4g is not available and internet speeds will not be as fast as you may be used to in major urban areas.
Mobile reception should be possible but there are also phones in the bedrooms and public phones in the hotel.

A stunning national park setting, friendly family hospitality with authentic Umbrian food and wine – Hotel il Collaccio has it all as a painting holiday venue. Maybe that’s why so many guests return