Abbondanza Toscana


    2017 Program Schedule

    To read more about each course including a day-to-day itinerary,
    click the program title.

    We continue to schedule new programs for 2017.
    Check back with us regularly to see the latest additions.

    A Painting Workshop in Ireland with Nancy Thompson. Nancy Thompson complements her popular Tuscany workshops with ten days in Ireland. Join her in exploring the charming villages of the east coast around Dublin with excursions to the gardens and grand house of Powerscourt, Avoca Handweavers, a boat tour of the Dalkey coast, Irish pubs and music and, of course, the history and culture of Dublin. Ireland is rich in inspiration for the artist . . . from the serenity of sailboats on Dublin Bay and formal gardens lush with spring blooms to the narrow lanes of old shopping districts and the iconic pubs where local musicians keep alive the traditional music. You'll be charmed and inspired by all that Ireland has to offer. As a teacher for more than 20 years, Nancy has a passion for helping students find their own style. She provides the fundamentals of sketching and painting (watercolor and acrylic) and works with each student in expressing a unique vision. To learn more about Nancy's work and teaching, visit her website at
    Dates: May 6 - 16, 2017

    Exploring Plein Air, Painting in Tuscany with Nancy Chaboun. Nancy brings a sense of taste and elegance to the canvas inspired by her successful career in women's high fashion and her extensive travel on buying trips to France and Italy. She has been painting full time for the past 25 years after leaving the world of fashion and the visual merchandising and advertising she managed for four stores. Artists of all levels are inspired by her joyful approach to teaching. Her goal is to help artists develop their own style and voice as they expand and refine the skill sets needed to reach that personal level. During your time with Nancy, you'll explore painting venues around Villa Fiori, your home for the workshop. Iconic cypress, red tile roofs and ancient brick walls, a profusion of spring flowers all await your interpretation. Excursions include the dramatic coastline of the Gulf of Poets, the winding cobblestone streets and shady plazas of Lucca and a visit to a local artist's home where you'll join her for lunch and painting your own souvineer plate. Nancy's workshops are based on having fun during the process of building a strong skill set. "I firmly believe that humor and camaraderie are important assets in the endeavor," she says. To learn more about Nancy and her work, visit her website at
    Dates: May 17 - 27, 2017

    The Flavors of Honey in Tuscany . . . with Angelo Prosperi-Porta. Renowned chef and author, Angelo Prosperi-Porta, has drawn on his own Italian heritage using only the freshest local ingredients to create a cuisine that showcases the meats, fish, dairy and produce of his native British Columbia, Canada. His newest cookbook, Honey, expands that cuisine with a focus on nature's perfect natural sweetener. Now you can join him in Tuscany to learn about honey, bees, their role in our ecosystem and how to use the flavors of honey in your favorite Tuscan dishes. You'll visit local honey producers to taste and compare flavors based on the bees' choice of flowers, and then use these flavors in bread, desserts, roasts, sauces and more as Angelo guides you through hands-on cooking lessons. All of your cooking and dining will use locally sourced eggs, farm-raised beef and lamb, fruits and vegetables, cheeses, salumi and prosciutto and fish that you select at the seaside from the morning's catch. In addition to your cooking lessons, you'll dine at local restaurants, enjoy wine tastings, tour the jewel city of Lucca and have plenty of quiet time to enjoy the peaceful ambience of our country setting at Villa Fiori. Angelo's first cookbook, Flavours of Cooper's Cove Guesthouse, written with Ina Haegemann is an international award winner. He and Ina owned and managed Cooper's Cove Guesthouse on Vancouver Island for more than 17 years.
    Dates: September 2 - 9, 2017

    Frank Eber's How to Paint Loose & Atmospheric Watercolors in Plein Air. Painting with Italian-trained Frank Eber, you'll be exploring how to capture the essence of your Tuscan surroundings . . . low clouds hanging over the valley, the unique light of a late afternoon sun on ochre stucco, the breaking waves along a craggy Mediterranean shoreline. Frank Eber grew up in Europe and was mentored by Italian master Renato Casaro. He's traveled and painted extensively in Europe including three years living in the south of France. With Frank you'll be exploring painting venues at your restored farmhouse home, Villa Fiori, that include expansive hillside vistas, the surrounding terraces with colorful blooms overflowing their pots, beamed ceilings and stuccoed walls, colorful ceramics, the outdoor wood-fired oven and more. On field trips you'll visit the charming fishing village of Lerici with its dramatic seascapes, the walled city of Lucca with its winding streets and shady piazzas and the hilltown of Volterra with its Roman ruins and Etruscan treasures. Your Tuscan immersion also includes a visit to a local artist's home where you'll paint ceramics in her studio, exquisite food and wine at local restaurants and at Villa Fiori where you'll get to lend a hand to our Abbondanza Toscana chef and learn to cook some local specialties. Ten glorious days of painting and enjoying the pleasures of Tuscany! To learn more about Frank and his work, visit his website at
    Dates: September 16 - 26, 2017

    Nancy Thompson's Favorites, Cortona & Lucca: Sketching & Painting in Tuscany. Nancy Thompson returns to Tuscany with her popular workshop and passion to help students develop their own artistic styles. This time she introduces you to Cortona, one of Italy's oldest cities, and the home of author Frances Mayes made famous in her book Under the Tuscan Sun. As a teacher for more than 20 years, Nancy has taken groups to Italy and Ireland to study sketching and painting (watercolor and acrylic). In this workshop you'll experience all the best that Tuscany has to offer in Cortona and around our home base near Lucca . . . Bramasole, the renovated villa and grounds Frances Mayes calls her Tuscan home; the laddered streets, churches, museums, restaurants and Cortona's central piazza that's a lively gathering spot for the locals; the Renaissance architecture of Montepulciano; the dramatic Ligurian coastline and a charming fishing village that's a UNESCO Heritage site and the walled city of Lucca with its narrow winding streets. Plus your time at our venue, Villa Fiori (House of Flowers) provides an iconic Tuscan setting . . . twisting olive trees and shady cobblestone paths, red tile roofs, flower pots and gardens tumbling with roses and herbs, vignettes of rustic doors and colorful pottery. And more . . . ten days of spirited exploration sketching and painting, exquisite food and wine and a bit of shopping. To learn more about Nancy's work and teaching, visit her website at
    Dates: September 27 - October 7, 2017

    Inspired by Tuscany, Paint with Katerina Ring. For plein air painting in oil, inspiration is in the air and in every breath you take in Tuscany. Katerina Ring invites you to join her in the Tuscan hills to concentrate on technique, composition form and fun! For those just beginning, she even provides for your use a starter kit of paints, tripod easel and a backpack for carrying everything as you explore the sights and senses of Tuscany. For those more experienced, the workshop becomes a sharing session when more experienced painters exchange solutions and approaches they have discovered over their years of painting. Katerina recently returned from Zambia where she had been living, painting and teaching for the last ten years. She holds a U.S. passport and is a permanent resident of Italy. You'll find inspiration for your painting around the restored farmhouse, Villa Fiori, your home for the workshop . . . hillside vistas of cypress and olive groves, the surrounding terraces with terra cotta pots overflowing with colorful blooms, beamed ceilings and stuccoed walls and more. Your excursions away from Villa Fiori include the charming fishing village of Lerici, Lucca's meandering streets and shady piazzas, a stately baroque villa with acres of gardens, the picturesque Devil's Bridge and a fortified hilltown with its imposing castle. Your visit would not be complete without an immersion in the cuisine for which Tuscany is so well known. You'll have a cooking class with our own Abbondanza Toscana chef, dinner at one of our favorite Lucca restaurants, lunch with a chef well known in Italy's Slow Food movement and a winery tour and tasting with the winemaker. Ten remarkable days to enjoy painting, kinship with your fellow artists and the wonders of one of the most beautiful regions of Italy. Learn more about Katerina and her work at
    Dates: October 18 - 28, 2017

    Watch here for more new programs


    Abbondanza Toscana


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Brunch al fresco
under a shady pergola

The same Tuscan garden
from many perspectives
for this group of painters

Lucca is the home of Puccini
and concerts celebrating his music

Pasta-making with our chef
is a highlight of every cooking class

A colorful view
of homes in Lucca

Prosciutto hanging in the butcher shop

Dinner in Chianti with a local wine

A quiet stroll among the cypress

Knives in the kitchen
waiting for a cooking lesson



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