abstract of paint brushes


What do I do once I land? Will you pick me up? Will you take me back?

Rest assured. Once you are in Catalyst Art Retreat’s metaphorical hands we will take care of you. We will have a shuttle picking you up from either the Pisa Airport or the Lucca train station. Once you’ve booked your flights we can chat about pick-up times, locations, and all the rest. At the end of our whirlwind of adventure we will also take you back to the Airport or the station. Of course, if you need other arrangements made, let us know and we will do our very best to accommodate you.

Guys! Something came up! What if I need to cancel my booking?

We know that life happens and things may change from one day to the next, however, once your deposit has been paid, it is non-refundable. This is because we need to secure locations, transportation, reservations, tickets, and other necessities before you come so that your time with us is absolutely perfect. If, however, you have paid the full balance for the retreat and need to cancel more than 8 weeks before we start, then we will refund the balance (minus the deposit) in full. Cancellations 4 to 8 weeks before the start will be refunded at 50% of the balance (minus the deposit). If you cancel 2 to 4 weeks before the start, then only 25% of the balance (minus the deposit) will be refunded. If you cancel less than 2 weeks before we start, you will not be entitled to a refund. We strongly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance including cancellation coverage as soon as you book your spot in this retreat and your flights. Be sure to review our Terms and Conditions before booking. Call or email us with any questions.

Can I bring a spouse/friend even if they aren't an artist?

Yes! At Catalyst Art Retreat your friends, and significant others are more than welcome to join us! We are the only retreat that encourages you to bring your “non-participating partner”. Your friend is in for a treat! They are included in all of our meals, discussions, and outings as a part of our retreat and also have ample choice of activities so they are not just tagging along while you work on your art. Daily shuttles to the train station for day trips, hiking, cycling, and self-guided Catalyst Itineraries are available for their use. We can also arrange activities including guided tours, cooking lessons, massages, yoga instruction, and wine tours and tasting for an additional cost.

I'm not a traditional artist. Is Catalyst Art Retreat for me?

It is! Our artists come from varied backgrounds using traditional and non-traditional materials. The lighting in our studio is exceptional for painting, but the studio is also a large, versatile space. We welcome visual artists, painters, illustrators, textile artists, photographers, digital artists, crafters, makers, writers, musicians, and performers. We're open to language-based media, time-based media, performace, and installation. Anything goes. Reach out to our resident artist, Shannon, for questions about the art program and studio space.

I love making art, but I’m not an expert – can I come?

Catalyst Art Retreat is built on the foundation of reigniting your creative spark. We are not here to analyze your work or teach flawless technique. We have designed a program and setting to support you in being the artist you choose to be. If you want to come simply because you’d like to spend some time in the studio and display your work at the end of it all, then register now and save your place. You will not regret it.

What should I bring with me?

Bring your favorite tools and materials. Shannon will contact each of you after registration to learn what medium you are considering working in, to ensure the studio is ready for you. We recommend bringing money for incidentals and souvenirs. Catalyst Art Retreat is designed to be all-inclusive of meals, local ground transportation, taxes, fees, gratuities, etc. We will be spending time in Lucca and if you feel like a coffee, glass of wine, or picking up a beautiful ceramic plate you can budget for that accordingly. Weather in late April can be unpredictable so bring clothing for rain or shine. We suggest dressing “like an onion/a cipolla” as you might find the beautiful Tuscan sunshine warming your skin too much for a Gore-Tex jacket! Weather in early September can be warm, so be sure to bring swimwear!

...on Food, Wine, and Dietary Restrictions

We will make sure you are well fed and taken care of. Breakfast will be served with a variety of cakes, pastries, salami, cheeses, breads, and other continental breakfast staples. Lunches are meant to be nourishing, but not heavy and dinners are a time for all of us to get together and re-live the day. All wine, desserts, grappa, limoncello, espresso, pasta, ragù, and olive oil are included in the price (even when we go out) so there is no need to worry that you will be hungry. You know how people diet before going on a cruise because they know they will put on weight at the buffets? That… ;) If you have dietary restrictions or requests, let us know when you book and we will take care of you. Please know that your needs are taken very seriously and we will cater to your requests so you can have an Italian experience as authentic and genuine as everyone else.

How many artists will be on the retreat?

We may have as few as four and as many as eight artist attendees. Non-participating guests are welcome, so a full house could bring up to 16 folks to the villa.

How do I take my artwork home at the end of the workshop?

We recommend creating pieces that are small, or expressly sized to fit into a suitcase. For painters, there are excellent tutorials online for transporting wet canvases. For artists creating works on paper, you can bring along a 6-inch diameter tube that fits inside a suitcase and roll a few sheets of paper inside of it. Or bring a string tie portfolio and press the sheets of paper inside of it. For anything more complicated, we can help you to wrap and package work into your suitcase or arrange shipment of your work to you – the cost will depend on the shipping company and destination.

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