Italy Retreat – Autumn 2023

Dear friends,

Have you been longing for a creative adventure?

I’m so excited to invite you to Italy, a magical country rich with a unique history of art and culture, beautiful nature, and culinary delights!

Situated in the central-northern region of Italy on at the foot of the Apennine Mountains, Bologna has become my home since almost twenty years now.

In this place of exquisite beauty and magic, I instantly fell in love with its ancient culture, dramatic landscapes, beautiful language, and delicious food.

Italy is a place of endless inspiration for creativity with its historical architecture, vivid colors, ancient culture, and many myths and legends…

As you stroll down medieval cobble stoned streets, and wander around discovering beautiful sculptures and treasures, you discover the intimate essence of this magical country.


We will have plenty of time creating beautiful and soulful art, exploring the historical cities of Venice and Bologna, as well as spending restorative time immersed in nature.

Are you ready to join me for a life-changing, Italian adventure?

dates: Sept 25 – Oct 03, 2023

(Nine days, eight nightsAll Inclusive)

sold out

“I have loved and admired katrina’s beautiful, soft watercolors and faces from afar for so long, and when the opportunity arose to join her retreat I was in heaven. She is gorgeous and so caring and giving in her classes. There were many different skill levels and desires and she could please and help everyone. She has a soft delicate way of teaching and I came away from my classes so happy with the many new skills that I had learnt, but also with a beautiful new friend.” – Annette S.

Your time with Katrina:

Your creative week will be a delightful mix of studio time, fun excursions, cultural experiences with plenty of free time to relax and regenerate.

Katrina will guide you through many projects ranging from portraits, story art, and sketching on location, all inspired by Italian culture, myths, and legends.

For our inspiration we will take nature walks in the surrounding area with characteristic rolling hills with vineyards and forest trails.

We will wander the colorful winding streets of Bologna and Venice and view some of the most beautiful architects, sculptures and artifacts.

As we visit the town I will take you to my favorite hand made paper store, and little art shops packed with goodies,

”What a joyful experience to be with Katrina in person! Her talent, patience, and gentle presence enabled me to make art that I never imagined possible. To watch her demonstrations turn into her beautiful signature art was magical. I’m so grateful!” – Kim T.


Fattoria Quercia agriturismo

Fattoria Quercia is a beautifully rustic and charming family-run farmhouse immersed in nature.

Situated amidst the beautiful hills, medieval castles, and vineyards near Bologna, it is rich with ancient history and culture.

Completely immersed in nature, with a peaceful and restorative atmosphere, our delightful hosts Francesca and Andrea welcome us with their special Italian hospitality.

The breathtaking view of the valley, vineyards, and forest leave many opportunities for hiking and long restoring walks in the nature.

On warm days we can take a refreshing swim in the outdoor pool as we enjoy the beautiful gardens surrounding the property.

This organic farm grows it’s own vegetables, fruits, and wine from it’s surrounding vineyards and orchids, and produces it’s own meat and eggs, and grain.

You will be able to enjoy delicious authentic and healthy Italian home cooked meals in a beautiful hall with a view overlooking the hillside.

Fattoria Quercia makes their own handmade pasta, bread, marmalades, and deserts, all produced directly from the farm.

our time creating together

For our creative time we will paint in the beautiful botanical garden (weather permitting) as we enjoy all the spring blooms and beautiful sunshine.

We also have a large hall indoors were we can paint on rainy days, relax on the sofas in the evenings and enjoy a cozy cup of tea (or wine) in-front of the fireplace.

“Having never experienced a retreat before I was nervous on what to expect but in reality I had no reason to be.  Katrina was a patient wonderful teacher who helped instill confidence in myself in both my art (inner critic squashed) and my self confidence to step outside the box and try new things, both in art and life.  I traveled a long way from New Zealand and feel so privileged to have been able to meet Katrina, who is a wonderful kindhearted soul, to watch her make beautiful art and learn her wonderful techniques.  She is truly an inspiration who I know loved to help us all on our creative journeys.  If I ever have the chance to join her again I would and for any other lucky students who can join Katrina in future retreats, you will not regret it, it is truly an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget. “ Louise B.

dates: Sept 25 – Oct 03, 2023

(Nine days, eight nights – All inclusive)

sold out


  • Learn how to create beautiful portraits in various mediums
  • Learn how to be more intuitive in your work, using nature for inspiration
  • Learn how to use collage and mixed media
  • Learn how to layer color to achieve luminous skin tones
  • Learn how to gather inspiration from our surroundings
  • Learn tips on how to sketch and paint on location
  • Create beautiful and soulful art that you will treasure for years to come
  • Learn how to sketch and paint animals and architecture from life
  • Enjoy restorative nature walks
  • Experience the beauty and culture of this region
  • Visit beautiful historical villages and sites
  • Enjoy delicious, healthy, homemade Italian delicacies
  • Shop at my favorite local paper and art shops and boutiques
  • Enjoy bio organic, locally sourced foods and wines
  • Meet and connect with artists from around the world
  • and so MUCH MORE….

Excursions included


  • Transportation to and back from Venice
  • Professional tour guide for part of the day
  • An unforgettable Gondola ride through Venice
  • Bridge of sighs
  • Piazza San Marco (San Marco plaza)
  • Shopping in the characteristic Venetian mask and costume stores, antique book stores, and famous colorful blown glass creations and jewelry.
  • Lunch in Venice

*Photos by Unsplash


Enjoy this little sneak peek of Bologna!

Italian Cooking Class

This is an unforgettable experience !

We will learn how to make pasta from scratch, cook a delicious accompanying sauce all your friends will envy, and later enjoy at the dinner table.

The week spent with Katrina was magical. The perfect blend of studio time and exploring the local landscape for inspiration!  Katrina was a kind and patient teacher, and did a phenomenal job of making everyone feel at home, regardless of skill level.  Her encouraging manner will bring out the artist in you!” – Katrina H.

included in your retreat

  • Art class in the studio on most days, or plein air painting while out and about.
  • 8 nights lodging
  • All meals during the retreat (Vegetarian and gluten free options available, please notify ahead of time if these are required)
  • Water, coffee and tea, plus wine at dinner
  • Table easels, some substrates, and a few basic supplies (Specific supplies will be specified closer to the date)
  • All tour and excursion fees, including tourist guide in Venice
  • An unforgettable Gondola ride through Venice
  • Lunch in Venice
  • Transportation to and from discussed meeting point on arrival and departure days.
  • Transportation for excursion in Bologna
  • Italian Cooking Class
  • And many more surprises along the way!

what is not included

  • Travel costs / Airfare
  • Passport fees, visas etc where applicable
  • Additional nights lodging
  • Extra beverages during stay
  • Lunch/dinner on day of departure

Still undecided?

take a look at my latest retreat in ireland at eom studios!

I can’t wait to welcome you here in Italy!