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Review Highlights
Ideal break at The Retreat

I spent a week at The Retreat doing a plein-air course with John. John is an incredibly patient... read more

Reviewed September 19, 2018
A great week at The Retreat

We (2 parents, 2 kids aged 12 and 8) had a wonderful week with John, Jana and their daughters at... read more

Reviewed August 20, 2018
London, United Kingdom
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  • Excellent91%
  • Very good6%
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  • Poor3%
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“le marche”(8 reviews)
“plein air”(7 reviews)
The Retreat is an open artist studio offering relaxing and creative residential painting holidays in Italy's finest region of Le Marche. Courses include workshops and visits to scenic location with tuition on water-colour, oil, pastel and acrylic...more
Via San Taddeo 12, 63086 Force, Italy
+39 334 903 4401
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All reviews painting holiday le marche plein air wonderful week spent a week an excellent teacher other guests comfortable accommodation painting class evening activities long time nice person local restaurants step by step loved every moment once in a lifetime an excellent cook
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1 - 10 of 61 reviews
Reviewed September 19, 2018

I spent a week at The Retreat doing a plein-air course with John. John is an incredibly patient teacher and i learned a lot from him. I spent six days doing the following: Wake up -> eat breakfast -> paint / draw / be creative...More

Date of experience: September 2018
1  Thank Companion817642
Reviewed August 20, 2018

We (2 parents, 2 kids aged 12 and 8) had a wonderful week with John, Jana and their daughters at the aptly named Retreat. The stunning mountainside setting is the perfect location for what John and Jana offer - expert painting tuition, delicious food and...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank 217alip
Reviewed August 17, 2018 via mobile

Wonderful week at Force, in a beautiful corner of Italy, with John Skelcher as a very inspiring demonstrator / teacher (see photos) which worked well for both the not so skilled as the more creative... Good food / cooking just added to the experience.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Annika_in_Bxl
Reviewed July 4, 2018 via mobile

Just returned from Le Marche Retreat where John Skelcher teaches landscape painting in the beautiful area of Force. Lessons where held on the grounds of the retreat where John did step by step demonstrations. Afternoons were spent in the studio learning about color theory, doing...More

Date of experience: June 2018
1  Thank deesal2014
Reviewed May 21, 2018 via mobile

Such a fabulous week painting in watercolour with professional artist John Skelcher. He is very easy to talk to and gave me just the right amount of advice and many useful tips. He was made sure that I was always comfortable. The art equipment was...More

Date of experience: May 2018
2  Thank Hantsartist
Reviewed August 6, 2017

I took the plein air painting class in July with 2 other students. It was one of the best times I've ever had! John, the instructor, gave detailed and continual tutalage. He was very patient and encouraging. He also continues to learn from master painters...More

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank Lily T
Reviewed July 15, 2017

I just returned from a one week painting course at the Retreat in Le Marche. Words can not adequately describe the experience, but I will try. Upon arrival at the Retreat, we were met by our hostess Jana and our host John, and treated to...More

Date of experience: July 2017
2  Thank Mirilyn S
Reviewed July 13, 2017

John is an excellent teacher and a truly nice person, with patience, compassion, integrity and humour. He structured the week perfectly, taking us each day from one stunning Florence view to another, expertly gauging the various skills and needs of the group, and creating a...More

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank FiVG
Reviewed July 11, 2017

My sisters, niece and I came to The Retreat in Force to celebrate our mom's 80th birthday. This was an experience of a lifetime! John is a gifted artist and teacher and Jana is an excellent chef (we requested vegetarian and meals were colorful, satisfying,...More

Date of experience: July 2017
3  Thank JKWpaints
Reviewed April 21, 2017 via mobile

I loved my week of study with John. It was an amazing experience. I enjoyed the stay at the Convent and the restaurant where we had our meals. He added in a Evening walking tour and a visit to the Uffiz Museum. He is a...More

Date of experience: April 2017
2  Thank my1018
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
October 12, 2015|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Skelcher | Property representative |
Hi Susan, As Andy and Fionnula suggested, you can fly Stansted to Ancona, and the flight times differ according to season and day of the week. Another option from Stansted is to fly to Pescara hich is at equal distance to us... More
September 3, 2015|
Response from Skelcher | Property representative |
Hi Anita, we have a painting course from 1st-8th October running which you can join. Here is some information on the course: During the week we are painting and drawing in nearby scenic locations and hill-top towns as well... More
Melissa G
February 28, 2015|
Response from Skelcher | Property representative |
Hi Melissa, I hope to have answered all your questions in my emails to you. We are delighted to be welcoming you at The Retreat in July this summer.