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The Retreat

Via San Taddeo 12, 63086 Force, Italy
+39 334 903 4401
Review Highlights
The Retreat is a Painting Holiday You Will Never Forget!

I took the plein air painting class in July with 2 other students. It was one of the best times... read more

Reviewed 6 August 2017
Lily T
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Once in a lifetime experience in a breathtaking location!

I just returned from a one week painting course at the Retreat in Le Marche. Words can not... read more

Reviewed 15 July 2017
Mirilyn S
Read all 56 reviews
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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 techniques, etc. The program is designed to suit all levels from beginner to advanced. Accommodation and full board, travel to locations is included in the price.
  • Excellent92%
  • Very good5%
  • Average0%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“le marche” (7 reviews)
“plein air” (6 reviews)
Via San Taddeo 12, 63086 Force, Italy
+39 334 903 4401
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Reviews (56)
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1 - 10 of 56 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 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

Thank Lily T
Reviewed 15 July 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

1  Thank Mirilyn S
Reviewed 13 July 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

Thank FiVG
Reviewed 11 July 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

2  Thank JKWpaints
Reviewed 21 April 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

2  Thank my1018
Reviewed 21 April 2017 via mobile

I came on Easter week. There were just two of us: me from London, and Myrna from Houston. We had the best time! The Oblate convent was a great, simple central location. The watercolour course was inspiring. I had painted before, but John Skelcher was...More

1  Thank DMOliver
Reviewed 15 September 2016

I have just returned from a fabulous week at The Retreat !! Apart from John being the perfect host and exceptionally talented, his method of teaching and organisation of our week was excellent. Nothing was too much trouble and I was amazed at how much...More

1  Thank Jesvar2
Reviewed 11 August 2016

I stayed at the Retreat for a week in late July for one of their plein air painting holidays. The Retreat is nestled in a beautiful countryside landscape of Italy. It is not a very touristy area which adds to its charm. You look around...More

1  Thank Ashley H
Reviewed 5 August 2016

I've recently returned from my first ever painting holiday. I chose The Retreat because I was drawn to the style and scenic views portrayed in John's paintings. I also liked the fact that he was an experienced Art teacher (Head of Department) / professional artist...More

3  Thank berniemill220
Reviewed 4 August 2016

I’ve recently returned from a lovely week spent at the Retreat, it was my first painting holiday so I had done a lot of research before deciding on this one. I’m very glad I did as not only was the level of teaching extremely good...More

2  Thank AnneMarie322
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Questions & Answers
12 October 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
3 September 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
28 February 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.