with Weatherly Stroh and Lizzie Larock
May 2-9, 2024
to download that Italian language app, renew your passport and save your spot in the Ciao a Tutti Creativity Retreat with Weatherly Stroh and Lizzie Larock in Sardinia, Italy!
This is your invitation to a 7-night creativity retreat at La Belle Etoile, in Sardinia, Italy, May 2-9, 2024.
We have an extraordinary week planned by this absolute gem of a location on the Mediterranean that you do not want to miss.
Are you drooling, yet, just thinking about spending this kind of relaxing, inspiring, nourishing week in Sardinia with us?
creative, funny, warm
& WELCOMING HOSTS
If you've been craving a getaway with creative, funny, warm & welcoming hosts and a lovely group of fun-loving people... in Italy, then put down that biscotto and save your spot before they all book up (because our retreats fill up faster than a Ferrari).
We are Weatherly & Lizzie, your Art of Life retreat hosts, and we can't wait to have you join us!
(photos: This is Weatherly & Lizzie by the sea in Cinque Terre. Photo below is not a ferrari, but you get the picture to sign up soon!).
painting, photography, positive psychology
and seafood, sketching, sailboating, and sipping on wines in stunning Sardinia, Italy.
WAKING UP HERE...
for a relaxing, fulfilling and soul nourishing week of sketching, creative iPhone photography, mindfulness/positive psychology, daily yoga, a cooking class, wine tasting, decadent meals and a sailboat excursion, all from this ocean front villa with a group of creative, funny and warm people.
If our last retreats are any indication, you'll never want to leave this dreamy setting or this lovely group of people.
Learn how to bring a landscape or little moments to life in your sketchbook travel journal workshops with Weatherly.
If you've always wanted to play with paint or it's been a few decades since you've held a paintbrush, our Sardinian backdrop is the perfect place for you. This is for everyone (trust us, we even have hilariously funny arty ideas for those who don't "think" they're an artist).
You truly do not need any experience to enjoy this part of the retreat. Permission to play with the creatively forgiving and fun medium of travel painting and simple sketching.
If you're an advanced painter and want to join us, let your creative side run wild with Italian inspiration. Weatherly is there to teach you, encourage you and inspire you. But this retreat is for EVERYONE regardless of their skill levels.
In Lizzie's iPhone photography, positive psychology and creative writing/journaling workshops, you'll learn how to be more curious, present, joyful and in awe much more often, all life skills that you will definitely want to use long after you return home. And who doesn't want to know how to work all those camera buttons and features on an iphone?
This is the art of capturing everyday moments in the most creative and accessible way.
The writing workshops are loose and fun with just a little intentional time to reflect and see your everyday life through a new lens.
the art of slowing
DOWN AND SAVORING...
You'll be fluent in the art of slowing down and savoring by the end of this retreat with plenty of downtime for il dolce far niente (translation: the sweetness of doing absolutely nothing!). Because who wouldn't want to spend plenty of downtime by the water in this setting?
While the relaxation of most vacations rubs off at the airport returning home, at this retreat, you'll learn the positive psychology and wellbeing tips to thrive long after you're back to the busyness of daily life.
We'll sail along
THE SCENIC ISLAND OF SARDINIA
along with daily yoga, Italian cooking class, wine tasting & more.
While it's tempting to never leave our gorgeous villa, we will enjoy a beautiful sailboat ride along the rocky cliffs and calm seas.
Beautiful experiences will be brought right to our door with a flavorful cooking class at the villa with our private chef, daily gentle yoga classes either in the yoga studio or by the pool and an Italian (swearing?) lesson just for fun.
There are plenty of optional activities you can enjoy as well like horseback rides along the beach, hikes along the cliffs, photowalks along the sand dunes, plein air painting or shopping and dining in the adorable nearby beach towns.
Daily Gentle Yoga
Everything is optional, the only requirement is to ENJOY YOURSELF!
Do a little or a lot, enjoy the workshops and activities or let yourself get some rest and relaxation, master that art of doing nothing or don't miss out on a thing.
This retreat is your own masterpiece.
Nothing is mandatory, everything is optional and the only requirement is that you nourish and enjoy yourself (which shouldn't be very difficult in this gorgeous setting).
"Thank you for one of the most magical weeks of my LIFE! Truly. I have had more joy, love, inspiration and moments than I have had in as long as I can remember. This is what my soul was screaming for. Here is to the next chapter of Art of Life retreats. I will be there." - Hadley
OF OUR ITINERARY
- Thursday: Arrival aperitivo & welcome dinner.
10am: creativity workshops (mix and match choices of watercolor or gouache painting, sketching, and mindful iPhone photography)
1pm: Italian buffet al fresco lunch
3:30pm: afternoon free for plein-air painting, photowalks, journaling, panoramic hikes, reading poolside, dips in the ocean, optional excursions, *massages and il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).
6pm wine tasting
8pm sunset dinner on the veranda
10am: creativity workshops
1pm: Italian buffet al fresco lunch
3pm: optional excursions (ideas: horseback riding*, hikes, sand dunes, water sports)
8pm: Drinks and dinner at Farra Pizzeria (included)
10am creativity workshops
1pm Italian buffet al fresco lunch
4pm shopping and exploring historic Cagliari (transportation included).
7pm: Dinner* out (join the group or dine out on your own) and enjoy the town.
- Monday: Sailing day
10am: board the boat
13:00: Lunch on the boat
4:00pm: Back to the villa
10am: Creativity workshops
1pm: Italian buffet al fresco lunch
2pm: massage appointments, relaxation time.
5pm: Pasta making class
10am: creativity workshops
1pm: Italian buffet al fresco lunch
Afternoon free to hike, visit other beaches, shopping.
7pm: Aperitivo and Art of Life last night Pizza Party on the lower terrace at the wood fired pizza oven. Make your own or just enjoy!
*massages, horseback riding, additional excursions into town, and the dinner out in Cagliari are at your own cost (and anything you do outside of the planned retreat itinerary), but can easily be arranged by the Villa La Belle Etoile concierge.
This is meant to be a flexible, nourishing, inspiring and creative retreat, not a rigid schedule. You'll have plenty of ways to truly relax and enjoy the Sardinian culture, savor incredible cuisine, take walks on the beach, learn from Weatherly and Lizzie and sink into the creative camaraderie of our group.
"Wow. You two did an amazing job making a very creative and festive retreat. We all had a wonderful time! We ate, laughed, danced, sang, wrote, drew, painted, photographed, cooked, shared and just plain LIVED. Thank you for putting together this retreat. It was such a gift!" -Pam (Tuscany 2023)
"The location, the people, the hosts and the food were all sensational.
You are both truly unique and talented leaders. It is a gift for anyone who has the opportunity to be in your presences at one of your retreats.
Thank you for giving us time and space to expore, paint, take photowalks, drink wine and eat way too much food. I can't wait to do it, again, on another one of your retreats." -Katy (Tuscany 2023)
a private chef,
a pizza party & a cooking class.
What would a week in Italy be without the most delicious local flavors? We have a private chef at our villa, delicious and decadent meals planned, plus plenty of free time to explore Sardinian cuisine on your own.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included in the retreat along with nightly wines and aperitivi.
Brunch and dinner are beautifully prepared by our private chef at La Belle Etoile.
There's even cooking class planned for one of our evenings and an outdoor forno brick oven pizza gathering planned (probably not the vacation to cut out carbs!).
Dining will be al fresco overlooking the Mediterranean or at the outdoor pizza forno patio. We'll enjoy favorite Sardinian recipes with our private chef, delicious local wines and nightly aperitivo.
camaraderie, creativity & cooking
in a gorgeous seaside villa with Weatherly, Lizzie and a wonderful Art of Life group for a soul-nourishing week, seriously, what could be better?
With over 1100 miles of coastline, Sardinia is a stunning island in the Mediterranean Sea, just off of mainland of Italy.
It has some of the best beaches in the world, but also mountains, quaint villages, interesting archaelogical sites and water sports galore!
Spring is the best time of year to visit Sardinia, as the weather is nice, but not too hot, and the summer crowds won't be there, but the best part is that spring is when all of the Sardinian flowers bloom and every corner comes alive with the most beautiful shades of color.
A BLUE ZONE!
Besides its many shades of turqoise waters, Sardinia is actually one of five blue zones in the entire world.
A blue zone is a rare geographic region where the population boasts living a much happier and healthier lifestyle than most other regions in the world with a large part of the population living to be 100 years old!
They attribute this extraordinary longevity to the Sardinians' healthy food, a relaxed lifestyle, walking, gardening, commitment to family and friends and the delicious local wine - Cannoneau!
how to get there
It's right off the coast of Italy and there are direct flights from major European cities such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome directly to the airport in Cagliari, Sardinia.
From the Cagliari airport, it's an easy jaunt to our villa. We even take care of the transportation from Cagliaria airport to the villa (at select times on arrival day) to make it even easier.
about your hosts:
WEATHERLY & LIZZIE
Weatherly has been a full-time artist for 12 years now, but has had a lifelong fascination with Italy.
Having spent two semesters of college in Florence and a semester of graduate school outside of Perugia, she makes a point of returning each year to paint en-plein-air.
Sadly her Italian is terrible, though she is fully adept at ordering her favorite gelato with lots of hand gestures and a smile.
Her favorite time of the day is the siesta, a practice she brought home with her from college and has perfected in her Florida art studio when time allows.
Lizzie is a writer, photographer and positive-psychology based coach.
She teaches creativity, writing and photography workshops through her signature Life Feast mashup of curiosity, awe, mindfulness, wonder & photography.
She's taught everyone from 8 year olds to 78 year olds, CEOs, lawyers, accountants (and anyone else who doesn't think they are creative) how to find beauty in the tiniest details of everyday life.
Lizzie adores Italy, and considers herself a lifelong pizzatarian with a love of homemade pasta being a very close second in her well-fed heart!
Weatherly and Lizzie have been close friends for over 38 years.
Weatherly has always been taller and Lizzie has always been louder, but we've shared a deep friendship along with a mutual love of art, creativity and a hilarious history of tweenage and teenage shenanigans. Don't ask us about the Guns 'n Roses Toledo Speedway incident in 1991...
Our friendship has only gotten better over the last 3 decades (and, thankfully, so has our fashion sense - both of us are slightly horrified that we wore Patagonia coats, backpacks and ball caps in ITALY back in 1994)!
We had a blast leading 21 incredible and creative humans at our Art of Life retreats in Tuscany in 2023 and can't wait to have you join us in Sardinia in 2024.
In 1963, Edith Pelgrims de Bigard from Belgium discovered a little fishing town called Is Tellas. She fell in love with the crystal clear waters and serenity of the bay, and decided to build her new home there.
She bought the two bays and surrounding land and renamed the town ‘Torre Delle Stelle’ (‘Tower of the Stars’). She built the roads and put in the electrical and water system that helped shape the area.
Torre Delle Stelle (Tower of the Stars) has become a charming holiday escape surrounded by 2 sandy beaches. It's nestled between the crystal clear sea and the surrounding hills of Sardegna. The town has a few restaurants and a cute church. It's known as a beautiful, quaint summer village in between the capital city of Cagliari and the vacation town of Villasimius. Its ideal location makes it a respite from the hustle and bustle of busier areas.
Keeping with the celestial theme, the roads in Torre Delle Stelle are all named after constellations.
In her favorite spot in the bay of Gennemari, Edith decided to build Villa La Belle Etoile (‘The Beautiful Star’ in French).
56 years later, Villa La Belle Etoile is still family owned and managed by Edith's granddaughter whose passion for the island of Sardinia, its culture, arts and people shines through every welcoming detail.
It is a unique villa under many aspects: right in front of a golden sandy beach, with a private infinity edge swimming pool overlooking the turquoise sea, surrounded by a lush and verdant garden and walking distance to restaurants and parks.
The villa, with its suites, alcoves, and creatively themed bed and bathrooms, is perfectly suited for our Art of Life Creativity Retreat!
We chose the month of May for our retreat to avoid the summer crowds while immersing ourselves in the temperate weather and Villa La Belle Etoile's beautiful May flowers!
it's the perfect villa
for our Art of Life retreat!
"This week has been above & beyond. Such a beautiful, picturesque setting and experiences I will remember forever. And to have you both guide us and impart wonderful words and share your knowledge has all been icing on top." - Amie (Tuscany Retreat)
tutto è bene (all is good!)
AT THIS RETREAT!
Not only will you be immersed in all things creativity, cuisine, culture, camaraderie, and connection, there will also be time and space for il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).
This retreat is not about how artistic or creative you are (not at all), or how many activities you can squeeze into a week (probably a lot) or how delicious the food is (it's amazing) ... this retreat is actually about seeing, savoring, and slowing down long enough to soak up the sweetest parts of life.
We'd love to have you join us! Space is limited, so save your spot, today.
Weatherly & Lizzie
Do I have to paint, write or do photography?
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"5 stars! Would highly recommend!
I have had so much fun, laughed so hard, and I learned so much about Italy and myself. I made new friends, learned how to tap back into my creative self that's been long dormant and was welcomed with such warmth.
I can now paint in gouache, curse in Italian and now know how to look for 3 good things. And I can't wait for your next retreat." - Sue (Tuscany 2023)
you had me at Italy!
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
Wonderful! We can't wait to be in Sardinia with you! Your non-refundable $1500.00 deposit will reserve your spot at the retreat and can be made via credit card or Zelle.
50% of the final retreat price balance will be due by Jan 31, 2024 with remaining balance due by March 1, 2024.
The total retreat price (inclusive of accommodations, meals, workshops, excursions, daily yoga and all of the amenities detailed here) depends on which type of accommodations you choose.
Retreat prices start at: $5085/person for a shared double occupancy deluxe room with ensuite bathroom and go to $6985/person for a single luxury room. Availability is limited and our retreats have sold out very quickly in the past, so don't delay. Reserve your spot, today.
Our Art of Life retreats are an experience you do not want to miss out on. We can't wait to have you join us.