Siena, Italy: Art / Design Lab & Residency

Program Overview AIP Italy is set on a large and beautiful villa right outside of Siena. The day you arrive, we gather for an aperitif, followed by a celebration dinner with Tuscan food and wine. The villa has a bar and restaurant and numerous indoor and outdoor spaces for exploring. The villa serves gorgeous breakfasts […]

Program Overview

AIP Italy is set on a large and beautiful villa right outside of Siena. The day you arrive, we gather for an aperitif, followed by a celebration dinner with Tuscan food and wine. The villa has a bar and restaurant and numerous indoor and outdoor spaces for exploring. The villa serves gorgeous breakfasts on a large loggia terrace overlooking an expansive garden. Our studio space at the villa is where we gather to learn more about each other, make presentations and work. The entire villa is an exhibition space and workspace. Two large cloisters offer green space with corridors and numerous large rooms where participants can work and relax each day.

Our lunches and dinners are shared dining experiences set in a beautiful outdoor space overlooking the cloister. Multi-course meals encourage you to relax and take time to enjoy each moment of the day.

Classes are three hours a day, and participants work in the afternoon, take walks, and can ride a bus into Siena which picks you up at reception. We have a mid-program and final exposition to showcase work to the entire group. Along the way, faculty and program leaders make presentations on work and their course topics, to inspire and give a greater cultural context to Italy. Each day is full of creative conversation, encouraging you to relax and energize your creative pursuits.


Your Experience Includes

Gorgeous Villa with shared accommodation (Private rooms are available upon request for an extra fee based on availability)

AIP trip leaders to guide your entire experience

Private airport transfers and all ground transportation * Flight not included in price

All Villa meals included (except on trip days)

Luxury farm to table multi-course dinners with Tuscan wine

Access to the entire Villa including Studio and Exhibition Space

Day trips to Florence and Siena with an Insider Tour of Florence

Arrival and Final Celebration Dinners

Creative Presentations, Lectures, Critiques, and Workshops by AIP leaders and teachers

High-Speed wifi

Artistic Travel Guide to Italy

International Health Insurance

Course / Residency Outline

Italy was on the historic route of the grand tour, where artists would travel to see the world as part of their education. We are located within that path where famous painters, artists, writers, and designers traveled to study the world.

Using the villa as exhibition space, site-specific course space, and an innovation platform, we aim to make a variety of work, sharing and exchanging perspectives, informed by the past and present. Cross-course critique and dialogue between students and professionals is an essential component to our horizontal platform. Risk-taking and hard work is encouraged and nurtured.

Study contemporary and traditional methods of design and art. Learn to paint, draw and design. Return home with a body of work produced, and broadened cultural perspective.

Classes: Three hours of one on one instruction each day. Our classes are small and you will spend a lot of time with your teacher learning with a hands-on approach.*

Creative Residencies: Workspace and access to wifi and creative conversations with students and professors

University Students: Course Credit if approved by your University

*Participants sign up for one course, although collaboration with other courses is encouraged. All art and design supplies are purchased by participants before the trip. Some courses may have a lab fee for shared materials and equipment which you will pay on or before the program.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1- Welcome to Italy! Arrive at the airport and have a cappuccino or espresso and be picked up by our private transportation from the airport to the villa located just outside of Siena. We will check-in and relax and wait for the rest of the group to arrive, spend your afternoon relaxing and getting settled. Take a walk in the garden and chat with other guests. We have a nightly aperitif and meet and greet followed by a celebration dinner you can dress up for. We have multi-course dinners made with local produce and ingredients, and of course Tuscan wine!

Day 2- Wake up in Tuscany and walk to the loggia for breakfast overlooking the Italian garden for Cappuccino’s croissants, eggs, yogurt, and other delectables. We will gather in the studio space to introduce AIP and get to know the teachers, group organizers and talk about our goals for the trip and why we all came. Bring your supplies up to the classroom (all participants bring supplies with them so they are prepared to work right away) and meet with your class groups. Creative Residents can set up a workspace and start working right away. Gather at 1 pm for lunch and take the afternoon to work on art, writing, etc. You will have open time each day to be in the moment and share experiences with the community.

Day 3,4,5- Wake up to another wonderful morning, meet for class followed by lunch and spend the afternoon working/ relaxing. Meet for an aperitif followed by presentations by professors and AIP trip leaders about there work and other creative topics. Arrive to dinner excited and chatting with other guests, asking questions and learning about each other and what interests you share.

Day 6- Spend the Day in Florence. See the city with an AIP walking tour followed by Independent opportunities. Eat out on your own. We suggest the Duomo, Uffizi and Galleria Academia along with walking over the Ponte Vecchio bridge and meandering through medieval and renaissance streets.

Day 7- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Shared with more aperitifs, and a Mid Term Review of work of all courses, professors and residents. Review, look and discuss!

Day 8- Traces to Siena exploring, seeing sites and shopping. Look out for the local flags of the neighborhoods! Siena is divided into 17 contrade, or neighborhoods, each with its own flag and identity! In August the city is alive with parades and celebrations for the Palio!

Day 9- Shared meals, course sessions, group gatherings and time to create!

Day 10- Open day to go into Siena or work. No class meetings.

Day 11, 12- Shared meals, course sessions, group gatherings and time to create! Prep for the final show.

Day 13- Breakfast followed by our final exhibition. Tour the villa as a group to see and explore everyone’s projects. Pack up your supplies and suitcases, enjoy a fantastic celebration and farewell dinner!

Day 14- Wake up, enjoy breakfast and ride the private transport back to Roma to depart! If you’re staying longer, enjoy the rest of your trip.

Siena / Tuscany

Italy is the perfect spot to not only study art but to experience an artistic lifestyle. Tuscany is a haven for some of the most beautiful landscapes and cities in the world. Our villa is located 9 km from Siena Italy. In the Renaissance, masters combined disciplines into large scale artworks. Leonardo da Vinci, Brunelleschi, and other individuals integrated art, design, architecture, and engineering into culturally impactful works of art. Disciplines overlapped, various perspectives were encouraged.

The villa, nature and the making of art are intertwined in perfect balance. Our experience offers time to create, travel to historic cities and multi-course dinners filled with creative conversation. We create a community of artists supporting each other while continuing to learn. The environment is a sanctuary for art-making and focus. We study the art, food, architecture, design, and culture of Italy with a holistic experience for all participants.

Visit Florence, Siena and other areas on this incredible journey. See the best of what these cities have to offer while living in Tuscany.

Our Villa is located ten minutes away from Siena, 1 hour from Florence airport and 2 hours and 45 minutes from the Rome airport.

Duration of residency

2 weeks


VIlla in Tuscany, shared accommodation

Disciplines, work equipment and assistance

any discipline in art, design, music, performance

Studio / Workspace

shared studio

Fees and support


Expectations towards the artist


Application deadline

Residency starts
AUGUST 1, 2020

Residency ends
AUGUST 14, 2020


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