I hope you can join us for a week in Tuscany, Italy with an optional 4 day add-on to the beautiful Cinque Terre (The Five Lands)  09/23/2017 – 10/03/2017. The program will be facilitated by Il Chiostro Inc. and here’s link to register:  Eat Paint Cook Tuscany and Cinque Terre 2017

Dates of Program

Join me 09/23/2017 – 10/03/2017  (7 nights and days in Tuscany, 3 day optional add on to the Cinque Terre from 09/30/2017 to 10/03/2017).

Number of Participants

The program is designed for between 8 and 15 participants. There is typically another program running concurrently at the same facility. Workshop activities are separate, but meals and excursions may be together.

Location of Programs

This program will take place at the completely renovated ex-monastery of San Fedele, located in the Chianti region of Tuscany between the towns of Vagliagli and Radda-in-Chianti, about 12 km northeast of Siena and 45 km south of Florence. The San Fedele monastery dates back to 1203AD. The complex consists of a 16th century chapel, a refectory, terrace, U-shaped piazza, conference/class rooms, organic gardens and swimming pool. All guest rooms are elegantly furnished, have refrigerators, modern bathrooms and wi-fi internet access. For photos and a detailed description visit www.tuscanrc.com.

Borgo San FedeleGeneral Description of Programs

Highlights of this 1-week program:

Cost approx $2795 double occupancy ($550.00 single supplement)

  • Pick up at Florence train station on Saturday afternoon, transfer to San Fedele (1.5 hrs)
  • 7 nights at San Fedele, including breakfast
  • 6 dinners prepared by our private chef, including wine (dinners generally 5 courses)
  • Sunday barbeque at lunchtime
  • Organized dinner on Sunday evening at a local enoteca (participants pay separately)
  • ½ day excursions to scenic local hill towns like Castellina, Radda, San Gimignano, and Monteriggioni
  • Art lessons and help both on location and in the studio from Rebecca Zdybel
  • Cooking classes: 2 classes for 6 with Tuscan chef Andrea Anichini
  • Organized wine tour and tasting at Dievole winery
  • Access to appropriate studio space
  • Transportation for all excursions provided
  • Transfers to Siena on final day of program from where participants can make connections to all points in Italy. It might be the perfect time to continue your vacation with another destination!
San Fedele Awaits - Rebecca Zdybel

San Fedele Awaits – Rebecca Zdybel

The Bubble Boys - Rebecca Zdybel

The Bubble Boys of Castellina – Rebecca Zdybel

Program does not include: airfare, travel insurance, gratuities, transportation beyond arranged excursions (i.e., private transfers to airport or trains) or additional meals other than those outlined in the Program Description.

Come with me to TUSCANY! (& this year to beautiful Cinque Terre!)

Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from real life in order to gain perspective. After my fourth trip to this region, I have come to the realization that I love the Tuscan lifestyle! I love focusing on the meal at the end of the day, with an appreciation of the fresh food and great wines that this region has to offer. It is a ritual means of punctuating the day’s activity and connecting with those I care about.

Living A Dream…

I am hosting another trip back to Tuscany combining all the things I love: Travel, Great Food, Cooking, Wine, Art, Teaching, Friends, Music…it’s a dream fulfilled!

Imagine the peace and tranquility created by the beautiful scenery.

Imagine the experience of making art in beautiful settings. I have found that personal and intimate connections with locations and people happen naturally while painting or sketching on the street.

Imagine eating and cooking “Tuscan style”…Delicious, fresh, organic and FUN!

We get to enjoy delicious food and great wines prepared by our excellent chef. In the process we cement new friendships and make some great memories. On this trip to Tuscany, all these dreams can be realized during a very special week.

Prerequisites if you would like to join us:

1. A capacity for laughter

2. A positive attitude

3. Willingness to dwell on beautiful things and/or indulge others as they dwell on them

4. A taste for farm-to-table organic foods and wines

5. Willingness to explore incredibly beautiful and wonderfully medievel Tuscan towns.

6. Interest in viewing art, learning about art, and/or making art through drawing, painting, and/or photography.


If you aren’t an artist, then we’d require a willingness to indulge us when we talk about these things. You can always choose those moments as an opportunity to take a walk, swim in the pool, grab a nap, read a book or take advantage of #7…

7. Interest in Optional opportunities to cook with my favorite Tuscan chef, Andrea Anichini.

Andrea Anichini

If you are part of this trip, then you can enjoy some cooking lessons…how fun will it be to learn a few of Andrea’s Tuscan Tricks of the Trade?! And yes…he is just as FUNNY AS CHARMING AS THIS PHOTO IMPLIES! (He is also a sommelier!)

8. Interest in Optional tours of local Tuscan wineries, viewing local art history sites and/or historical sites. (These might be alternatives for artists and non-artists alike).

Local Tuscan Winery

If you’d like to come along, feel free to contact me. No obligations, but I will keep you informed if you contact me. A deposit of $500 will hold your spot. This deposit may be made by following the link below. I will cap the number to keep it manageable and friendly.

My husband Paul, is a physician and is ready to lend assistance of that sort to our group members. I always ask him to bring along antibiotics and other over the counter aids…just in case.

The dates for this trip are set for September 23- Oct 3, 2018.  I have developed an itinerary with Il Chiostro Inc., who will be handling all the registration.

Beautiful morning in Portovenere, which can be reached by boat along the Cinque Terre, Italy

A stunning view from the water taxis that take you from town to town in the Cinque Terre. This is the town of Monterrigioni.

Click here for a complete brochure and links to register for 2017 Eat Paint Cook Tour of Tuscany and Cinque Terre

I’d love to hear from you and possibly have you join me for what is sure to be a memorable time in Tuscany September 23-October 3, 2017.. Feel free to contact me for more info.

Actual comments from participants:

“Overall …(we)…would rate our experience as 5/5 . San Fedele was a special place that we will remember forever. The II Choistro staff was excellent especially Michael . The food was very good and Andrea was great . The excursions added a nice touch but sometimes I felt we could use more time at San Fedele. Not enough hours in the day . The wine tasting at San Fedele we thought was great. Becky and Paul are two very special and talented friends. We will highly recommend this special vacation .”  Feedback from a participant in 2016

“Dear Rebecca…

Thank you for providing such an exceptional trip…my dream come true! Your preplanning was so evident and made for a smooth exciting week.

It was enriching to have you as our guide, teacher, host and traveling companions. You are examples of life “well lived” and sharing it with others…

I wish you all the best, and will continue to savor these precious memories…” Feedback from a participant in 2015

Pictures from previous Eat Paint Cook Tours…

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Paul channels his inner Michaelangelo for some artistry in the kitchen!

Paul channels his inner Michaelangelo for some artistry in the kitchen!

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Here is a video of by our resident “minister of after-dinner singing” Michaelino: He is so talented!


Andiamo! (let’s go!)

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Jeanne and Jeff eggart says:

    We are considering another trip. Have much to work out thanks for the invite
    Jeanne and Jeff eggart

  • Chris says:

    Rebecca, What a wonderful trip you have planned. After last year, I would love to go back! Chris

    • What fun it would be to have you come back with us! I think it’s better the second time around, because you get to seek out your favorite aspects of being there, and savor those moments a bit more intensely. Every year I feel more of a spiritual connection with San Fedele. I may not be going back for a couple of years, due to a new tour I am planning to Ireland in May 2018, and South Africa in Spring 2019. It means I will be having to drink in enough to last me for a couple of years. Sigh…

  • Anne Garrette says:

    Hello Becky,
    I just investigated your web site about the upcoming fall trip. Amazing! It looks like you have combined all of the things that bring you joy in life. I’m so happy for you! And what a beautiful corner of the world! Mark, Sarah and I were there 3 years ago hiking and touring.

    Mark and I are retired now so will watch out for your future trips. South Africa would be amazing! This fall is a busy time for us (new grand baby, building a home, etc.) but may be able to join you, Paul and the group one of these days.

    Our newest hobby is hiking the walks across England. Last year we did the Coast to Coast (192 miles) with family and friends, and next week we will walk the Cotswold Way. They are self-guided, but with a sherpa service to deliver our bags to the nightly B&B.

    In the meantime, we are staying safe in London and enjoying time with friends.

    Take care,

    • Hi Anne! How nice to hear from you ❤️ I love the picture of you and Mark hiking your way around the world! I’ve never been able to keep up with Mark when we walked together, so good on ya!

      It would be fantastic to think about sharing a trip sometime in the future! It’s been an amazing turn of events that’s allowed me the opportunity to combine cooking and painting and traveling. I am incredibly grateful and still pinch myself that I get to do this as part of my job. ?
      This beautiful location in Tuscany is owned by some very special people who’ve become friends over the years. It only adds to the charm of returning again year after year. I’d love to show it to you one day.
      Congratulations on your grand baby! Haley just had a baby girl and there is nothing like this grand parenting role!!! We are loving every minute and in fact, we just took her on her first hike to a waterfall this past weekend!
      Keep the photos coming of all your adventures, and I will look forward to tagging along virtually. Stay safe and bon voyage ❤️

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