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Wed, 16 May


La Vecchia Scuola

Exploring Sketchbooks in Italy (1)

Develop dynamic ideas to help you design on paper and fabric - be inspired by the local Abruzzo atmosphere.

Exploring Sketchbooks in Italy (1)
Exploring Sketchbooks in Italy (1)

Time & Location

16 May 2018, 19:00

La Vecchia Scuola, 66046 Colle Case CH, Italy

About the event

27th May – 2nd June 2018: This workshop will be specifically directed towards sketchbook exploration and playful development to explore design ideas on paper and on cloth. We shall make our own books and fill them with plenty of drawing, collage, stitch & mark making using the local area of Abruzzo as our inspiration.

“Dionne’s Summer School has been a great success and an amazing experience visiting stunning locations with lovely companions and following a creative programme which inspired, motivated and challenged in equal measures . Dionne is a brilliant teacher and skilled communicator and this week has enabled me to develop an exciting repertoire for future work . I just can’t wait to return to continue this creative journey. Many thanks to Dionne , Mark and the friends I made at La Vecchia Scuola”

Sunday 27th May 2018 arrival – you’ll be collected from Pescara [the UK flight arrives at 5/6pm.] Its a 1 hour transfer to Atessa and your hotel, once you have freshened up everyone is invited to a welcome meal at the hotel.

Return back to the airport the following Saturday for the evening flight to the UK – please let me know if you are travelling elsewhere and I can advise & accomodate you.


This 5 day summer school provides you with the opportunity to explore drawing, design, textiles print and stitch in an inspiring atmosphere with a highly experienced tutor. You’ll leave with a bundle of experiments and ideas which will inspire and full further projects for many moons to come…not to mention great memories of a fantastic creative adventure in this wonderful region of Italy.

Each day of the workshop I will pick you up at 9.30am at Hotel Al Duca and return you there for 5.30pm after a full day of creativity & just in time for aperitivi! Evenings are free time for you to enjoy…

The workshop only price is £495. You are responsible for booking flights [approx £60 – £200 return] and accommodation [£250 – £360], airport transfer 50 euros [payable locally]. 6 students per week.

Example itinerary:

Day one

Morning – Researching and collecting visual information. The Abrussese coast line is dotted with spectacular ‘Trabocchi’ [wooden fishing platforms] – they are a truly special feature of the Abruzzo region & perfect visual stimuli! We shall enjoy lunch at a local restaurant near the beach.

Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola I shall introduce a technique to help you develop the images collected that morning.

Day two

Morning – Researching and collecting visual information. We shall venture into the mountains and work ‘en plein air’ to capture the amazing vistas and landscapes of the Appeninnes: followed by a traditional mountain lunch at a local Agriturismo.

Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola, I’ll demonstrate another new technique useful for developing that mornings images and incorporate yesterdays ideas and techniques.

Evening- Enjoy an aperitif at La Vecchio Scuola whilst listening to an informative talk about my work and career.

Day three

Morning – Tornareccio, the nearest village, is known for its honey and its mosaics – we shall spend the morning investigating the latter through the small alleys, streets and piazzas of this pleasant hillside village: then its lunch at the local restaurant: Meditteraneo

Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola we shall look at incorporating further techniques into your new repertoire and discuss how you might move forward with your work.

Day four

Morning – Its market day in Atessa…. we shall make a late start so you can absorb the sights and sounds of the local town: There are numerous amazing Baroque churches, beautiful cobble streets and ancient arches & doorways to explore: you can enjoy lunch in one of the numerous restaurants and bars of Atessa

Afternoon – Time for some individual development and 1:1 discussion to help clarify your ideas

Day five

Morning – Developing and resolving images and ideas…

Local lunch…

Afternoon – This is a great time to consider different methods of finishing/mounting/presentation pieces. You’ll have time to complete your work as well as review and evaluate [individually and with the group]…sadly its time to say goodbye….

Saturday departure. We can collect you from the hotel in the afternoon for a departure from Pescara airport returning to Stansted

What workshop supplies will you need to bring?

Most things you’ll need will be at the studio – we shall be making our own sketchbooks, so make sure you have space in your suitcase to take it home!

Drawing/sketching media – pencils, graphite sticks, charcoal – whatever your prefer.

Something water-soluble would be most beneficial – coloured Caran D’ache type pastels are ideal.

Small water container &/or refillable brush

Bear in mind it may be very warm – you may like a hat/suncream & a refillable water bottle…

What supplies/materials/equipment will be provided for you at La Vecchio Scuola?

Papers, fabrics, threads, scissors…PLUS as a bonus for 2018 a hand printed tote bag to carry all your supplies!!

Getting there

The nearest airport is Pescara there are regular flights from Stansted, UK and other European airports. Arrive on the Sunday afternoon flight, depart on the Saturday evening flight [to coincide with transfers/pick ups] or extend you stay in this wonderful region. [NB. you can hire a car or allow me to collect you from the airport 50 euros paid locally : once you’re at the hotel you are unlikely to need a car unless you intend to extend your stay in Italy]

Some students find it easier to fly to Rome – there is a bus that connects from right outside the terminal [of both the Roman airports] to Pescara [approx 2.5 hours €27 bookable online] Prontobus If you aim to arrive to coincide with airport collections/drop offs, I can whizz by the bus station to collect you as well 🙂


Hotel Al Duca in Atessa [] : Antonio is lovely and has agreed to offer a 10% discount on his B&B rates for my students. You are welcome to book directly with Antonio at Hotel Al Duca or opt for me to book your room and pay the deposit on your behalf - you can pay the remainder during your stay

I have had a tour of this hotel and it is perfect: its a small, well run hotel which has been recently re-modelled. Its exceptionally clean and the restaurant is well regarded in the area – there’s free wifi and access to the local swimming pool a short walk away. For guests, Antonio will also offer a set price dinner for 15 euros.

Rooms 201, 202 & 203 have balconies and view across the town to the sea in the distance. 302/303/304/402 also have views but no balcony. 403 has mountain views.

There are good reviews on Trip Advisor that are worth reading & I have a small flyer that I can send to you if you like. [their website is currently being updated – but other booking sites have imagery]

Single room 40/45 euros [less 10%]

Double 65 euros [less 10%][twin beds]

Double 65 euros [less 10%][double bed – ask for ‘matrimonial’]

Agriturismo Montagnola has a cottage to rent – it would be ideal for families or couples…you would definitely need a car!

Casa Pietra is delightful self catering Farmhouse in a beautiful spot: there are 4 double ensuite rooms in the main house and the Casetta sleeps 2 to 4 guests. Robert, the English speaking owner can help you get out an about and will even cook for you if you would like a night off!

La Fontana Tornareccio : A boutique B&B in the local village – you would need a car to get about.


Independent travellers may wish to hire a car – Abruzzo is a rural area, the roads aren’t as busy as in other Italian locations, but a Sat Nav or Google Maps is extremely useful.

Car hire is available form the Airport and the Railway station: we often use Firefly [car hire can be booked via Ryanair when purchasing flights]

We can collect students from Pescara Airport on Sunday afternoon and return the following weekend in time for the Saturday afternoon flight back to Stansted [please let me know if you would like to be collected/returned from/to the airport = 50 euros] – transfer of this nature is only feasible if your are staying at Al Duca in Atessa our suggested accommodation.

We will collect students daily from Al Duca for the workshop excursions: Al Duca is well placed in the centre of Atessa where there are a range of bars and restaurants all in strolling distance.

Non participating guests and partners are welcome to join in on meals and ‘extras’ yet would need to make their own transport arrangements. [Advance notice and payment would be appreciated]

We can suggest a range of activities and excursions to suit their interests: mountain walks and cycling are very popular…yet also a quick search in Trip Advisor for activities in the area will highlight many opportunities.

Please get in touch if you have any queries.


  • Sketchbooks Summer School

    You are paying for my Exploring Sketchbooks Workshop in Italy only. Please arrange you own accommodation - note daily workshop pick-ups leave from central Atessa next to Hotel Al Duca.

    Sale ended
  • Sk/bk Workshop & hotel deposit

    This is the workshop fee plus a convenient way to confirm your Hotel Al Duca deposit: please email me with your room choice and I shall liaise with Antonio/hotel manager. [Pay the remainder directly to Al Duca when you arrive, the amount will depend on you room selection].

    Sale ended



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