ITALY - Discovering the Italian Lakes Area 


Dates: 2023

Medium: A variety of mediums 

Price: TBD

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Paul Birchak has taught painting, drawing, sculpture art classes and workshops for over twenty years. He will lead our tour to this alluring area of northern Italy. Beginning each day, Paul will demonstrate his unique vision and share his artistic goals for the day. As Paul’s background includes teaching many different art forms, he will be available to guide students along their chosen artistic path.

On this trip we will focus on capturing scenes in our sketchbooks, allowing us to easily move from area to area. Through Paul’s personal attention to student’s goals, participants will be able to learn to draw and paint in one of the most charming places in Europe. This trip is suitable for all levels of artists – complete beginners to accomplished artists. Read more about Paul on the About Us page.


Paul will take us to the finest spots along the shores of the picturesque Italian Lakes. The region is considered one of the most beautiful areas in Europe and is a haven for artists of all kinds.


We will explore the many lakeside towns, with its Renaissance architecture, Italian villas and terraced gardens. The first part of the trip we will explore Lago di Como and stay in a hotel in the town of Como. The last part of the week we will move to Lago di Maggiore and stay in the beautiful town of Stresa.

We will go on daily excursions to visit towns, villas, islands, churches and gardens. 

The many islands in Lake Maggiore have some of the most magnificent gardens in all of Europe. One of the highlights will be visiting Isola Bella, with its Baroque palace, and its impressive fragrant gardens where white peacocks wander freely around.



Tour: Discovering the Italian Lakes Area, Italy 

Dates: 2023

Lodging: Three star hotel in Como (Lago di Como) and in Stresa (Lago Maggiore). 

Closest airport: Milan

Meeting Point: Como train station in the town of Como 

Price: TBD

Price includes:

6 night lodging in shared double room

6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

5 days art instruction

All excursions, museum entrances and other programs during the week.

All local transportation including pick up at the train station in Como.

Single supplement: TBD

Not included:

Airline tickets

Transportation to and from your departure airport

Any pre-tour hotel costs

Travel insurance

Meals not listed above


Widely considered one of the prettiest areas of Europe, the Italian Lakes area was once a playground for nobility and royals, visible in the many palaces and castles dotting the lake shores.


There are five major lakes in the Italian Lakes district: Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como, Lake Iseo and Lake Garda – and each has its own particular character. 

Lake Maggiore was once the home of Ernest Hemingway. This is where he found inspiration to write “A Farewell to Arms”. It seems like not much has changed since that time; Lago Maggiore is still a peaceful oasis with a wonderful temperate climate year-round.

Lake Como is more of an upscale resort area with many lakeside historic towns, and with a scenic setting by the foothills of the Swiss and Italian Alps. One of the most famous towns in Lake Como is Bellagio, known for its Italian villas, terraced gardens and cobblestone streets.

The Italian Lakes area has a mesmerizing, timeless beauty where we will find endless inspiration to design, generate and create art. 

Lodging: Three star hotel in Como, Lake Como and in Stresa, Lake Maggiore.

Some of Paul's art below:

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Merchants of Venice 6 18 2016 (2).jpg
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Itinerary for our week in the Italian Lakes area


Arrival Day 

  • ·       We will meet you at the train station in Como Town to go to our hotel

  • ·       Welcome dinner

  • ·       Meet fellow students, teacher and staff

  • ·       Presentation of the week


Painting Days

  • ·       Breakfast

  • ·       Excursions by boat or bus to our paint out locations, among them:

·                    Bellagio, with its cobblestone streets, named the most beautiful town in north Italy

·                    Isola Bella with its 17th century baroque palace and hanging gardens

·                   The lovely town of Stresa on the southwest tip of Lago Maggiore

·                   The beautiful gardens - with peacocks, pheasants and parrots - on Isola Madre

·                   Villa Carlotta, and the museum with its stunning art collection

  • ·       Each morning will start with a painting demo by Paul

  • ·       Most afternoons we will have a critique back at the hotel

  • ·       Three dinners are included. (And picnic lunches are included almost every day)


Departure day 

  • ·       After breakfast we will say our farewells and coordinate transfers to the train station 


                                                      We reserve the right to change the itinerary if needed.