Be inspired by an ancient, untouristed region of Italy!
This workshop is cancelled for 2014; inquire about 2015!
As a longtime Italophile, I love to explore lesser-known parts of Italy, and one of my favorites is Puglia, the heel of the boot. I was there on assignment a couple of years ago writing about pizzica music, and the history behind that tarantula dance, and I fell in love with the area. Lecce, a Baroque white-stone city, is known as the “Florence of the South,” and the first time I saw it, at dusk, I cried–it was that beautiful. While I was there, I stayed at a masseria–a restored farmhouse–owned by Mario and Benedetta, two wonderful, welcoming people in an incredibly tasteful and gorgeous medieval farmhouse
and workshop space.
We will have writing workshops on the weekday mornings, for beginners to advanced writers, and in the afternoons, after a fresh meal with local ingredients, we will head out for an excursion–to the Cathedral and castle in Otranto, to the sea, to Lecce. We’ll also enjoy a private concert by traditional pizzica musicians, who play the ancient music that was played when a woman was bitten by a tarantula, and became possessed until the musicians drove the venom from her body. You can read my article in Afar about it here.
There will be plenty of time to relax or write by the pool. If you’d like to accompany someone who is taking the writing workshop, there’s plenty for you to do–or not do! You can take a bicycle around the olive groves or into town, you can read by the pool, help Giovanna in the kitchen, paint, or day-dream!
Cost for the week, not including airfare, includes transportation to and from Lecce to the masseria near Maglie, plus 5 morning writing workshops, daily meals, excursions to Lecce, Otranto, Maglie, and the ocean. We’ll help you figure out how to get to Lecce, too–it’s easy from Rome or Milano.
DOUBLE WITH PARTNER WHO ISN’T TAKING THE WORKSHOP: $2200 each
SHARED ROOM, BOTH TAKING THE WORKSHOP: $2600 each
For more information, contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deposit is $1000 and non-refundable, except in case of an emergency, when it may be applied to another workshop Laura teaches. Balance is due one month in advance. Please don’t book your plane tickets until there is critical mass for the workshop (we’ll let you know), unless you are sure you want to visit anyway (I recommend it, in any case!)
Here’s what one guest had to say about my writing retreat in Umbria last year:
“There were so many amazing aspects of the trip, but the people I met – the friends I made – was really the best (and most unexpected) part for me. The great thing about signing up for a themed retreat – in our case, writing and cooking – is that you are automatically going to be surrounded with people who have similar interests as you. We were all different ages, and came from different parts of the States, but we had a shared love of creative writing, excellent food, belly laughs, and vino! And as they say – In vino veritas! And so it was with us – some of the best moments were sitting around our giant dining room table, scraping up the last morsels of tiramisu from our plates, pouring another glass of red wine, and sharing stories of our days adventures. And what adventures! We shared stories of a flirtatious priest, an opera-singing philosopher whose family has run an olive oil press for decades, and what it would really be like to live as an ex-patriot in Italy. And of course, we shared our words. Lauras gave us all valuable tips and encouragement in our writing endeavors. She quickly and skillfully asked questions and provided feedback that was totally perfect for my piece . “