Retreat to Tuscany, Italy

Postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak,  Dates TBA.

Imagine a week on a Tuscan mountaintop. Each day you will get just the right amount of exercise through mat Pilates sessions and walks through the countryside with your teacher, Sarah DiVincenzo.  We will connect to the beauty of the surroundings by each creating our own “art journal” with Mark DiVincenzo.  Enjoying delicous meals, wine, and company as we explore the region, learn about the history, and make new friends.  All of this taking place at Villa San Rocco, a 14th century Baroque villa situated in a medieval village in the rural hills of Tuscany, Italy with our hosts, Carol Panaro-Smith and James Hajicak.

  • 10 rooms available
  • 8 large rooms with ensuite bath $3,775.00 per person (couples $3,475.00 per person)
  • 1 small shared room/separate beds, shared bath $3,475.00 per person
  • 1 small single room with ensuite bath $3,475.00

Contact Sarah DiVincenzo to sign up or for a detailed information packet

  • Morning Pilates each day. 30-45 minutes gentle movement/beginner mat Pilates followed by 30-45 minutes of intermediate/advanced mat Pilates. Choose to take either or both classes. No previous Pilates experience is needed for the gentle movement class.
  • The visual art sessions include drawing, painting, and writing. You will create an “Art Journal” recording your visual experience on paper, working with gouache paints, pen and ink and pencil. You will get an introduction to simple technique using the various mediums as an exercise of expression and experience. Everyday will be a new adventure, words or poetry, a leaf or a wine stain may be part of your creations! At the end you will leave with a book of golden creative memories. Drawing and painting materials included. No previous visual art experience is needed.
  • A full day outing to the historic city of Lucca, followed by a pizza dinner in Bagni di Lucca. We also do a bike ride around the walled park.
  • A half-day outing to Collodi.
  • All meals – including a self serve breakfast, prepared lunches and dinners either at the villa or in a restaurant.
  • A private bedroom with an ensuite bathroom (2 rooms at a reduced tuition are available first come first served)
  • Access to a 14th century monastic studio 24/7 with a wide array of supplied materials.
  • Pick up and drop off at the Florence airport. Airfare and trip insurance to and from Florence is not included.

Artist & Instructor Bios


SARAH DIVINCENZO is the lead teacher and owner of Pilates Art Studio in Buffalo, NY.  She has spent the last 18 years teaching and leading people through their journey in health, fitness and Pilates.  Sarah received a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management from Medialle College where she based her studies in the fitness industry.  She holds a comprehensive Pilates certification through Balanced Body University.  Sarah completed her Pilates training in Nosara, Costa Rica, and in Buffalo, NY.  She has a love for travel and adventure, movement, and art.  This is an exciting new venture to offer this Pilates Art Retreat to those who are new to Pilates or have been practicing for years.


MARK DIVINCENZO has been an artist since his youth, he became a prolific portrait artist at age 14 working with conte crayon and pastels. By late teens he was painting murals. While in college at Buffalo State he studied abroad in Italy in the Siena program, which had a profound effect in his passion of art and culture. The influence and exposure to great art and architecture convinced him to be involved with art as a career. From living and setting up studios in Buffalo, San Francisco, LA to New York over 40 years he became a prolific interior artist, designing motif, developing a crew of artisans restoring historic buildings and churches. At the same time he has been painting at nights creating large bodies of work on canvas and paper in oils and in gouache. Inspired by his immediate natural surroundings the paintings are large and small, absorbing and reflective . He established himself in the New York art market represented by Sears/Peyton Gallery.  Now Mark lives and works in Buffalo, NY with his wife, Sarah and young son Gianluca.

JAMES HAJICEK is a Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University where he taught fine art photography for 34 years. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from the University of New Mexico. His area of specialization is late 19th century photographic printing processes. His work has been exhibited internationally over the last thirty years and can be found in many significant public collections including the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France. He has received several National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships for his own photography and his work with obscure photographic printing processes. James loves riding his vintage Moto Guzzi motorcycle and intersecting with “anything Italian”.

CAROL PANARO-SMITH received her MFA at Arizona State University. Her area of specialization is alternative photographic processes, mixed media and book arts. She has held a number of positions both as an art instructor and administrator throughout the valley for over 30 years. Some highlights in her career include establishing Alchemy Studio, a working and teaching studio in Phoenix and her position as program director and curator at Art Intersection until 2015. Her own work along with collaborative work with partner James Hajicek has been internationally recognized and collected. Her passion for cooking, traveling, and art making are testimony to a life of interconnection.

Payment Timetable

A $1,000 deposit is due to Pilates Art Studio at the time of application. This reserves your spot in the workshop. Places will be filled on a first come first served basis. Please make your deposit as soon as you are committed to attending as we expect it to fill quickly. Make your check or money order payable to Pilates Art Studio, 429 Rhode Island St.  Buffalo, NY 14213

Final Payment date TBA. Make your check or money order out to: Alchemy Studio and mail to Alchemy Studio, 4022 E. Cambridge Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85008.

Cancellation Policy

  • All deposits and payments will be refunded in full if the workshop does not make minimum enrollment and is cancelled.
  • If you cancel before the first cancellation date (TBA): 100% of deposit less $50 administrative fee will be refunded.
  • If you cancel before the final cancellation date (TBA): 90% of tuition will be refunded.
  • If you cancel within 4 weeks of start of workshop refunds will be offered only if your space can be filled.

Adjustments to the above policies can be made if cancellation is the result of immediate personal or family emergencies.