Is a creative adventure in Italy on your wish list?

tales of adventure - creative passport workshop

If you love to travel, and if your idea of pure bliss is creating and traveling together, then we are very much alike.

My lifelong twin passions are meaningful art-making and global travel off the beaten path. What’s even better is getting to share the journey with a small group of kindreds.

Italy has long been on my dream list of places to make art – so I’ve designed the workshop and travel experience for you that I would most love to take.

It’s happening next May, 2017 – which might seem like a long way off. But it’s a very small workshop (my favorite kind!) so do reserve asap to make sure you get a spot. Registration details are at the end, all you need now is a small deposit to hold your space, and you can pay the balance closer to the workshop time.

Here’s what we’re doing in the workshop, and where we’re going in Italy!

Creative Passport to Italy Workshop with Lisa Sonora

May 14 – 20, 2017

Orvieto, Italy (just North of Rome, in the Umbria region)

Limited to 12 travelers! You’ll get plenty of individual attention and creative coaching on your process.

In the Creative Passport to Italy workshop you’ll explore the ancient Italian hilltop town of Orvieto like an artist, creating a beautiful, richly textured and layered visual travel journal that documents your journey.

photo of one of old town Orvieto's narrow streets on the way to the cathedral

Orvieto, Italy is an artist’s dream. We’ll go on artistic treasure hunts through old town Orvieto in search of the images, collage elements, stories and inspiration that we’ll use to embellish our travel journals.

We’ll tour the 1400’s cathedral, (a whole art history lesson in itself), learn about the ancient Italians who built a vast network of tunnels and caves and wells under Orvieto, visit a winery and enjoy Italy’s Classico wine, and shop at the local market and have a private cooking class.

Did you know that Italy is the birthplace of the Slow Food movement? We’re going to be savoring all the tastes of Italy the way the locals do.

During our travels, I’ll help you experience Orvieto as an artist, with tips on getting great travel photos, sketching in public (even if you can’t draw!), collecting stories to remember, and finding symbols and signs that support your creative journey.

Mixed-media travel journal by Lisa Sonora

During studio time, I’ll show you how to create your own, one-of-a-kind, portable and expandable travel journal out of beautiful papers, maps, ribbons, envelopes, and other ephemera we find in Italy.

You’ll get plenty of instruction in mixed-media techniques, plus guidance on how to use the experience of travel to increase your own creativity, including how to break through creative blocks.

Travel is the perfect way to awaken and enliven your creative spirit. Being in a foreign land awakens our curiosity, brings our senses alive, and requires us to navigate the unfamiliar. These are just a few of the qualities that play a part in artistic expression, and you’ll learn how to harness these qualities as you craft your travel journal.

Hand-painted ceramic shop in Orvieto

Everything you learn in the workshop can be applied to any journey you are on in life – whether it’s a travel journey, or a life journey.

All you need to participate is a willingness to explore – and curiosity. Everyone can travel artfully, and anyone can make a beautiful travel journal that captures their experience.

Creative adventures await you! Get your passport and start packing!

No prior experience in art, writing — or even travel — is required! Absolute beginners are welcome and encouraged to attend. Fact: Many people who come to my international workshops are getting their very first passport and passport stamp on the way!

If you are a creative soul who yearns to combine meaningful art-making with foreign travel, then you’ll love this experience.

In this workshop you’ll learn how to:

  • Create your own portable, expandable travel journal out of beautiful papers, maps, ribbons, envelopes, and other ephemera that we find in Italy.
  • See with the eyes of an artist, and find ephemera and stories for your journal.
  • Make fantastic use of the stuff we find on our treasure hunts through Orvieto’s magical streets, shops, cafes, artistic haunts, and historic monuments.
  • Use paint, drawing, and collage to create richly textured pageseven if you have no experience in painting, drawing or collage.
  • Make your own stencils, stamps, maps, envelopes and other mixed-media techniques that make your travel journal uniquely yours.
  • Take better photos with your smart phone or portable digital camera, the apps you can use to create compelling travel photos, and how to weave them into your travel journal.
  • Capture your own meaningful travel stories to add to your journal, even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer or are afraid to write.
  • Find and work with unlikely materials. No matter where you go, even without traditional art supplies, you can create a wonderful artifacts of your journey.

No matter what level of experience, you’ll absolutely fall in love with your own creative work. Even if you are an absolute beginner or have old hangups about not being creative.

P.S. Everyone pretty much has some kind of creative hangup at some time – so don’t let that stop you.

Traditional paint colors of Umbria. Imagine getting a tube of Burnt Umber here in Umbria!

You’ll take away:

  • A magnificent, one-of-a-kind handmade travel journal, brimming with color, texture, images and stories of your time in Orvieto, Italy.
  • Your own Creative Passport Kit, with Lisa’s favorite travel journal supplies, packed inside a unique, lightweight, colorful tote. Your supplies will always be at the ready for any spontaneous adventure!
  • A Creative Passport – A fun passport-sized booklet of Creative Journey prompts, stickers and stamps.
  • A set of Creative Passport postcards — illustrated creativity lessons you learned in the workshop that help you travel and create like an artist.
  • A Creative Journey Map – A beautifully designed map of the Creative Journey Method that you and fold up and carry with you, or hang up and use in your studio space.

Outside of the classroom, our group will:

  • Enjoy tasting Orvieto’s wines and olive oils, paired with local foods and under the guidance of a trainer of sommeliers. This is the land of slow food!
  • Learn to cook Italian food with a noted chef then enjoying the exquisite meal we have prepared. How do you say YUM! in Italian?!
  • Tour Italy’s most impressive Gothic cathedral
  • Travel to a vineyard for a personalized wine tasting
  • Shop at the weekly market – an institution in Italian towns
  • Explore the Etruscan culture from 800 B.C.

This is an experiential travel workshop in the company of kindreds who also love art and travel.


Dates: May 14 – 20, 2017
Registration: $2995 USD

Registration includes:

  • Workshop instruction and kit
  • Pre-trip notes and guidelines
  • Six nights double occupancy lodging – Sunday to Saturday
  • Six Continental breakfasts
  • Cooking class and dinner
  • One additional dinner
  • Four lunches
  • Vineyard tour and wine tasting
  • Wine and olive oil tasting
  • Cathedral tour and visit to San Brizio chapel
  • Advice on travel plans before or after the trip, if desired

To register, please email Adventures in Italy, You may download the registration form here.

Hurry! While the workshop doesn’t happen until Spring, 2017, you’ll want to reserve your space ASAP, as there are just 12 spots available in the workshop.

Learn more about Adventures in Italy and see the Creative Passport to Italy workshop on their website here.

Single occupancy available for an additional cost. You may also bring a companion who won’t be participating in the workshop, as there is another program of activities available for non-participating travel partners. Yay! A perfect opportunity to travel with your spouse (or mom?! it’s Mother’s Day the day we begin!) and get to do a creative workshop, too.

Because Italian cuisine is such fun, some meals are not prearranged allowing you the freedom to choose where and what to eat. We do give lots of advice and no one eats alone! Travel costs are not included.

Travel Tips:

You’ll fly into Rome, Italy airport. Fiumicino – Leonardo da Vinci International Airport or Rome Fiumicino Airport, also simply known as Fiumicino Airport.

Airport code is: FCO

Alex and I will be in Rome a few days before the workshop to get acclimated, recover from jet lag, and practice ordering espresso in Italian at Rome’s many cafes – birthplace of espresso and a worth pilgrimage in itself!

From Rome, you’ll take a short train ride to Orvieto, Italy – travel schedules are coordinated so you can take the train with other participants if you like.

I like to search for airfares on

You can see recommended travel routes by train, plane, ferry and car to and from any destination on the Rome2Rio website.

Happy travel planning – Adventures in Italy can give you more travel info when you contact them.

Image credits:

All art images by Lisa Sonora.

Orvieto, Umbria street at dusk by Bo&Ko

Ceramich Cecconi, Orvieto Ceramic Shop by David Wright

Ocres, Traditional Mural Colors of Umbria, Italy, by Groume

5 Responses to Is a creative adventure in Italy on your wish list?

  1. Jen Morris June 10, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    Hi Lisa, will you run this or a similar workshop in 2018? I couldn’t come this year because I just had a baby, but I’d love to start saving and planning for one next year. Do you think you’ll run another Italian workshop? I’d love to go!!

  2. Melody March 25, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    I’m crying because I can’t come! I hope you will do this another time so I can. it sounds divine!

    • Stacia DeBill March 25, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

      I am onboard! Sounds like a perfect adventure. I am not sure of the cost for my husband to tag along. Other than the cost of travel and insurance. Extending our stay. He would not be in the workshops.

      • Lisa Sonora March 25, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

        Stacia – You can check everything out with Adventures in Italy, they’ll give you the scoop on partner pricing, plus ideas for trip insurance and travel.

    • Lisa Sonora March 25, 2016 at 7:19 pm #

      Melody – oh no! Yes, I’d love to do a couple of international workshops per year – plus here in Mexico.

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