Join the Odyssey!

Daily Activities

Whether you have chosen Veneto or Umbria, the main daily activity is sketching. Liz will be on hand with structured and casual sessions, morning and afternoon, helping you to make the most of your travel sketch opportunities. The workshops revolve around specific techniques on fast sketching strategies for travellers.  Through her dynamic demonstrations and examples you will learn, or brush up on the fundamentals of the elements of classical and medieval architecture and you will explore perspective, composition, tone and colour to give your sketches life, vibrance and a unique sense of place.
Between sessions we will relax under the porticos enjoying traditional local cuisine and fine local wines as well as taking guided tours of the arts and artefacts displayed at the various venues, villas and palaces.
Our dedicated coach will take us between our base city of Vicenza for the Veneto tours or the town of Montone for the Umbria tours to the country villas and medieval hilltop towns that are part of each tour – see the individual itineraries  of Umbria and Veneto for more detail.
Our accommodation, be it twin share or individual, will offer modern conveniences with the charm of historic environments in spacious double rooms wherever possible.

Book now for your sketching tour of Umbria or Veneto.

Mike Botton - Tour Director

Mike Botton is also a passionate travel sketcher and will be your tour manager, accompanying you all along the way to ensure that every aspect of the experience meets your expectation. The historic locations, the accommodation, the food and wine, the dedicated coach, our specialised local guides; everything has been considered.

He has devised an itinerary that will not only be the inspiration for your creativity but will give you a uniquely enjoyable holiday experience. His knowledge of the region has grown through frequent visits over the last 20 years, dealing with local suppliers to support his furniture design studio in Sydney. Trained as an architect in Sydney and at the Beaux Arts in Paris and fluent in French and Italian, Mike is now eager to share his love of Italy and the Veneto and his passion for sketching, for architecture and for food and wine. Join us next May for this unforgettable experience.

Palladian Odyssey

Liz Steel - Sketching Tutor

If you’ve landed at this website then you won’t need an introduction to Liz Steel. You’ve probably done one of her online courses or attended a workshop. At the very least you’ll have seen her web site or subscribe to her blog. She is a regular instructor at the  annual International Urban Sketchers Symposium and has recently written a book “Five minute sketching: Architecture”. Liz will equip you with the essentials techniques for fast sketching on the go and then you can incorporate this into your own travel sketching goals –  there’s no pressure, no competition. You can decide that you want to fill an entire sketch book of the experience or you may want to simply hone your architecture sketching skills or free up your watercolour technique. You might just use your sketch pad and pen as a means to relax and savour some of the most awesome rural and urban settings in Italy. Whatever your travel sketching goal, Liz Steel will be there each day in morning and afternoon sessions to help you achieve it with lots of tips and demonstrations along the way. Her deep passion and enthusiasm for sketching is infectious and you couldn’t want for a more energetic tutor to accompany you. Click below to hear what sketchers from her recent Lucca workshop have to say.

Palladian Odyssey


Ciao Mike,

…I’m attaching my survey for the Palladian Odyssey workshop. It was wonderful! You did a marvelous job of planning the trip. Excellent venues for sketching, very nice accommodations and food/wine. I would return to many of the same spots if I have a chance. I don’t usually do that in Italy, since there is so, so much to see and do. I have a soft spot for Michela and Cá de Meme! Perhaps she needs a sous chef?
And Liz… Well, I knew from following her blog that Liz is both an artist and a scientist. She puts her heart and soul into her work, and, at the same time, she’s very analytical about her sketching techniques and her choice of tools-pens, brushes, paints, specific pigments. I love that about her. But not every artist (or scientist) makes a great instructor, and Liz is a really fine teacher. She breaks ideas down into manageable parts, she sets a foundation and then builds on it.  She’s very supportive of all of us. I feel really fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her!
Our group was…just so much fun! Luck had much to do with the great energy of the group. Or did it?? Maybe there’s something about sketchers…at any rate, it was such a congenial bunch. I know I will seek them out at sketch outings and when I travel….
Grazie mille, sincerely,  Joanna. – Veneto 2017 and Umbria 2019

Thank you all for making our trip with Liz and Mike amazingly worthwhile, inspiring, and Fun!

While enjoying a newly bolstered confidence (and a bit of better skill, thanks to Amazing Teach-ah), I’m paging through sweet memories of our trip together.

Most grateful to Mike for the superb organizing (and incredible sketch work), and of course, to Liz for her energy, ability, and Huge Heart.
Hope to see you all again.
Definitely planning for Umbria next year.
Cheers! Tina – Veneto 2019
Dear Mike, Liz,

I’m writing to thank both you and Liz for the wonderful week we spent together on the Palladian Odyssey.   The entire week was a great pleasure for me – and, I suspect for all of us.  My eyes were opened to Palladio; my mind to the economic conditions that led to his magnificent buildings; my palate to some of the best food and wine ever (oh, what you did to my waistline….  ).

….The entire trip was so well organized – the hotels, the transport, the schedule, the restaurants…  all of it.  I had a wonderful time and would be more than happy to be a tagalong again, if rumors of next year’s Umbria sojourn turn out to be fact.

Thank you again.  It was really, really a memorable experience.

Cordially, Chris -Veneto 2019, non-sketching guest


Thank you Liz and Mike for providing such a wonderful experience for us…We had such a great time. The wonderful trip is only five weeks over and I already want another one… I have no idea how to spend my next year holiday without you, Liz, and all the others. 😉

Sketchtraveller (facebook ID) – Veneto 2018 and Umbria 2019


Fantastic week of fantastic teaching with a fantastic group ! Thank you soooo much Liz and Mike !…Wish you and Liz all the very best for the Veneto tours with some extra sunshine maybe 😊🌞. I have such good memories of this great tour last year 🎉🎨

Magdy – Veneto 2018 and Umbria 2019


Reviews of the 2016 workshop: lucca, Italy