Rod June 2018
Having Parkinson’s, I was a reluctant traveller with my wife. My current medium was now iPad Art. I choose to do something new, sculpture with clay and plaster of Paris. I thoroughly enjoyed playing with my mud. Well fed and watered throughout the day. This villa, 800m in mountains, together with the well crafted and colourful garden, provides for the tranquil enjoyment of the experience. Pheona’s creativity is stunning. Great host and tutor.
Elaine June 2018
Thank you for a great time in your lovely home and the beautiful surroundings of Bedogno. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of my holiday and the learning was excellent.
Anne June 2018
Wonderful relaxed painting holiday in Northern Italy
This is a really lovely place - so relaxed and friendly. You can paint & draw & sculpt as much as you want in any medium. The countryside is beautiful and the food is perfect. Pheona is a wonderful host.
Maureen june 2018
Just had to write to thank you for providing such a wonderful venue for our painting holiday. We all had such a great time staying with you, the accommodation was really lovely and comfortable, the food superb and your help with our painting was so helpful. I am in awe of all you have achieved at Casa Appennino and sincerely wish you all the very best for your future. You have provided me with many happy memories of my stay with you and shall enjoy perhaps creating some more paintings from the photos I have.
Dorothy June 2018
I just wanted you to know that our car journey with Paolo made a perfect end to our holiday. He is so very interesting, conversation was a delight and as you would know, he drove us through the lovely Italian countryside at a calm and steady pace. God willing, we look forward to a Paolo led tour of Bologna next June. Thank you one more time for a chance to enjoy time in your very special home in Italy.
Gwenda June 2018
Thanks again for a great holiday, I learnt a lot and hope I can put your teaching into practice, looking forward to next year. Take care, with my love and best wishes,
Ruth, May 2018
Thank you so much for such an enjoyable holiday at your very special home. It was so utterly peaceful a retreat. I am still unpacking and looking forward to continuing my Art to reaffirm all those happy and inspirational activities we shared with you. I hope you are enjoying a well earned break and looking forward to seeing your daughter very soon.
Thank you for the extra care you gave me when I became unwell. I am resting as much as possible and looking forward to being fit and well again very soon.
Memories of our stay in Bedogno will be lasting and very happy ones. Thank you.
Cindy August 2017
Thank you for wonderful stay.... great food, masterful art teaching, a soulful place to be on holiday, and your life's wisdom. I am grateful for my week here.
Yvonne July 2017
Highly recommend this wonderful B&B. I came here on my own for a 2 week art holiday.... it's my second time. Pheona, looked after me very well... especially when I got sick and was bedridden at the end of my hol! The accomodation is comfortable and very spacious. I love the fact you have access to a kitchen and lounge.. you share it with another guest. Wonderful views from the balcony... the top floor offers the best view. The art holiday itself is wonderful. Pheona knows her stuff and is able to teach it too! There are great days out to be had too. Highly recommend the ski lift ride for spectacular views. Overall if you are looking for a relaxed time in a warm and cosy dwelling with a host who is energetic, warm, kind and a great cook, this is the place for you.
Stan June 2017
As an Art holiday it was a great experience : the tuition was excellent and helped to extend my knowledge of, and ability to use, different media. The location and accommodation was excellent as well as the meals inhouse, with the breakfast kitchen very useful and well provided. Pheona Kerr was very helpful and her advice and suggestions helped me to improve what I was working on. We were also taken to places of great interest in the Emilia Romagna area, as well as an excellent local Restaurant, famed for its Pizzas Great hospitality at the Casa encouraged friendship with others on the course, and I would certainly wish to return to the Casa Appennino. Pick-up and return to Bologna Airport was also arranged; and a parting gift of a box of paints was much appreciatedArt experience
Jennifer June 2017
A very welcoming and relaxed time staying with Pheona and her guests. I was there as a 'non-painting' partner, yet discovered I actually enjoyed sketching - with encouragement from Pheona. A great opportunity to see 'real' life in a very friendly town with charming local people who were keen to share their love of cooking, eating, drinking and the beauty of the surrounding area. Thank you Pheona.
Sharon June 2017
"I had a wonderful time staying at Casa Appenino." Pheona took such good care of me. The food was really tasty, the atmosphere was so peaceful, the accommodations were clean and comfortable. As for the art, I learned so much and am really happy to be able to use what I learned.
Julian May 2017
"Asplendidly chilled week in a hot climate"
Artists and non-Artists alike will love this break. I went for a week and regretted not booking it for two. Pheona is an excellent host / teacher/mentor/friend - nothing was too much trouble - food was excellent, scenery stunning, I could go on. Suffice to say I will be going again
Thanks Pheona. I had a splendid time and could barely be more chilled.
Stan June 2017
Thanks for a very instructive & enjoyable week. I enjoyed using a new medium, and relearning colour mixing. Every thing was excellent - hospitality, food, wine, tuition, materials, and friendly fellow students, who even endured my jokes.
The drive through lovely scenery to the castle and awesome Bismantova was great also.The Pizza at the Restaurant on that Sunday night was the best I have ever had, and I managed to eat most of it. And it was a new experience for me to take part in a cookery class although it took me a wee while to learn how to fold the cappoletti!
Patrizia made very good time to get Pauline and me to the Airport, for which I send my thanks. I hope to return, but later in the year next time, I hope. And I shall be singing your praises to all my friends and acquaintances. And thanks also for the box of paints, which will encourage me to experiment with water soluble oil paints.
Hilary June 2017
Relaxed informal and very friendly. "The perfect place to get away to a quiet, friendly and inspiring few days. I would highly recommend this for any artist of any ability and any medium. I wished I could have stayed longer and would not hesitate if I can get the chance to make a return visit. Worth a visit for the food experience alone and the local wine is great as well....whats not to like!!!
Charlie June 2017
Absolutely going to remember this one for a long time. I'm even planning my next visit here. Pheona is a brilliant teacher and a caring and attentive host. I have learnt so much in my short time that I now have to keep practising in order to put this into practice. Definitely value for money.
Roger June 2017
I just loved being with you it passed all my expectations so please accept heart felt thanks, I wish you all the best for the future and envy you being in such a delightful place, warm in every sense.
Susie May 2017
I really fell in love with the beauty and peacefulness of Emilia Romagna where Casa Appennino is located. This so added to the ambience of an art holiday. It was good to be met at Bologna airport, especially for a solo traveller. Pheona made us very welcome, and she ensured we had everything we required, based on individual need of group members. She rightly kept the group numbers fairly small so that we could all have individual attention. I learned so much from her professional but friendly art tutorials. Especially good was that being accommodated in three very comfortable apartments with their own kitchen, living area and shower rooms - everyone could have their own breakfast at their leisure. Pheona thoughtfully ensured that fridges were well stocked with food we enjoyed. We were there to learn - but also to have a holiday - which it was! I want to return!
David May 2017
I flatter myself that, over the years I have never planned a disappointing holiday. But my holiday with you was among the best of it’s kind;
it was just what I had hoped for as my last trip abroad.
I’m sure you must receive many complimentary accolades from delighted guests, so much so that they must get a bit tedious!
My lasting memory is of your canny Scottish choice of area and your ability to keep so many balls in the air whilst integrating seamlessly into the local community.
I’d like to have seen your house next door after a year or two of your making it your own home.
It looks great already. Thanks for a memorable holiday.
Iain & Eleanor
Excellent Art Holiday in Italy. We recently returned from an Art Holiday Painting Course in Italy. This was a Birthday Holiday for my Painter wife Eleanor. Our Villa suite on first floor consisted of kitchen with self catering cooker kettlle and fridge. All utensils in drawers and cupboards and Breakfast cerials supplied, including Milk cheese biscuit snacks all. Coffee and Tea bags.Our Lunch and Evening Meals all cooked by Pheona. amongst her seven guests were two Ladies with Food Allergies and she cooked special meals for them.Five guests were Artists and two non Painting guest Partners. Pheona during the week gave each "pupil" her individual attention and suggested or demonstrated the way to improve whaevert their painting style. Very knowledgeable and helpful.The group went on site seeing trips together in hired minibus. We went out on the Sunday for an Italian Evening Meal Meeting Locals. Excellent Meal and four of us learning of a short Afternoon Italian Cookery Course went back later in week. The whole group ate our efforts in Evening. Remarks "very tasty" well done Trainee's. The week flew by and everyone enjoyed each others company and admired the varied styles of painting and encouraged each other's improvements. Most rewarding and enjoyable Holiday. H.Iain M.Watt
Aileen. Christmas & New Year
“Christmas and New Year in Bodogno”
In the most glorious mountainside, in the most wonderful company, under supervision of the fabulous art teacher, Pheona, it was the greatest gift to an art lover.
Although it was deep mid-winter, the sun shone brightly every day, but as normal, the evenings were very cold.
This was the most memorable holiday, ever.
Suzie September 2016
I, like everyone else, had a fantastic experience in the company of fellow travellers with the delightful Pheona - we were a group of seven which didn't for a minute phase our hostess.... I concluded my week was much more than a holiday - it was a journey with friends with each of us achieving different levels of artistic clarity related to the level at commencement - mine was an exponential leap in the field of photography - my chosen focus.... I will be back again to build on my knowledge... Pheona is a unique teaching professional able to get the best out of everyone - dont hesitate to come on your own - you will leave having made new friends....,
Anne & Mark September 2016
We have just spent two weeks in Casa Appennino, Bedogno with Pheona Kerr as our host and art teacher - it really exceded our expectations. We were complete beginners and under Pheona's kind and patient guidance feel that we now have some of the basic knowledge and skills to draw and paint. We managed to produce some good drawings and paintings and certainly feel inspired to continue.The atmosphere was very creative and supportive and our fellow artists good company. Bedogno is a beautiful, peaceful village and nearby Villa Minozzo is a very friendly non-touristy large village. We would recommend this holiday to artists of all levels.
Wilma September 2016
My second holiday at Pheona's little piece of heaven. Good food, good company and lovely weather. Casa Appennino is the place to go for complete relaxation and if art is what you want to learn, Pheona is a wonderful teacher and hostess who makes everyone welcome and ensures you have the best time.
Room Tip: The apartments are large and beautifully furnished , with fully equipped kitchens. .Hair driers and irons are provided as is food for breakfast and snacks. You make your own breakfast so there's no rush to get up in the morning. "
Irene September 2016
I had a wonderful holiday in this beautiful part of Italy. Pheona is an excellent tutor and is skilled in all media. Each student is treated as an individual and is given tuition according to their particular needs. This year I chose to concentrate on watercolour painting and I have learned a lot.
Lyn August 2016 "An Art holiday plus....."....... so much more.
Dear Pheona, where do I begin to thank you for providing me so kindly and sensitively with a holiday just perfect for my needs? From the time we met at the airport, we hardly seemed to stop chatting and I immediately felt welcomed into the lovely community which is Bedogno. Locals called in and it hardly seemed any time at all before (much to my amazement) I was on the back of a motorbike setting off on a 'Lucatour' to appreciate the local countryside. Luca being the local pharmacist in Villa Minozzo. He obviously recognised my apprehension (terror?) and was so so careful driving me, and stopping to appreciate beautiful views and explain points of historical interest, I'm so pleased I did it. Then you were so generous taking me to the weekly market, a musical evening it he square, a day out with your friends from Bologna, when we took a cable car up the mountain and did a wee trek along the top enjoying the views. Then introducing me to your friends in Villa Minozza and including me in the Sunday Night Pizza Event, so enjoyable. And now, just maybe, I should also mention the Art. As I was almost the only guest that week, once again, you were so good at sitting and painting with me companionably and even thoughtfully rocking up with chocolate on several occasions, having noticed my close relationship with this product! By the end of the week, with your help, I had produced two paintings which are now framed. At the end of each day we shared good food and wine before I then happily retired to my well equipped apartment to appreciate maybe another drink, maybe more chocolate....?....(not telling) and the peace and views from my balcony ..... Then to bed with the aroma emanating from the Lavender soap and Lavender bag, so artfully interleaved between the pillows in time to anticipate the next perfect day. What more could I want? Well, maybe just to return as soon as possible......
Thank you so much again, keep going with the barn, it's looking great, you are such an achiever.... You deserve the best!
Room Tip: Just enjoy the views....
Rita & Pam August 2016
Casa Appennino is a very special place in the most beautiful area. The peace of the village and surroundings have all contributed to a very reaxing week. We have however, worked very hard encouraged by out lovely host Pheona who has pushed us gently to achieve more than we had dare hope for. Thank you Pheona for al your help, your kindness and the lovely meals. Special thanks from Pam for the balustrade!!!
Glynis . July 2016
I spent 10 days in this little corner of paradise! Casa Appennino is in a truly stunning location. From the moment I arrived I was made to feel welcome and at home. Pheona is a wonderful hostess as well as being a truly talented artist and an excellent tutor. I wanted to spend my time learning to paint portraits. I was a total beginner. I came home with 2 portraits that I am very pleased with. I was taken on excursions into the hills as well as into Modena and Bologne. I was introduced to many of the local residents who were incredibly friendly and happy to let me practice my Italian. My meals ,all prepared from fresh local produce by Pheona were delicious. I don't know where she finds the time to do everything. It was a pleasure to spend time with Pheona.She has a great sense of humour and an abundance of energy. I would thoroughly recommend this holiday to anyone. I left feeling totally relaxed and with many lovely memories
Jan, New Zealand, October 2014 What an amazing 3 weeks! Wonderful 'home' , Yummy food and fantastic adventures:). Thanks for your teaching, warmth, and friendship. I return home fully rejuvenated...until the next time... x
Christine, September 2014 Many thanks Pheona. I had a really great time and am very pleased with what I achieved. And it was lovely having a “lively” group and meeting the locals, and you and Federico are so welcoming it was a unique experience that I really enjoyed. I’ll be recommending it to anybody who is thinking about learning to paint. Please thank Luca, Richard, Dina etc for making us feel so welcome as well.
Sheila september 2014 Home study course safely arrived, printed, read and digested. Today I go to the art shop to buy masking fluid - a new venture for me and then I will get started! I am quite excited about it!! Thank you for a very good week of fun and painting tuition........you managed it beautifully and what good fun everybody was. I have always said Glasgow people are easy to get on with and make everything a laugh and the others certainly lived up to my expectations. Give my thanks also to Federico - what a treasure you have got there! Anyway, hopefully I will be speaking to you again in the not too distant future with some "masterpieces" so again many thanks for what was another great painting holiday.
Maggie, September 2014 Just to say a big thankyou for an excellent week, really enjoyed all the drawing and projects and, as usual came back fully inspired .....Also say thanks to Luca for taking us on the trip to Reggio Emilia...
Madelaine, England, August 2014 Can I just thank you both with all my heart for making my holiday so wonderful. I have never enjoyed myself so much in ages. My birthday was the best ever. I wish you all the success in what you are trying to achieve and I am sure it will be just that. I am practicing my Italian Fredrico and thank you for getting me on the right way to learning. Thank you is not enough for what you have done for me! I have had the most wonderful experiences ever. Painting, walking, and visiting the most beautiful places. I know I will be back because the place draws me like home. Graie Mille Pheona and Federico. I give you me heart.xx
Sue, england July 2014 Just to say how much I enjoyed my week with you. It was a special time...
Anne, New Zealand June 2014 ....at long last we are home having had a truly wonderful trip.
Ruth and I really loved our time with you - it was so relaxing and such fun and such a treat to have Ian, go to Florence and to have a whole two weeks being self indulgent in all areas. I could have done with another two weeks of painting with more tuition from you but que sera and maybe another time if the visa settles! You have a great thing going there Fiona so I hope your barn comes together well and some alternative for an extended studio at not too great an expense.. It was all such anIitalian experience for us - just brilliant so thank you. Thank you Phoena for trundling me around the medicos re my leg. I have had no more trouble so can only assume that it wasnt enough wine - not your fault! Hope Frederico is well, still singing and hasn't crashed the car yet!! A big thank you and my very best wishes - say hi to .... (Italian friends)
Diane, Ireland, 2014 ...Grazie Federico , Thank you for all your kindness. You have helped make a wonderful holiday even more special.
Clare, Scotland 2014 Thank you for a wonderful holiday, lovely home, company and country! You are.... a .fantastic teacher Pheona, thank you. Hope to see you again before too long.
Amrita, Australia June 2014 Thank you so much for the beautiful holiday.I've had an awesome time here. Casa Appennino is very special. Even though I was a bit sick it was still lovely just lying about the place. I've gained useful skills in drawing and watercolours and insight about my life and 'finishing things'!.. And soaked up the healing energy of this place and your welcoming energy. Thank you for being so gracious Pheona, Federico and Riccardo. All the best for you and her's to coming through the flames into your own power and beauty. I admire your courage and creativity.
Sam, South Africa. June 2014
I spent ten wonderful days at Casa Appennino and it was the most special experience I have ever had. Pheona is an inspiring teacher with so many innovative ideas. She catered for all levels of skill and the first thing she asked me was what I wanted to achieve with my art. She was available at any time during the day for help and tuition. She also has an excellent sense of humour and immediately put me at ease. There were some lovely people also on the course and by the end of the week we all felt like family.
In addition to the art tuition, this was a truly immersive experience and a unique opportunity to experience the real Italy, far away from the tourist crowds. The villa is in a beautiful little village with friendly local Italians who all know Phenoa and are happy to meet you. The setting is in the hills and surrounded by lovely walks which were inspiring for painting, and so peaceful. We had delicious, fresh and healthy local food every day. The accommodation was spacious, clean and comfortable and I had a beautiful view of the garden and the mountains from my bedroom.
I was also lucky enough to be visiting in time for the Art Appreciation week with Ian Macdonald. He is an art historian and his knowledge was staggering. We spent the week learning a little bit about Italian art and how to interpret it and then spent a fantastic day at the Ufiizi in Florence bringing all of the knowledge we had gained together. Ian has a talent for making the artists and art works come alive with his fascinating stories and clear explanations.
I left feeling refreshed and filled with confidence to continue to pursue my passion for art and travel!
Dorothy, May 2014A Magical Holiday
Firstly, thank you for sending the great photos, capturing the happy painters in your garden!
As you realised, we three were having such a blissful time, so content to be in such lovely surroundings, basking in the warm sunshine.
It was great to see you again and you looked after us so well. We loved our apartment, and the balcony with the lovely views.
I also loved peering out of the kitchen window as I had my first morning coffee, watching the old boy staggering up to feed his hounds!
We loved meeting the locals. Such a friendly community. So much warmth and kindness.. so many people looking out for you, Pheona, admiring your skills and the wonderful welcoming home you are creating. A week was not long enough. After a spell at home, I could happily return......
We three really care about you Pheona and wish you the success that you so richly deserve.
Frederico added to our holiday in so many ways and we wish him well.....
Do give my love to Dina, a very special lady. Our meal at her café was memorable in every way.
Loved our tip to the market. Jenny looked so elegant in that Jacket.
You friend, who was as he said, only too happy to help you out, Pheona, drove us in comfort to the airport. Such an interesting person, with lots of local information to tell en route.
You seem to have earned so much good will!
Avi, husband who gave his wife a surprise art holiday present. Oct 2013 You're a wonderful person and thank you for everything,she told me that she felt like you are one of her best friends ever....I really want to say to you a big big thank"s about your kindness she had a wonderful sharing time with you. Anat, his wife.... Oh, I couldn't ask for more!! Perfecto vacation. You are GREAT! So happy that I've met you! Thanx, your wunderland is amazing! I'll be in touch....also want to thank again for your hospitality which was more than perfect. I really appreciate everything you did for me, with so much patient and kindness. You are such a special women, I learnt from you a lot........
Roger Sept 2013 .....Everyone has commented that the quality of my painting has made a quantum leap forward since my time with you. I should confess my own surprise as well at just how powerful accurate observation can be. I will never forget that moment when you pointed out a line (on the copying exercise) that was not correct and I could only verify it by careful measurement as it was less than a millimetre. I don’t know that I will ever be able to develop my eye to the level of yours, but for sure I now know I have to pay attention. Your tip about observing negative as well as positive spaces was also very, very useful. Buddhists say that seven lifetimes are required to repay a debt to a teacher. I’m not so sure about reincarnation, but I will be eternally grateful at least for this lifetime for your incredible gift.
Maddie Sept 2013 I want to thank you for a most wonderful holiday. I hope I wasn't so bad trying to keep my patience because usually I don't.
The knowledge I gained was invaluable and I will certainly be using lots of different techniques now. Your cooking put me to shame!!
I have just received my photographs of the beautiful scenery and of course the accommodation too. I cannot stress how much I enjoyed being with you both. You certainly made the time spent with you both educational and relaxing at the same time. I would really love to return next year if you would have me. Please give my regards to Manuella, she is just one in a million. Her house is something I will never forget and her hospitality was unbelievable. Once again thank you.
Sheila Sept 2013 We had a great week - very enjoyable. You live in a lovely place with great scenery and perfect weather - we were lucky. The course was interesting and of benefit and I am promising myself that I will do more painting or at least drawing over this winter. I have not done any for the last few years - - as was pretty obvious! I should make time for it as practice might achieve better results. Thank you all for making our week so good, feeding us well and ensuring that everything was perfect. Give our regards to Angelo and Matteo and tell them to keep busy!!
Belinda July 2013 Thank you for a fabulous holiday. You are fantastic and I feel as if we are good friends. Wish you were nearer..... we will have to get on with sorting out Skype for the winter! xxx Have already ordered the BBC language course and a dictionary from Amazon...... I AM going to speak Italian (at least a little) by next time.
Irene, July 2013 "Thank you to Pheona and everyone for another wonderful holiday. This was my second time at Casa Appennino and I hope it won't be my last. I wanted to experiment with different styles of painting and I was happy with the work that I produced as a result of Pheona's tuition. I also enjoyed my introduction to life drawing and the friendship that I had with all of my fellow students was wonderful. The outing to the rope bridge and via ferrata was an unforgettable challenge. I never imagined that I could do anything like that. The feeling of achievement afterwards was priceless and made the whole experience worthwhile."
Janet, June 2013 I would like to thank you for the lovely holiday in June. It was a fascinating introduction to Italy, to art and to some newly made friends......
Sue, June 2013 Thank you for making my holiday such a lovely one. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it and how relaxed I felt. You make excellent hosts and it is very apparent that you enjoy what you do. I definitely achieved what I set out to and learned a great deal which built up my confidence.
Lena, June 2013 I am home safe and sound........Needless to say I am very grateful for all your input over the past week or so. It has been a precious time, being able to focus on painting techniques for an intense period. I also enjoyed all the incidental episodes and excursions which seem to occur on a daily basis. I hope you have a good summer/autumn season and I look forward to my next visit at some point in the future.
Vicki, May 2013 I came loving Italy, and now have a new love for this very special part because of you, taking such care of me and introducing me to the joy of art, the glorious country, cuisine, wine, flowers, cats, and most of all your most generous, kind thoughtful hospitality. Absolutely nothing was lacking and, in fact, even more than expected. Pheona, you are the hostess with the mostest, talent, culinary skills, warmest most efficient hospitality, lovely accommodation.....Garden, more superlatives available but so excited to have the photos you sent. Thank you both. (3 big kisses Italian style!!!)
Carole, May 2013 I've had a super week despite the unseasonable weather. My water-colours have improved enormously with Pheona's expert tuition and I will be returning home much inspired. Thanks to both for all their efforts in making my stay so enjoyable.
Ed, May 2013 Many thanks for a great 10 days. I hope to return.
Winifred April 2013 A big thank you to you for a memorable holiday....This morning the sun was creating light and shade on the trees across the road from us so I'm looking for painting (and drawing) opportunities all around. Thank you so much for helping me to understand watercolour techniques and showing me how I can be adventurous with them in the future. The holiday has revitalised me, my painting and John! Per me è stato un meraviglioso regalo di compleanno. I still can't believe I did the via ferrata!! It's always special to achieve 'a first' and your experience and patience made all the difference. Anche, I'm determined to improve my Italian so I think I have a busy time ahead! Grazie di tutto e 'in bocca al lupo!' as they say in Italian!
Chris, New Year 2013 What a fantastic holiday! All thanks to the time, care and thoughtfulness of you all!. Inspiring teaching in an amazing surrounding. The food and wine were not bad either !!!! (or the whisky!) Shall be recommending it to all of my friends and family ad nauseum, and hope to be back soon!
Lesley & Isabel, September 2012. Thanks Pheona & David, for a fantastic week of art in the sun. The holiday met all our expectations and more! Your hospitality was great and you paid attention to all the important details. We really enjoyed your relaxed down-to-earth approach and spending time in your lovely home and garden. And the food....well what can we say??.... Mamma mia....we loved every mounthful and we have the waistlines to prove it!!
PS Already looking forward to our next trip when we hope to master portaiture and oil painting!!!!
Fred Ellison, New Zealand, June 2012 After some years of inactivity in my painting and drawing I recently found a little time in my busy work schedule to dedicate to being " born again", so to speak, by attending an art workshop. As I was travelling all the way from New Zealand I chose carefully as I have had some less than inspiring tuition in the past.
I was looking for an experienced teacher and one that would be honest when reviewing my work . I needed help to break out from the rather stiff and circuitous style and methods to which I had become enslaved .
As soon as I arrived in Villa Minozzo I felt relaxed and welcome and on a wave length with Pheona (and David )and duly surrendered to her plan for my artistic resurrection. We started immediately and I dived into re-learning to appreciate the intricacies of composition , perspective ,palette colour choices and different media. Soon I was churning out lots of drawings and paintings. I realised that 2 weeks was not going to turn me instantly into the next Da Vinci or Rembrandt but I was very happy with the progress I made. Whilst I was given assignments to correct some of my obvious deficiencies I was also afforded lots of license to express myself and at no time did I feel as if Pheona wanted to force a style upon me. We did plein air sketching and painting, still life studies, portraiture and life drawing. I loved the variety of the challenges and the very well stocked studio where everything I needed was at hand but most of all I was thankful for Pheona's honest yet constructive analytical skills and superb insight into what needed to be done to gain improvement.I was inspired by her energy and her ability to answer any question or problem with clarity and simplicity, all of which comes from a lifetime of involvement in art . Pheona is not only a very experienced and accomplished artist herself but she has the gift of being able to pass on skills to her students in a delightful way. To cap off my stay I enjoyed great accommodation, good food and conversation , a guitar concert and singalong with David, local market and restaurant visits and some lovely walks in the countryside, not to mention generous amounts of local wine.
Thanks Pheona and David for providing a lovely place in which to fuel my artistic aspirations. I will be back soon.
Sally, July 2012 In early July this year, I swopped rain-soaked Britain for the heat and sunshine of Emilia Romagna, to attend Pheona's intensive and informative Life Drawing course. Since there was only one other participant, apart from a local lady, we were able to have a lot of individual tuition in different mediums including a study of anatomy - ( for ages I was unable to look at a person without visualising their skeleton!) - and draw our fantastic model Carol in a variety of poses.The hospitality given by Pheona and David was amazing - I had no idea there were so many cheese specialities in the area! I would have no hesitation to recommend this course to everybody.
Anne June 2012 I really enjoyed my stay in Bedogno. I am a complete beginner at drawing & painting , but found that I was able to make good progress over the week with Pheona's expert guidance and I really enjoyed the experience. The location is wonderful and the accommodation and food were superb. I will definitely return.
Helen May 2012 In a beautiful setting in the foothills of the Appennines Casa Appennino is perfect for a relaxing stay, an art holiday or as a base to explore the surrounding area.
The accommodation in Appartmento Michelangelo is spacious and extremely clean with a balcony to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, a living area with TV, nice new bathroom and kitchen and is decorated with murals from Michelangelo's works painted by Pheona.
Pheona and David were really excellent hosts. The food was good and plentiful and I couldn't have asked for more in the way of hospitality, helpfulness and friendliness. I was there on a painting holiday, and it was a very safe place to be and the garden was quite inspirational. There is a very well equipped studio and whatever materials I wanted Pheona could provide and she was always happy to chat and give advice. I really enjoyed my holiday with them and would certainly recommend them to others and would hope one day to return.
Frieda May 2012 ....it hardly seems possible that it is already two days since the end of my wonderful holiday in Villa Minozzo. I can't begin to tell you how much I loved my time with you and am totally amazed about the care and attention I received as regards: tutoring, being wined and dined and also, of course the extra fun on being taken out to walk in the beautiful surrounding areas. I will NEVER forget this lovely experience and really hope to come again........
Much love to you both, and once again many, many thanks..........
Paris May 2012 A New Art Retreat Opened - Monet's Garden ! I stayed here for 8 nights and what an amazing place. Could have stayed much longer.
Pheona and David are wonderful hosts , Pheona being a retired Fine Arts teacher from Scotland and David of note for his cooking, guitar and garden.
Accommodation is super comfortable with large rooms, bathroom and lovely kitchen and lounge, art studio is well equipped and there are numerous areas to choose to do your art work or for those not interested in art there is a sexy little Jacuzzi which overlooks a mini Monet garden and many various hiking trails to discover.
The food is of note in this area so watch those kilos! There is quaint village to walk to for cafes and shopping and the locals in this area have a wonderful aura.
We booked inclusive of three meals and one of the most surreal meals was dinner with a back drop of the 'Last Supper'! You'll find Amazing Art all through the house and garden and Pheona's teaching skills cover all aspects in any media for any standard.
I recommend this place whole heartedly and will definitely go back
Thank you for a wonderful holiday.
Sue April 2012...I had an amazing time with you all and really learnt loads. I think my approach to 'art' in general will change completely after your expert guidance........
Nanette May 2012 We can't thank y'all enough for a wonderful week in paradise.....
Hannah October 2011 Thank you ....... I had a brilliant time with you in Italy, it was very nice of you to look after me so well and take me on walks and via ferratas, fiestas, concerts etc!
John T, October 2011 Thank you so much for your hospitality, care and attention while I was in your lovely abode and using your well-appointed studio. I think you appreciated that I was beginning to feel that "first fine rapture" with your help towards finding myself moving once more to drawing and painting.. I would like to build on your efforts and will see how it moves forward in the coming weeks. The drive..... was one of the highpoints of my summer. I look forward to seeing you and learning from you further in the not too distant future. You have picked such a beautiful part of a beautiful country. ...........Again with many thanks
Gianni, September 2011 For Pheona and David. Thank you for one of the best holidays of our lives! John/Gianni wrote a story about his holiday, click here for a great laugh!
Meg Duff, Berkeley, CA, USA, July 2011 As an American, I never would have thought to google art "holiday" when I was planning my "vacation" to Italy, so I am incredibly glad I stumbled across David and Pheona's site! I found Pheona and David while traveling in Italy with friends after graduating college. I had some time to travel by myself and I wanted to do something art related, so on a whim I asked David and Pheona if they might have space for me for a few days. They did, and a few days turned into a week--I just didn't want to leave!
Pheona and David made me feel like part of the family. They picked me up at the train station, ate with me when I was the only guest, and took me with them to the opening of a showing of Pheona's work. They were also the most thoughtful hosts I have ever stayed with. My room was fully stocked with a wide variety of breakfast foods, and an even wider variety of books (luxury!). They gave me plenty of space to relax and enjoy being on my own, but were also genuinely happy to spend time getting to know a new friend--everything from inviting me to climb the Via Ferrata, to taking me to see a crumbling castle, to teaching me songs about Glasgow and making fun of my accent. They created an experience that struck just the right balance between relaxing retreat and exciting adventure.
I initially came for the painting, and I was not disappointed. Pheona is a patient, insightful teacher, and made it easy for me to pick up painting again after having let it fall by the wayside. Partially because of this experience I re-discovered my passion for making art, and I signed up for a semester-long art class when I got back to the States. But painting was just a small part of what I will remember. The food was amazing (better than many of the restaurants I ate in), the company was delightful, and the scenery was breathtaking.
When I was planning my trip, I made sure to hit all the major cities--Florence, Venice, Naples, Rome--and to see all the "important" sites. When I told Italians I was also going to the Bologna area, I got some funny looks. But a week in the Italian countryside was just what I needed. By the time I arrived in Villa Minozzo, I was exhausted! Now, looking back, I still think that this little bit of Italian countryside is the most beautiful and relaxing place I've ever been. Fresh country air, meandering paths through fields and wildflowers, the Appenine mountains in the distance, not to mention a brand-new litter of kittens--if I had stuck to the cities I would have missed out on the best of Italy.
I wholeheartedly recommend an art holiday with Pheona and David. This was a trip I will never forget.
Julie September 2011 Thank you both once again for your hospitality. I had a lovely time in Italy and very much enjoyed exploring your area. I hope that the others were inspired to paint; I am sure they all learned a great deal from you
Hazel, September 2011 Many thanks for the week's holiday with you - in particular your attention and care. I really enjoyed the experience (as well as the painting - the BBQ, the local meal, & David's guitar playing!) Hopefully see you again.
Rona August 2011 ......Thank you to both of you for giving me a lovely weeks holiday - I really did enjoy it.
Lena, August 2011 ..... I am very grateful for all the the care you and David have taken to make my holiday so memorable.
Irene, August 2011
My art holiday at Bedogno was wonderful and very relaxing. Pheona and David go out of their way to make their guests feel welcome. The apartment was lovely and very comfortable. Pheona is a very talented artist and a good teacher. I thoroughly enjoyed the painting sessions and was particularly happy with my first attempt at watercolour. Pheona is also an excellent cook and meal times were always something to look forward to. David's scones were also a treat and the barbeque evening was really nice, when David sang and played guitar. Pasta making with Rosanna was a bonus and climbing the Bismantova rock was a wonderful experience. My two weeks passed very quickly and I was sorry when the time came to leave but I hope to go back next year.
Jeanne, August 2011 Thank you both for a memorable break that I will definitely repeat.
Shamini, Zurich, Switzerland. I am a mother of 2 children aged (12 and 9) who decided this time to have a different type of holiday from the norm, hence deciding for an Art Holiday. This Try out holiday with Pheona and David turned out to be just the perfect thing for us 3. We learnt Art according to our individual ability with Pheona, who made it fun even for my 9 year old but challenging for my 12 year old and encouraging for myself personally.
Thank you both for a warm and relaxing time at your home which is so impressive. Thank you David for making sure we stepped on the right train to Milan when we left for our home. We relaxed and learned at the same time. The girls insist we do this again. Keep the speciality you have Pheona and David. Shamini, Zurich, Switzerland.
Faith, Canada, July 2011
The holiday was a truly wonderful experience and one I've reflected on loads of times. Your hospitality was so warm and your passion for Art and Italy quite infectious. The instruction is the best I've encountered where you seemed to read my needs very well and responded with clear, purposeful direction. You've nurtured a lovely home in Italy and a studio that was so well resourced. Your leg of the journey far exceeded my expectations with your generosity around meals and yours and David's time. The added climbing trips pushed the boundaries of my experiences and I've been bragging about it ever since.
Personally, Pheona I am quite inspired by you. You've done so well. The metaphor of your life that stays with me is when you confessed to being scared of heights yet so long as had the safety of the clips you could climb anywhere. You understand your fears and conquer them with an understanding and trust of the ways they can be overcome.
Good luck Pheona to you and David.
I've already been on the flight sites to see when I can return!
Linda Hudson, August 2011
Thank you so much David & Pheona, for an absolutely fabulous week. You both made me feel welcome right from the start. You made me feel really comfortable and at home, and able to do what I came to Italy for - to paint! The food was fantastic. Many thanks again.
Rachael Coyle, August 2011
My boyfriend and I have just had one of the most wonderful experiences on holiday in Bedogno on the outskirts of Bologna in Italy.
We were drawn to the area by the natural scenic beauty, as evidenced on the website - www.artholidaysinitaly.com - and we thought it would be fun to try something a bit different. An added bonus was that the owners, David & Pheona offered to pick us up from the airport, all included in the price. we were sold!
On arrival, we were stunned by the views overlooking the Appennine mounains. We were welcomed openly by the owners and guests, many of whomo had opted to choose the art courses on offer. The immaculate apartment was adorned by the amazing artwork by Pheona, an artist and former art lecturer. It ws spacious and had a large veranda overlooking the hills.
As a couple in our early 20's you might think we'd be short of things to do in such a remote area but with Pheona and davids' knowledge of the local area there was never a dull moment. We went swimming, cycling, horse riding and regularly visited Villa Minozzo, the local village, for drinks. Every evening we would dine with the other guests. We were treted to delicious, locally sourced, four course meals, wine and lots of great chat! Pheona and David really are great hosts and we found ourselves warming to them nstantly.
Before our stay, we were planning on going to Bologna for a few days during our visit, but we found our experience here so enjoyable and relaxing that we decided to stay for the full ten days - we didn't want to leave!
I would recommend the hotel to anyone who appreciates great food, beautiful scenery and great company and I will definitely be visiting again.
Carol July 2011 Thank you...I had a beautiful relaxing time. There were so many beautiful moments that I wrote in my diary...to express how much I enjoyed myself.
Alison, April 2011 'Art Holidays in Italy' have combined the joy of being on holiday in a beautiful Appennine hamlet with the expert art tuition of Pheona and the outdoors enthusiasm and skill of a very experienced pair of walkers and climbers.That plus great food and natural and warm hospitality make Pheona and her partner David the ideal couple to provide a holiday experience for artistic and recreational opportunities at a very high standard.
It is a bit of a daunting task to select an art holiday on the internet so let me suggest getting in touch with Pheona.
Her experience as an Art Tutor at a major Glasgow University enables her to assess the needs and of her pupils and to tailor a course to maximise the avilable time while still keeping a sense of fun and discovery. In my week with her I was able to learn about photography, take an adequate photograph to inform a landscape painting and do the painting in oils. I was also able to learn enough about composition and technique to paint, with Pheona's help and encouragement, a still life. She spent lots of time with me in the studio and gave me lessons on colour and oil and acrylic paint and technique so that my ragbag of information based on courses began to take form.
She is also developing distance learning courses which will be a great back up to contiuing development in the longer term, something which is so difficult to correlate as a self guided student.
All is not hard work at Casa Appennino - the welcome is warm the food good and there is lots of local information and help with tour planning. The pre holiday communication was very thoughtful with a phone number and photo for airport recognition and reassurance as I was travelling alone. To be collected and taken to the village is wonderful - an unforgetable drive through amazing counrtyside. For artists and nature lovers there is much to enjoy and real help with learning and development.
Winter Snow Week 2011 Campbell Russell 20 -27 February 2011
This was supposed to be a trial “Skiing and Painting” week but the snow had come and gone by the due date and I found myself the only participant. The back-up Plan B was pretty good, though.
Bedogno is a very neighbourly small village just outside Villa Minozzo. A chance conversation over the fence became an impromptu wine making lesson for David and Pheona (my hosts) in a neighbour’s workshop while I desperately tried to make sense of the fluent Italian. My abilities in the language improved immeasurably during the week and I could say “buon giorno” with the best of them by the end of it.
The local wine and food was very good. Pheona and David prepared excellent Italian food in Italian quantities in the evenings and I was tempted to plead with them for smaller portions - but didn’t! My accommodation was one of their two apartments which was clean, modern, well furnished and warm (in February). Pheona’s art was hanging on the walls, or was painted on the wall, to inspire students on the art courses. Under her guidance I was able to complete my first ever oil paintings, two of them, using fast drying oil paints.
We did get out of the studio to play during the week. A guided walk to the top of the Pietra Bismatova, at around 3,000', was a high point (in all senses) with magnificent views all round. David and Pheona also introduced me to my first ever Via Ferrata in a most professional way. It was not the scary experience I’d been expecting, but even so I decided to leave the route with the overhang for “next time”, together with the two zip-lines which David and Pheona have still to recce!
It was a good week for a first visit to Emiglia Romana. The weather was fairly dull and misty at the beginning of the holiday but the last three days were clear and sunny. We did manage one lunch on the sun deck. I’ll be back!
And guess what? David and Pheona needed their 4-wheel-drive to get back home through the snow which fell while they were taking me to the airport, on clear roads, to catch my flight back to the UK.
Central Advertiser, UK Feb 2011
INTRODUCING THE AWARD WINNING ART HOLIDAYS IN ITALY
As part of our Corporate Policy to recognise outstanding achievements made within the Holiday Industry, The Central Advertiser, has selected a number of forward-thinking companies that displayed a continual commitment to recognise best practice, innovative business processes and overall high quality customer-focused service. From these nominees a short list of finalists was then formed, assessed and scored on their individual merit. In line with this philosophy, it gives us great pleasure to announce that,
ART HOLIDAYS IN ITALY have been successful in winning the prestigious BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for OUTSTANDING INNOVATION WITHIN THE HOLIDAY INDUSTRY. As a completely independent Award Programme, recognising business excellence across a wide range of disciplines, the Business Achievement Award is recognised both locally and nationally.
David Gormley and Pheona Kerr spent five years researching and planning their emigration to the outstandingly beautiful and sleepy hamlet of Bedogno, Emilia Romagna, and haven't regretted their move one little bit, and who can blame them? An exquisite villa accommodating up to 10 guests, awaits your arrival for one of the most inspirational and memorable holidays you will ever experience.
Offering first-class Art Courses, Guided Walking Holidays or simply a peaceful escape from the stresses of everyday life, highly qualified, talented and experienced, David and Pheona, warmly welcome you into their beautiful three-storey home, surrounded by magnificent mountains, sumptuous vineyards and rolling hills for all the inspiration and scenic beauty you could ever need. Their bespoke courses and trails offer you complete escape from the outside world leaving you to simply indulge in your passion in complete tranquillity. So whether your love lies in art, walking, skiing, nature or gastronomy - ART HOLIDAYS IN ITALY will provide the perfect location and course for you.
Achieving the BA AWARD FOR outstanding innovation within the holiday Industry serves as a benchmark as to the high level of service clients can expect from ART HOLIDAYS IN ITALY. Central Advertiser, UK Feb 2011
Kate, October 2010
If you love quiet, unspoiled, beautiful countryside it would be difficult to see how you could surpass a visit to 'Art Holidays in Italy' in lovely Emilia Romagna. Whatever you want - activity ( walking, skiing, rock climbing / via ferrata), creating art (painting, sculpture, mosaics) or visiting art (access to Pisa, Florence) - it is there at your disposal, and your hosts Pheona and David are more than happy to tailor make your holiday to suit your needs, or those of the weather!
I found a welcome second to none, an eagerness to make my holiday the best it could be for my needs, patience with my novice level of drawing and painting, pleasure in walking with me and showing me the sights of the area, great home made food based on local products and seasons, and 2 people who very quickly became friends, as well as great hosts.
I'd recommend Pheona and David to anyone who wants to get away from it all, to learn and see new things, and who wants to be indulged thoroughly by this friendly, knowledgeable couple who have made their new home in this lovely area.
Hazel, Stirling, Oct 2010
'I stayed at Casa Appennino with my 81 year old mother for a week in October. We were made very welcome and everything was done to suit our stay. The food was restaurant quality and, as a vegetarian, it seemed to be no bother for them to find me various and delicious things to eat.
We went sightseeing to various locations that my mother could access and both David and Pheona were very knowledgeable about the area.
Villa Minnozo nearby was full of local colour and you got a great feel for the area. It was peaceful and calming and the views were fabulous. There was always something to do but if you are looking for a peaceful holiday, this is the very place. Pheona and David were happy if you stayed in or went out. If you need to be restored, I would highly recommend this place'.
David Campbell, Oct 2010...I also really loved the time I spent at Casa Appennino with the two of you, and all the wonderful experiences and sights that we crammed in. I will never forget the experience of climbing the BIsmantova, Porto Venere, the Leaning Tower and of course Florence, not forgetting the peaceful day we had down at the river, the barbecue, the hammock, the Jacuzzi, Matilda, the meal in Tre Archi's, focaccia, all the meals you cooked, the late nights Dave & I had, and all the features in the garden. It really is a haven of relaxation and I have never enjoyed a holiday so much. My only disappointment is that we did not manage to get into the restaurant that was closed, as it sounded wonderful.
I loved the pictures you emailed through and thought your video was super. (David travelled to us on his motorbike & has written an article for the BMW club. Click here to read his full article)
(My wife) was stunned when she saw all the photos and thinks the whole area and in particular, your house and garden are just wonderful. She could not believe the pictures of Bismantova and the leaning tower.
I know I have already said it, but again, I am extremely grateful for your hospitality and friendship, and for allowing me to enjoy the pleasure of sharing the delight of living in Bedogno.
I had always wanted to visit Italy since I was a child so I had high expectations of the experience to come. And I can guarantee that you wont be let down. Immediately I was welcomed into a friendly atmosphere and was made to feel like part of the family. When I was shown to my part of the villa, I was very pleased that the levels of cleanliness where of the highest standard. I was also delighted to use the jacuzzi which is only a stone throw from the villa itself. I felt as if I was being treated like a VIP!
During my stay, I decided to explore some of the bigger cities. I headed to Florence, which was one of the most beautiful cities due to the architecture. And of course the many markets which you find there. Ideal for picking up a gift or two for home.
I also had the chance to visit Rome which was great as I went off season (January) and didnt need to queue for anything!! I took tours of the Colosseum and Vatican City. Both were extremely informative and at a very reasonable price.
All in all, I couldnt have asked for a better holiday. I had the ideal mix of living in the most beautiful setting and then still being able to travel to various cities of choice. I would recommend this holiday to anyone of all ages as they are many activities available depending on personal choice.
I will definitely be back to explore further as not only have I fallen in love with Italy but you couldnt ask for a more welcoming couple than David and Pheona. They truly wanted to make my holiday as special as it could be, in every way possible. Jo, Glasgow, April 2010
Thank you both so much for a fantastic holiday. I had a great time!
Despite eating and drinking to excess ( my mouth is salivating at the thought!) I lost a few pounds!
That must have been all that scrambling along the Via Ferratas.
The week was jam packed and was just the break I needed. I hadn't held a paintbrush for well over two years and with your expert help I have actually completed some paintings.
I wish you both great success in Italy. You definitely deserve it. Bedogno is set in the most beautiful countryside, a perfect place to paint, walk and enjoy the company of friends, old and new. Audrey McClymont May 2010
I had a fab holiday. You and David were perfect hosts. I loved every minute! Regards to you both Tony Coia May 2010
Thank you both so very much for all your kindness and hospitality, it was a wonderful holiday. Pam Coia May 2010
Something for everyone!!
Having travelled around various parts of Italy, I'd say Emilia Romagna 'has it all'! I spent a week with David & Pheona in January 2010 - which included soft snow-carpeted days and warm T-shirt days - and can't wait to go back and explore the local area in summer colours.
For walkers, well-marked paths are everywhere - whether atop wooded ridges linking hilltop castles and churches or alongside some of the 'torrenti' (at lease they were in January!) A local Via Ferrata is even provided for a bit of excitement! Rocky outcrops, prominent on the lovely landscape are waiting to be climbed and close to Villa Minozzo are peaks high enough for some well-serviced skiing.
Gentler pursuits, or simply taking in the gorgeous scenery and local character, can be enjoyed by getting out and exploring the network of quiet country roads which link picturesque villages and hamlets - or perhaps stopping to eat at some of the beautifully sited and immaculate 'refugios'.
Those who want to capture some of their holiday memories for themselves have the opportunity to draw on Pheona's experience as an artist and teacher. David and she are working tirelessly to enhance their already-beautiful home and garden for the benefit of all visitors, and guests are bound to benefit from the combination of her talent and enormous enthusiam for the region in which they have chosen to live and work
The high quality of accommodation at Bedogna is clear from the website photos and, however guests choose to spend their time in the area, they can be assured of a warm and friendly 'home from home' experience. Roy, Strathaven, April 2010
New Year at Villa Minozzo
We found the facilities actually exceeded the previously read, good revues on this website. Pheona & David were the best of hosts and went out of their way to be helpful, informative and friendly but at the same time, left us to enjoy the area and locality as we pleased. They had paid great care to general cleanliness and all of the rooms had fresh decor and were extremely comfortable and warm. I can recommend this holiday villa for its location in the Appenine National Park and also for those interested in historical places of interest. Definately a place to get away from it all but also within reach of other fascinating places like Florence etc.
Tomasso, Glasgow, April 2010
A Wonderful Holiday
We spent a week over New Year with David and Pheona. Had a wonderful time exploring the local area. There are many different places of interest to visit. There is even a bit of Via Ferrata in a nearbye gorge, which was good fun. They made us feel very welcome and the accomodation was very comfortable. Thanks! Timc57 March 2010
A Happy New Year at Villa Appennino
I had a lovely time staying at the villa for a winter holiday. We got a very warm welcome from our hosts, Pheona & David, the house and flats were warm and comfortable and all facilities including the beds, were excellent. We went walking and sightseeing in this lovely but quiet area. I will come back again in summertime and I have recommended this holiay accommodation to friends and family. Moya, Glasgow, March 2010
I shall miss you. You really are an excellent, inspirational teacher and I am truly grateful that I benefitted from your artistic virtuosity. I shall continue with my new-found passion and think of you often.......you have the ability to enable students to benefit at whatever level of ability because of your structured, carefully planned teaching style. Sheila Kennedy 2009
Personally I learnt a great deal from you and am inspired enough to keep trying to improve. Fiona King