Learn how to make your life more beautiful with the help of former goop editor and London-based florist Eliza Honey, successful photographer and lifestyle blogger Joanna Hawley, and former Food & Wine editor-turned-food stylist Maren Ellingboe. We invite you to join them on a very special workshop to learn the basics of floral, interior, tabletop and food styling, as well as photography, social media and blogging tips, in the beautiful Lunigiana region of Tuscany.

Eliza Honey started out in interiors and lifestyle editorial working for titles such as House & Garden, goop and Elle Decoration, and has since turned her hand to floral styling. Based in London, and inspired by the brits’ particular penchant for gardening, her floral creations have a wild, natural feel that’s inspired by the seasons.     

Joanna Hawley, aka Jojotastic, has always had an eye for beautiful things with experience as a product designer and trend scout for companies like Nordstrom and Anthropologie. Along with regular styling gigs, Joanna runs jojotastic.com to show off her appreciation for all things DIY, entertaining, interior design, style, and food — in a modern yet casual type of way.

Maren Ellingboe worked in editorial at Food & Wine in New York City for five years before moving to Oakland, California, where she has since worked as a food stylist and recipe developer for clients like Sunset, Imperfect Produce and Equinox. Her approach to food and styling is simple: it doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should always be delicious. She’s currently working on her first cookbook.

Setting a beautiful table, creating a floral arrangement or making a pretty dish doesn’t have to be about increasing your online presence, but in today’s social media-crazy world, it doesn’t hurt either. Learn from Joanna’s experience of creating a successful lifestyle blog with more than 4 million Pinterest followers. You’ll learn what separates a good photograph from a mediocre one, how to hone your personal brand, and how to make your social media accounts reflect your personal aesthetic. You’ll also learn what it takes to become a florist, interior stylist or food stylist, and the tools you need for each vocation. We’ll show you how to shop for props, forage for blooms and how to show off your culinary creations to their best advantage.  

Whether you are working to enhance your career, boost your existing business or social media presence, or just want to have fun styling, cooking, eating, exploring and taking pictures with other creative people, Eliza, Joanna and Maren will engage with you to make sure you enjoy yourself and learn as much as you can about the kinds of work they do in their daily lives. During that time we will basque in each others’ company and the Tuscan paradise that Annette has created at La Fortezza and the surrounding area.

$3,900.00 (nonrefundable initial deposit: $1,800 + remaining deposit due one month prior)

Fee includes accommodations 3 private and 2 shared rooms, all breakfasts, and all instruction and class-related excursions. Lunch and some dinners may be included but not guaranteed.

Note: Airfare is not included. Students fly into nearest airport which is Pisa, Italy. There are no airport pick-ups. You are responsible for transportation to and from the workshop to La Fortezza.

All attendees traveling from the United States are required to purchase short term international travel health insurance. Proof of travel insurance will be required to attend any workshop.

Please be aware: Due to the nature of our property, we are not ADA compliant, and we cannot accept guests requiring accessibility.

Here’s a good site to compare pricing and benefits: www.allaboardbenefits.com/policy_individual.htm 2

This Workshop is the classic workshop we have offered over the years.  Annette will be teaching styling lessons while showing you how to style for the camera and then photograph your images with your camera or iPhone.

There will be excursions to the farmers markets, along with a free day which includes your choice of excursions. You will receive lessons in work flow, the business of styling and how to give your brand a presence on social media. There will be an opportunity to delve into your own business and plenty of one on one with Annette. All lessons will be conducted on the grounds and in the gorgeous photo studio situated in the stone barn. You will spend time using the vast prop collection in the studio, as well as shop for your own collection at Annette's favorite haunts and flea markets. This is an opportunity to work with a stylist and producer with 25 + years of experience in the highly competitive world of editorial styling. Annette will be collaborating on the weekend with one of Italy’s top stylists and editors, Barbara Pederzini. See how styling is done “Italian Style” as Barbara shares her techniques and styling philosophy. This is a rare opportunity to meet and work with an Italian professional in the field.

This workshop is great for aspiring stylists and photographers, professional bloggers, and artisan makers and manufacturers, cookbook authors. Improve your style and your brand amid the gorgeous landscape of Italy. Join us. This workshop is limited to 5 students, all rooms are private.

$3,900.00 (nonrefundable initial deposit: $1,950 + remaining deposit due one month prior)

Fee includes accommodations, all breakfasts, and all instruction and class-related excursions. Lunch and some dinners may be included but not guaranteed.

Note: Airfare is not included. Students fly into nearest airport which is Pisa, Italy. There are no airport pick-ups. You are responsible for transportation to and from the workshop to La Fortezza as well as to and from town for meals or individual excursions. We strongly recommend that you plan to hire a car service or rent a car. There are no taxis.

All attendees traveling from the United States are required to purchase short term international travel health insurance. Proof of travel insurance will be required to attend any workshop.

Please be aware: Due to the nature of our property, we are not ADA compliant, and we cannot accept guests requiring accessibility.

Here’s a good site to compare pricing and benefits: www.allaboardbenefits.com/policy_individual.htm

Lead by Steve McKenzie, a nationally known abstract painter, this month-long immersive experience will be one unlike any other. Apprentice beside Steve as he teaches you techniques to intuitively paint abstraction, discover your inner creative voice and transfer that energy to the canvas. 

Boost your creativity and create some art with Steve McKenzie, our Artist in Residence for July 2019. Steve will be at The Fortress for the month of July working on a body of work inspired by the Italian region of Lunigiana. Inspired by his last two trips, he will do a deep dive into the culture, art, lifestyle and food of this charming northern Tuscan valley. His response to our sense of place will be reflected in his art. He will create a body of work specifically related to the inspirations of the region. Steve has dreamed of working in Italy for many years, following in the steps of one of his big influences, artist Cy Twombly, who called Italy home for much of his working career.

Work alongside Steve, paint brush in hand, and further your art making or assist him as he paints just to boost your creativity. Your stay will include trips with Steve to seek out inspiration and materials, artmaking whether painting plein air, in the studio or making paints and materials to use in the creation. If you have a specific desire to learn a technique of Steve’s or work with a specific material, Steve will do his best to accommodate your needs.

Of course, your stay will include all breakfasts, some lunches and dinners, aperitivo with Annette (your hostess and author of Cocktail Italiano), lessons and excursions with Steve, and all art supplies. Much like the great salons of Paris, evenings will be filled with conversations about art and the creative life. The wonderful part of this opportunity is that you can stay for as long as you want and tie it to your summer trip to Italy.

Steve, an artist for over 25 years, has shown his art in Santa Fe, New York, Atlanta and Indianapolis. His work is in collections throughout North America and Europe. He has taught many classes and workshops including a workshop at The Fortress September 2018. He not only teaches techniques, but also shares his philosophy and techniques to jump start your creativity and how to follow your intuitions to create work.

Your stay can be as flexible as you wish.  Reserve your spot for as long as you would like. There will be a show of Steve’s body of work created this month during the last weekend of July 2019.  Hope you can join us for that celebration!


$500 per person per day.

Your stay at La Fortezza will include:

  • Accommodations

  • All Breakfasts

  • Some Lunches

  • Some Dinners

  • Aperitivo (Italian Cocktail hour) with me, author of Cocktail Italiano

  • Excursions with Steve

  • Lessons with Steve

  • All Art Supplies

Note: Airfare is not included. Students fly into nearest airport which is Pisa, Italy. There are no airport pick-ups. You are responsible for transportation to and from the workshop to La Fortezza as well as to and from town for meals. We strongly recommend that you plan to hire a car service or rent a car. There are no taxis.

All attendees traveling from the United States are required to purchase short term international travel health insurance. Proof of travel insurance will be required to attend any workshop.

Please be aware: Due to the nature of our property, we are not ADA compliant, and we cannot accept guests requiring accessibility.

Here’s a good site to compare pricing and benefits: www.allaboardbenefits.com/policy_individual.htm

This workshop has been requested by many of you. Annette will be offering 2 one-on-one sessions in summer of 2019. Both workshops will be 3 days of intensive styling lessons with Annette. She will be teaching the basics of styling and composition for those of you interested in pursuing a career as a stylist or those of you interested in bettering your brand imagery.

These one on one lessons can be customized for you and can cover lifestyle, interiors, still life, and food styling, or you can choose an area of concentration.

For 3 days, you will discuss the business aspect of styling with tips on billing, fees, production and work flow. There will be a lesson on “how to produce a photo shoot” from start to finish along with valuable lessons applicable to your everyday styling/production business. Plus, you'll have experience with hands-on styling all while capturing your images. This is strictly styling, so styling, propping and production will be the focus of this workshop. 

There will be excursions to markets and local antiques markets where you will prop shop with Annette. All lessons will be conducted on the grounds and in the gorgeous photo studio situated in the stone barn. You will stay on the compound in a private room. All excursions will be covered, and fees include day trips and all meals.

This one on one experience will leave you with valuable lessons and insight into a career in styling as well as the skills to feel confident on a photoshoot. Whether you’re a professional blogger,  a stylist looking for new inspiration, a food-stylist ready to hone your skills, a chef seeking to move into styling, a prop stylist looking to improve work flow, or are someone simply interested in the business of styling, this workshop is for you. Tour Italy with Annette and make the best business decision of your life.

$3,300.00 (nonrefundable initial deposit: $1,650 + remaining deposit due one month prior)

Fee includes accommodations, all breakfasts, and all instruction and class-related excursions. Lunch and some dinners may be included but not guaranteed.

Note: Airfare is not included. Students fly into nearest airport which is Pisa, Italy. There are no airport pick-ups. You are responsible for transportation to and from the workshop to La Fortezza as well as to and from town for meals. We strongly recommend that you plan to hire a car service or rent a car. There are no taxis.

All attendees traveling from the United States are required to purchase short term international travel health insurance. Proof of travel insurance will be required to attend any workshop.

Please be aware: Due to the nature of our property, we are not ADA compliant, and we cannot accept guests requiring accessibility.

Here’s a good site to compare pricing and benefits: www.allaboardbenefits.com/policy_individual.htm

  s

This workshop has been requested by many of you. Annette will be offering 2 one-on-one sessions in summer of 2019. Both workshops will be 3 days of intensive styling lessons with Annette. She will be teaching the basics of styling and composition for those of you interested in pursuing a career as a stylist or those of you interested in bettering your brand imagery.

These one on one lessons can be customized for you and can cover lifestyle, interiors, still life, and food styling, or you can choose an area of concentration.

For 3 days, you will discuss the business aspect of styling with tips on billing, fees, production and work flow. There will be a lesson on “how to produce a photo shoot” from start to finish along with valuable lessons applicable to your everyday styling/production business. Plus, you'll have experience with hands-on styling all while capturing your images. This is strictly styling, so styling, propping and production will be the focus of this workshop. 

There will be excursions to markets and local antiques markets where you will prop shop with Annette. All lessons will be conducted on the grounds and in the gorgeous photo studio situated in the stone barn. You will stay on the compound in a private room. All excursions will be covered, and fees include day trips and all meals.

This one on one experience will leave you with valuable lessons and insight into a career in styling as well as the skills to feel confident on a photoshoot. Whether you’re a professional blogger,  a stylist looking for new inspiration, a food-stylist ready to hone your skills, a chef seeking to move into styling, a prop stylist looking to improve work flow, or are someone simply interested in the business of styling, this workshop is for you. Tour Italy with Annette and make the best business decision of your life.

$3,300 (nonrefundable initial deposit: $1,650 + remaining deposit due one month prior)

Fee includes accommodations, all breakfasts, and all instruction and class-related excursions. Lunch and some dinners may be included but not guaranteed.

Note: Airfare is not included. Students fly into nearest airport which is Pisa, Italy. There are no airport pick-ups. You are responsible for transportation to and from the workshop to La Fortezza as well as to and from town for meals. We strongly recommend that you plan to hire a car service or rent a car. There are no taxis.

All attendees traveling from the United States are required to purchase short term international travel health insurance. Proof of travel insurance will be required to attend any workshop.

Please be aware: Due to the nature of our property, we are not ADA compliant, and we cannot accept guests requiring accessibility.

Here’s a good site to compare pricing and benefits: www.allaboardbenefits.com/policy_individual.htm