I’m so exited to share my favourite images of the Tuscan storytelling and photography retreat co-hosted with Silvia Bifaro in my house/atelier set in the charming village of Vagli Sotto last September.
My aim is to take you on this inspirational journey with us and the four incredible women who were there to nourish creativity, become inspired afresh and connect with themselves through others and the natural beauty around them.
I really want these photos to speak for themselves, but first of all here’s a brief overview on how this retreat came to life. When Silvia visited me in Tuscany last year for couple of days, our first intention was to spend time with our families and explore the beautiful area and small towns nearby. Plans had to re-adjust quickly as we immediately found ourselves choosing props from my grandma’s heritage, moving furnitures around, styling breakfast, photographing and enjoying the process of creating scenes anew. We even put together a summer gathering on the terrace for a group of local friends and cooked all the day in the kitchen ( in between breastfeeding my baby and playing with our kids).! It was inevitable not to think about the richness of this experience and the deep connection we felt, both on a personal and creative level.
I’ve always wanted to host a creative retreat and I knew Silvia was the right creative partner with whom I could embark on this journey. We both love making fresh food from scratch, gathering around intentionally curated tables, creating comfort around us to connect, open up to our inner thoughts and visions, and help people living the life they deserve. This is the story of our retreat…..it comes from a place of love and passion.
There were afternoon teas with homemade tuscan cakes freshly baked by us (…and a wonderful chestnut cake kindly baked my dad). Nourishing suppers over effortlessly styled tables with seasonal fruits and fresh herbs . Evenings on the terrace in front of the fireplace wrapped up in holly blankets and plenty of opportunities to share joys and sorrow of life .….
And of course lots of exploration of the process of visual story telling both from the photography and the styling perspectives, and of our attendees’ unique stories and style. We were also joined by the talented Italian artist and photographer Valentina Solfrini who brought the retreat on a precious creative level, sharing her insight into the art of light and colouring.
We all felt at home as a family, the family we wish to belong to…. intentionally supportive and free from judgment. Talking about family, this retreat has been possible, before anyone else, thanks to the most generous and loving woman I had the fortune to meet in my life, my dearest grandmother Caterina.
Even if she is no longer here, she is always with me and even closer when I am in her house in Vagli Sotto, where my heart is truly alive. Everything you see in these pictures, the beautiful props, textiles, and the house itself talks about her.
It's my hope that those who joined us on this retreat will walk away with clarity on their path, inspiring memories to fuel their creativity, fresh eyes for seeing the world, and lasting relationships.
Silvia THANK YOU! It was such an honour to stand by your side to deliver our first retreat. I always learn so much from you!
Valentina THANK YOU! You are such a talented artist and source of endless inspiration.
And if you couldn't make it with us this year, the good news is that we are already planning our next retreat for next year in the summer!