CREATIVE IN FLORENCE TOUR

MAY 1-5, 2018

 

THE INSIDER SCOOP

  • Experience a totally magical time on this fun-loving women’s tour which is all about being creative and unleashing your inner passion.
  • Enjoy a personally created, bespoke tour which is all about reigniting your creativity in one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.
  • Take a professional art class and/or sculpture class right near the Ponte Vecchio from talented art tutor.
  • Learn the basics of painting and sculpture or excel at something you’re already proficient at.
  • Mix with creative artisans in the back street mazes.
  • Live like a local, hang out in the Piazzas.
  • Enjoy creating new friendships with like-minded creatives.

THIS TOUR IS EXTREMELY LIMITED, WITH ONLY ONE TOUR DATE FOR 2018 & ONLY 8 SPOTS AVAILABLE.

5 MAGNIFICENT DAYS

WHEN:

May 1-5, 2018

WHERE: FLORENCE, ITALY

4 magical nights staying in Florence in our private apartment chosen specifically for its design and elegance.

Why not enhance your Tour experience and stay on For the Gems of Italy Shopping Tour in Florence beginning the afternoon that this creative tour finishes.

NOTE: This is no cookie-cutter style of tour. I’ve got one creative tour in mind because I know the types of experiences that creatives love to have. No experience is necessary and you can be at any artistic level. The teachers will tailor the classes to your ability.

IT’S FOR ANY WOMAN WHO:

DREAMS OF DOING SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR HERSELF AND WANTS TO:

  • Take art and/or sculpture classes at The Florence Studio in the heart of historical Florence.
  • Be taught by an art teacher who has personality and passion and is about getting you amazing results.
  • Visit the workshops of artisans and enjoy the visual feast of their self-expression.
  • Visit some special sites to enhance your Italy experience.
  • Indulge in authentic Italian food and wine, every…single…day.
  • Rekindle her excitement and learn to create more for her life.

 Note: I want you to be explorers and adventurers with a carefree sense of fun. Don’t worry about being not good enough, this is for everyone whatever your level.

GETTING TO OUR APARTMENT

We will meet at our accommodation on the day and from there the fun will begin. In the lead up to the tour, you will get all the details you need and the accommodation is an easy taxi ride from the train station, city centre or airport. You can then focus more on questions you may have like:

  1. When should I book my flight

2. Should I fulfil my bucket list of having creative playtime in Florence

3. What will I pack for such a great trip? (I have this covered too)

Once you have that out of the way, you can join me in “Creative in Florence” Design & Lifestyle Tour of 2018.

HOW IT WORKS

I will be your host but not your tour guide and I want to make this clear right here and now. I am not a travel agent, nor a tour guide, I don’t speak fluent Italian (but I’m learning and I have the basics to get us by…half English & scattered Italian but that’s the fun of it) and I am not going to play mother (because I have done it for nearly 20 years and it’s tiring). I have this super itinerary planned, however, you will need to be a little independent and make your own decisions at times. I am here to make sure I create a 5-day creative holiday with all the major planning done for you. I have art experiences with a difference and amazing stores to show you. All the while I  have design, creativity and lifestyle in mind and a special holiday that will go down in your history as one of the best times of your life EVER. Goody…now, what are we going to do?

  • 4 nights private accommodation in our apartment in Florence.
  • Accommodation will be in a shared room with a shared bathroom.
  • The accommodation is beautiful and chosen specifically for its creative design. No boring or isolated hotel rooms…this is group living and is what helps forge great friendships.
  • If you come with a friend I will try to ensure that you are together.
  • You’ll also share the living spaces and kitchen so it’s like a girls weekend on steroids. This is the very best part and way nicer than hotel living.
  • 2 or 3 day painting class at The Florence Studio
  • or 2 day painting/1-day sculpture class at the Florence Studio. We can tailor to suit you.
  • Expert art tutors who are passionate about helping you learn and reach a great outcome with your work.
  • Magnificent art studio in historical Florence.
  • Explore the streets, enjoy a meal with new friends.
  • Choose to enjoy delicious, authentic Italian dinners with the group
  • Visit bespoke artisan stores.
  • Take in the Uffizzi Gallery visit in your spare time.
  • The women who came on this year’s tour said that friendships and fun were the best part of the tour.
  • Connect with new people and share special times together (over wine)
  • Come with friends or come alone…we don’t care. If you are fun, happy, easy to get along with then you are welcome.
  • So far women on my tours have been from Australia. If you are from another country contact me to see if I’m a good fit.
  • A welcome drink and platter at our apartment.
  • All breakfasts at our accommodation (self-serve style).
  • Selection of light snacks and refreshments in the apartment.

Note

  • Lunches not included.
  • For all group dinners, please allow 40 Euro per night. This meal plan fee of 160 Euro can be paid in cash on arrival.

WHY RUN THIS TOUR?

I have been dreaming for years about creating different types of trips for like-minded women to travel and be inspired by the design, creativity, craftsmanship, colour and vibrancy of Italy. After visiting The Florence Studio in Florence with women for the past few years on my Design Tours, I was even more convinced that adding a creative tour to my offering was something I needed to do and there was nobody doing anything quite like this.

This is a creative tour about art, design and inspiration but its also about women, sisterhood, forging friendships and enjoying an enviable lifestyle in one of the most stunning places on earth. As women, we don’t always give ourselves permission to do something special for ourselves and because I know that you are so busy and that you most likely wouldn’t take the time to plan something like this, I wanted to place it right in your lap.

This is an incredible opportunity to explore beautiful Florence, stimulate your design brain and nurture your inner creativity with a small group of fun-loving women. We can do all of this while wandering the lanes of Florence, giggling on the Piazza steps or enjoying a vino and risotto.

HOW IS THIS TOUR DIFFERENT?

We stay in designer apartments and it’s kind of like a 5-day sleepover party where we all share a house. There are no boring hotel rooms where you are isolated and cramped into a shoebox. It’s all about experiencing true Italy, Italian decor and authentic accommodation together in style. Women say this is the best part of the tour and they’ve created long-term friends for life.

There are no huge buses, big bustling groups and guides with flags. This is a personal tour with 6-8 women in total and we are all about nurturing fun and frivolity within a small group. We are here to enjoy what each day brings, not checking off lists of “must see” sights.

You are not going to stand in long queues and waste your precious holiday time. We are going use every moment of your time in Italy to do unique and interesting things that big tour groups don’t do. We go behind the scenes to artisans workshops, savour wine in intimate trattorias and visit artisan stores so beautiful they will blow your mind (and of course theres always time for a little shopping if that tickles your fancy…shhh this can be our little secret).

DAY 1:  TUESDAY MAY 1 – ARRIVE & REVIVE

We meet in Florence at our apartment for a welcome drink and to get to know each other before we head off to the enjoy the first afternoon of taking in the speciality stores and artisan studios in the local area. We relax this evening over a drink in the piazza and our welcome dinner at an authentic Italian restaurant.

Today’s Lesson:  Finding ways to be creative every day.

DAY 2: WEDNESDAY MAY 2- ALLEYWAYS & ARTISANS

This morning after breakfast you’ll need to take a deep breath, for today you’ll be experiencing a half day painting class with Frank or Laura at The Florence Studio. You may choose either painting or sculpting as your area of interest over the next few days or choose 2 days of painting and one day of sculpting. 

This afternoon you’ll have some free time exploring the Uffizi Gallery (optional) or the Oltrano area so you can take your time to find that something special for you or your home. Either way, you can enjoy the beauty of Florence on your terms. Tonight choose to take time out or we will gather to enjoy an evening meal at a hand-picked local restaurant.

Today’s Lesson:  How to create an art piece at The Florence Studio

DAY 3: THURSDAY MAY 3 – CREATION & CREATIVITY CONTINUES

Today we will head back to The Florence Studio for our second art day. Continue on with your art project and soak up the vibe of this special Florentine art studio. Have fun and feel free as you enjoy doing something special for yourself. 

This afternoon we will visit some of the cities beautiful stores where handmade items of high quality will excite and entice you. Dinner tonight choose your own adventure or dine with the group for a tasty and delicious meal.

Today’s Lesson:  How to create future plans for your own life.

 

DAY 4: FRIDAY MAY 4 – EXPLORE & EXPERIENCE

Today we will spend the morning session back at the studio to work on the third day of our art projects. Whether you’re working on your painting or your sculpture, you will be creating a memory of a very special time in your life. Later today you will have some free time to enjoy a list of great places to see in the city. Take in the Duomo, visit the San Marco Museum or wander the list of stores I have specifically compiled for you. Tonight we will meet for our farewell dinner and enjoy the company of our new friends.

Today’s Lesson:  How to make time for what matters to you.

 

DAY 5: SATURDAY MAY 5 – FAREWELL FRIENDS

We will take an early morning stroll and coffee and freshly baked treats in our nearby speciality store. We will say our farewells and depart by 10 am. Stay on for the night and join me on the Gems of Italy Shopping Tour beginning the next day or head of to explore more of beautiful Italy.

I REALLY WANT YOU TO COME IF YOU:

  • Want to hang out with incredible women.
  • Want to learn more about how to paint or create a sculpture whatever your ability.
  • Want to witness the beauty of Florence in a relaxed and casual atmosphere.
  • Dream of hanging out in a beautiful Italian apartment.
  • Love having long, leisurely meals in beautiful places every day.
  • Want to reignite your creativity and design knowledge.
  • Enjoy meeting new people and creating memories with new friends.
  • Love wandering down cobblestone streets and peeking into artisans stores.
  • Always embrace having fun and taking in beauty each day.

I’M NOT SURE THIS IS FOR YOU IF YOU:

  • Don’t like sharing a home with a group of amazing women (This is not hotel living)
  • Feel inadequate about your art knowledge or don’t believe you are good enough. All abilites are welcome.
  • Want every tiny part of every day organised and can’t make decisions for yourself.
  • Are a drama queen when everything does not unfold perfectly.
  • You are overly sensitive and take life too seriously.
  • You want a big tourist group and guides with flags (this is not what we do).
  • You are not prepared for a little adventure and daily creativity.
  • You can’t tackle steps (Italy has lots of them) and a lot of walking.
  • Don’t want to eat and drink authentic Italian food every day.

HERE ARE THE PERKS!

EVERYTHING IS PLANNED FOR YOU

I have spent crazy amounts of time planning this tour so that all of the organising is done for you. Even though you will have time to choose what to do in your spare time, all the options will be laid out for you.

That means you can just enjoy coming to Italy without the stress!

PERSONALIZED SERVICE & SUPPORT

You are not dealing with a large company here. You are talking directly to me. I will answer your questions and help make the decisions so much easier. I am just a phone call or email away.

This means that if you are unsure about something, then you can just ask me directly. If I don’t know, I’ll find out.

If I don’t know, I’ll find out.

TRAVEL PLANNING

I work closely with a travel agent here in Australia who can help organise all of your flights and travel details if you want a hand to organise this. She will help find the best-priced flights on the dates that suit you best and at rates to match or better those you can find online.

Don’t waste time Googling, just ask me.

PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP

As a special guest of my tour, you’ll receive an invitation to join my private Facebook Group for registered guests only. This is a great way to connect with others before you go, ask us questions and maintain friendships when you return.

This brings us together before the tour and makes staying in touch fun and easy.

HERE’S WHAT MY PAST GUESTS HAVE TO SAY 

“Wow, where to start? I absolutely loved the tour! I’ve just re-read your dream “to create something unique and special for women, in a context of friendship and sisterhood”. Well, in my opinion, you nailed it!

As you know I travelled from Australia solo. There are many highlights. However if I can only choose one, it would be the company of the lovely women on the tour (including yourself Carmen) who all shared the same passion for travelling to Italy on an adventure. Despite our varying knowledge of art, architecture, food and wine choices, the language, our health all being so diverse, we shared laughter and happiness together every day. It has been wonderful to be home and continue the contact with new friends and it is hopefully just the beginning of long lasting friendships.

The guided tours you organised Carmen deserve a special mention too. The guides themselves were delightful. I personally enjoyed the tours to the private studios to see first hand some extremely talented artists (and I’m not even an artist) however it was very personal and unforgettable. Having a chauffeur through Tuscany, again, brilliant. I felt like I was in a movie set so much of the day.

Leaving a family behind to go and travel is not easy for any mother. However, my husband, my teenage son and daughter are proud of me for going and doing something for myself. I didn’t expect that. They gained independence and faced some of their biggest fears like ‘separation anxiety’ and became more resilient knowing that mum can go away alone and she comes back happier and healthier than when she left. How good is that!”

– Sarah Byrne – Bowral, Australia

I definitely had no hesitations in purchasing a Design & Lifestyle Tour. Carmen made me feel at ease from the very start and she was helpful in every way. Any questions I had were answered very promptly and with a lot of knowledge. The inclusions which were offered on this tour made the decision very easy.

It was a great opportunity to spend some quality time with other like minded ladies who enjoy travel and meeting new friends. It was so easy being “myself” and being accepted from the start. I had to pinch myself “several times” and kept telling myself it was great to be alive and to have this fabulous opportunity to be able to discover Italy with Carmen’s tours.

The organisation and Carmen’s attention to detail, but relaxed approach made these tours run to plan. Everything was very well organised, from our train travel, dinner reservations and not to mention our “Drop Dead Gorgeous” luxury accommodation which I can only imagine it would of taken Carmen months to source. I was not disappointed at all and with this said, I would not hesitate to take another one of her Tours in the near future.

I would definitely and with no hesitation recommend any one of Carmen’s Tours, as it’s a great opportunity for the “sisterhood” and a “once in a lifetime” adventure for the soul!

Carmen puts her heart and soul into creating these tours, making it a very memorable experience for me which I will always treasure and never forget.

Until next time Italy,

Diane, Brisbane Australia

“I think for me the best memories I have are of the friendship shared. The laughing, celebration of birthdays, amazing dinners, deliciously different wine the friendships enriched, renewed and discovered, the caring of others, and the caring we had to do for ourselves. It’s hard sometimes to stop in your busy lifetime to be you again. To be just you, nobody’s wife, mother, employee, or boss, gave a sense of freedom, this itself was a really thrilling experience, and I think we don’t get to do very often .

We didn’t have to think about cooking, washing, meetings, school pick up, and to be away with a group of women was a great privilege.

As far as the trip, I loved Florence, every corner was a wow moment. The buildings, people, art, architecture, culture, did I say, the people? I loved everything about Florence.

The places we visited were spot on for me, the tour guides were such a great addition and gave such a personal insight to the places we visited, especially the artisan tour. The accommodation was also great in beautiful locations and very comfortable beds. Finally, did I mention the highlight was the friendship of women.”

– Michelle Smith – Brisbane, Australia

“I can’t thank you enough for organising the trip of a lifetime for me to Italy. You put so much thought and research into the trip and we did some wonderful things that I would never have thought to do, like the wonderful wine tasting lunch in Florence, the visit to the winery in the Tuscan region, visiting the artists in Florence and our many fantastic dinners and lunches throughout the holiday.

The apartments we stayed in were stunning and I have stayed in a lot of 5-star places in my life and they were by far my favourite digs.

It was just a groups of girls having a great time together and sharing a lot of laughter and making memories. I have made friends for life and can’t wait to do it again with you.

– Carmen Mearns – Sydney,  Australia

 

Italy, my happy place. Whether it be in a historical city, a quaint village on the water or in the rolling countryside, you will see beauty in everything around you. Not to mention the food, wine and accommodation. This was an amazing trip made even more special with the friendships that evolved. I loved it!

– Sharon Gee, Brisbane, Australia

 

Did you have any hesitations about purchasing Carmen’s tour?

Initially, I did, only because I thought it was a lot of money to spend on myself and also the fact I was concerned about not being close by for my Mum. I had thought I would do the Tuscany tour but I though it was a long way to go for 10 days so then decided to partake in the Revel in the Riviera tour also.  

What changes did you see within yourself on the tour?

I learnt to just enjoy the time away and let go of worrying too much about others at home, in the knowledge that all would be well.

What specific things did you like best about Carmen’s Tour ?.

I thoroughly enjoyed time out with other women and just being in the present. We all got on so well and there were so many laughs.

Would you recommend Carmen’s tour? Why or why not?

Yes, I would, Carmen had planned and co-ordinated this tour so well and her wealth of knowledge and experience in regards to Italy made it so easy for those of us who had never been to this part of the world.  

Just to say that Carmen is a very caring person & I appreciate all the effort & preparations she made to ensure this holiday became a reality for the likes of myself. I will cherish the memories Carmen….so thank you.

Michelle Cross, Maleny, Australia

NUMBERS ARE LIMITED

RESERVE YOUR SPOT FOR 2018

YOUR INCLUSIONS

THE 5 DAY TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Welcome cocktail and antipasto party at the apartment.
  • 5 days in Florence
  • 4 nights in private apartment in Florence.
  • 1 x Welcome dinner
  • 1 x Farewell dinner
  • 3 half days of private art/sculpture lessons at The Florence Studio
  • All artisan and store visits on itinerary
  • Transport with the group on the tour (if required)
  • All breakfasts in villa and apartment (self-serve style)
  • All design and lifestyle lessons.
  • A one-on-one phone call to help with planning if needed.
  • Private Facebook Group for Tour Participants
  • Your own what to Pack for Italy Guide.
  • Your Italy Guidebook…preparing for your tour.
  • Shared room or private if available.
  • Payment plan option available.

Notes

  • Please allow 35-40 Euro for any other group dinners you may want to attend.
  • Lunches are not included but can be purchased just by the art studio.

*The trip fee does not include your flights to Italy or your compulsory travel insurance.

CLICK “RESERVE YOUR SPOT” TO ENSURE YOUR PLACE ON THIS TRIP.

PAYMENT PLAN

CREATIVE IN FLORENCE

TOUR COST 

4 PAYMENTS OF €520 

Reserve your spot today.

€520 Euro DEPOSIT 

3 monthly payments of €520

CONDITIONS
Please note that your deposit is non-refundable, however, is transferable to another person should your plans change.

 

DISCLAIMER | TERMS AND CONDITIONS

FULL PAYMENT

CREATIVE IN FLORENCE

TOUR COST

1 PAYMENT €1989 Euro

Secure your spot today.

PAY IN FULL for a reduced rate.

No more to pay.

CONDITIONS
Please note that your deposit is non-refundable, however, is transferable to another person should your plans change.
DISCLAIMER | TERMS AND CONDITIONS

 

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED 

 

DO I NEED TO DRESS SUPER FANCY?

No. This is a very casual holiday so you will need smart casual day wear, some walking gear and a couple of nice outfits for dinner. High heels are not necessary and not overly practical for cobblestone streets. Please travel light as you don’t want to be burdened with huge suitcases, plus there are many shopping opportunities to buy lovely things.

ARE FLIGHTS INCLUDED?

No. You will need to book your own flights because everyone is welcome to come no matter where they live and whatever carrier they prefer to use. Maybe you have frequent flyer points that you would like to use?  We are here to help you and with my own dedicated travel agent by my side, we can help with all your flight and travel planning. Just ask me.

DO I NEED MY OWN TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Yes. You must have your own travel insurance to come on the tour and will need to provide copies of the insurance to me prior to departure. Without travel insurance, you cannot join the tour.
CAN I TRAVEL PRIOR TO THE TRIP OR AFTER IT IS FINISHED?
Yes. You can definitely take advantage of being in Italy and head to any number of amazing places. We can help you with that. You may like to do the Gems of Florence Shopping Tour as it runs back to back with this tour. Alternatively, have some days to yourself and then join me on my Villa’s & Villages in Tuscany Tour.
DO I HAVE TO BE FIT AND HEALTHY?
Yes, you must be fit and healthy as the tours require a lot of walking during the day and Italy has a lot of steps. You also have to be responsible for carrying all of your own luggage as we are not staying in hotels with porters. If you suffer from any major illness or health issues that you cannot manage yourself with ease, unfortunately, this tour cannot provide the level of care you may need.
 
WHY AREN’T SOME LUNCHES AND DINNERS INCLUDED?
I want to keep the trip flexible and due to the individual nature of the classes, this gives you a chance to eat lunch when and where you like. If we do eat together at lunch or at nightly meals not included then women in the past have set up a kitty to make payment at restaurants easy. Allow approx 15 Euro for lunch and about 35 Euro each for the two dinners. This worked really well and made our lunches fun and stress-free. The last thing we want is nit-picking when it comes to payments. Alternatively, choose to do your own thing at meal times. 
WHAT IS THE STORY WITH ALCOHOL?
At the dinners provided, I will supply a few bottles of wine to have with our meal. Any other drinks you order beyond that will be at your expense. If you don’t drink alcohol then that is okay but please be aware that it will be a part of many of the lunch and dinner experiences and if you find it uncomfortable, this may not be the tour for you.
IS THE ITINERARY LIKELY TO CHANGE?
There may be a few little tweaks to the plan, but ultimately it will stay very similar. Plans change depending on weather, restaurant availability and group decisions made on the day. I like to have a solid plan, but I am also open and flexible to changes.
WHAT IF I CHOOSE NOT TO DO AN ACTIVITY THAT HAS BEEN PLANNED?
Please notify me prior to the tour if possible if there is something that you choose not to do. If you decide on the tour not to do an activity then that is perfectly fine however the tour will proceed with the planned itinerary without you. We can certainly assist you with alternative ideas.
WHO WILL I SHARE WITH?
Accommodation will be either twin or group share depending on the accommodation. If you are travelling with a friend, I will ensure that you are together. If available, you may request your own room at an additional cost. All accommodation is a shared villa or apartment as we are not staying in hotels.

WHAT OTHER TOURS CAN BE ADDED?

If you want to add the Gems of Italy Shopping Tour or Revel in the Riviera Tour to the mix then you can add it on to this tour. With the Gems of Italy Shopping Tour running back to back with this tour and the Revel in the Riviera six days later, it makes things super easy for you to create your total tour experience to Italy. Find out more about all the tours here.

YOUR INCLUSIONS

THE 5 DAY TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Welcome cocktail and antipasto party at the apartment.
  • 5 days in Florence.
  • 4 nights in private apartment in Florence.
  • 1 x Welcome dinner
  • 1 x Farewell dinner
  • 3 half days of private art/sculpture lessons at The Florence Studio
  • All artisan and store visits on itinerary
  • Transport with the group on the tour (if required)
  • All breakfasts in villa and apartment (self-serve style)
  • All design and lifestyle lessons.
  • A one-on-one phone call to help with planning if needed.
  • Private Facebook Group for Tour Participants
  • Your own what to Pack for Italy Guide.
  • Your Italy Guidebook…preparing for your tour.
  • Shared room or private if available.
  • Payment plan option available.

Notes

  • Please allow 35-40 Euro for any other group dinners you may want to attend.
  • Lunches are not included but can be purchased right by the art studio.

*The trip fee does not include your flights to Italy or your compulsory travel insurance.

CLICK “RESERVE YOUR SPOT” TO ENSURE YOUR PLACE ON THIS TRIP.

THERE ARE JUST 8 SPOTS AVAILABLE.

PAYMENT PLAN

CREATIVE IN FLORENCE

TOUR COST 

4 PAYMENTS OF €520 EURO

Reserve your spot today.

€520 Euro DEPOSIT 

3 monthly payments of €520

CONDITIONS
Please note that your deposit is non-refundable, however, is transferable to another person should your plans change.

 

DISCLAIMER | TERMS AND CONDITIONS

FULL PAYMENT

CREATIVE IN FLORENCE

TOUR COST

1 PAYMENT €1989 Euro

Secure your spot today.

PAY IN FULL for a reduced rate.

No more to pay.

CONDITIONS
Please note that your deposit is non-refundable, however, is transferable to another person should your plans change.
DISCLAIMER | TERMS AND CONDITIONS

 

BOOK OR ENQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR