Writers, Artists, Friends…

Join Me for a Week in Northern Italy

August 26 – September 2, 2024

Write, create, explore, and relax in Valle del Cervo, in the foothills of the Northern Italian Alps, on this inclusive 7-night Writing and Art Retreat.  


In the beautiful Valle Del Cervo, in a small stone hamlet close to the border of Switzerland, far away from the tourist throngs…

…you will dine on slow food from the region prepared for us at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Explore the valley and nearby historic sites. Write, draw, create, hike, reflect, and enjoy… all as you like.


You will hear cowbells and church bells and maybe no other Americans at all.

It feels remote, yet you will be just a short distance to Milan, Turin, France, Switzerland, and the rest of Europe if you wish to extend your stay.

This is the creative reset you need.

Alpine view from the Villa



What Does it Cost? What is included?

The base charge of $1,950 per person includes:

  • 7 nights room and board at Villa Emma
  • 17 delicious, healthy garden-to-table meals, catered by La Mascaria Azienda Agricola 
  • Transfer from Biella, Italy train station
  • Fresh juices, wine, coffee, tea
  • Double occupancy bedroom (single beds, shared bathrooms)
  • Guided writing sessions, craft talks, physical warm-ups 
  • Art-making facilities (bring your own supplies)
  • A half-day regional cooking class at La Mascaria  
  • Hikes! Strolls! Rambles!
  • A day exploring Biella’s palazzos, funicolare, markets, restaurants and cafes
  • An excursion to the esoteric stonemason’s mountain village of Rosazza
  • Time to rest, sit in solitude, dream, replenish
  • Travel advice, suggestions, resources
  • Companionship. Fun.


Not included in the base price…

  • Private room with upcharge (waiting list only)
  • Manuscript review session with Ericka 
  • Massage, yoga classes, mindfulness sessions
  • Airfare to Italy and travel to Biella, extended excursions, entrance fees, out-of-Villa meals, travel insurance, hard alcoholic drinks, laundry, gratuities
  • …anything not specifically stated above



1 slot still available

A Typical Day at Villa Emma  (subject to change)

7am  Meditation/yoga/walk (or sleep in!)
8am  Coffee and breakfast 
9am  Prompted freewriting or perhaps a travel memoir, sensory writing, or flash fiction workshop…
12pm  Lunch
10-4pm  Write. Make art. Eat cheese. Practice your Italian. Dance. Go on an excursion. Consult with Ericka.  Explore the Valle del Cervo. Take a nap.
5pm  Check-in gathering with a glass of wine, or fresh juice from Martina’s farm, 
5:30 or 6pm  Group dinner

About Villa Emma

Villa Emma is a three-story historic private villa, built in the 1890s, that has maintained its character and original features. It is located in a tiny hamlet in northwestern Italy, in the Piedmont region, in the foothills of the Alps. The town of Biella is 25 minutes away by car.


Our hosts are my longtime friend, photographer L. Mikelle Standbridge, and her Italian husband Simone, who provide Villa Emma for us to live, work, and play. The retreat is co-sponsored by Casa Regis – center for culture and contemporary art, Mikelle’s organization located in Mosso Santa Maria, a half-hour drive away.

A few more details…

  • There will be a maximum number of 8 participants .
  • The villa has no disabled access, and there are stairs.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $350 books your place on the retreat.
  • Balance due by June 10, 2024 (or talk to me about payment plans).
  • Payments via PayPal or Venmo.
  • Travel insurance is recommended, all participants must sign a liability waiver.
  • Optional private manuscript consultations with Ericka will be scheduled on arrival.

  • Note: you don’t have to write – or be a writer – to enjoy or benefit from this retreat.


I am SO excited to have you join us. 

This retreat has limited availability. 



{ retreat – reboot – restore – resist – risotto }


Villa Emma
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Contact me with any questions:  ericka.lutz@gmail.com