Palazzo Albrizzi

6 TO 13 SEPTEMBER 2017

palazzo albrizzi

You’ll be in excellent company if you join us on our next Allaboutwriting retreat in Venice in September 2017.

You’ll be following in the footsteps of writers as diverse as Casanova, Voltaire and Byron, Hemingway, Daphne Du Maurier, Donna Leon and Ian McEwan.

Henry James wrote Portrait of a Lady in Venice, finished The Aspern Papers at Palazzo Barbaro, and features the palazzo as Palazzo Leporelli in Wings of the Dove

They had preserved and consecrated, and she now – her part of it was shameless – appropriated and enjoyed. Palazzo Leporelli held its history still in its great lap, even like a painted idol, a solemn puppet hung about with decorations. Hung about with pictures and relics, the rich Venetian past, the ineffaceable character, was here the presence revered and served…

We won’t be staying at the Palazzo Leporelli, but we can offer you a palazzo equally well preserved, and with impressive literary credentials. You’ll be staying in the Palazzo Albrizzi, where Lord Byron frequented Countess Albrizzi’s literary conversazione and receptions. Sadly, he can no longer enjoy the romance of wandering Venice to draw creative inspiration. That’s for us to do.

This retreat will give you something infinitely precious – time out of your busy daily life and responsibilities – and the space to work on your own writing in an inspiring environment. We will provide a short daily talk and discussion for the group and individual daily mentoring. To those who don’t have an existing project, we offer daily creative exercises with feedback, or the opportunity to brainstorm.

Join us from Wednesday 6 September 2017 to Wednesday 13 September 2017 for some intense and creative writing in the heart of Venice.

The Venue

Palazzo Albrizzi is an historic building located in San Polo, near the Rialto Bridge. It was built at the end of the seventeenth century by a noble Venetian family, and has remained in the family since then. Not far from the Grand Canal, it commands its own small square in the quiet of a lovely neighbourhood.

The Palazzo is actually a very large luxurious apartment which occupies the Piano Nobile (the most significant floor) of the four-story family palazzo.

The most striking feature of this imposing apartment is its enormous Gallery/Grand Hall, which runs almost the full length of the apartment. It has well-regarded museum quality paintings on its walls, very tall windows and a wooden ceiling.

The palazzo is elegant and luminous. There is wonderful antique furniture throughout, significant artwork, and family heirlooms. Important frescoes in the sitting rooms and dining room by Hayez and Borsato (who worked at La Fenice) have been recently restored. Several rooms have silk-covered walls. The library walls are covered in original mahogany cupboards for books.

From the tall windows of the apartment there are views of gardens and rooftops of Venice. These views can also be enjoyed from a large terrace with lovely plantings, tables and chairs. Several rooms have fireplaces. The family regularly uses this apartment, so guests will enjoy the feeling of an exclusive and magnificent Venetian home.

Run-up to the retreat

  1. We will establish an online “Venice Retreat” group for the active participation of all retreaters.
  2. We will post reading lists of books of and about Venice, both fiction and non-fiction.
  3. We will prepare maps featuring restaurants and other more louche joints, plus lists of what’s up in Venice during our sojourn then.
  4. We will establish what your plans are for the retreat – fiction, non- fiction, a novel, a short story, nothing in particular – and help you prepare for the retreat in a way that will make it as productive as possible.

Daily routine on the retreat

  1.  We will begin each day – after a leisurely Venetian breakfast, naturally – with a short pep session, followed by questions and discussion.
  2. We will provide those who want it a brief five-finger writing exercise for limbering up purposes each morning.
  3. You will then be free to write in the palazzo – or anywhere else – for the rest of the morning, or beyond.
  4. Your facilitators and mentors will be Allaboutwriting’s Jo-Anne Richards and Richard Beynon, Fred de Vries who will run two morning sessions on travel writing and biography and memoir.
  5. Jo-Anne, Richard and Fred will be on hand for a daily one-on-one session to discuss your project and to give you feedback on your writing.
  6. Lunch will, for the most part, be prepared by our cook in the palazzo.
  7. You may use the afternoons for further writing, for sightseeing, or for anything else that catches your fancy.
  8. Apart from dinner at the palazzo on the first night and the last, dinner will be for your own account in any of the city’s hundreds of  restaurants.
  9. There will, doubtless, be many further opportunities for discussions both literary and bawdy (to mention just two of countless possibilities).

Accommodation, food, tuition and mentoring costs

The palazzo itself has six bedrooms and accommodates eight people (or ten depending on configuration). There are two (and possible three) additional sumptuous two bedroomed apartments in the building that will be part of our rental if needed. In total there will be accommodation for up to sixteen people in:

  • One master bedroom
  • One (or two) rooms with double beds
  • Two (or three) rooms with twin beds
  • Four single rooms

We’ll allocate the rooms on a first come first served basis. Some of the bathrooms are shared and not all are en-suite.

Participants are welcome to bring a non-writing partner with them. We will limit the number of writers on the retreat to twelve.

Room type Retreat participant Non-writing partner
Master bedroom per person sharing EUR 2075 EUR 1505
Double  or twin room per person sharing EUR 1955 EUR 1385
Double room one occupant EUR 2975
Single room per person EUR 1955

Airfares and other transport costs

No transport  costs (flights, transfers, vaparetto etc) are included in the prices.

To book your place or for more information please contact us via email.

What the participants from the first Venice retreat had to say:

I thought the retreat was totally fabulous and it exceeded all my expectations. The venue was magnificent, allowing participants a huge amount of space in which to “operate” so that we could be private and meet at common venues like the patio, the dining room and the drawing room for the early morning discussions. Venice is a beautiful city and afforded a veritable feast of things to see and do when we were not busy scribbling away. Yes, I would definitely attend another retreat in Venice!

It felt like a family experience staying together, not in a hotel, but in a home steeped in history.  The food and the joy that Marta took in providing delicious meals was a highlight.  I loved that we weren’t rule bound and could do our own thing.

I learnt so much from the tutors, met some like-minded people, enjoyed luxurious accommodation, ate fabulous food, saw interesting things and so on. A HUGE thank you to all of you for what I sincerely hope is not a once in a lifetime experience.

It was a wonderful indulgence to be able to step away from everyday responsibilities and to be simply a writer for six full days. All I had to do was think about the words I had written and to make my manuscript as good as it could be. The Palazzo Albrizzi’s beautiful, romantic setting was a wonderful backdrop in which to settle down each day to write. I enjoyed the companionship and catching up with other writers and aspirant writers, first thing in the morning around the big table for breakfast, then again at lunch, and on our first and last nights for dinner.

Thanks once again to Richard and Jo-Anne for a week that was simply put, life changing.

The Pallazzo Albrizzi was so conducive to writing and enjoying the beauty of Venice.

Jo-Anne and Richard’s approach is always professional and that their guidance is thoughtful, generous and pertinent. From day one, with their first short talk on an aspect of writing, I was motivated to commit myself to the process of the retreat.

It was a unique venue – rich in Venetian history, luxuriously appointed, spacious and no wi-fi problems. There were plenty of private areas where one could settle down to write and an inspirational view from every window and patio. The meals were extremely generous – no starving in a garret for us!

Thank you Jo-Anne, Richard and Trish for creating the space at Riccardo’s magnificent Palazzo Albrizzi.  Your organisational skills, as well as all your excellent creative sessions, feedback, encouragement, insight, caring… simply astonishing. Magic is happening here and your writers look to you, hoping that this is the start of an annual tradition!

There it was, dominating the small campiello Albrizzi.  The Palazzo, centuries of history peeling off its façade.  Enormous, green wooden doors, that required some weight be applied to them, swung slowly into an eerily dark, cavernous entrance hall. Trish showed us to the magnificent room which was to be ours for the next six days. It was time. The days that followed were a blur of delicious food supplied by the amiable Marta, writing briefings as a group and the invaluable, one on one sessions with Richard and Jo-Anne.  … an experience of a life time.

To book your place or for more information please contact us via email.

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