Join Vanessa Carnevale 


Tuscany - Italy

A new retreat location for 2020!

A week-long stay in an idyllic Tuscan setting. This retreat will take place in the scenic Tuscan hills located in small hamlet outside of Florence, providing the perfect backdrop for a week of peaceful relaxation, writing and dining. Relax by the poolside with an intimate group of like-minded writers and a glass of Chianti and allow the inspiration to unfold.

Hello! I'm so glad you're here...

My love of Florence...

About Vanessa

I can't wait to share my love of writing and la dolce vita with you.

Florence is my favourite city in the world. There's art, there's culture, and there's architecture that makes you want to drop to your knees in awe when you think about how Brunelleschi actually pulled off that incredible Dome. Paintings by Botticelli take my breath away (I have a crush on The Birth of Venus and could spend hours drinking in the details of the Allegory of Spring.) Even if you don't think you're particularly into art, a trip to the Uffizi could possibly have you change your mind.  Plus (insider tip!), you get a fabulous view of the Ponte Vecchio from the windows in one of the corridors there. Aside from the magic they made during the Renaissance, there's the food, the people, and the scenery that make it so easy to adore this city.

I first visited Florence when I was 18-years-old and the following year I moved there and got a job working in the centre of Florence, while writing on the side. After several years, homesickness got the better of me so my husband and I moved back to Australia. We now travel between countries fairly regularly and I'm lucky to consider Italy my second home. 

There's something unique and beautiful about being able to experience Tuscany like the locals, while allowing time for rest, inspiration and writing time. For centuries people have been coming to Italy (in particular, Tuscany) to be inspired by historical towns, rolling hills, lush green vineyards and trees heavy with olives. Every time I take a trip to Italy I feel an intense pull to write and I hope you'll feel the same way. Energised, inspired, and relaxed by your surroundings and the availability of uninterrupted writing time.

I'm a Melbourne-based author of women's fiction/romance, as well as the occasional freelance article and essay. My debut novel, The Florentine Bridge sold in a two-book deal, and was published by Harlequin MIRA Australia in January 2017. You can find it here. My second book, The Memories That Make Us was released in March 2018.

In 2016, I led my first week-long writing retreat in Tuscany, Italy, and I can't wait to support a new group of writers next year. I find so much joy in guiding, supporting and sharing my knowledge with other writers.

I love working with like-minded writers and use my skills as a Life Coach to help writers transform their writing lives and become comfortable with pursuing their writing dreams. I have a deep respect for the craft of writing and my approach to writing is one that encompasses writing (and living) mindfully. 

Over the years, my work has been published in and I’ve been featured in magazines, newspapers and online, including publications such as Elephant Journal, The Green Parent (UK), The Huffington Post, Italy magazine, Happy Child and more.

I’ve studied Journalism, Professional Writing and Editing and am a qualified Life Coach.

Visit my website

Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!


What to expect from Your Beautiful Writing Life retreat...

Whether in Daylesford, Australia, or Tuscany, Italy, you can expect to create in a beautiful environment, alongside an intimate group of like-minded writers in an atmosphere that allows for socialisation as well as connection. I believe that a retreat should allow for rest, relaxation, and fun, as well as support that extends far beyond the retreat stay once friendships are made. 

During our seven nights together you'll be creating the space to brainstorm new ideas, participate in discussion, give and receive feedback (if you choose to) and most importantly, write. This is a time for you to detach from the pressures and distractions of everyday life so you can become comfortable with your voice and with your craft. 

It doesn't matter if you aren't calling yourself a writer (yet!) or if all you have right now is an idea. This retreat is open to all kinds of writers, no matter where you're at on your writing journey. 

Your time at the retreat will be dispersed between morning meditation sessions (optional), morning workshops, and free time for venturing into the centre of Florence, the nearby town of Greve-in-Chianti, or just relaxing. I'll be there to support and coach. We'll regroup each evening for aperitifs before dinner. I'll champion you and your work. We'll have fun. And hopefully, by the time you go home you'll have made some lifelong friends too.



What you can do next...

What previous retreat attendees have to say about the experience...

Vanessa and Lisa are excellent teachers. They are also the most involved and encouraging mentors I've ever had. The retreat was excellent value because of their involvement, their boots-and-all attitude, their care, interest and knowledge. Having feedback on the opening chapter of my book was invaluable in overcoming self doubt. It has encouraged me to persevere with the rest of my novel and I have a much better idea, now, of how to go about that. For me, Structure, Point of View and the need for drama were the most important lessons learned. I came away feeling like I had a really good chance of completing my novel to a standard worthy of seeking publication. I'd highly recommend Your Beautiful Writing Life. - Carla Simmons

Oh take me back to Trentham! What a truly magical experience I had last November, on retreat with the fabulous Vanessa Carnevale. From the moment I first reached out to Vanessa online, after reading her beautiful novels, I felt like I had met a kindred spirit. So when she advertised her writing retreat I jumped at the chance to attend. What followed was four days and three nights of total immersion within the world of writing, balanced nicely with beautiful shared meals and wine, chatting about our lives & the stories we needed to bring into the world, and workshops on meditation and writing skills to make our WIP’s the best they could be. I highly recommend Vanessa’s retreats to any aspiring authors. Take the time out of your busy life and make yourself and your writing a priority. Now to just knuckle down and finish that first draft. - Shelley Gardner

“…Vanessa and Lisa thank you both, the workshops were catered for us perfectly, extremely well delivered and informative. You both really cared and wanted to make a difference which was a constant inspiration to me and still remains. I’m now full steam ahead with my manuscript and as I near completion I have you both to thank. As well as my dogged determination to actually succeed. I’m truly blessed to have had you both a part of my writing journey. And thanks for the hugs when I needed them.” - Claire Nice