Painting Retreat on the French Riviera


Students are housed in the 19th century Italianate “Villa” (above) and in the Château.

The Château de La Napoule Artist Retreat
With Adeline Goldminc-Tronzo on May 15-22, 2019

Sign Up for Trip

Escape to southern France to live and work in a historic castle perched on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Participants may be painters, photographers, writers, drawing enthusiasts, explorers, and even those interested in the Cannes Film Festival. Many museums and historical sites await you. The retreat is open to all. 

Artists may work in oils, acrylics, watercolors, etc students will live and work at the Château which is perched on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea in La Napoule, France. Students are housed both in the Château and in a private Villa on the grounds. Most meals take place in the grand dining room of the Château. With its eight acres of formal gardens and sculpture adorned architecture, the Château holds two coveted distinctions from the French Ministry of Culture: Monument Historique and Jardin Remarkable.

Important Information

We will hold an Informational Session on Sunday, December 2nd from 3–4pm in MECA’s Osher Hall. Meet Adeline Goldminc-Tronzo, discuss the curriculum, view slides from previous retreats and learn more about the history of the Château.

Trip Dates: May 15-22, 2019
Trip Fees: $1875 – $3000 per person (prices vary depending on single or double occupancy). This fee includes: course tuition, most meals (continental breakfast, dinner -Monday to Friday) and final group dinner. This fee does not include airfare.

To Register: Please call the CS Office at 207.699.5061. A $500 nonrefundable deposit is due upon registration. Final payments are due February 1. Spaces are limited!

Sign Up for Trip

For more information, please see our FAQ list below.


What is a typical day like?

  • 8:00am: Breakfast at the Château
  • 9:00am-12:00pm: Adeline gives a short lecture on different topics (shape, positive/negative space, value, color) that apply to all genres or styles of painting, followed by a brief exercise on that topic. The remainder of the morning is yours to create work in whatever parts of the Château grounds are most inspiring– the terrace, private beach, the gardens, the Villa patio, out your room’s window, any nook or cranny of the Château itself…the choices are endless. Adeline rotates among students for feedback and discussion.
  • 12:00-1:00pm: Communal lunch
  • 1:00-5:00pm: Independent painting/on your own
  • 5:00pm: Critique/discussion + cocktails/tea hour. On one evening we will host the delightful Christine Viesinger, scholar on French Painters of the 20th Century, for a talk and slide show, followed by dinner at the Château.
  • 7:00pm: Dinner in the grand dining room
  • 9:00pm: Stargazing, beach walking, reading, cards, up to you!

Can non-painters attend the retreat?

Absolutely! This area is a paradise for all kinds of artists, so photographers, writers, filmmakers, those who wish to draw or just explore are welcome to register. Feel free to sit in on the critiques and lectures too. Just know that the majority of students will spend their time focused in a painting class.

How do I get there? Will there be a group flight?

Nice, France (Aéroport Nice Côte D’Azur) is the closest airport to our destination, approximately 30 minutes away from the Château by car. There are flights from Boston (none direct, but all offer connections to Nice). We will be arranging a group flight leaving Boston on May 13 returning on May 21. For those wishing to travel in a group, please let us know. Those taking this flight will have a spot in our shuttle to/from the Château. We will not be able to accommodate others arriving on different flights.

What is the housing like?

Most participants will be housed in the newly renovated Villa Marguerite (19th century Italianate) where each room has a sea view, a garden view, or a mountain view– and its own bathroom. If we exceed capacity at the Villa where most rooms are doubles (a few singles), some of us will stay in the Château itself which has generally smaller, single rooms. Single or double rooms are available on a first come first served basis (prices vary depending on single or double occupancy). Students who choose a double will be grouped with another participant unless specified.

  • Double: $1800
  • Double with Ocean views: $1875
  • Single: $2000
  • Single with Ocean views: $2150

NOTE: Each room is unique and each room is quirky in its own way. We will assign rooms as registrations come in so you are encouraged to register early if you have specific requests or needs.

All accommodations are on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Due to the historic nature of the buildings, there are no elevators or air conditioning. The first floor of the Villa has a fully equipped kitchen at our disposal, a living room, a dining room and a computer room with WiFi. There is also a garden patio and terrace.

Will I be able to roll my suitcase up and down the staircases in the Villa and Chateau?

Since both buildings are historic, students can not roll suitcases up and down the stairs especially since the stairs are tile and crack easily. Please pack so that you can lift your suitcase up and down the stairs.

What are the meals like?

Breakfast (8:00am) and dinner (6:00pm) take place at the Château. Continental breakfast is provided daily and a French cuisine dinner is offered Monday through Friday evenings on the Château’s terrace or in the grand dining room. Vegetarian options are available nightly. Wine is not served but may be purchased separately in town and brought to dinner. With a full kitchen at our disposal and groceries within walking distance, students can make their own lunch or grab lunch in the village. (There are plenty of places to buy baguettes, meats, cheeses, salad ingredients, etc nearby)

What is the town like?

The town center of La Napoule is a 5 minute walk from the Château. There you will find a pharmacy, bakeries and small grocery stores, a bank, restaurants, etc. The train line running East-West along the coast makes a stop at La Napoule and schedules are available online or at the station.

Do I need to rent a car?

No. There is plenty to do within walking distance, train or taxi.

What is the weather like at this time of year?

Typical daily temperatures range between 55-70 during mid-May, but as in Maine, fluctuations within one day may occur.

What about painting supplies? Do I bring my own? Are there easels there?

Yes, you will need to bring whatever supplies you plan to use, though the Chateau does have plenty of easels. Students might want to bring a small lightweight folding stool to sit on while working.

Isn't the Cannes Film Festival happening nearby at the same time?

Why yes it is…. and it’s pretty exciting! A short, 15-minute train ride away and it’s cinematic mayhem. (You’d never know it from our quiet spot at the Château). Spend an afternoon or evening sitting in a cafe in Cannes and you’ve surely secured the best people watching spot there is. During the Festival there are also free movies (past Palme d’Or winning films) screened on the beach for free. Can’t beat that!

How can I learn more about the Château?

See for more information about the Château, its mission and its founders, Henry and Marie Clews.

What else is there to do in the area?

  • Stroll the town and shops of Mandelieu-La Napoule (2 mins away on foot)
  • Tour the town of Cannes during the Cannes Film Festival (15 min train ride; or for the adventurous, a 5-mile walk on the beach)
  • Evening film on the beach at the Festival (free, 15 minutes train ride)
  • Casino (5 minute walk)
  • Chagall Museum (Nice)
  • Two islands off La Napoule (15 minutes): Ile Saint-Honorat and Ile Sainte-Marguerite
  • Picasso Museum (Antibes)
  • The Maeght Center
  • Matisse Museum (Nice)
  • —and so much more!

Please contact the CS Office if you have any other questions at all: 207.699.5061.