Essere Residency

Essere Residency

Essere Residency is an annual, self-directed program designed to encourage the creative and personal growth of writers, artists and creatives of all disciplines at any stage of their career or personal self-expression. 

The residency offers a supportive space to develop professional creative skills as well as receive mentorship and support for inner wellbeing. Each person’s unique creative process is fostered within the context of a vibrant international community, in the tranquility and historic richness of rural Tuscany.

Whether you need dedicated time to bring a project to completion, or space to envision something totally new, this two-week residency delivers the right amount of structure, support and solitude.

Days are free to explore your creative vision and share perspectives with artists of different ages and cultures from all over the world. Evenings we come together for inspiring, instructional talks by the Artists in Residence on topics of relevance to all. These talks are followed by a delicious 3-course dinner and wine prepared by our local chef.

Individual mentorship in specific disciplines is available by appointment with the AiRs and residency Director Jennie Lee will be offering personal coaching support and guided meditation sessions. 

Possible excursions to Florence and nearby thermal springs may be organized as well as an on-site cooking class. All in all, you can expect two weeks filled with joy and inspiration!

Location information & Dates

The privately owned, historic hillside estate situated in a rural area of southern Tuscany dates to the medieval age. This peaceful hamlet houses Etruscan tombs, a tower, church, and courthouse. It is an iconic Italian landscape sure to inspire. 

There are many paths to walk through the olive groves and woods surrounding the property and the nearby village of Piazze has an open market, coffee bar, massage therapist, grocery, pharmacy, and other basic services.

Day trips can easily be made to beautiful towns such as Siena, Florence, Montepulciano, Assisi and many more.

Address: Private Estate in Cetona, Province of Siena, Italy

Nearest Airports: Florence and Rome

Transfer Time: 2 hours

Train Station: Chuisi-Chianciano T.

Hospital: 1 hour

Important dates

Program Dates: Sept 21 – Oct 5, 2024

Deadline for Applications: Jan. 15, 2024

Notifications sent: Jan.31, 2024

What’s included

Lodging & meals 

  • 14 nights private accomodation in historic Tuscan home
  • 10 three-course dinners including wine
  • Housekeeping service twice weekly
  • Bed and bath linens, with a full change after the first week
  • Shared kitchens and living spaces in each of the homes
  • Free Laundry facilities
  • Free WiFi
  • Free parking
  • Tourist tax of 1 € per person per day

Workshops, mentorship & more:

  • 8 craft talks by guest Artists in Residence
  • 6 guided meditation sessions
  • Individual mentorship meetings with the guest AIRs
  • Individual meeting with the Director, Jennie Lee
  • Assistance in finding materials and supplies
  • Opportunity to show your work in progress
  • Publication of your profile (if desired) on our social media
  • Invitation letter and residency plan to help secure private funding

Studios & shared work spaces:

  • Two independent art studio spaces
  • Abundant outdoor space with meditation benches and wooded walking paths
  • Spacious great room with large fireplace, comfortable antique furniture & stunning views of the countryside. Here we share yoga, meditation & evening workshops. It is also available for personal use during the day.
  • Il Granaio which has a dining area upstairs and library downstairs.


  • Private room: $3500 USD / person
  • Shared room: $3000 USD / person
    (Available for couples or collaborators traveling together)

What’s not included:

  • Transportation and Visa (if needed)
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Working materials and personal items
  • Extra meals or services (beyond what is specified)

Accommodation and Work Space

Every resident will have a private room with a work desk in one of the six historic homes.  A few double occupancy rooms are available for couples or collaborators traveling together.

What is expected or required of me during the residency?

This is a self-directed experience with no specific required outcomes. It is expected that residents will engage naturally as a part of the community through optional daily activities such as meals, craft talks, meditation sessions, and possible excursions.

Four nights each week, there will be talks by the Artists-in-Residence on subjects relevant to all artistic disciplines. During the second week there will be time for participants to meet privately with the AiRs for personal mentorship. Director, Jennie Lee will also be available for individual assistance and counsel. 

Presentations by those who wish to share their work will be scheduled during the second week of the program as well.

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