WHO WE ARE
A collaborative of professional chefs, artists, nature lovers and hospitality experts.
our retreats were born from shared passion for the arts, food, sustainable tourism, and countless years of work in the hospitality industry.
Rissa Miller: Cordon Bleu-trained chef, restaurant consultant, and painter. After years working in restaurant kitchens and retreats in the U.S., France, and Italy, Rissa fell in love with Italian countryside living and started Rome Retreats in 2016 to offer communal vacation experiences to fellow food and art lovers.
Johnny Madge: Internationally acclaimed olive oil sommelier, expert forager, marble sculptor, and tour guide extraordinaire.
Luigi Caranti: University professor and Kant scholar who dreams of being a farmer. When he's not teaching or writing, Luigi owns and operates his agroturismo villa property, tending his olive trees, crafting his own wine, and arguing with his tractor.
James Johnstone: Award-winning historical walking tours guide, linguist, translator, story-teller and Canadian transplant - James brings his knowledge, passion, and exquisite fashion sense to every tour. Read his wonderful blog here.
Pino Ficara: Trained Chef in French culinary arts & pastry with over 15 years experience in NYC restaurants and as a professor of culinary education Paris, London, Tuscany and the South of France. Pino now runs his own cooking school in Rome and offers ongoing intensive bread and pastry workshops with Rome Retreats, (lucky us!). He teaches with a combined spirit of fun and serious professionalism, giving guidance and 'secrets' from his decades of high-level experience.
Julia Ficara: Reformed from the business world, Julia found her passion for pasta making and trained in Bologna, the home of hand rolled egg pasta. Now with 5+ years experience supplying Parisian restaurants and teaching in France and Italy, Julia co-owns and operates a cooking school with Pino, offering traditional techniques and true quality pasta as only a dedicated sfoglina can!
WHAT WE DO
Design and host culinary, writing, and painting workshop retreats with bespoke itineraries in Sabina -
(What is sabina??)
a secluded and rustic countryside paradise just 45 minutes north of Rome !
The villa property maintains a vineyard, olive and fruit orchards, vegetable gardens and luxury swimming pool. We offer menus full of local organic products, small producer wines and unique tours to places only locals could find.
(Check out Lori's incredible food blog here!)