James Hajicek

Carol Panaro-Smith

owners of alchemy studio

yoga & art retreat in tuscany​ 

with zuzana & Alchemy studio ~ October 2020 

meet your retreat facilitators:


Imagine a week on a Tuscan mountaintop, practicing yoga twice a day & making art. Each morning Zuzana will guide us through an invigorating yoga flow to wake up our bodies, and each evening through a restorative practice to ease us into lovely evening and eventually to a sleep. With our daily yoga practice we will be awakening our creative side. Through a visual art experiences we will be guided by artists Carol Panaro-Smith and James Hajicek of Alchemy Studio. We will explore a variety of materials and techniques using both photographic and art materials. Exercises and prompts will be given to stir our imaginations. No previous art experience is needed. We'll also enjoy together a half day outing to a neighboring village and a full day outing exploring the historic city of Lucca. 

Included in the retreat cost: twice daily yoga sessions, daily art sessions, city outings, pick up and drop off at the Florence airport, 24/7 access to a 14th century monastic studio with a wide array of art materials, all meals -- including self serve breakfast, prepared lunches and dinners either at the villa or out in restaurants. 

Feel free to share, invite your spouse or a friend, and help us spread the word!


Feel free to share, invite a friend and help us spread the word!

WHEN: October 1st - 8th, 2020
Villa San Rocco, Benabbio, Italy


8 rooms available: with private room and ensuite bath at $3,375 (couples sharing a room & bed $3,075 per person) 
ECONOMY ROOMS: 2 spaces available: shared room/separate beds/shared bath at $3,075 (1 room available) 

1 space available: economy private room with ensuite bath (1 room available) 


QUESTIONS & RESERVATIONS: Zuzana@NewMettaYoga.com​

Included in the tuition:

  • Morning and late afternoon yoga each day with Zuzana Kolinkova, owner of Metta Yoga in Phoenix Arizona.
  • Daily visual art sessions, which include the photographic process of cyanotype printing, mixed media, & art journaling. You will be experimenting with a variety of techniques and materials. Prompts and exercises are offered as a way to explore ideas and materials. No previous visual art experience is needed.
  • A full day outing to the historic city of Lucca, followed by a pizza dinner in Bagni di Lucca.
  • A half-day outing to one of our neighboring villages.
  • All meals – including a self serve breakfast, prepared lunches and dinners either at the villa or in a restaurant
  • Bedroom and bathroom facilities.
  • Access to a 14th century monastic studio 24/7 with a wide array of supplied art materials.
  • Pick up and drop off at the Florence airport.

Airfare and trip insurance to and from Florence is not included.

zuzana kolinkova, 

5 star rated yoga Instructor,

Owner of metta yoga studios

Carol Panaro-Smith received her MFA at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Her area of specialization is photography based mixed media and book arts. She has held a number of positions both as a teacher and arts administrator throughout the greater Phoenix metropolitan area for over 30 years. Some highlights in her career include establishing Alchemy Studio, a working and teaching studio in Phoenix, her tenure as a founding member of the art school, Metro Arts, and Program Director of Art Intersection in Gilbert, Arizona.

James Hajicek
 is a Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University where he taught fine art photography for 34 years. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from the University of New Mexico. His area of specialization is late 19th century photographic printing processes.

Since 2001, James and Carol have been collaborating artists. Their collaborative work has been exhibited in several solo exhibitions with the most recent in 2013-a 10-year retrospective at Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio. Their work is in several major collections including Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, Chicago, IL, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Their work is represented by Joseph Bellows, La Jolla, California, photo-eye Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Tilt Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Alchemy Studio is based in Phoenix, Arizona where they work, teach and mentor emerging artists and photographers. Since 2007, Carol & James have facilitated an international workshop program in Tuscany, Italy.

Zuzana is living proof of how yoga can change your life. 15 years ago, she was building her corporate career in the aerospace industry, and now she owns and manages Metta Yoga studios in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

She has lived and worked in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, and has now settled with her husband and dogs in Phoenix, Arizona. She was originally introduced to yoga by her grandmother in the Czech Republic, where she was born. Later, while living in Mongolia, she was being groomed for a professional career in gymnastics, but by her late teens, suffered severe lower back and knee pain from years of intense training.

Zuzana returned to yoga to rehabilitate and heal, and redesigned her life’s career into sharing the power of yoga with others. Detailed attention to alignment, healing, and therapeutics became a major element of her further yoga education, reflecting in her unique teaching approach. Her smooth sequencing and careful choreography have also been inspired by her gymnast years.

For the past 15 years Zuzana has been teaching over 10 classes per week, has published a 5-star rated DVD on (available on Amazon and elsewhere), made several TV appearances, and has hosted an international yoga retreats in Provece and Tuscany.  

She is currently preparing a new book & video program, and is very excited about sharing her knowledge & passion with her students in Metta Yoga retreats and Teacher Training program.