Questions and Answers: Painting holidays and updating wills

Our experts are here to help you with all your questions about Italy. This month, painting holidays in Italy and updating wills…

Q. We are considering an activity holiday in Italy and we like the idea of one with a creative feel to it. Would we need to have any previous knowledge of painting techniques or artistic ability to come on one of your Art holidays? My wife is an enthusiastic amateur painter, while I am not as artistic as she is. I can appreciate a good view though, so would love to learn! 

Dave Marshall, Bristol

A. The Painting Holidays are a great way to discover if you have any hidden painting talents and to develop existing ones. Alan has over 30 years experience in teaching painting, drawing and design to students from all ages and stages. Alan provides a simple but effective list of materials that can be purchased beforehand that they will be able to use without too much expenditure or fuss.

In June this year we had folk ranging from almost no experience at painting to those who were very accomplished. Everyone learnt new ways of tackling the subject matter and benefited from Alan’s encouragement and constructive criticism. Alan will work alongside the painting guests so that they can see first hand how to capture the scene, demonstrating watercolour techniques in a very simple, easy to understand way. He is also on hand to oversee the guests should they encounter any difficulties. The painters are given the freedom to work at their own pace. Should they wish to take it easy or paint outside of the scheduled painting times, then that’s fine.

At the end of the week we usually have a very informal showing of all the paintings and sketchbook work where everyone can talk about their experiences, what they have learnt and how they hope to progress and develop their new found skills. Some of our guests have been on four Painting Holidays with us and have booked again for 2018. It really is a very relaxing time away which everyone enjoys. Non-painting guests are also very welcome to enjoy all the other activities that we build into the holiday including day trips to the pretty hilltop towns in the region, wine tasting, scenic walks and of course beautifully prepared authentic Italian cuisine. We have a couple of rooms left for our next trip 7th-14th October 2017.

Alan Reed, Alan Reed Art Holidays


Updating wills to include Italian assets

Q. We are homeowners in the UK, and since writing our wills a few years ago, we have also bought a small flat in Italy. We obviously need to update our wills to include this new asset, but is are there any other legalities we need to be aware of, given that the property is in Italy?

Sam Olds, London

A. When dealing with a probate situation in Italy, the first step is to ascertain exactly what assets the deceased owned in Italy. The next step is to identify the applicable laws. It is at this stage that matters become a bit more complex and depend on whether the deceased made a Will, and specifically whether he or she made a separate Italian Will. In cases where there is no valid Italian will it is necessary to establish whether there is another valid Will that covers the Italian assets. Despite the fact that UK Wills are valid in Italy, Italian probate involving foreign Wills is usually more complicated and an official, legalised translation of the Will and/or the Grant of Probate is usually necessary. A declaration of succession must also be prepared so that the relative taxes may be paid. British citizens who own properties in Italy are advised to make a separate Italian Will to cover their Italian assets as doing so can dramatically simplify the probate procedure in Italy upon their death. Italian inheritance tax is payable upon assets located in Italy and ranges from 4% to 11% for immovable properties.

Laura Protti, LEP Law


This months experts:

Alan Reed has over 30 years experience in teaching Art & Design. He gives private lessons in drawing and painting and runs Painting Holidays in Italy with his wife Susan.

T +44 (0) 1661 871 800

M +44 (0) 771 874 1546

Laura Protti is the founder of LEP Law. She is dual-qualified as an Italian avvocato and English solicitor, and specialises in assisting British and Italian clients with matters relating to Italian law. Visit her website at for more information.