B.A. is a residency program for visual artists, writers and curators. We believe that residency opportunities nurture artist’s potential, giving them a chance to bring a new and fresh drive to their art practice through a change of environment. Engaging with a new culture in the surrounding community and Italy in general are an important part of this residency.


Located in Sirmione by lake Garda (province of Brescia, northern Italy), Benaco Arte is situated in an intimate and local rural Italian community, where the residents are welcome from a small community of locals, becoming temporary part of the hamlet’s day life.

Residency periods are from 2-weeks or 1 month in duration, taking place two months per year. Spring residency in May and Fall Residency in Oct.  (look the Open Call’s page for exact dates).

The building that hosts the residency, was built in 14th century and it’s the oldest building in the town of Sirmione after the Castle Scaligero. Twice a the year the residency takes over the building that otherwise function as a Bed & Breakfast.


We welcome a maximum of 5 artists at time, each artist will be provided with a private bedroom, and a shared, semi-private or private studio, along with 24/7 access to the building.
Four of the bedrooms are very large and they function both live-work space. The remaining is a standard size bedroom and has a dedicated separate working space on the top floor. There is a second semi-private studio space that will be awarded to an artist needing more space for his work and a shared co-working space with a coffee table and a couple of armchairs open to all the residents as a communal area for research or writing etc. still on the attic.

(Note- Please specify in your application if you have preferences or needs of a specific separate studio for your work).

There are 4 bathrooms and two kitchens in the building to be shared within the residents.

There is wi-fi in the building and it has been working pretty well but we don’t ensure to have always wi-fi access in every room.


The residency building is situated in the middle of the vineyards just 1 km far from the lake.
The beginning of May is generally still spring-like, and towards the end gets pretty warm. Temperatures can range between 17° – 24° C ( 63° – 77° F).
At the beginning of the month you won’t probably be able still to jump in the lake and swim, while later on there is a natural pool with thermal hot springs in the middle of the peninsula where you can enjoy the view together with a very warm water.

In May you’ll see nature changing and filling in with colors of blooming flowers and trees foliage’s explosion.

During sunsets and dawns the colors are very pastel-like. Spring is probably the most romantic and meditative season in Sirmione. (some images below from last year spring residency).

MORE INFO about activities during the Residency

We welcome the residents with an “Italian aperitivo” while everyone introduces their work, approximately the second day of arrival. At some point during the residency there will be a studio visit with local critic/mentors in which artists will be asked to introduce their work to.

Each residents is offered a modest bicycle to use for the duration of the residency. The lake, a supermarket, bars, restaurants, wine cellars and many others services are within a short bike ride from the residency’s building.

A car will pick up and drive to the nearest train station “Desenzano del Garda” residents when they arrive and depart. Rides to the train station for personal travels though are not granted, although possible if planned ahead. Otherwise there are taxis and a bus available to and from Desenzano.

An important part of the residency is to facilitate an exchange with the local culture and its special geographical location. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to engage with a local community and get to know the area.

We aim to facilitate exchange with the local history and community too organizing small field trips and visits to museums as the “Museo della Carta” (Paper’s Museum) in Toscolano Maderno or a little wine tour of the local cellars, as the whole area is surrounded by vineyards.

Meals are up to the residents. Light cooking in the kitchen is allowed and a grocery store is conveniently located 5 minutes bike ride from the house.