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Division of Continuing Education

2024 Spring Itinerary

Monday, April 8 — Arrival and Corciano

Arrive in Rome, Italy, Rome Fiumicino International Airport “Leonardo da Vinci” by 10:00 am and travel by bus to Villa Pieve in Corciano. Check-in will be at 3:00 pm. Greet your classmates, facilitators, host, and guide for a welcome drink. Walk or travel by bus to Corciano for a light lunch at the Restaurant il Convento and caffè at Alberto’s Arte del Gelato bar on the main square to familiarize yourself with locals.

Walk to discover the historic center of this lovely hilltop hamlet. Here you will enjoy the view of small alleys and streets that have been the same since the Middle Ages — it is like taking a walk back in time. Highlights include the Church of Santa Maria Assunta with the Renaissance altarpiece of Perugino and the Antiquarium with precious Etruscan and Roman remains. End the day with your new group for a lovely dinner at Villa Pieve.

Tuesday, April 9 — Perugia – Chocolate factory – Cooking Class 1

After breakfast, leave the villa and travel to Perugia via bus with Catia Melani. Engage in a walking tour of the Acropolis of Perugia, starting from the Rocca Paolina and its undergrounds, surprising you with unexpected sites and views as you reach the heart of the historic center: the Piazza 4 Novembre with the Fontana Maggiore, the Cathedral of S. Lorenzo and the Palazzo dei Priori (Town Hall). Time for shopping and group lunch at the Pizzeria Mediterranea, the pizza place recommended by locals that offers tasty Neapolitan-style pizzas.

Leave Perugia city center by Mini-Metro and get to the bus terminal to travel by bus to the Perugina Chocolate Factory. Chocolate factory tour and chocolate tasting. Return to the Villa for cooking class 1 and dinner.

Wednesday, April 10 — Orvieto, Labyrinth Lunch & Cathedral

After breakfast, leave the villa and travel to Orvieto via bus with Catia Melani. Orvieto is probably Umbria’s most peculiar town, built high on a volcanic rock of tufa-stone. It was founded by the Etruscans more than 2700 years ago. In the heart of the medieval town is one of Italy’s most astonishing gothic churches, the Cathedral. Among the precious paintings inside, the Last Judgement fresco-cycle in the chapel of San Brizio is a masterpiece by the Renaissance painters Beato Angelico and Luca Signorelli.

Lunch at Il Labirino di Adiano where we will visit a network of underground tunnels and caves and learn the substrate of historic and archaeological Orvieto. Return to the Villa for dinner.

Thursday, April 11 — Camucia Market – Cortona – Cooking Class 2

After breakfast, leave the villa and travel approximately 45 minutes to Camucia market via bus with Catia Melani. It is time to explore the local market and buy ingredients for the cooking class. Have cappuccino and pastries at the Camucia bar.

Transfer by bus to Cortona (15 minutes). Cortona’s rich history is revealed by the beauty that springs from every corner of this town. We will start by visiting the Basilica of Santa Margherita. St. Margherita is the Patron Saint of Cortona. At the end of the 13th c. she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, lived in strict poverty, and founded a hospital for the sick and poor. We’ll enjoy a view that embraces the whole Valdichiana and Lake Trasimeno, famous for the battle where Hannibal ambushed the Roman army in 217 BC, before walking downhill into town. Free time to find lunch on your own. After lunch, we will visit the Museum next to the Cathedral with the precious Annunciation by Renaissance artist Beato Angelico. Return to the Villa for cooking class 2 and dinner.

Friday, April 12 — Pietralunga Giuliano Tartufi (Truffle Hunting) – Gubbio – Human-Animal Relationships

After breakfast, travel to Pietralunga by bus with Catia Melani. Enjoy a discussion on the bus ride around the implications of seeing creation as brothers and sisters. In Pietralunga, we will visit Giuliano Tartufi (Truffles) where we will meet Lola, Bebe, and the pack who work in complete harmony with each other and their human caretakers to locate prized truffles in the Italian countryside. We will accompany the pack on its morning hunt and enjoy a tasting as guests of Giuliano and family.

Travel by bus to Gubbio, among Italy’s best-preserved medieval towns, situated on the slope of the Monte Ingino. Gubbio is where, according to legend, St. Francis of Assisi made a peace pact with a wolf that had been terrorizing the town. The story of Gubbio and Francis of Assisi means the discovery of an intense relationship, interwoven with travels, friendship, and feelings. The main square is a daring construction, a so-called hanging square upon which rises an impressive town hall, starting from here on the 15th of May, the locals organize Italy’s most peculiar procession, the ‘Candle Race’ la Corsa dei Ceri, to the sanctuary of Saint Ubaldus on top of the mountain. You’ll have some free time to explore and find lunch on your own. Return to the Villa for cooking class 3 and dinner.

Saturday, April 13 — Equine Experience and Carini Farm

Equine Experience then lunch at Carini and a visit to see the pastures and learn about One Health/One Welfare/ Relationship between humans and all creation. Return to the Villa for dinner.

Sunday, April 14 — Fratelli Pardi Winery – Montefalco

After breakfast, we will travel by bus to Montefalco and visit the family-owned Cantina Fratelli Pardi for a wine tasting and learn about their unique wines among which the famous Sagrantino di Montefalco. After lunch, you’ll have some free time to walk to the main square of Montefalco, the balcony of Umbria, and enjoy the infinite views. Return to the Villa for the final dinner.

Monday, April 15 — Departure

Travel to Rome via bus for return to the U.S. or further personal travel. Do not book flights leaving before 11 am to provide time for us to drive from Villa Pieve in Corciano to Rome.

Comune di Corciano

Architecture in Corciano


Basilica of St Francis of Assisi