For over twenty-five years, the little village of Monte Castello di Vibio in Central Italy, has welcomed some of the most respected artists and thinkers in the world, and has hosted students and programs from well-known professional art schools, colleges, and universities. As a result, the community has established a thriving legacy of excellence in the arts and humanities and has provided a warm welcome to visitors from around the world. In partnership with the community of Monte Castello, the new, International Center for the Arts, is privileged to build upon this legacy.
Today, we invite artists, writers, scholars, lifelong learners – and all those who simply desire to learn about the rich cultural traditions of Italy and experience its extraordinary historical treasures and natural beauty. Come and share the perspective off our hilltop village - immerse yourself in in a side of Italy rarely seen by visitors: experience Italy the way Italians do – savor its traditions and expand your mind and heart.
Share this experience without tourists and hype without stress and in the company of individuals from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, who to come to our village: to work and perform, to bring their students, and to join us in embracing the wonderfully inventive and sophisticated traditions of the arts and culture, and the natural grandeur of Italy.
Our Programs are All-Inclusive – we provide:
Greeting and Departure Service / Airport Transfers
When you arrive, we’ll be waiting for you. An ICA staff member greets every group at the Rome Fiumicino airport to escort them aboard our comfortable, private bus for a relaxing trip across the beautiful countryside of Lazio and Umbria to Monte Castello –where lunch will be waiting. On return, don’t stress, you’ll get back to airport in plenty of time for your flight. Our staff member will direct you to your agent in the appropriate terminal and remain on hand until you are checked in and on your way home.
Our full service accommodations are selected with both privacy and productive interaction with other participants in mind. Our main building is a restored twelfth century convent called Asilo (meaning sanctuary or refuge) where private rooms offer spectacular views of the Tiber valley and surrounding mountains of Umbria in a building shared with our office, library, common dining room, and rooftop terrace. For groups, we also offer the beautiful Palazzo Bacarelli, a 15th century building in the village, with fantastic balconies surrounded by medieval gardens. For greater privacy, groups can choose accommodation in nearby mountainside country villas.
Ours is the only facility in Italy we know of that provides three hearty, in-house, locally sourced meals per day. Enjoy the fresh produce of the traditional farms, vineyards and orchards of the “Green Heart of Italy”. Beautifully prepared Umbrian meals are served in an atmosphere in which students, faculty and staff dine together and exchange experiences in our 12th c. refectory or rooftop terrace overlooking the Tiber River Valley. No cooking or clean up, no finding an affordable restaurant and no using meal vouchers or limited menus. The only thing not Umbrian about our meals is the breakfast we serve, which, offers a full breakfast buffet, in addition to typical Umbrian continental fare.
We do a Friday trip every week we are in session, each featuring an orientation and art historical lecture on sites we visit the evening before. Maps for each city along with locations and hours for sites are distributed so you can fine tune your own custom itinerary. An experienced staff member accompanies all scheduled excursions. Specialized expert guides for specific itineraries are available at a modest fee. We also design custom travel schedules that suit needs and objectives of specific groups. Our local company transports all participants in comfort and safety ––whether on the 40 seat Mercedes bus or the 5 seat minivan, you’ll have personalized, friendly service.
Classroom Facilities, Studios, and Exhibition Space
Dedicated, easily accessible classroom space in our main building and/or semi-private studio spaces are tailored to the needs of our residents and students through our questionnaire. Lectures occur in the beautiful, 18th c. Teatro Concordia, the smallest theatre in Europe. Our library/computer center with Wi-Fi in our 24 hour Common Room also serves as a relaxing room for discussion and friendship. Excellent exhibitions occur regularly in our Bocca del Lupo Gallery, while world-class music concerts at Teatro Concordia and lively traditional festivals in Monte Castello enliven our offerings and enrich your stay.
ICA Faculty and Visiting Artists/Lecturers, drawn from top institutions world-wide, are leaders in their fields with specializations in Visual Art, Art History and other areas of the Arts and Humanities. Renowned masters from all over the world come to Monte Castello to serve as Visiting Critics, offer Master Classes, conduct Workshops, and to lecture at the beautiful Teatro Concordia, greatly benefitting participants in all disciplines by contributing to our culturally rich and inclusive environment.
The whole village is our campus: a perfectly preserved medieval borgo (hill-town) with fantastic panoramas everywhere you look, Monte Castello is a friendly, safe but lively little village perfectly situated for immersion in Italian life. Offering a glimpse of age-old rhythms rarely experienced by foreigners as well as an active environment for young people, Monte Castello has something for everyone.
Our location is central, 30 miles from the exact geographic center of Italy, thus making day trips to Florence, Rome, Arezzo, Perugia, Assisi, Spoleto, Orvieto or Siena easily accessible. Monte Castello is perfectly situated for healthful recreation activities as well. An approximate 1 mile long loop walking/jogging trail along the old castle wall circles the village and walking, jogging, and biking opportunities abound on the surrounding country roads.
The nearby historic hill town Todi (once voted the world’s most livable small city) offers shopping, an Olympic size pool, world class sports facilities, and numerous entertainment options. In the evening, we often show movies in our Common Room or go dancing under the stars at the local outdoor club. Monte Castello has opportunities for a variety of extracurricular learning activities to compliment your program including a cooking school, guided visits to vineyards and olive groves, conversational Italian, ballroom dancing and yoga classes.
On-going on-site Support
Ours is a full service program. From greeting you and showing you to your room when you arrive, as we orient you to the village, and helping with independent travel arrangements, our bi-lingual support staff is always on hand to help you with your needs. Our office is conveniently located on site at our main building where we dine and where most of our participants stay. Resident staff in the village are never more than a 5-minute walk or phone call away.