Note: Itinerary is subject to change, but this gives you a nice outline of our retreat week.
SATURDAY, June 10th: Arrival
We will gather at Rome’s Termini Train Station at 1:30 p.m. to catch a train up to Perugia. From there, a van will take us to Villa Castiglione Ugolino, the lovely 13th Century compound that will be our base for the week. After we’ve settled into our rooms, we’ll meet for an aperitivo followed by a catered dinner either in the chapel, with remnants of early frescoes still visible, or out on a patio overlooking the valley. We’ll get a wonderful introduction to the happenings over the coming week.
SUNDAY, June 11th: Creativity introduction and Gubbio
We’ll start the day with breakfast overlooking the valley then spend the morning being introduced to Chaekkori and beginning our own creative projects. Break midday for lunch at the iconic Taverna del Lupo in nearby Gubbio and then wander the winding cobbled streets of this medieval town. Return to the villa at Ugolino to rest up before aperitivo by the pool and then dinner down the hill at ll Caldaro restaurant.
MONDAY, June 12th: Assisi
We’ll depart after breakfast for the historic town of Assisi, a UNESCO world heritage site and the birthplace of St. Francis, the patron saint of Italy, founder of the Franciscan order and one of the most popular Catholic saints in history. The architecture is stunning and we’ll make sure to visit the Roman church, St. Francis’ home and the basilica. Lunch will be on your own, but we’ll meet up to visit another breath-taking town, Spello. Once we get back to Villa Castiglione Ugolino, we’ll have free time for a swim in the infinity-edge pool or studio time. Over an aperitivo, we’ll talk about the creative process and learn about the art history of the region. Dinner will be at the villa.
TUESDAY, June 13th: Perugia
We’ll start the day with yoga on the villa’s lawn, for those who want to get some stretching in. After breakfast, the artist Jean Tori will give a presentation on color and form. We’ll also have some studio time to move forward with our creative work. We’ll enjoy a light lunch at the villa, then it’s off to Perugia, capital of the region of Umbria. The hilltop setting is spectacular, as are its fine old buildings. Before it came under Roman rule, ancient “Perusia” was one of the twelve cities of the Etruscan federation, and considerable sections of the Etruscan walls, which extended for 2,800 meters around the town, have been preserved. We’ll meet a local weaver, who will talk about textile design. We’ll have time to explore the city streets, shops, and museums, and will end the day at a beautiful restaurant in one of the lovely plazas.
WEDNESDAY, June 14th: Pasta-making, wine tasting, and dance party
Today we’ll be staying at the villa, but we’ll have many visitors, including a local chef who will teach us how to make pasta from scratch. We’ll actually be eating our creations for lunch. Then local artists and/or artisans will stop by and we’ll have time to work in the studio on our Chaekkori projects. Athinula Tori, one of the leaders of the retreat, will guide us through a tasting of Italian wines. After a light dinner, we’ll turn the chapel into a disco and dance to a local DJ.
THURSDAY, June 15th: Citta Di Castello, market tour and dress designer visits
Today, we’ll head to one of the best markets in the region, in the charming town of Citta di Castello. We’ll all get instructions on what to buy at the market–edible treasures that we will turn into our dinner in the evening. We’ll then head to Sansepolcro to visit the Piero della Francesca museum. Piero della Francesca harnessed mathematical theory and geometry, combining them with Renaissance Humanism, to create some of the most arresting religious paintings of the early Renaissance. His use of linear perspective and foreshortening brought biblical scenes and legends to life. Lunch will be at the superlative Enoteca Guidi in Sansepolcro. Following lunch, we’ll head to Jean Tori’s studio for a glass of wine and a look at her impressive body of work. We’ll prepare an easy summer dinner with our gorgeous market purchases.
FRIDAY, June 16th: Finish art work and farewell dinner
The morning will be devoted to finishing our projects. Then we’ll break to take a walk down the hill to Vineria di Carmine for a wine tasting and lunch. We’ll have free time in the afternoon and then we’ll each present our Chaekkori projects to the group. We’ll have a sumptuous final dinner in the chapel or alfresco.
SATURDAY, June 17th: Departure Ugolino
Alas, our week comes to an end. We’ll have time for a closing session, and later a van will take us to the Hilton Hotel at Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO)
SUNDAY, June 18th: Flights home
Everyone on their own to catch flights to the U.S. or other destinations