Italy is rich in masterworks; many of them still in the sites for which they were intended. This gives us the advantage seeing them in relation to architecture, to the landscape and to other works of art. Contextualized in this way, one can grasp deeper layers of meaning. Confronted with the full physical presence of works of art, one gains a whole new perspective.
Original sites make this possible to a greater degree than museum settings, although Central Italy has its share of great museums as well. On our field trips, faculty and students discuss works, consider their meaning, learn how they functioned, examine how they were made and reflect on how they affect us today. Together, we draw in sketchbooks directly from works of art, analyzing forms and structures while also internalizing the essence of works that have continued to resonate through the centuries. On the evening prior to each trip, there is a presentation on the location we visit, in which we discuss its highlights, provide information on schedules and work with students on designing individual itineraries to see the sites most important to them.
Generally, in each three-week summer session, we schedule a trip to Rome, and a trip to Florence. Additionally, we schedule one trip for every three week session to an alternate site in Umbria, Lazio, or Tuscany. These include: Sienna, Arezzo/Sansopulcro/Monterchi, Deruta/Assisi/Perugia, and Orvieto.
One of the most important activities at the International Studio School is looking at and experiencing great art. As much as we value the peace and tranquility of Monte Castello, we are equally committed to providing opportunities to experience of the more urbane side of Italy and to explore its great art centers in Rome and Florence. Here, we make the history of Italian art accessible, using our central location in Italy to our advantage in making regular field trips to museums, churches and cities with some of the richest collections of visual art in the world.
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 of 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.
Custom excursions are available. For residents who prefer to rent a car, we offer discounts with our partner. In Monte Castello parking is easy and safe and it is possible to go from the traditional lifestyle of our small village to a cultural event in Perugia, Assisi, or Orvieto in about 40 minutes. One can go exploring in the countryside or can be in central Rome or Florence (and park) in under 2 hours.