Arcadia Italy Spring 2023 Events and Excursions

Paola Cascinelli Resident Director, Italy Programs


November 16, 2022

Arcadia Italy Day in the Countryside - Mandatory
On February, early in the morning, we'll meet the Arcadia Italy Students in Perugia or Florence to take them to our very special, much loved Italian venue: the Orsini Family Farm, on the Trasimeno Lake, just about 30 minutes from Perugia and 1 hour from Florence. Students will be divided into two groups, one going Sunday and one going Saturday. They will receive all the details a few days before the event. 

t is a day where we’ll learn more about the local context – what does it mean to live in the center of Italy? What regional traditions – and, more specifically, culinary traditions – make this area unique from other regions? We’ll share a traditional homemade country breakfast upon arrival and then split into groups. Each group will take turns making pasta, olive oil, or wine with the family and local women who volunteer their time to teach you their secrets before cooking our multi-course lunch (including the ingredients you’ve all made!). We will also visit the farm and understand sustainable farming with the owner of the estate. 

Between the workshops and the lunch, we will discuss students’ objectives during their stay in Italy, the goals of the program, and how to best achieve them. We'll cover living in Italy in broader terms and what it means for each student personally. We'll touch upon cultural acclimation and personal adaptation and discuss health, safety, and security in Italy. Following a most memorable lunch, the bus will take students back to Perugia or Florence so that they are “home” by early evening.

This day is as splendid as it is obligatory, as obligatory as it is delicious. Students are all meant to be there with no exception. Everyone thoroughly enjoys the day so much that many returns to help our host, Flavio Orsini, get on with his farm activities of the season. We will work with anyone interested during the term to help make that happen.

Following a most memorable lunch, the bus will take students back to Perugia or Florence so that they are “home” by early evening.

Sailing a Virtual Mediterranean with the Italy Resident Director- Co-Curricular project - Optional

Since I was a little child, I cruised the Mediterranean on a sailing boat with family and friends. Every summer, I discovered places and remote islands, diving into the wild and into the flavors and aroma of native wild herbs. Guided by this passion, the topic for my PhD thesis became the Mediterranean economic integration.

I discovered that sailing the Mediterranean is one of the most ancient ways of communication among different and distant people. The human passion for trade brought sailors to explore any shore of the internal sea. And, with the products they wanted to sell, they shared customs, art, languages, traditions, plants, and animals. The result is that on every Italian shore there are signs of this continuous exchange between Egyptians, Phoenicians, the Ancient Greeks, then Etruscans, Italics, Romans, and later Germans, Slavs, Arabs, Turks. And Chinese and Indians as well. In a series of monthly meetings, I will share “pills on the Med” with interested Arcadia students. Taking inspiration from one place/object/word, we will discover old Mediterranean routes and modern trends in each meeting. I will also share the practical info to reach the locations we will mention, with an affordable budget, for a weekend or a break. For example, we will “sail” to Ventotene, a beautiful island close to Rome, and anchor in its little port built by the Romans and still completely functioning.

There, while going to the island’s black beaches for a jump in its crystal water, we can stop to visit Villa Giulia, where one of the daughters of Tiberio (Emperor of Rome, I Sec BC) was exiled. Giulia was famous for her customs and for wearing precious silks imported from China. In Ventotene, you can also visit the place where one of the fathers of the European Union, Alterio Spinelli, was jailed during Fascism and reflect on how that period of imprisonment inspired ideas of openness and cooperation among different nations. Then, we will enter the Gulf of Naples, with its Vulcan, il Vesuvio, controlling every movement. And land in Naples to discover the history of Mozzarella, a delicious cheese made with the milk of buffaloes, brought here from India by merchants in the 1st century AC. 

You will also know where to buy the best Mozzarella in Italy and visit a sustainable and socially responsible mozzarella producer that helps young people resist organized crime. Will will have a pizza at 3 euros only (this is me enjoying Neapolitan pizza and frittatina), precisely as the people of Pompei were doing before the Vesuvio erupted in 79 a.c. And with our virtual boat, we will go to Riace beaches, where, in 1972, a chemist on vacation, diving some 200 meters from the coast at a depth of six meters, discovered the Bronzi di Riace. These Ancient Greek sculptures may have been in the sand for around 2500 years. 

The little town of Riace recently encouraged migrants and refugees to come to the village to counter a gradual decline of inhabitants and workers and show how migrant integration could be done. And we will discuss the long story of Mediterranean integration and remember the thousands of immigrants who have tried to reach Europe by sailing the Med and couldn't make it. To reflect on how lucky we are to have the privilege to travel, work and study in other countries.

‚ÄčIf the weather permits, we may also organize an excursion on a sailing boat in the Gulf of Naples. Students wanting to participate in this last activity will have to pay for their own transportation and food. 

These and other topics will await you in our meetings in Fall. The meetings will be virtual, last no more than an hour, and be free to participate. See you onboard!


Walking tour of Rome Day trip - Optional 

"A Rome appetizer". The Italian language teacher, local foodie, and traveler by passion Lorenza Decarli will lead you on the discovery of a taste of the most picturesque gems of architecture, fashion, and food in the historical center of Rome. During this walk, Lorenza will tell you everything you should know about living in the city and eating like a local, together with a few key phrases in Italian. The walking itinerary will start from Spanish Steps, and it is a unique view of the city with a stop at Trevi Fountain, where you will be able to throw coins into the water while making your wish, and then continue to the Pantheon, enjoying an ice cream in the sun. Before lunch in a typical "trattoria" with a stunning dish of "cacio e pepe", we will visit the ancient Roman Domus of Palazzo Valentini. This is an event partially sponsored by Arcadia and includes transportation to Rome by train, lunch, and a tour guide for 4 hours. Students will travel by train without an Arcadia staff and meet the tour guide at the Rome central train station.


Discovering the South of Italy between Organized Crime and Social Innovation 

The excursion is meant to visit a specific area (Campania, Calabria, or Sicily) and understand why its potentialities are not fully exploited, why organized crime is still present, and what the local community is doing to create a better future. We will meet young administrators,  citizen associations, and entrepreneurs looking for a path of virtuous economic and social development. And we will also have fun in a really Southern Italian way! (see the picture below)

The South of Italy is one of the least developed regions in Europe. Its economy is hampered by corruption, tax evasion, and organized crime. But this region also has one of the oldest records of human presence in Italy and has a long history of foreign presence, wellness, and abandonment. More than two millennia ago, the Ancient Greeks colonized it, which created a sophisticated community where important scientists and historians developed their theories. After the Greeks, Romans arrived, and then Byzantine, Longobard, and Norman, becoming an important center of Christianity. The land was then occupied by Spanish and French, and only recently (1860) became Italian. This long story of external presence, together with the beauty of the environment and the enormous availability of natural resources, made the South of Italy a hidden pearl to be discovered.

The excursion is an excellent opportunity for students of Economic Development, Business, Political Sciences, Sociology, and Sustainable practice. Still, it is open to anyone curious to understand better the area and the dynamics of growth and wellness. 


Merenda or Aperitivo on the first days in your city - Mandatory 

On the first Friday days of their staying in Perugia and Florence, Arcadia Italy invites all the students studying in these cities to share a delicious merenda or aperitivo in one of the most ancient or trendy bars in the city center. Closer to the date, students will receive further info.