LIVING IN ASSISI: One of the advantages that Art Workshop International participants experience is the richness of Assisi and its many summer activities, which range from piano and choral concerts to fireworks. In the evening the medieval town has a peaceful atmosphere as people congregate in the main piazza or enjoy a gelato. You may hear a group of young pilgrims sing on their way to church, or you may just soak up the magic with a walk around the town square at night, as you imagine what it was like a thousand years ago.

EVENTS: Serendipity shapes many Art Workshop International experiences due to the diversity of our creative writing and visual arts faculty and participants. We share informal presentations of art, art history, and literature. Special guests talk with us about Assisi’s history, culture, and the Italian language. The staff compiles a calendar of local happenings. The workshop participants celebrate with a reception on the last full day of each session — artists show their work in an open studio and the writers and instructors present a reading. The reception is open to every participant and invited guests and is followed by a farewell dinner. This evening provides a time to reflect on their experience with many already thinking how they can return next year.

SUPPLEMENTAL TRIPS: Participants are encouraged to explore local sites on the two day break between classes or a day or before or after their session. A group can hire our driver for the day, for example, and go on the “trail of Piero della Francesca” to towns where he lived and painted. Other nearby cities rich in art and history include Perugia (the capital of Umbria), Spoleto, Spello, Folignio, and, of course, Florence. All can be reached by local transportation. The hotel staff can help make arrangements in advance.

The Venice Biennale with Art Workshop International
Every two years the Venice Biennale, the oldest and one of the most important international visual arts events transforms Venice into the leading showcase for contemporary art. The formal Venice Biennale is based in the Giardini, a park with 30 permanent national pavilions as well as a large exhibition hall that houses a themed exhibition curated by the Biennale’s director. Also throughout the city, in extraordinary buildings, churches, and historic palazzos, there are concurrent exhibitions of new work by established visual, performance, mixed media, video and emerging young artists from all over the world.

Giotto–The Expulsion of the Demons from Arezzo. 1295-1300. Fresco. St. Francis, Upper Church, Assisi

Simon Martini–detail from the lower Church, Assisi