Studios / Workspace
Studios and workspace can exert a profound influence on one’s work. With this in mind, we take great care in providing a diverse range of studios and workspaces for artists, writers and scholars. ICA workspaces do not resemble standard loft or institutional workspaces. Ranging from vast, converted ball rooms with faded ceiling paintings to intimate (converted) rustic kitchens with a fireplace—no two spaces are alike. Our studios are housed in centuries old buildings, rich in character yet tailored to suit the needs of our participants. Please note that none of our accommodations in the village are air-conditioned.
Over the years these atmospheric spaces have themselves inspired works of art. The rarefied light, incredible views and sense of history they evoke often lead the poetic imagination in new, rewarding directions. Amenities such as lighting, ventilation, and storage have been improved, striking a balance between these practical considerations and maintaining the sense of place these studios have always had.
We make every effort to match our participants with the best possible space for their needs, please include any requests in your application form. We invite all participants to carefully consider their workspace needs and we will do our best to tailor to them.
Studio Requests +
- Lighting — Natural or controlled, artificial light
- Atmosphere — Panoramic view, or a cooler, atmospheric workspace
- Environment — Preferences for a fireplace, walls worn rich with time, or open blank space
- Preference to work in the daytime or a night
Facility Requests +
- Require a work table, easle or flat wall for working
- Classroom space for a group
- A/V equipment
- Portable outdoor studio tools
- Optimal ventilation
Enlisting the aid of our fantastic chef, Katia Costanzi, ICA provides three hearty, locally sourced meals per day that explore culinary traditions of Umbria and Italy as a whole. Enjoy the fresh produce of the traditional farms, vineyards and orchards of Umbria, the “green heart of Italy”. Students, faculty and staff dine together and exchange experiences in our fourteenth century refectory or rooftop terrace overlooking the Tiber river valley. Many of our residents report after their stay that the dining alone - fresh, homemade, traditional meals three times per day - is worth the trip.
Both lunch and dinner consist of typical Umbrian fare, and include: an antipasto, a pasta course, a second course with meat or fish, a course of vegetables, salad, and desert. Breakfast includes fresh baked bread, cake and pastries made at ICA by Chef Katia and her staff. We are capable of accommodating dietary preferences and restrictions for all guests, as well as meals for children. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available.
Colazione (breakfast) +
Monday through Thursday, 8:30-9:30
Satudays and Sundays, Brunch at 11:00
Pranzo (lunch) +
Every day, 1:00pm (except for excursion days)
Traditional Umbrian Lunch with a pasta course, main course, vegetable/legume course, salad, fresh fruit and wine.
Cena (dinner) +
Every day, 8:00pm (except for excursion days)
Wine, same number of courses as lunch.
Weather permitting, dinner is served on the terrace.
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 location to our advantage in making regular field trips to museums, churches and cities with some of the richest collections of art in the world.
Excursions usually occur on Fridays and are included in the cost of most Retreats offered by ICA. The destinations for Friday trips are always scheduled in advance, in coordination with faculty and course schedules. For an overview of the specific trip schedule for each term, please refer to the Events Calendar.
On the evening prior to each trip, there is a presentation by faculty 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, each week we schedule a trip to Rome or Florence. However our excursions typically also include: Siena, Orvieto, and either Arezzo, Sansopulcro, Monterchi & Deruta, Assisi, or Perugia.
Billingual Staff +
An experienced, bilingual, staff member always accompanies all scheduled excursions, regardless of group size. The evening before a trip, we always offer to provide an orientation (some groups prefer to do this themselves), as well as an art historical and gastronomic overview on sites within the places on our itinerary – we can even provide advice on restaurants and street food as well as shopping. Maps for each city are provided along with locations of and hours for sites, so guests can fine tune their own custom itineraries.
Custom Itineraries +
We also offer custom excursions and design travel itineraries to suit the interests and needs of our guests or the curricula of institutions. We can provide tours and bilingual guides for a variety of topics; specialized expert guides, such as art historians, are available at an additional fee. In certain cases, we can obtain special access to restricted sites and permissions for activities such as drawing and painting in museums for specialized groups or individuals.
For groups or individuals who are interested in destinations not on the events calendar, additional trips can be arranged. For inquiries on supplemental travel itineraries, contact us by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Arrival, Departure & Ongoing Services
When you arrive, we’ll be there waiting for you. An ICA staff member greets every group at the Rome Fiumicino airport and provides complimentary escort aboard our comfortable private bus. It is a relaxing hour-and-a-half trip across the beautiful countryside of Lazio and Umbria to Monte Castello. On your return, we will get you back to the 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. During your stay you will have access to our bilingual support staff, and ICA faculty to support and aid you during your stay and excursions in Italy.
We provide you with character-filled living spaces that allow immersion into the everyday life of this historic Umbrian community and make you feel at home. Our accommodations are designed with both privacy and productive interaction in mind; they are rustic, relaxing, comfortable spaces with a great deal of range—from shared apartments in historic stone houses, small private rooms in a renovated twelfth-century convent, rooms in a palazzo with a garden and balcony, to accommodations in a villa on the outskirts of town. Our rooms are not hotels (which in Italy can often seem cramped and impersonal) and many rooms have additional features such as refrigerators and all provide shared areas for informal gatherings—terraces, sitting rooms, or kitchens with fireplaces. Please note that none of our accommodations in the village are air-conditioned.
Double occupancy apartments with shared baths in our main building, Asilo (a converted convent) are included in the pricing of all retreats. These simple rooms were originally designed for nuns leading a contemplative life, and as such, offer a unique perspective on village life that many find to be very conducive to artistic production. Many of these rooms offer fantastic views and all offer conveniences due to their close proximity to our dining room, terrace, laundry facilities, library and commons room.
If you prefer additional features, air-conditioning single units, private bath, etc. we will do our best to accommodate based on availability. Some features may be subject to additional fees. Please mention any requests when filling out the application form.
Asilo Double & Single Rooms +
Meaning sanctuary or refuge, this is our main building, a restored fourteenth century convent. Options for double occupancy, single units with shared baths and private rooms that offer spectacular views of the Tiber valley and surrounding mountains of Umbria. Asilo also contains the ICA office, library, common dining room, and rooftop terrace. Double rooms are included in all retreat fees, single rooms require an extra fee.
Palazzo Bacarelli +
A fifteenth century building in the village, where fantastic balconies overlook medieval gardens. Perfect for groups or for greater privacy. Single rooms with shared baths. Extra fee and subject to availability.
Apartments & Villas +
Our apartments and Luxury Villa's, located in the village or nearby countryside, provide ample space for living and working, should you be traveling with a partner who is not enrolled in an ICA program, are part of a small group, or you just wish for private accommodations. Villa accomidations can include pools, vineyards, forested hiking areas and gardens. Extra fee and subject to availability.
Other Requests +
If you are traveling with a spouse, partner or family or a group of friends, we will make every effort to accommodate your specific housing needs as well. We can accommodate children (see the families/kids section of our custom itineraries page) in two-bedroom apartments with full kitchens.
Group Classrooms & Exhibition Spaces
ICA has two easily accessible multi-use classroom spaces that are equipped with computers and large screen television monitors for lectures and presentations, as well as specialized spaces for visual artists, individuals and musicians.
Within a few minutes’ walk of Asilo we have several dedicated classroom spaces, one with Smartboard, that can be reserved for regular group meetings. Faculty and group leaders have access to photocopying and printing, and for larger-scale printing on a variety of materials and catalogues, ICA works with a nearby professional printer.
Visual Artists +
We provide group space for classes, workshops, and critiques. We have a fully equipped printmaking workshop with a press, a darkroom for traditional photography, a fully functional ceramics studio with two kilns, and several potter’s wheels, worktables, and sculpture stands. We have an exhibition space, the Bocca al Lupo gallery and typically host an end of the session show with a catered reception.
We have an upright piano, an electronic keyboard, and music stands. For other instruments, ICA can coordinate rentals including delivery and pick up of a grand piano for concerts. For performances, outdoors we can offer the central square with a spectacular view of the Tiber valley, and indoors, the Teatro Concordia for concerts and formal lectures. We also design and print flyers for concerts and promote events on social media.
Other Work +
We have twenty-five private or semi-private studio spaces fully equipped for painting and drawing or sculpture. Writers find privacy and quiet in studios set aside for this purpose in upper floors and tower of our studio building. Our studios are well-ventilated with even natural light. For more information, go to: Facilities: Studios.