Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful for awardees or anyone curious. For all candidates, these and further details will be personally provided to you upon completion of the selection process, by Civitella’s staff members. Should your question(s) not be answered below, do not hesitate to email civitella@civitella.org with outstanding queries, or browse our downloadable Civitella Brochure.

General

Can an artist apply for residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy?

No. Civitella Ranieri Fellows are selected by a nomination process and not by application. Nominations are made by an international group of professionals in the disciplines for which we offer Fellowships, who wish to remain anonymous. The nominees are then juried by a separate panel for each particular discipline.

Can an artist be nominated for a residency?

One cannot request his/her own nomination. Nominations are made by an international group of professionals in the disciplines for which we offer Fellowships, who wish to remain anonymous.

Where is Civitella?

The Civitella Ranieri Center is located in the small town of Umbertide, Italy, 30 minutes from Perugia, 2 hours south of Florence and 2 to 3 hours north of Rome.

Travel

Do I purchase my own flight/travel to and from the Castle?

No. Your roundtrip travel from your “home” airport or station, to Rome, plus ground transportation from Rome to the castle is covered by us. The Program Coordinator in NY, Molly, will contact you well before your session start date to gather your travel details, and she will purchase your flight. Email molly@civitella.org with any travel-related questions. 

What should I do to prepare for travel to Italy?

Before coming to Italy, check with your bank to see if you have any limits or restrictions on your credit card. Inform your bank that you are traveling to Italy and that you may withdraw money abroad.

You might need a visa to travel to Italy. Contact the closest Italian Embassy or Consulate to your home at least 3 months before your planned departure date. It may take from 15 days to 2 months for your visa request to be processed. Civitella will provide you with a formal letter of invitation to bring to the appointment. 

What should I pack?

We recommend you bring a raincoat and jacket for cool evenings or poor weather. May and October can be chilly so pack a scarf, warm nightwear, and sweaters. A down vest is handy. 

How can I get from the Rome Fiumicino Airport to Civitella?
The Sulga bus that leaves from the Fiumicino airport parking lot and goes to Perugia is our suggested option for you. A Civitella staff member will meet you at the bus station in Perugia and drive you to the castle. Molly or Diego will contact you about three weeks prior to your arrival, with detailed instructions and a specific bus to take.
How can I get from Rome city center to Civitella?

You can take a train or bus. There are Trenitalia trains leaving from Roma Termini to Perugia Ponte San Giovanni (often times with a connection at Foligno). The other option is to take a bus from the Rome Tiburtina Bus Depot, which is connected to Roma Termini by Rome’s metro system. In either case a Civitella staff member will pick you up in Perugia and drive you to the castle.

How can I get from Florence to Civitella?

A train from Firenze Santa Maria Novella can take you to Perugia Ponte San Giovanni. Again, a staff member will pick you up in Perugia.

Can I change my flight to or from Civitella?

If you wish us to change your flight, we require a minimum of two weeks notice. You will be responsible for any flight change fees or difference in cost fees from the airline. Please inform Molly (molly@civitella.org) if you plan to make flight changes. 

Can I use a car while I'm at Civitella?

Yes. There are two cars that Fellows can sign out to use, but only if you have a European driver’s license (EU) or International Diver’s License (USA). In the US, this can be obtained easily from your local AAA center. Keep in mind that one car is automatic and one is manual.

Daily Life

What will the weather be like during my stay?

Month

May

June

July

August

September

October

Min.

9°C/48°F

12°C/53°F

15°C/59°F

15°C/59°F

13°C/55°F

9°C/48°F

Max.

22°C/71°F

26°C/79°F

30°C/86°F

30°C/86°F

26°C/79°F

20°C/68°F

Rain

74mm

71mm

45mm

60mm

69mm

75mm

Humidity

74%

71%

68%

69%

71%

76%

Can I ship to Civitella?

You are able to ship items to Civitella ahead of your stay, or ship items home after your residency. We suggest shipping through DHL using a personal account. If you are shipping work, materials, books, or clothes please label contents as “personal effects” on the airbill, with a value of less than 40 euro to ensure that your package will not be delayed at Customs and that you will not incur heavy duty fees. Do no ship medicines. Ask your doctor for a prescription for the equivalent of your medicine in Italy, or bring an ample supply for the length of your stay. 

 

How does housing work?

Most Fellows are housed in the castle, but several outer buildings are also well-loved studios and apartments. Each Fellow receives a private room and bathroom and has access to a study or studio twenty-four hours a day. Studios are often connected to the sleeping quarters. Because most of the studios are housed within the castle, the typical ‘white box’ studio does not exist, but is rather replaced with wonderfully unique spaces based on the medieval structure of the castle itself. Should your work require a specific type of space, be sure to communicate this on the pre-session form you will be asked to fill out online. 

What does a typical week look like at Civitella?

There is no prescribed schedule that Fellows need to follow, yet there is a backbone of a routine, with events and outings that are offered on an optional basis. Most time is for your work or to use at your discretion.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Evening presentation

Excursion

Market Day, Evening Presentation

Evening Presentation

Office Closed

Office and Kitchen Closed

What kind of excursions will we go on?

Weekly excursions are vital to our time together. Fellows and staff propose destinations, and groups are accompanied by the Director, the Residency Director, and/or visiting scholars who come as Director’s Guests. Frequent destinations include Arezzo, Sansepolcro, Monterchi, Urbino, Perugia, Assisi, Rome, or Florence. Piero della Francesca’s work is often the focus of our explorations. We have organized excursions to the opera, contemporary music festivals, special exhibitions, literary events, and traditional local festivals, such as ‘Ceri’ in Gubbio.

Can I do laundry at the castle?/Should I bring sheets, towels, etc.?

You can leave your laundry with us once a week to be laundered for a nominal charge in downtown Umbertide. Hand-washing is another option as there are drying racks in each bathroom. We provide sheets, towels, blankets, and duvets which are laundered weekly.

Is there a dress code?

No. You will want to pack comfortable clothing for working in your studio or at your desk or piano, as well as sturdy shoes for excursions. We often have guests for dinner so you may want to dress less informally for those occasions. In addition, we may have one or two “festive dress” evenings each session. 

Should I tip the staff?

Tipping is not required. However, our small staff is extremely hard working and appreciative of your acknowledgement. 

Food

What meals are provided?

Lunch and dinner are provided Monday-Saturday by our kitchen. Breakfast as well as Sunday meals are prepared on your own. There is an outdoor market as well as supermarket in Umbertide, though each apartment is stocked with milk, sugar, coffee, and tea. Each Fellow has access to a kitchen with a refrigerator and a stove.

Do we dine together as a community?

Lunch may be taken to your studio or apartment, or shared with a group that might gather on the ‘Russian Terrace’ or under the gazebo. Everyone does come together for the evening meal at 7:30pm. 

Is there flexibility surrounding specific dietary restrictions?

Our chefs are dedicated to the pleasure of good, clean, well-prepared food that is largely drawn from local, traditional Umbrian and Tuscan recipes. It is difficult to support all dietary preferences, but we will work with you to find a reasonable solution for serious food allergies/health needs. Please notify the staff in advance should you have a special dietary need/request. We essentially offer two menus: typical Umbrian or vegetarian.

Is there a gym?

In addition to a fleet of bikes, Fellows have twenty-four hour access to a well-equipped gym in the castle. Several nearby agriturismi offer pool usage for a daily spa fee, and the local area abounds with recreational facilities, from gyms to tennis courts. Civitella also provides immediate access to wooded pathways for walks or runs. 

The Work

Do I need to work on or produce the project that I described in my application while in residence at Civitella?

No. We believe that Fellows have worked hard to get to Civitella, and will use their time here responsibly. Our only requirement is to give a short 5-minute presentation at the beginning of the session.

May I leave or gift my work to Civitella after my Fellowship?

The first Fellows of Civitella Ranieri started a tradition of donating works of art to the private collection of the Foundation. Our collection has now grown to over 150 pieces. We keep these works framed and well maintained and there have been frequent requests to exhibit the work throughout the years. Leaving a gift of your work is not a requirement. We prefer to have an excellent example of your oeuvre or no gift at all. We also appreciate your gifts of CDs and books for the library. 

My residency is over- what now?

Reentry to one’s real life can be challenging after six weeks at Civitella. Fellows, Director’s Guest, and Friends of Civitella have found an ongoing sense of community through special events, friendships, professional exchanges, our website, and news listings. Alumni activities are focused in New York where our numbers are greatest, but Civitellians have gathered, visited, and worked together, and reminisced all over the world. Upcoming events are regularly posted by us. 

Fellows’ ties to Civitella are further reinforced through their nominations for future candidates and through giving to the Fellows’ Fund.