Letter from the Director

April 21st, 2023

Spring greetings! They say that if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb, which is what happened at Civitella this year. On March 9th there was an earthquake, its center just a few kilometers from our beloved Umbertide. The quake, which registered 4.4 on the Richter scale, has shaken both Castle and Staff. A few rooms in the older sections of the Castle will be sequestered until their safety can be assured by the authorities. We take great comfort in the fact that all the buildings renovated by the Foundation in recent years received seismic upgrades and therefore suffered no damage. We have been working hard to make adjustments to accommodate our first group of the 2023 season; beginning next week, with some flexibility and inventiveness, we will welcome 56 Fellows from 32 nationalities with the hospitality that is Civitella’s trademark. 

Preparations for the season are underway! The vegetable gardens have been turned and planted with early lettuces, artichokes, tomatoes, and eggplants. The orchard’s trees are covered in blossoms, promising a fruitful season. Our longtime sous chef, Patrizia Corsici, has retired and we are lucky to have found a young local chef to take her place: Debora Ventanni, who has worked for years at Ristorante San Giorgio, a Michelin-star restaurant in Umbertide, has joined Romana Ciubini and Patrizia Caini in the kitchen – we are eager for her contributions to our table. Diego Mencaroni, as our Interim Director, continues to guide our devoted and skilled Staff in all the Foundation’s work.

Spring has come with its surprises, but also with a sense of optimism and hope as we look forward to another season of Fellows, Director’s Guests, and their work. In this time of international turmoil, Civitella remains a haven for dialogue across disciplines and cultures with its environment of respect, curiosity, and generosity. As always, thank you for your support, and we hope that you’ll keep us up to date on your news. 

Warm wishes from all of us at Civitella,
Jennifer Dowley
Chair of the Board of Directors