The program’s on-site training takes place at the Villa Paolina in Porano, Italy, a beautiful Umbrian town near the Etruscan city of Orvieto.
At Viale Marconi 2, the Gualterio family had a villa, called in their time Villa del Cornaro. An inscription on the rear facade of the villa records a visit here by King James III and VIII June 7-10, 1723.
In 1874 the last of the Gualterio family died and the villa was acquired by the Marchese Paolina Viti (from whom the present name of the villa comes). Today the villa is occupied by the Istituto per L’Agroselvicoltura of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (National Research Council).
Orvieto’s origins go back to the Etruscan civilization. In fact, the first Etruscan settlements, going back to the 9thCentury B.C., were found inside the tufaceous caves in the bedrock upon which the city is built today.
Annexed in the 3rd century B.C. to the territories of Rome, it remained under the Roman domination until the decline of the Western Roman Empire. Afterwards it became a free municipality, and during the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines, was a valiant opponent of Barbarossa, remaining faithful to the Pope. Riding on the support of the Papal State, it was allowed to prosper through the entire Medieval Period, reaching the top of its development in the 13th Century with the constitution of the General Council of the 400 and the election of the Captain of the People.
It was during this period that one saw the fervent work of erecting palaces and holy buildings among which the very famous Cathedral stands out, dating back to 1263. It is undoubtedly the most important architectural landmark of the city, with its splendid Gothic facade and the richness of the ornaments and internal chapels. In the ancient town we also find the St.Patrizio well, built in 1527, based on a plan of Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane, the Palace of the Seven from 1300, the Palace of People Captain (12th century) inside which housed the meetings of the People’s Council, Saint Andrew’s Church (12th century), Saint Domenic’s Church (12th century), Saint Giovenale’s Church (11th century), and Soliano Palace (1262) within which are two museums: the Museum of the Opera del Duomo and the Museum of Modern Art.
Participants stay in Orvieto. HPRT facilitates booking of accommodations with subsidized rates. Participants can also share double or triple rooms (roommate arrangements are made by HPRT staff).
A breakdown of expenses, other than the tuition fee, is as follows (all amounts are approximate, in € and US$; exchange rate as of Feb. 1, 2015):
The airport to fly to is Rome Fiumicino (IATA airport code: FCO). Flight cost depends on city of origin. From the airport, Orvieto can be reached by taking two trains, one from Rome airport to Rome (usually the main train station, Roma Termini) and one from Rome to Orvieto.
The cost for train travel and lodging/meals in Italy is approximately as follows:
Train travel Rome Airport-Orvieto (RT € 43-72, depending on train type and class): US$ 50-82
Subsidized hotel room for 14 days (at € 28-60 per night, depending on room type and hotel): US$ 445-950
In 2014, the subsidized rooms were €40-60 for a single/double used as single, €34-38 per person for a shared double and €28-32 per person for a shared triple per night. Breakfast is included.
Meals (3 lunches at € 10/15, 13 dinners at € 15/20): US$ 255/345
Cost of meals can vary greatly by participants’ preferences.
The tuition fee includes lunch and coffee breaks each day the course is in session as well as transportation from Orvieto to Porano.