Spannocchia provided the perfect setting for Harvard University Extension’s course on rural sustainability challenges and solutions. The very welcoming, knowledgeable, and patient staff paired with the Spannocchia setting is incomparably wonderful. Our students are enriched for a lifetime by their experience.Mark Leighton, Associate Director and Senior Research Advisor, Harvard University Extension
Come and explore Castello di Spannocchia, an organic working farm and educational center located in the heart of Tuscany, near Siena! With hundreds of acres of natural preserve, the Spannocchia property is an idyllic setting to soak in the beauty of the Italian landscape, inspire creativity, and learn about the protection and conservation of Italian culture, cuisine and nature.
Using Spannocchia as a base for housing and meals, student and adult program groups conduct intensive artistic or instructional workshops in the Castello’s studio space, explore the rich history and culture of the region through day trips to nearby Siena and Florence, or use the land and its organic products to learn about Tuscan cooking, organic farming, and sustainability.
Spannocchia has been hosting groups for more than fifty years offering a perfect creative environment for programs focused on visual and studio arts, Italian language, environmental science and sustainability, art history, cooking, music, creative writing and journalism, nature, yoga, and hiking.
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There are two guest-housing facilities: the Villa and the Fattoria. Each facility has distinct characteristics and offers different lodging options based on the comfort level and budget. The Villa provides accommodations for groups that prefer more refined lodgings and consists of seven spacious and well-appointed double bedrooms with private bathrooms, garden views, and a daily maid service.
The Fattoria is the original farm center of Spannocchia. The accommodations include one large corner bedroom with a private bathroom, and seven comfortable double bedrooms with shared bathrooms, all with views of the courtyard. The Fattoria is ideal for student groups or those groups traveling on a tighter budget.
Spannocchia can also provide additional meeting, studio, or instructional space for groups including a ceramic studio for hand-building and a wood-fired kiln.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided for all groups. All meals (except Saturday dinner) are included in the group price. Picnic lunches can also be arranged for field trips. We use as many seasonal vegetables grown at Spannocchia as our garden production allows, and our dinner menu reflects classic Tuscan recipes. Dinner is a traditional Italian affair including a primo piatto (first course), of pasta, or soup or risotto; secondo piatto (main course) of meat and a contorno (side dish) of seasonal vegetables from the garden; and insalata (green salad) that can be dressed to taste with Spannocchia-produced olive oil and vinegar. Bread, wine, and water are included in the meal as well. On Wednesday evenings we offer special dinners, alternating each week between Pizza Night and Nostra Cena (Our Dinner). Weather permitting, we eat outside and both evenings are festive affairs.
Student rates are offered to programs that are comprised of full-time students at an accredited high school or university. Student groups are housed in the Fattoria and all meals are provided, except Saturday dinner. Students accommodations include five double rooms, and two triples, with four shared bathrooms, for a total group size of 17 people including the group coordinator. A double room with private bath is available for the group coordinator. Student groups can use the Fattoria kitchen at any time and have a common room available for their use as well.
Your Spannocchia program coordinator has special expertise and knowledge of the area. The coordinator will work with you to develop and create a customized itinerary for your group based on your particular needs and interests. Through our special relationships with artists, cultural organizations, restaurants, and artisans, we can help arrange site visits and tours to help create a truly unique and extraordinary learning program for your group. Spannocchia will also help to negotiate and secure the most affordable and reliable ground transportation simplifying your duties as a trip coordinator and allowing you to enjoy your trip as well!