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The School
La Romita School of Art has been hosting seminars on painting, drawing, and other aspects of art and art history since its founder, Enza Quargnali decided to pursue her dream of uniting her life experience and her training in the arts into a unique form of Italo-American cultural exchange. Enza is a citizen of the USA as well as Italy and when she and her husband, architect Ben Benson, are not at La Romita they reside in Washington DC. After earning her undergraduate degree at the Art Institute of Rome, Enza was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the University of New Mexico where she received her MFA. The school's stateside operations are handled by Enza's sister Paola, also,remarkably, a Fulbright scholar and former teacher at UNM. In founding a school of art where American students could study the artistic and architectural wonders of Central Italy the Quargnali sisters have found themselves in the avant-garde of the "discover Italy" movement in the USA, a movement whose numbers continue to grow and whose passions continue unabated.

The Quargnali family bought the then abandoned monastery from the Catholic
Church in the mid 1800's and has passed on the desire to maintain and lovingly restore La Romita from generation to generation.
The grounds and household staff has been at
La Romita for decades as well and exudes a love for the place that actually goes back many generations. Four decades of expertise
guarantee a trouble-free cultural and educational experience.

La Romita's two-week, live-in programs are conducted in English in the school's frescoed chapel by well known professors and professional artists from the
United States. Umbrian chefs prepare the meals and an air-conditioned 20 seat bus takes participants on daily visits to the surrounding hill towns for "en plein air" studies as well as sight-seeing and visits to cultural and historical festivals. Towns on a typical itinerary include Spoleto (home of the Festival of Two Worlds), Assisi, Perugia, Orvieto, Todi, Montefalco, and many breathtaking castles, churches, ruins, and villages. Many of the participants are teachers themselves, helping to create the perfect atmosphere for advanced painters as well as for beginners.

Read the text from an article which appeared in the "International Herald Tribune" of September 20, 2002:


Eastern view of the main residence building.
The monk's well at the center of the church garden.
Western view of the main residence building with ruins of the monk's wool factory. (circa 1600)
Cortyard view of the kitchen and residence building.
Founder Enza Quargnali (fourth from left), during a concert in the chapel/studio.
Umbrian folk musicians in concert in the chapel/studio.

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