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
The Quargnali family bought the then abandoned monastery from
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
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