Cultural Enrichment and Excursions

It was the time of fruit-gathering, and the time when the animals were being brought down from their summer grazing. We came on open grassy areas scented with wild herbs…now fenced in for sheep and guarded by massive white dogs who slept in the middle of the flock with one ear open. When we had enough wild fruit and kindling as we could carry, we started back down to the village as the light began to fail, through a dry golden haze of ripeness and stillness, in which the whole of our summer and autumn seemed gathered up and suspended.                Harry Clifton from On the Spine of Italy
WE OFFER mid and late afternoon guided excursions and activities to deepen understanding of Italian culture–such as a hike to the ruins of a local castle, an excursion to a small farm to see handmade cheese production, a pasta demonstration by a local chef. Our guide, Linda Prospero, also delivers enriching informal narratives about the culture, literature and history of Varenna and the Lombardy Region of Italy. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       photos: Linda Prospero


Kind Words

Cynthia Parry, Long Island, NY
Thank you for so many things: the program, the wealth of sharing and warmth that Kathryn and Helen and Linda have brought to this process, the opportunities to work and meet others who are serious about their work, but not themselves…

The opportunities for shared experience within and without the burgh gave us a chance to grow individually and collectively.  I appreciated learning about the region, its hardships and history, its independence and industry, its culture and cuisine and gained a deeper appreciation of the food, the people, and the burgh. Without these experiences, we’d be like those in Heart of Darkness who set out for the exotic landscapes of Africa but never got off the boat.

The activities outside the workshop created a bond that allowed all of us to have easy conversation and connections that added to the trust developed in the workshop. Our interactions contributed immeasurably to the sense of camaraderie that we felt, although we started out as strangers.

Arthur Darby, Calgary, Alberta
Fantastic excursions. Linda is a very good guide and presents a lot of information.

Elaine Mays, Phoenix, AZ
I was very pleased with the instruction and felt that I grew as a writer during the week. I was so impressed with how we were received and treated by everyone in the town. They bent over backward to accommodate us.

Gina Fattore, Los Angeles, CA
I’m an experienced television writer, but I’d never written memoir before, so Kathryn’s morning sessions on fundamentals and techniques were incredibly helpful to me. Plus, she and Helen and all the other participants were just great people: smart, adventurous, funny. Everyone had a story to tell—on the page, on our day trips, and over drinks at the Cantinone.


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