La Romita and June Festivals in Umbria

June 16th, 2011
Spello artist at work

June is the time of wildflowers in Italy; the colors are often breathtaking.  To paraphrase our native Francis of Assisi, the supreme beauty of nature attracts souls as well as bees.  Here are a couple of photos I took the other day of a nearby field: After Barry Thomas and his Arkansas travelers, the young artists of Ball State University’s Fine Arts Department brought their energy and talent to this old monastery.  Professors Scott Anderson and David Hannon, both accomplished artists, helped their charges decorate

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Bruschetta al Pomodoro

June 14th, 2011
Bruschetta al Pomodoro

Aside from a mixed plate of salumi and bread, there is no more fundamental antipasto that the classic bruschetta al pomodoro. This simple mixture of tomatoes, garlic, salt and olive oil exemplifies the foundation of italian cooking: quality ingredients, simply prepared to show off their best flavor. It is axiomatic that you must use the best tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and bread available. Thanks to the the Slow Food and Locavore movements,  it’s possible to either grow or find truly excellent varieties of tomatoes, each

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On the Other End of the Phone

June 13th, 2011

La Romita gave a fond farewell to Jenny Volkert in March this year. Jenny was one of the anchors of La Romita, who over the past eight years managed the office in Washington DC and was that friendly voice over the phone anwswering all questions concerning the school, the travel, and that wonderful country called Italy. Jenny recently moved to Boston with her husband and daughter to start a new adventure. While Jenny will be sorely missed, La Romita was fortunate to find Tracy Posey

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Crostata Di Marmellata

May 19th, 2011
Crostata di Marmellata

Italian Crostata is a type of tart made with a lightly sweetened pastry dough called pasta frolla. There are numerous forms of this pastry, which can be filled with an endless variety of seasonal fruits and custards, but the jam-filled variety is perhaps the most ubiquitous. Typical jams used for this are prune, amarena (sour cherry), and apricot, but any good quality jam – or mixture of jams – can be used. For the pictures at right, blueberry and apricot jams were used. With a

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La Romita, Ball State University, and the Dee Levin Scholarship

May 18th, 2011
lrg_Ball_State_University54

For over a decade, Indiana’s Ball State University hosting workshops at La Romita for art students. These sessions provide an excellent opportunity for artists who are just beginning their exploration to experience the cultural and artistic richness Italy offers. In 2010 La Romita received a generous donation from the estate of Dee Levin, a frequent participant and missed friend of the School. We have used that donation to establish a scholarship fund in part to help students like the ones in the Ball State program

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Tante Belle Cose

May 18th, 2011
Edmund

2011 -the new season has begun! The first group this year hails mainly from Arkansas, following the amazing Barry Thomas, a former Razorback football star, now one of the most popular painters of the new west.  His paintings are riots of action and color.  When he sets up demos in our quiet little hill towns, a crowd always gathers to watch his flamboyant techniques.  The conversations around the dinner table are interesting and urbane—with quite a few good personal Bill Clinton anecdotes. A visit from

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The Honey Bees

May 16th, 2011
BeeBlog

I had the extreme fortune to make it to La Romita before the start of the 2011 season – I say “fortune” because there’s something magical about seeing our amazing staff get everything ready for opening day. Flowers come out, windows are thrown open, the beds are made, and in general La Romita puts on her best dress and prepares to welcome new guests and old friends alike. This year there was an added twist to the usual preparations – it seems that a colony

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Pizza di Formaggio

April 20th, 2011
Pizza di Formaggio

Easter is, naturally, a big holiday in Italy and one of the traditional foods served in Umbria, Marche, and Tuscany during the season is Pizza di Formaggio or Crescia al Formaggio. Despite the image this name evokes in America, this pizza is actually a yeast-leavened bread, heavily flavored with grated Parmigiano and Pecorino cheeses and makes a great meal paired with some good salami or ham and a glass of white wine! Pizza di Formaggio If budget or availability prevent you from using imported Parmigiano

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