Encounters Gala and Weekend

Join us in celebrating and supporting Georgetown's Villa Le Balze with a weekend of special commemorative events.

*** This event has been postponed. ***

Georgetown University has been closely monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); while the vast majority of COVID-19 cases have occurred in China, Italy has seen an increase in the number of reported cases, with the highest concentration in the Lombardy and Veneto regions.

Although Georgetown’s Villa Le Balze in Fiesole is in the Tuscany region, which is not adjacent to either the Lombardy or Veneto regions, the unique nature of our Villa Le Balze living and learning community presents the possibility of significant operational and academic continuity challenges in the event the current outbreak were to spread, or Italian authorities were to take additional significant containment measures. For this reason, Georgetown University has closed on-site operations of the Villa Le Balze semester study abroad program.

As a result, we must postpone the Encounters event currently scheduled at the Villa for April 2-5. We are disappointed not to be able to celebrate in Tuscany this year and regret any inconvenience caused by the postponement. All registration fees will be refunded. Please contact villainfo@georgetown.edu with any questions.

Join Georgetown University and Villa Le Balze for an exclusive weekend in Florence, Italy benefiting the Villa’s Loggia Enclosure project. The weekend will be full of exciting and unique events, including an evening gala of elegant Tuscan fare, Italian wine, and access to private art galleries containing the Corsini Collection at Chiara Ferragamo’s family property, Palazzo Corsini, on the banks of the Arno.

The Gala will feature remarks by Dr. Tom Banchoff, Vice President for Global Engagement, and both silent and live auctions during which participants will be able to bid on a variety of exclusive opportunities and items. All proceeds from the Gala and the weekend’s events contribute to the Loggia Fund, ensuring that generations of Hoyas have access to unique and memorable opportunities at Villa Le Balze.

Other weekend events include:

  • Guided tours at Villa Le Balze with brunch or an aperitivo
  • Private guided visits of the Ferragamo Family Museum
  • Florence culinary tours and Tuscan cooking classes
  • Exclusive round of golf at the Ferragamo golf course, Castiglione del Bosco  
  • Wine country tour and tasting

What is the Loggia Project?

Villa Le Balze seeks financial assistance to advance its vision of being a premier Georgetown global hub for learning and scholarship. This vision includes supporting opportunities for graduate and postgraduate scholarship, expanding undergraduate academic programs, hosting more conferences and seminars, and upgrading facilities and infrastructure to ensure that the Villa can connect its students, scholars, and guests to Main Campus and to the world.

In order to accommodate these expanded offerings and opportunities our priority is to enclose the Villa’s Loggia. The breathtaking views from the Loggia make it an ideal space for functions, lectures, and alumni events. Enclosing the loggia in glass will make this showcase space accessible year round and give us the ability to install permanent multimedia technology. It will allow the Villa to host new types of events throughout the year, creating a means towards greater financial stability.

Rendering of the future enclosed loggia.
A rendering of the future enclosed Loggia.

Encounters Weekend Events


Encounters Gala at Palazzo Corsini

Join us and host Chiara Ferragamo for an evening to remember at the baroque Palazzo Corsini on the banks of the Arno river. The evening’s program includes an aperitivo, dinner, a live auction, and the presentation of the Villa Le Balze Ambassador’s Award award to recognize Chiara and Massimo Ferragamo. All proceeds from the Gala and Auction will go directly to the Loggia Project Fund.

Dress is formal with black-tie optional.

Pair of red Ferragame shoes seen from above.

Exclusive Access to Museums & Art Collections

Visit the Ferragamo family museum, offered exclusively to Georgetown guests of the Encounters Florence Weekend.


Castiglion del Bosco Golf Course

Play a round of golf at one of Italy’s most picturesque and beautiful courses – Castiglion del Bosco. Nestled in the rolling hills of Tuscany it is also the only private golf course in Italy! Space is limited.

Wine barrels in cellar at Castiglion del Bosco.

Tuscan Wine Tasting

Travel to the Castiglion del Bosco vineyard and wine cellars for an intimate tasting and farm-to-table luncheon. Not only is it one of the oldest and best preserved estates in Tuscany, it’s located in Montalcino, in the heart of the Val d’Orcia UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Guided Florentine Food Tour

Experience a four hour tour of Tuscan cuisine as you walk with a private guide through the historic streets of Florence.


Tour and Reception at the Villa Le Balze

Receive a guided tour of the beautiful and historic Villa Le Balze and enjoy a cocktail reception or brunch in its spectacular gardens.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Are you interested in becoming a sponsor for the Encounters Gala and Weekend? Your support plays a vital role in providing financial assistance to realize the Villa’s Loggia project which will bring greater financial stability and longevity to Villa Le Balze. Contact Erin DeLoach at evd2@georgetown.edu to discuss your sponsorship opportunity.

  • Your name or company logo on the Gala web page
  • 16 seats (2 tables) at the Encounters Gala
  • Special invitation to an exclusive VIP dinner event at Villa Le Balze during the weekend for you and a guest
  • Recognition of you or your company by event speakers
  • Acknowledgement on the event program
  • Gift bags for you and your guests, including a copy of the Villa Le Balze cookbook

  • Your name or company logo on the Gala web page
  • 16 seats (2 tables) at the Encounters Gala
  • Recognition of you or your company by event speakers
  • Acknowledgement on event program
  • Gift bags for you and your guests, including a copy of the Villa Le Balze cookbook

  • Your name or company logo on the Gala web page
  • 8 seats (1 tables) at the Encounters Gala
  • Acknowledgement on event program
  • A copy of the Villa Le Balze cookbook for you and your guests


Interior of a hotel room from the Alfieri Collezione.

Alfieri Collezione

The Alfieri Collezione offers a variety of elegant rooms with boutique flourishes that give each room, many of which boast views over the Arno river and Ponte Vecchio, its own unique style and personality. Located in the heart of Florence, this distinctive hotel is only a 2 minute walk from Palazzo Corsini, where the Encounters Gala is being held.

Additionally, your stay at the Alfieri Collezione will directly benefit Villa Le Balze’s Loggia Enclosure because 10% of your room rate will be donated to the Loggia Fund! To book now, please email: georgetown_flo2020@alfiericollezione.com and reference Villa Le Balze.

Email villainfo@georgetown.edu with any inquiries regarding this event.