Current and Recent News


Villa Le Balze Takes Over Snapchat

OGE Snapcode

Students participating on all three of our summer programs this year will be taking over the Office of Global Education's Snapchat account. Be sure to start following OGE so you can watch along and see what a typical day is like. The Machiavelli Seminar will be our first program of the summer - catch them in May. In June you'll be able to see what our Documentary Filmmaking program is capturing. And in July follow along as students examine art and how the brain processes determines a works "beauty". If you happen to miss the take over days, don't worry, we'll be posting the videos on our site as well as uploading them to Youtube. 

#SummerSnaps Dates:

Office of Global Education's Villa Le Balze playlist on youtube.


Villa Le Balze, International Education Week, & #GlobalHoyaBecause

From November 14th to 18th, 2016, International Education Week (IEW) is an opportunity to celebrate international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is made in an effort to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.
 
Over the course of this week, the Office of Global Education (OGE) and the Office Global Services (OGS) will promote a variety of events in the spirit of international education.  One of these events is the campus-wide digital campaign #GlobalHoyaBecause.  VLB Director, Fulvio Orsitto, R.A. Ferruccio Mazzanti, faculty member in residence, Professor Francesco Ciabattoni of the Italian department, and instructor Carlo Zei are all participating in the digital event.  Be sure to keep your eye out for them this week!


Porcelain and Chocolate: Early Modern Global Taste

When: Tuesday,  November 15  at 5:30 PM
Location: Villa Le Balze, Via Vecchia Fiesolana, 26 - 50014 Fiesole (Fi) Italy

Villa Le Balze is pleased to host a guest leture with Prof. Marta Caroscio, a faculty member at the Universita degli Studi di Firenze.  For more information and to RSVP, please email info@villalebalze.org. 


Firenze: Guerra & Alluvione

When: Friday, October 28, 2016, 5:00 PM
Location: Plaza Hotel Lucchesi, Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 38 Florence, Italy

We're excited to see that on the 50th anniversary of the 1966 flood in Florence, Dr. Mario Carniani's book "Firenze: Guerra & Alluvione" has been reprinted and translated into English.  Dr. Carniani taught Literature and Histrory at Villa Le Balze in 1980s and 1990s. Complimenti!


The Great Flood of Florence, 1966: A Photographic Essay

When: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 5:30 PM
Location: Villa Le Balze, Via Vecchia Fiesolana, 26 - 50014 Fiesole (Fi) Italy

We will be joined by Prof. Swietlan Nicholas Kraczyna, a professor of printmaking, as he shares his photographic essay on the Great Flood of Florence.  For more information and to RSVP, please email info@villalebalze.org.


Dante's Comedy: What we Mean when we Speak of Realism

When: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 5:30 PM
Location: Villa Le Balze, Via Vecchia Fiesolana, 26 - 50014 Fiesole (Fi) Italy

Join us in welcoming Prof. Claudio Giunta (Università di Trento) to Villa Le Balze as he presents on Dante and the Divine Comedy.  For more information and to RSVP, please email info@villalebalze.org. 

Archived News

Guest Lecture with Matthew Licht (October 6, 2015)

When: Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 5:30 PM
Location: Villa Le Balze, Via Vecchia Fiesolana, 26 - 50014 Fiesole (Fi) Italy

Matthew Licht is the author of The Moose Show and Justine, Joe & the Zen Garbageman (Salt Pubs., UK), which were both nominated for the Frank O’Connor Prize. His novel, The Withering Fire, is due out later this year. He has been a Visiting Lecturer at John Cabot University in Rome, and at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he is under consideration to become the first-ever Professor of Creative Writing. He was a volunteer teacher specializing in literacy at P.S. 212 in New York City between 1995-2005. He is currently working on a book for young readers, with the editorial guidance of groups of Scuola media children in Bagno a Ripoli and Rignano sull’Arno.

Food for the Mind: How to Nourish a Genuine Happiness (November 3, 2015)

When: Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 5:30 PM
Location: Villa Le Balze, Via Vecchia Fiesolana, 26 - 50014 Fiesole (Fi) Italy

Villa Le Balze is pleased to host a guest leture with Dr. Valentina Dolara (Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom Honorary Faculty member - Member of organizing committees for the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Europe).  Dr. Dolara has an academic background as a lawyer with a concentration in international protection of human rights and preventive measures to maintain peace.    

For more than 20 years she has been a trainer and a consultant for various NGOs on nonviolent conflict management, intercultural communication, history of the mafia and contemporary antimafia, education to democratic legality and active citizenship, gender issues; and for 13 years she has taught these subjects in study abroad programs for American universities in Florence.

Homecoming 2013 (September 27, 2013)

When: Friday, September 27 2013, 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Location: Robert and Bernice Wagner Alumni House - 3604 O St. NW

Did you attend the Villa Program in Italy? If so, don't miss this chance to catch up with other VLB Alumni and friends at this hilltop tradition - the VLB Homecoming Aperitivo! Italian wine and snacks will be provided, and proceeds from the event will benefit the Villa's restoration and programming. We expect this to be a popular event, so sign up early!

$15 for Current Students, $30 for Young Alumni, $40 for others

Register for this event at Homecoming 2013

Reunion 2013 Wine and Cheese Pairing (May 31, 2013)

When: Friday, May 31 2013, 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Location: Car Barn Esplanade

Join us as for an Italian wine and cheese tasting as we honor Villa Le Balze Alumni who are celebrating their reunion years in 2013! This year also marks 100th Anniversary of the construction of the Villa and its gardens. Priority for VLB program alumni and their guests; RSVP early as space is limited!

Tavola Rotunda: "Lingua, non lingua: quale didattica per l'italiano oggi?"

When: Friday, October 26, 2012
Location: VLB Library

Villa Le Balze is pleased to host a roundtable discussion on Italian language learning and eaching on Friday October, 26, 2012. Please note that the presentations and discussions as outlined in the Tavola Rotunda programwill be held in Italian.

This event is organzied by Imperatrice DiPassio (id38@georgetown.edu). For more information and to attend, please contact Simona Mocali, Assistant Director at Villa Le Balze (smocali@villalebalze.org).

Villa Le Balze Homecoming Reception

When: Friday, September 28 2012, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Location: Robert and Bernice Wagner Alumni House - 3604 O St. NW

Alumni and friends of Villa Le Balze are invited to attend an aperitivo to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the construction of the Villa and its gardens. Italian wine and snacks will be provided, and proceeds from the event will benefit the Villa's restoration and programming. We expect this to be a popular event, so sign up early!

$15 for Current Students, $30 for Young Alumni, $40 for others

Register for this event at GU Homecoming 2012

Relocation and Renovation (2010)

In 2010, Villa Le Balze had to undertake emergency rennovations and for the first time in her history of academic programming, Georgetown had to relocate the second summer and Fall semester programs. While the main focus of the renovation was the replacement of some damaged roof beams, because the property was uninhabited the university was also able to undertake some other renovation and maintenance projects including the addition of a second emergency exit on the basement level and the conversion of a large bathroom into two smaller ones. The Villa re-opened to the public and once again was home to students beginning in January 2011.

Georgetown is fortunate not to have had to cancel any programming due to the renovations; a very special thanks goes out to the extraordinary group of Fall 2010 semester students who stayed and studied in nearby hotels. The continuation of the program during these emergency rennovations is testament to the fact that the Villa is more than beautiful buildings, outstanding views and historic gardens - rather she is the founders, students, faculty, staff, and visitors who the breath life and spirit into Villa Le Balze.

We continue to have a long-term property maintenance plan in place to ensure that many future generations of Hoyas can enjoy the Villa’s exquisite offerings. Find out more on how you can contribute to Villa Le Balze.

Orvieto: A Unique Homestay Experience (2008)

The Fall 2008 Villa Le Balze students recently participated in the first half a unique exchange opportunity with students from Italian high schools in Orvieto. Organized by Prof. Imperatrice DiPassio, the homestay experience is divided into two phases: Recently, Georgetown University students spent 3 days in the the Italian homes of students at the Liceo Classico and the Istituto d'Arte. While some of the time was spent in the Italian classroom, most of the time the American students were entertained by their Italian hosts visiting museums and monuments with their "local guides". In early November, the Italian students will spend a weekend in Fiesole attending a class at the Villa and seeing how American students explore all that Florence has to offer!

Renovations (2007-2008)

Anybody who has visited the Villa Le Balze knows about its extraordinary view of Florence, beautiful formal gardens, and elegant buildings. To allow the Villa, which was designed by architect Cecil Pinsent for the small family of Charles Augustus Srong to continue to be used by students, staff, faculty, and visitors, major maintenance projects have become necessary over time.

In 2007, Georgetown began a renovation program to preserve the beauty of this property for year to come, and that, at the same time will make the Villa better equipped to host a vibrant, living-learning community of students, guests, and scholars. Thanks to this program, the second phase of which was completed during the summer of 2008, the Ville Le Balze is able to offer its guests greater comfort, upgraded safety precautions, increased accessibility for physically challenged visitors and a technologically advanced classroom.

During the summer of 2007 the Villa installed a wireless network, giving access to the information available on the web from virtually any point in the Villa and adjacent gardens. This will allow students and guests to work and to communicate in their rooms or while enjoying the sunshine or a fresh breeze in the gardens.
The summer of 2007 also saw major changes in the area of the service entrance, where a large part of the office spaces are now concentrated and where additional facilities for physically disabled persons have been installed in respect of Italian and American legislation. In addition, electronic swipe card readers have been installed at all entrances to increase safety.

During the Spring 2008 semester, part of the annex building at the front gate (formerly the resident faculty apartment) was transformed into student housing and includes a room and a bathroom equipped for physically challenged students. The resident faculty member, an important and vital member of the Villa community, now stays in a rental apartment in Fiesole within walking distance of the Villa.

The renovation activities during Spring 2008 focused on the classroom, the annexed rooms, and the loggia. While the original plans to transform the loggia into a large classroom and conference hall were not approved by the city administration of Fiesole, these new plans allowed for the creation of a second classroom and additional facilities for students and faculty.

We hope that as a result of the renovation activities new generation of Georgetown University students, alumni, and friends will continue to be able to enjoy the Villa for years to come.