This Saturday Umbra Institute Director Charles Jarvis and staff member Zach Nowak took a group of students to Città di Castello, a small Umbrian city famous in Italy as being the cradle of the country’s modern printing industry. The group went first to Umbertide, where they went to lunch at the scenic agriturismo, “Le Tortorelle” (The Turtle Doves), situated on a picturesque hill near Umbertide. After a tour of the organic farm and the traditional Umbrian home, the students enjoyed putting toppings on pizzas and actually cooking them in an outdoor, wood-burning oven. After lunch the group continued on to Città di Castello, where they had a tour of Italy’s oldest still-working printing company, run by Signor Gianni Ottaviani. Sig. Ottaviani is the seventh generation of owners of the family business, and explained that he has been setting type since he was little. The students learned about the typographic, lithographic, and engraving processes and were given demonstrations by the enthusiastic Sig. Ottaviani in each one. The trip was a great combination of a fun outing and didactic experience. The trip is the first of “Lost Weekend” tours planned for the semester.
(in photos: Le Tortorelle agriturismo in Umbertide, Umbra students and staff members at the printing press in Citta di Castello)