Location and Living Arrangements
Osservatorio Geologico di Coldigioco
This program is based at the Osservatorio Geologico di Coldigioco (OGC). Dr. Alessandro (Sandro) Montanari, a native of Ancona, Italy, and his wife Paula Metallo, a New York born artist, established OGC in 1992 as an independent research and education facility for geology, art, and cuisine. Located in the small rural village of Coldigioco in the Marche region of Italy, OGC has become a well-known and highly respected research and education facility and has hosted numerous geology, art, and culinary programs as well as scientific conferences.
Students are housed in dormitory-style rooms in renovated farmhouses, and are assigned to work groups that rotate throughout the program. The work groups are responsible for cooking, cleaning, and maintaining the OGC facilities. Meals are prepared by the group with guidance from the OGC staff, and provide students with an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of classic Italian country cuisine. The dining room is also the lecture hall, and when the weather is good, meals are outside on the terrace with a view of an 11th century watchtower. Bag lunches are prepared for days spent in the field.
Although Sandro, Paula, and their son Max are the only year round residents of Coldigioco, other scientists, artists, and chefs from the United States and Europe own most of the buildings in the village, and help contribute to the vibrant educational community found there. On any given day in Coldigioco, one might eat dinner with a professor from Vienna or play Frisbee with a Ph.D. student from Amsterdam or Berkeley.
We stay at campgrounds or in dormitory style housing during program field trips to the Dolomites and northern Tuscany. Most campgrounds in Europe are quite luxurious, with modern bathrooms and hot showers. However, you do need to bring your own sleeping bag and pad. A sleeping pad is required because it keeps you insulated from the ground, a fact you will learn to appreciate when camping in the Alps. The program provides tents and all other camping supplies.