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. Many 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 in dormitory-style housing at campgrounds or old monasteries during program field trips to the Dolomites, northern Tuscany and Croatia.