The course will be held inside the X Century Castle of Poppi (Tuscany), considered one of the most beautiful castle in Italy. Lectures will be done in the “Ballroom”, where, during the Middle Age the Counts Guidi held banquets, parties, shows. The coffee break will be in the Courtyard, whose wall are decorated with many coats of arms.

The Castle of Poppi

The Castle of Counts Guidi is one of the most important examples of medieval architecture in the province of Arezzo. The first documentary evidence of the existence of the castle of Poppi dates back to 1191, but it is believed to have been built between the ninth and tenth century, after the collapse of the Carolingian Empire.

The original nucleus of the castle consisted of the square tower that still dominates the rest of building and almost all valley. Current appearance of the tower, however, is not the primitive one, in fact it was transformed into a bell tower in the nineteenth century, during the restoration work following the damages suffered after a lightning strike. The tower had to be much higher and equipped with a projecting brackets apparatus, such as Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, of which the castle of Poppi seems to be a “prototype”. The authorship of the building is in fact uncertain: the oldest part is in part attributed to Lapo di Cambio, while the more recent one, dating to the late thirteenth century, would be his son’s, Arnolfo di Cambio, author of the Palazzo Vecchio.

The castle is today, except for the tower, as its medieval aspect was; the care and the strength with which it was built have allowed the excellent preservation of it.

Inside the castle it is the courtyard  (coffee and lunch break location), whose walls are decorated with many coats of arms. At the end of the courtyard is a stone table, known as the “table of justice.” Here justice was administered and the judgments were issued. This table began working in mid ’400 when the court was established in Poppi. From the courtyard it is possible to enter the room of the battle, where reproductions of medieval battle instruments are stored, and the “stables of the Guidi”, a room today generally used for exhibitions.

At the first floor you can visit the Ballroom (location course), where the Counts Guidi held banquets, parties, shows. The room is richly decorated with depictions of the most important figures of the family and other sacred and profane ones.


Poppi certainly is the most distinctive village and symbol of Casentino. Medieval center that still keep intact its walls, Poppi is placed at the top of a hill and its Castle of the Counts of the Guidi family dominates the village and a good part of the valley. The history of Poppi is closely linked to that of its family, one of the largest families of central Italy of the Middle Ages, which made ​​Poppi the political and administrative capital of the Casentino (“Poppi, the capital of the Casentino valley” is written in the Giorgio Vasari’s fresco in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence). Symbol of the village obviously is the Castle of the Counts Guidi, that stands at the top of Poppi; not less interesting are the numerous churches of the village, first of all, the one of San Fedele, which hosts a crucifix made by Giotto.

The village is still enclosed within the medieval walls, around which one can admire the beautiful view of the Tuscan countryside.

Thanks to its architectural and landscape beauty well preserved, which give still the flavor of the typical medieval Tuscan village, Poppi was recently included in the Club of the “most beautiful villages in Italy”.


Tuscany, land of more than 2000 years of history, inhabited by the mysterious Etruscans and the great Roman civilization, can be certainly defined the cradle of the Renaissance and the birth place of famous artists, writers and scientists of the past which left a historical, artistic and literary heritage unique in the world. That’s why this is one of the most favorite tourist destinations.

Both if you choose to enjoy the cultural heritage or the beautiful landscapes, Tuscany is the ideal place for an unforgettable holiday full of good food and good local wine. In Tuscany there are so many interesting things to see and do that sometimes it is hard to decide from what to start.

Florence, Siena and Pisa are among the favorite destinations, but the list of “cities of art” in Tuscany is much longer and includes Arezzo, Cortona, San Gimignano and Lucca, just to name a few.


A dedicated shuttle bus will pick up all participants from Florence (airport and train station) to bring them to Poppi.


Frequency: 2/3 shuttles a day (12:00–20.00)

Travel time from Florence to Poppi: 1.20 hours

Florence can be easily reached by plane (Peretola Airport) and by high-speed trains from all the main Italian cities


From Rome: 1.20 hours

From Bologna: 0.40 hours

From Pisa: 1.00 hours

From Milan: 1.45 hours


A car rental service will be also available for those people interested to be more independent.