Mini Courses, Workshops, CPD

This year we have been offering a number of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities, “mini-course” packages, and workshops for those who would like to experience aspects of Building Beauty without the need for an extended stay in Italy. As the academic year progresses, we will offer more opportunities, including Summer School, May 5-15, 2019, in Ghesc, Ossola Valley, Piedmont, Italy described below. Please check back for details. The Summer School fee has been reduced. Details are below.


If you would like to select individual topics, or attend for a whole package, please write to us at to let us know of your interest. We will work with you to tailor your package to your interests and the time you have available. This will be developed in conversations between you and the instructors who will be in Sorrento for the period of sojourn. 

Prices listed include the course only. Travel and lodging are to be arranged separately. We may be able to help you find accommodation if you let us know what your needs are. 

More information about the subject areas can be found in the 2017-18 Students’ Learning Journal here, where they describe their experience with the first year course and all its elements. Links to chapters that pertain to the course/workshop are included below.

The Nature of Order

Year-long webinar, Mondays and Thursdays, 17:00-18:30 Italian time

Dates: November 13, 2018 to April 30, 2019.

The class includes a systematic reading of the Nature of Order, with students alternating presentations of chapters, class exercises used to elaborate and elucidate the major concepts, and guest lecturers by practitioners describing their design and building process and how it helps achieve Beauty. At the end of the course the students prepare a presentation and paper on a topic of their choice, related to the ideas of order and building process presented in the book.

UK Credits 16; ECTS Credits 8; US self-reporting approved by the AIA

Fees: Attendance - no cost; for Credits and Certificate of Completion - to be arranged.

Write to to express interest in attending or request more information.


Summer School

in Ghesc, Municipality of Montecrestese, Ossola Valley, Piedmont, Italy

May 5-15, 2019

Download flyer here

The Summer School is an integral part of the Building Beauty syllabus, and is also offered to external participants as a module of Continued Professional Development. The Building Beauty Certificate of Attendance is awarded after successful completion of the program.

Course Fee has been reduced: Now €1750, which includes accommodation and breakfasts, and dinners on the first and last night.

Non-refundable deposit required with registration: €400

Total credits: EU (ECTS): 10; UK: 20; US self-reporting approved by the AIA

Please note: building shoes with reinforced toes are required.

How to register: contact us at


The village of Ghesc is a place for learning, sharing ideas and working together. Located in the Ossola Valley at the foot of the Alps, between the Maggiore Lake and the Swiss border. Ghesc is a tiny medieval village which was abandoned more than one century ago, and where most of the buildings are in a state of ruin. Our hosts, the Canova Association, is dedicated to bringing the village back to life. Every year dozens of energetic and passionate students from all over the world attend educational activities, both practical and theoretical, and contribute to the regeneration of the village. The direct experience of stone building allows them to study and understand the historical architecture from the unique point of view of those who created it.


The Ossola Valley is rich with well-preserved historical, cultural and culinary heritage. The centuries old use of stones generated in this area a wealth of different construction patterns. Through guided-visits and field work, students will have the opportunity to obtain a profound understanding of various traditional stone building techniques. The Summer School is mainly based on direct learning in the building yard. Beside hands-on construction, students will enjoy lectures and guided tours. The building yard is in estates owned by the Canova Association in Ghesc: students will be led in the reconstruction of a double-head bearing masonry wall. The reconstruction will include the opening of a window with monolithic jamb and bearing vault. Beyond masonry techniques, students will learn elements of the geology of materials and lime binders.


Students are hosted at Villa Raghezzi, Località Tenda, Preglia di Crevoladossola which is 4 km from the Domodossola train station.  The accommodation is a 17th century stone cottage, the downstairs having one large room with 4 beds, a double room, kitchen and bathroom. Upstairs is an apartment with two double rooms, kitchen corner and bathroom. There is an outside solar shower as well and two covered terraces.

Students will be expected to prepare their own food for lunch and dinner in a kitchen that will be made available to them. Lunch will be consumed on the building site, so it is suggested to prepare sandwiches and packed food to be transported there.

 If one arrives in Domodossola before the 5th of May, we recommend lodging at “da Sciolla”:


By air: Fly to Malpensa International Airport. Alibus shuttle to Domodossola offers frequent service for €15 paid to the driver.  A reservation must be made before noon the day before arrival:

By train: All trains stop in Domodossola both from Brig, Switzerland and from Milan to the south.  Recommended are Regional trains from Milan (approx. 1hr 30 minutes) for €10.80.  Intercity trains cost more than twice that and are not much faster. One can also arrive from Locarno, Ticino, Switzerland on a narrow gauge train to Domodossola which takes about 2 hours for €18.

Wonderful food and wine, an extraordinary place, challenging work, engaging people, and a life enhancing experience. Join us.

Learn more about the Associazione Canova  here  and  here .

Learn more about the Associazione Canova here and here.