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Castello Sonnino International Education Centre in Tuscany (Italy)

Castello Sonnino International Education Centre in Tuscany (Italy)

Castello Sonnino International Education Centre, a working agricultural estate in Tuscany, Italy, is pleased to announce that is available to host faculty-led student groups and/or develop customized study abroad programs in 2019 and beyond.

Founded in 2014, Castello Sonnino International Education Centre hosted our first courses with UBC, University of British Columbia, among the 20 top Public Universities in the world, third among the Canadians,  offering monthly Summer programs with Canadian faculty, who return annually, and further expanding to offer courses to other universities and study abroad providers to run environmentally-themed educational programs. An hour from Florence, Italy, Sonnino is the only family-owned working historic farm, winery, and historic estate offering a “campus” setting with direct access to a broad network of faculty and scholars.    

Customized short-term or semester length programs with faculty can include formal classroom and field-based instruction with experiential learning, research, and internship opportunities. We provide support to faculty-led programs with accommodations, logistics, field trips, cultural activities, and local lectures. We also develop customized program and curriculum design in partnership with disciplinary experts in our network of Italian and international scholars, guest speakers, and our Sonnino Working Group (international scholars with projects on site).

Designed to help students develop skills, independence, cultural understanding and self-confidence, we immerse them in the environment, culture and economy of an Italy tourists do not see. Our living/learning environment marries architecture, archaeology, agriculture, local society, Italian history and culture. Onsite, students can also have hands on learning experiences and learn about viniculture and the production of award-winning Chiantis and Super Tuscans, as well as vinsanto, olive oil, agresto, and antique grains.  We offer courses and syllabus on Climate Change, Global Change and biodiversity and food culture enriched with expert professors in these disciplines.

The village of Montespertoli is a short walk away, offering bi-weekly organic farmers market, supermarkets, shops and restaurants, a flour mill ‘Molino Paciscopi’ producing antique grain using methods from the 1960’s, a wine museum, and opportunities to practice Italian. There is also public transportation to major cities.

Our estate has recently been named one of eight “Gucci places,” in recognition of its authenticity.


If you are seeking new partnerships in Italy this year, we would be delighted to discuss your specific needs. Please contact Jessica Shepherd at or visit our website ( for more information.


We look forward to speaking with you.

The Castello Sonnino International Educational Centre