Civita Institute

The Civita Institute was established by NIAUSI and co-founders Astra Zarina and Tony Costa Heywood as a permanent facility located in the ancient Italian hilltown of Civita di Bagnoregio, 60 miles north of Rome.  

The Civita Institute facilities, in combination with other historic spaces coordinated by the Institute, provide arts-focused lodging, studio, teaching and conference spaces both for individuals and for groups up to 20 or more, depending upon the format and lodging requirements of the retreat group.  Civita di Bagnoregio's remarkable setting provides a unique base from which to explore dozens of significant hilltowns, cities and cultural sites between Rome and Florence. For more information regarding The Civita Institute and use of its facilities, please contact Stephen Day.  

The mission of the Civita Institute is to enable Members to: 

- Explore the distinctive qualities of Italian hill towns and their relevance to our contemporary life 

- Enhance awareness of architecture and design, environmental stewardship and sustainability 

- Engage in design research, historic preservation, artistic expression and scholarly research 

- Experience agricultural heritage, local cuisine and centuries-old connections between Italian hill towns and their surrounding lands 

- Exchange ideas, aspirations and knowledge with Civita residents and visitors from around the world


The Civita Institute provides a setting for resident Members to pursue research in:

- Architecture, design and architectural history

- Art and art history

- Historic preservation

- Archaeology 

- Studio Arts

- Italian hill towns

- Agricultural traditions and local cuisine 


The Civita Institute supports preservation and renewal of both the natural and built environments of Civita.  Working with the citizens and political leaders of Civita and the neighboring town of Bagnoregio, along with leading organizations such as the World Monuments Fund, The Civita Institute is developing strategies to help stabilize and protect the fragile physical and social underpinnings of Civita.  

The Civita Institute was founded on the idea that architecture and preservation, environmental stewardship, agricultural heritage and cultural exchange are all linked - and that Civita provides a unique setting to experience these connections.