Be good, behave yourself, no drugs or civil disobedience, ok? Drink responsibly, work hard, if you need help or advice, please just ask us for it.

Contact phone numbers for this summer to be announced.

Painter Point is the JSS in Civita information center. Its location and hours for the coming summer, to be announced.

To download a PDF of  this handbook click here.

Pharmacy: the main pharmacy in the center of town is Filizzola, Via di Corte 3/5. They have common remedies for colds, fever etc. for which a prescription is not required. Some common ailments that would require a prescrition in the US do not require one here (e.g. pink eye).  We are fortunate to have Jenny as part of our Painter Point team: she is a Red Cross nurse. There is an English speaking doctor who often works at the Emergency Room – Dr. Franco Cetrelli. We’d all like to avoid visits to the emergency room.  If you are staying at the Relais, the reception desk should be your first point of contact if you feel unwell and in an emergency, especially at night. The hotel desk can call the local doctor on call to come there in dire circumstances.

Wherever your accommodations with us, if you feel unwell and may need medical attention, immediately go to the Hotel Relais Falisco desk and to get the help you need as quickly as possible, and in English or with a translator. Stay hydrated! Buy and use Polase or similar electrolyte product daily. It works! Alternatively bring Nuun or similar tablets from the US for this purpose.
The pharmacy also sells sun-screen, mosquito repellents, toothpaste etc, but generally at prices higher than those at a large supermarket like the Coop. If you see a line of customers inside at Filizzola, be sure to take a number from the machine by either door as you enter.

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Your non-Italian or American cell phone might work here, but you might see very high service charges. If you want to buy and use an Italian chip that lets you use your iPhone/iPad, there is a process we have established at the local Euronics store. It is somewhat streamlined, but might still seem cumbersome. We know. This is Italy.

Make or take a black and white photocopy of the business page of your passport to Euronics in the Centro Marcantoni shopping center.  Before heading over to the store, on the front of the photocopy write the following information: your full name, followed by Relais Falsico Hotel, Via Don Minzoni below your name (for convenience everyone will give that temporary address), also put your SIGNATURE on that below the addresss, and include the model of phone or iPhone you want to use for phone/internet service. You can use the lowest priced option for your stay (all inclusive, preferably Tre/3 since Wind has quirky known incompatibilities with the iPhone), which should be 8-10 euro per month. You pay at the register (cassa) and the option should cost 15-20 euro: it includes 5 euro of traffic normally, plus set up. It should be active by the end of the day in which you buy it.

Set out across the Ponte Clementino and head straight up the Via della Repubblica. The shopping center entrance is on the corner over the road, after the newspaper kiosk on the LHS. Cross carefully and ascend to the upper floor of the shopping center. Euronics is open 10-1 and 4-8 p.m. (closed for lunch like most of Italy). They are open Saturday, but not Sunday.

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There are SO MANY places to get to on foot to paint  from. Israel’s map is a great guide to all of the folllowing.

Across from the hotel entrance and up a bit toward the church is a little alleyway that leads to the VIA DEL TIRATORE. Excellent perch from which to paint Monte Soratte.

Cemetery: walk along Via della Repubblica (over the bridge and straight on) on the RHS of the road. Pass the large, unshaded construction site on the RHS and turn right onto Via Tenderini opposite the ENI gas station. Walk to the end of that short street and the cemetary entrance is there on the left. Note that taking photographs inside the cemetery is prohibited (who knows why????), but I have not heard that painting is. Next to the cemetery is the deconsecrated church, formerly the cemetery church. It’s lovely inside. Alessandra or I could get you in to see the newly refurbed inside (now a toilet/sink showroom of the Art Ceram factory). The facade is by Giacomo della Porta.

If you sneak down the little road off to the right of the Art Ceram administration building here, either into the olive trees or under the parking structure that faces Monte Soratte, you can paint the view. This is private property so tread lightly!

Celle: Accessed by walking straight down Via della Repubblica (at a certain point it changes name to Via Terni) on the RHS of the road. Turn right off the main road after a store on the LHS called MONDO FIORI. Follow that road, called Via di Celle, for about a mile – it curves to the right, pass over the railroad tracks and eventually it runs right into a tufa wall. Over that wall is a grand 1920s estate on whose property are magnificent oak trees and an line of pines leading up to it. Turning right there takes you under a medieval arch and toward the no longer visible Temple of Juno – the holiest site of the Faliscans. Worth wandering down if the path is clear enough to walk on. Take care because the path is not maintained, and it is steep and stony and small stones cause many spills here. Beyond the remains of the temple and off to the right is a recently cleared medieval arched bridge (ask Vincenzo to take you down there one day if he has spare time).

Via Terrano: follow the walkway from the entrance to the fort toward the valley behind the fort itself on the Castellaccio side, at the end of the paved path, head straight over onto the dirt path in front of you. At the end of the dirt path, turn right and after 50 meters you’ll be on the Terrano bridge (in use since Faliscan times). Continue around the bend and up the other side. It was from this area that Corot painted the fort. If you keep walking you’ll find other scenic spots. After Tenuta Terrano (LHS), continue on toward the bottom of a hill and there are more rocky outcroppings on your right hand side (this can also be reached by car). If you hit the main road you’ve gone too far.

If the dirt path short-cut is closed you will instead need to take Via Roma and turn right onto Via Terrano. At the bottom of the hill you will see the Castellaccio in front of you. Follow the road as it curves to the left over the Ponte Terrano.


Vignale: Descending from the center on foot past the hospital (direction Via Flamina), at the base of hill, across from the hairpin turn signed for Castel Sant’Elia, is a recently restored building that serves as gatehouse to the Vignale site. It is ostensibly a public site, but there is a locked gate at the bottom of the access road. During the summer that gate should be left unlocked. If it is not, please let us know at the Painter Point and we will contact the town hall to make sure it is unlocked.

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So many places to see a few of which are accessible using the local COTRAL bus system. These include: Faleria, Calcata, Mopnte Gelato (waterfalls and park beyond Calcata), Nepi, Castel Sant’Elia. Viterbo too, as well as Caprarola, Bagnaia, all the little V towns. Note that leaving times are fairly accurate since buses originate at the depot in CC, but times returning are dependant on traffic encountered as the buses return from the other end of their routes at Saxa Rubra in Rome. Never arrive late to the bus stop! Best stop in CC is across from the small railway station over the bridge in front of the appliance store and repair shop. There is a bus stop sign there. Tickets can be bought from tobacco shops in advance and must be stamped in the machine as you enter the bus. The driver does not sell tickets. Weekday schedule (feriale) is Monday through Saturday. Sundays and holidays are limited (festivo). The bus to Nepi passes through Castel Sant’Elia and these two towns are very close to each other.

Getting to Rome: There are many options. Sample tickets, schedules (where there appear to be any) can be consulted at the Metroma ticket office/waiting room over the Ponte Clementino, online for the Borghetto station (Civita Castlellana/Magliano Sabina), and advice and ticket examples will be available at the Painter Point. Metroma trains start as early as 5 a.m. or so and the first half hour is breath-taking, cool and empty. They will get you to Rome in plenty of time to see the entire central area on foot before most tourists are even awake and before the heat is stultifying. Highly recommended. 

COTRAL INFORMATION (at CC depot, from 4 a.m.!): 0761 518234


TO CASTEL SANT’ELIA weekday departures from CC – 740, 905, 1345, 1450, 1630, 1740, 1845

FROM CASTEL SANT’ELIA weekdays – 1205, 1425, 1520, 1810, 1855, 2245

TO CASTEL SANT’ELIA – Sunday and holidays — 930, 1300

FROM CASTEL SANT’ELIA – Sunday and holidays – 1425, 1705, 2010, 2220

TO NEPI weekday departures from CC – 740, 905, 1345, 1450, 1630, 1740, 1845

FROM NEPI weekdays – 1200, 1420, 1515, 1805, 1850, 2240


FROM NEPI – 1420, 1700, 2005, 2215

Calcata: Mazzano is a little further along from Calcata and served by this same bus which normally continues on to Rome Saxa Rubra. Likewise Faleria is a stop or two before Calcata. It has a picturesque falling down castle. Read Calcata times for departures from CC and return times are the same as Calcata + 5 minutes. Calcata Nuova is a 20 minute walk all downhill into the old town along a staircase that is signposted from the large parking lot in town. This is also the place to find and park in if you go to Calcata by car on a weekend day. It is no longer possible to park on the main road. Be warned that it’s quite a hike back up to that parking lot from the old town in the heat! Shops and restaurants are generally only open on weekends and there is little to see (but maybe enough to paint) during the week.

TO CALCATA  – weekday departures from CC – 620, 915 (Calcata Nuova only), 1230, 1320, 1425, 1440 (Calcata Nuova only) 1635

FROM CALCATA – weekdays – 1515, 2110

TO CALCATA  FROM CC- Sundays, holidays – 620, 1645

FROM CALCATA – Sundays , holidays – 940, 1950

Sample COTRAL ticket prices:

Nepi roundtrip (andata/ritorno): 2.20 euros

Castel Sant’Elia (a/r): 2.20 euros

Calcata (a/r) 2.60 euros

Faleria (a/r) 2.60 euros

Mazzano (a/r) 4.40 euros

Cotral bus tickets are most easily acquired at the bar at the in-town Civita Castellana train station. It opens very early in the morning. You need a round trip ticket (andante ritorno). Just tell the person behind the bar your destination town and ask for a biglietto (bill-YET-toe).

Viterbo: Stunning city with plenty to paint! If you want to go there for a day you can take the little puttputt train from just after the bridge. Round trip ticket costs 5.60 euros and can be bought at the bar there or at the ticket office at the station. The views along the way are also nice.

To Viterbo:

weekdays (incl Saturday): 612, 639, 902, 1426, 1542, 1706, 1811, 1942

Sunday, holidays: 826,1058, 1621, 1849, 2018

Rome: Lots of transport options to get to Rome. Without car or private bus it’s best to take the COTRAL bus or the trenino from the station after the bridge. Note that this runs mainly at times favoring/serving people who commute to Rome for work. There are many early morning choices to get into Rome and that is the best time to make the trip in summer when heat and crowds later can be overwhelming. The train FROM CC in the morning is always empty when it leaves CC but packed by the time it gets 60 minutes closer to Rome. The last train back from Piazzale Flaminio is about 830 so you can’t really go have dinner in Rome and then get the little train back home.

The one-day pass to Rome by Metroma, state railway (from Borghetto) or by COTRAL costs 9 euros.  It is valid to Rome and back and on all buses, trams and subways in Rome all day. It must be personalized with name and birthdate of ticket holder. It’s called a biglietto giornaliero and needs to be further validated on the first leg of travel by inserting it into the machine on the train before departure.

An “anonymous” monthly pass can be bought for 46 euro, perhaps useful for the month of August. Valid for a calendar month, it can be shared around, one day at a time, and is valid all over Rome, on all modes of transport (but NOT as far as FCO).

Summer departures (outside OF school year) can be further reduced so best to check the CC trains station for the return schedule as all trains and updates are displayed there. Upcoming strike notices are also displayed there, but I think they are very rare in August when most of Italy isn’t working anyway.

To Rome from CC

Weekdays (incl. Saturday)

445, 509, 539, 604, 628, 652, 716, 742, 804, 1034, 1150, 1224, 1500, 1810, 2110

Sunday and holidays:

732, 1057, 1527, 1723, 1851

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Wine and beer is sold in all supermarkets.

San Gallo Market: has a good selection of wine starting at about 2 euro per bottle. There are several places in town that offer wine sfuso – by the liter, customer provides (or buys) a plastic bottle to put it into. For vino sfuso there is also generally a choice of at least four or five types, both red and white. Plastic bottles are available for purchase (and can then be washed and re-used for subsequent purchases). Wine can cost as little as 1.30 per liter and up to 2 euros per liter for more exotic varieties. Expect to pay 40-50 cents for a two liter bottle, and more for a larger one (perhaps one euro for a five-liter bottle).

Vini Mancini: located in the piazza on the right hand side of the road after La Giaretta restaurant and the small roundabout.

Wine Village: on the road leading from the Ponte Clementino (Via Minolfo Masci 12) on a VERY dangerous curve. Once you dodge the cars, they offer five or six types of wine, both red and white at very reasonable prices. I’m personally quite partial to the primitivo. Open Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning. Summer hours 9-13 and 17-20.

Civita Bevande (car required): on Via Terni after the Cotral depot. Larger selection of vino sfuso, good source for group dinners, reachable by car. Also good prices and selection of other alcoholic beverages and wide range of bottled spring water. Parking right out front. Bring plastic or glass jugs to reuse or buy them there. Also a wide range of spirits and beers.

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There is a good laundry service in the new part of town called Lavanderia Lava Asciuga Simona.  We will use the Painter Point as a central location from which Lavanderia Simona will collect laundry in bags and bring your laundry back at the end of the same day, clean, dry and folded. Leave money with your laundry in a plastic shopper of pillowcase labeled with your name – 7 euros for a small load or 10 euros for a large load (up to sixteen kilos – put your sheets and towels and clothes together with a friend’s and split the cost).

For those living in multi-person apartments with washing machines, it is far more convenient to send laundry OUT than to put it into the machines (they tend to be extremely small here, and wash cycles tend to be extremely long). It also saves the time and effort of hanging it out afterwards. Private homes in Italy rarely have a dryer, due to extremely high cost of electricity.

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Use the copisteria behind the town hall for copy and faxing needs. The shop is at Via Largo Cavour 4. From Piazza Matteotti look at the facade of the town hall.  Go down the street that runs from the piazza at the right side of the town hall, and the little copy shop is at the corner on the LHS about 30 meters from the town hall. It is closed Saturday afternoons and during siesta. Aside from straight xeroxing, they can also do enlargements in b/w and in color, print documents from a thumb drive, spiral bind documents and send faxes for you. The shop is run by Loredana and her mother. Sadly, copying is not self-service, but they are accommodating and helpful. Expect to pay 10-15 cents for a b/w copy and upwards of 1 euro for color.

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Civita Music Festival starts in mid July and there will be free concerts occasionally ending around the 27th of July. Most of the concerts will be in the piazza right in front of the Duomo, and all are free. There are a couple at the fort, worth attending just for the location, also free. There should be a number of public posters around soon and brochures blowing around the streets.  Arrive on time for a seat. They all start late and you won’t sleep until the noise stops anyway, so might as well attend!

Treja Cup – July 20th: An inner tube regatta down at the river (Legata). Ask us for walking directions (the parking lot fills up fast). You could also go down there early to paint/picnic and hang around for the race.

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Residents are requested to keep their apartments clean (cleaning supplies will be provided in all apartments), not to attach anything to the walls, not to smoke inside the apartments, not to wash dirty paint brushes in the sinks, not to leave doors or windows open when they are absent from the property, and to be respectful of their neighbors by avoiding noise after 11 p.m. If you do paint where you are living, please be careful to put down plastic to protect the floors, walls, and furniture from splatters.

Owners have been asked to leave minimal quantities of basics to get you started, but you are living independently so be prepared to venture out to replenish:

Toilet paper, salt, sugar, oil/vinegar, bread, and coffee

All apartments should be equipped with a moka pot for making coffee. If you are unsure how to use one, please ask one of the Painter Point people.

All apartments should also have basic cleaning supplies and you should keep your apartment clean.  Folks not staying in Palazzo Morelli or the hotel do not have maid service, though it can be found fairly easily through the Painter Point if necessary.

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Fresh market every week Tuesday and Fridays though it gets pretty sparse as the summer continues. Saturday there is a big market including clothes, shoes, towels etc in the new part of town.

Getting there on foot: cross over the Ponte Clementino and make first LEFT turn onto a road that runs uphill then zags to the right.  At the top of the hill and after the right zag, take the first left turn again (not the private driveway at the top of that slope, but the next actual street) and follow it straight all the way to the end until you run smack into the market.  Head left again for the fresh fruit and vegetables (about 2/3 blocks further along), then explore the rest. Prices are per kilo and most vendors (but not all) allow you to choose your own produce. Take bags to avoid taking ten plastic ones home with you each time. Seasonal vegetables and fruit in season cost less, obviously. There is also generally FISH available there, as well as stands selling meat and cheese.  All of these begin early (most are open by 7 a.m. in summer) and for less crowded conditions and shoving, it’s best to get there about 8 a.m. Stands start to close about noon. Around August 15th the market may dwindle down to nothing. Stock up on vegetables in preparation for that period.

There are also inexpensive stalls selling used clothing in case you forgot to bring enough disposable painting clothes.

THE COOP is CC’s largest supermarket and a good place to buy food. It is delightfully air-conditioned and includes a fish counter, meat counter, and bakery counter. They are normally open all day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week BUT this summer they have decided to close on Sundays – so shop on Saturday or elsewhere that day. They have continuous hours so no lunchtime closing. The best time to find short lines and few people is during lunchtime, between 2 and 4 p.m. Corner of Via della Repubblica and Via Mazzini in the Centro Marcantoni shopping center.

San Gallo Market – Piazza Matteotti: limited choices, some produce, cheap beer and wine. Lunchtime is again the best time to avoid long, slow lines.  Open Sunday, but only in the morning.

SuperConti: on the Via Terni after the Carabinieri station and opposite the main cemetery and the large parking lot in front of it (obvious due to the presence of cypress trees and tall walls).

Fosco Pesca: Via Petrarca Francesco 28. Excellent fish store in the new part of town, mainly fresh fish but also offering prepared fish dishes. Closed Mondays, open all day, sometimes as early as 7 a.m., continuously from Tuesday-Saturday starting very very early in the morning, except Thursday afternoon. Take a number! On Friday evenings starting at about 6:30/7 p.m. they sell freshly fried calamari and shrimp (or just calamari on request) for 23 euro per kilo. They also sell prepared salads with squid, faro, shrimp, and bags of fresh mussels that they will clean for you if you so request. Good selection of lake fish and other prepared hot dishes but be aware that some of their prepared dishes can tend to be somewhat salty.

Dico: discount supermarket near the veggie stands at the Saturday market but open every day.

Butcher etc: Stefania and neighbor – Via Roma, across from Patrizia’s apartments. Stefania is a butcher but also sells many other things including good bread on Sunday. The store next to her sells good quality vegetables, though not at discounted prices, but he’s conveniently located. Stefania is open late at lunchtime – until 2 p.m. for last minute lunch supplies. Eat is also available at all of the large supermarkets (and at the smaller One-Price store in the main square). Best selection is at the Coop.

Fish: FOSCO PESCA! See JSS in Civita page for address/description

Cheese: Fattoria Cavalieri: See JSS in Civita page for address/description

Bakeries: Most open ONLY in the morning, so buy bread then. The bakery across from Palazzo Belei, La Spiga d’Oro (near the main pharmacy), is also usually open in the afternoon. They sell great ciabatta rolls and amazing crostata that is good for breakfast. Buy bread in the morning, as well as pizza in the bakeries, to take painting and to take along for mid-morning snacks. None of the bakeries are open on Sunday, so buy weekend bread on Saturday.

Other bakeries: Biscotto in Via Garibaldi near Pasticceria Etrusca (mornings only – delicious ricciarelli and biscotti al latte to dip in your morning coffee).

Freshly ground coffee: The little coffee/candy store – Millearomi: proceed out of the main piazza toward the hospital staying on the RHS of the street at all times. After the large brown primary school on your RHS, you will see a large sign on a building across the street “Ristorante”. Across from that sign on your side of the street is a little shop on the corner where coffee is ground and sold by the kilo or half kilo. I get mine “macinato per la moka”. It costs 5 euro for half a kilo and I drink it every morning. He’ll ask if you want nylon inside the bag. Feel free to say no to nylon if you will start to drink it right away. He’ll tell you to pick a candy to eat while you wait.  He very much appreciates exact change as payment.

Forno in Via del Forte (after Piazza della Massa on the LHS) makes outrageously good rosette – flower shaped rolls normally eaten with butter for breakfast in Rome. He is normally willing to sell them as soon as he has them ready – often by 6:30 a.m.  He has a small fridge that stocks milk, butter and cream cheese for sale to accompany your rosette if needed.

Pizzeria Borgiana: over the bridge and cross to the RHS. After the railroad tracks you’ll see the Pizzeria Borgiana on the right. People say they have good, round pizzas and beer in there.

There is also a new pizzeria in the Centro Marcantoni called “La Mela” on the lower level where the Coop is located (closer to the parking lot). This is the only place in town you can eat a round pizza at lunch-time. Restaurants that make pizza never offer pizza at lunch because they would need to light their ovens twice in one day. In Rome, where many tourists request it, pizza is often served in touristy places at lunch, but not outside the large cities.

Pizzeria Ternana: in the new part of town (see JSS page on FB for exact address). Very good pizza, beer on tap, little fried things as well, outdoor seating, about a 20 minute walk from the center).

Il Barcarolo: under the arch near the newspaper stand in the main piazza, same side as One Price, but nestled in that corner. Down the alley about 20 meters on the LHS. I’ve had ok meals there, and really terrible meals there, but it is very cheap. You’ve been warned.

More restaurants are listed on our wikitravel page, as are local places (Il Vizio del Barone, Stappo!) to have a glass of wine at the cocktail hour and watch people go by. Many people favor The Club in the main piazza for this time of day since it has its own wifi network and decent service and people-watching:

Also see:

Finding Your Way Around Civita and Where to Buy Stuff Around Civita

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The water from the faucets is safe to drink and can be used for drinking, cooking, brushing teeth and showering. You can also drink from nasoni around town and refill water bottles there.

There is a fountain in the top parking lot nearest the fort (that little wooden house).  Still water is free, sparkling costs 5 cents a bottle using small coins – less than it costs from the supermarkets and bars. Bring you own bottles or just fill up a 1½ liter bottle in the morning on your way out. Large bottles can be filled there for group events – the same ones you buy to put vino sfuso into.

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Throw your windows and shutters wide open as early in the morning as possible to get cooler air into the house. Once it’s cooler, batten down the hatches, closing and locking windows and shutters if you have them and keeping the apartment cool and dark for as long as humanly possible. A breeze will generally arise as soon as it gets dark, so windows can be thrown open again after dark as well to allow cross breezes through your apartment. It’s hot after lunch. And quiet. Do as the Italians do and rest after lunch if it doesn’t cut too much into your painting time, then restart your day again at 5 p.m. or so. The light is gorgeous between 5 and 7 p.m.

The siesta cannot be avoided. Everything (mostly) will close.

Likewise, August 15th and its aftermath normally signals the closure of EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE FOR AT LEAST A WEEK. Most restaurants will close for a week or two. As we are informed of closing dates, we will share them. Some places now only close for a few days around the August 15th “bank” holiday.

There are local festivals, normally geared to food or music. The town swimming pool sadly closes down for the month of August entirely….

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Yes, there are many of them, always. Use spray, use a Vape at night (they plug in to an outlet and pump out vile-smelling fumes that mozzies hate – pronounced: VAH-PAY). The Vape is not ideal, but it beats mosquito bites. Be sure to unplug it during the day when you go out. Italian windows are not routinely fitted with screens. They just aren’t. Screens are expensive here and an upgrade. They cut down on light. They would also cut down on mosquitoes, but they still are not standard. There are now all-day and all-night mosquitoes. Fans help keep them away while you sleep.  All repellents devices and substances are available in a wide selection at the large Coop supermarket. Stock up!

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Mastro Cencio is one of a few local folks who will happily organize longer walks along Civita’s trails with explanations of flora, fauna, history and philosophy of life, if requested.  Please speak to us at the Painter Point if you are interested in doing long hikes and we will try to help organize something to suit your needs.

Independent Apartment Dwellers: WELCOME!

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We want you to have a productive and pleasant summer here in Civita Castellana, and we are here to help you do that as much as possible. Your apartments will all be quirky and have their own character, drawbacks and glitches. We hope you will all be patient with them and realize that these places are not normally rented out for sojourning painters. It took a serious effort to convince the owners that there might be outsiders who wanted to visit Civita and stay to paint. 

Please note that all the Painter Point people are volunteers, working to make the summer run smoothly, and not employed by the JSS. We are not out to collect your rent or profit from you!

Alison’s and Jenny’s numbers are included in the handbook for your JUDICIOUS use.  Alison is a morning person, Jenny is a normal person.

The Painter Point will be open regularly to give advice, answer your questions and try to explain the unexplainable.

Civita’s door-to-door recycling may begin during your stay. If so, we’ll update you about how this works and explain the recycling schedule.  Stay tuned….

Until that happens, you need to take out your garbage frequently, in any bag available, and drop in into one of the big green cans around the center of town. There is recycling now for paper, cans, glass, and plastic in the very big bins located in only one or two places around town (white for paper, blue for plastic/metal/glass).

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Since you are not here as tourists, your experience will be much more real than it would be if you were staying at the hotel.

Please consult the summer handbook for locations of supermarkets, restaurants, bars, ice cream places, points of interest, market information, how to get an Italian cell phone number, and where to buy wine and other items.

It’s going to be hot. Sometimes very hot. Not many people here have air conditioners. Not only are they expensive to run (electricity is VERY expensive in this country – one of the most expensive countries for power in the world), but sleeping in the draft could KILL YOU instantly (according to Italians). Sort of like opening a window on a hot, smelly, crowded bus or train.  :-0

For you, this means that you should try to save energy in your apartments as much as possible – turn off lights when you leave the room, and unplug chargers and other devices from the wall after use. Electricity costs less at night after 8 p.m. and on weekends, so try to plan recharging for those periods as well, if possible. Refrigerators are small and most people shop every day for fresh fruit and vegetables.

There is no ice anywhere. Strange, but true. The bars have a few cubes, but none to share or sell.  It isn’t sold by the bag at the supermarket or at gas stations.  I smell a marketing opportunity here somewhere.

Eating ice cream (it’s good at Pasticceria Etrusca in Via Garibaldi) is acceptable when it’s hot, especially if you sleep during the hottest part of the day after lunch when no one is out and when almost all the stores will be closed.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER! Water from the faucet is completely drinkable and safe to consume. No need to buy water to cook with. If you prefer fizzy, you can get it at the wooden hut in the main parking lot over the fort bridge, or buy Acqua di Nepi. It’s local and our beverage of choice (if wine is not available). If your apartment has a large enough freezer, keep a big bottle in there to take along while painting.

Another way to stay cooler indoors is to rise early (!) and throw open all of your shutters and windows to allow the cooler night air in.  After an hour or so, and definitely before leaving the house, shut everything up tight again to keep the house cool and dark. Always close all windows before going out – it’s a good idea from a security perspective and also because thunderstorms can happen in hot weather.

There will be plenty of mosquitoes. Get spray to deter them from arms and ankles, and a plug in vaporizer for nighttime if you are tasty to them. Wide selection of both of these, as well as sunblock, is for sale at the Coop supermarket at lower prices than at the pharmacy.

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The internet is neither as freely available nor as fast as it is in many other places. The Club bar in Piazza Matteotti has free wifi (even if you don’t consume anything), but Giovanni won’t mind at all if you do consume while you surf. The wifi at the hotel is intended for hotel guests, so use it unobtrusively and judiciously if not staying there.

We have a semi-streamlined process established with Euronics (in the Marcantoni shopping center above the Coop) to help you obtain an Italian chip for your iPhone/iPad/smartphone. Full details are in the handbook, or at the Painter Point. It costs about 10 euro per month, plus set up charges.

There is also a wikitravel page that has been growing since last summer and includes new places to eat and drink. As we know when August closing dates will be, those will updated on the wiki page:

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Civita is a fairly tranquil town, but it is still Italy! Avoid doing anything that would get you in trouble, obviously: drugs, disturbing the peace, over-indulging in alcohol. It is also wise not to invite local people to your apartment. If socializing, best to do that in public.

Young women are strongly urged not to paint alone in remote areas – it is always best to have a buddy nearby, within shouting distance. The Painter Point has whistles that you are welcome to take and use to draw attention to yourself in circumstances that make you nervous. If painting somewhere remote that you hike to, it is best to have a cell phone handy for emergencies.

Carry copy of passport with you as ID at all times, not your passport. The Carabinieri can stop you at any time and ask you for ID. Best to make sure you have something to show them, just in case.

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You are living independently and so responsible for the orderliness and cleanliness of your apartment and room, as well as the washing of your sheets and towels. Please treat your apartment respectfully: this is crucial to the continued cooperation of the property owners who are our partners and who we dearly hope will continue to be partners in future years.

++Do not smoke in your apartments

++Attach nothing to the walls

++Paint at your apartment only after protecting floors, walls, and furniture with drop cloths (available from Mozzicarelli, Mezzanotte)

++Don’t put your feet on the walls, especially if wearing shoes

++Clean paint brushes at the hotel brush washing station or at the studio, and not in your kitchen and bathroom sinks

++Close all windows/shutters before leaving your apartment and lock the front door

++Be mindful of neighbors and avoid making noise after 11 p.m.

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The studio is to be used for working and no one is allowed to sleep overnight in the building. Daytime naps are permitted. 

Please respect the boundaries dividing the studio space (basically the paved area in FRONT of the building as you enter) from the sides and rear of the building. If you will be driving to, and parking at, the building a key to the large gate can be provided to you if desired.

If you want to go to the edge of the ravine to paint, or beyond the studio space boundaries in any direction, please do not do so without first asking permission from the owner.

If you want music to paint by, please make sure that all other painters are in agreement about it. Otherwise, it is best to use an iPod or similar personal device.

Please respect the privacy of the other painters with whom you are sharing space as well as the privacy of any models in the building. We want to preserve the sense of peace, tranquility and concentration at the studio.

Please leave the studio by 11 p.m. and do so quietly so as not to disturb the owner, neighbors or neighbors’ dogs.

DO NOT flush anything down the toilet that is NOT toilet paper. Bins in the women’s will be provided. The plumbing is delicate and the system is septic. The toilet in the cubicle with the sink does not flush reliably, so please use only the two toilets: men and women.

Before leaving at night, please disconnect plugs of your electrical devices from their sockets and turn off overhead lights and fans if in use. The main electrical panel is located in the fishbowl office and switches are labeled in English.

The side door is an EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY.

Obviously, there is no smoking allowed in the studio building.  Please dispose of cigarette butts safely outdoors since summers are dry and fire risk is high.

Please do not dispose of food waste in the studio garbage cans. If you bring food in, please take your food waste and packaging out with you again and dispose of it elsewhere.

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Brushes: Remove as much paint as possible from your brush using paper towels.

Then use a small amount of turpentine or acquaragia (it is called odorless, but it still produces noxious fumes).

Soak brushes in a clean container with the solvent. Once the paint sediment has settled out into the bottom of this soaking container, pour the clean liquid off into another container and dispose of sediment responsibly.

Once most paint, as sediment, is gone, wash the brushes thoroughly under running water in a sink using liquid soap or the blocks of marsiglia soap provided.

No solvents should ever be poured down the sink, toilet, or outside on the ground.

Cleanup: Bottles and cans of paint thinner, turpentine, acquaragia, and other fume-producing liquids should be kept closed to avoid fumes in the shared workspace. Individual studios should be kept clean and tidy and left for other painters in the condition in which they were found.

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Security is the responsibility of everyone using the building. You will have a key to the small outside gate. Please do not allow anyone you do not know or recognize to enter there or to enter the studio building at any time or invite outsiders into the space.

Loss of personal property is not the responsibility of JSS. Watch your valuables and we strongly suggest that you not leave anything of value at the studio building at any time, but especially not over night.

Last painter out at night is requested to be sure that all solvent soaked rags and paper towels are removed from inside the building and placed outside in the metal container to avoid any potential fire risk. One window on each end of the building should be left open overnight to allow cool night air into the space, and closed again in the morning to keep the fresh, cool air inside the studio building.

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The Relais is Civita’s only hotel. It’s a four-star hotel and the staff pride themselves on providing a high level of service and professionalism.

In order to ensure both your comfort and their continued cooperation, the manager has suggested that we communicate the following to all painters this summer:


By law, the hotel needs to have your passport for the first evening of your stay to make a formal (legally required) report of your registration to the police. They do nothing nefarious with it. Once returned to you, it is best to leave it in your room or the hotel safe, if you prefer, and to carry a Xerox of the main page of your passport with you at all times in case you are asked for ID. Please do not attach anything to the walls in your room with tape, thumbtacks, glue or any other substance.

The hotel offers its guests breakfast every morning. Water served at breakfast is to be consumed at breakfast. Please do not request a large bottle of water to take out painting with you from the breakfast servers. Large bottles can be refilled in fountains around town, or bought in supermarkets.

The hotel management asks that you treat the furniture in your room and in all of their public rooms as you would treat the furniture in your grandmother’s house.

If you buy food and/wine/beer to consume at the hotel, please consume it either in your room or discreetly in the courtyard, and not in public areas and lounges of the hotel.

The maids would be most grateful if you can leave your room in a state that allows them to make your bed and tidy each day.  It’s much appreciated if you could unpack your suitcases and leave the floor clear so it can be vacuumed.

Your sheets will be changed every three days, and your towels as needed. To avoid unnecessary washing of towels, please hang them to dry in your bathroom after use. Planet earth thanks you!

The hotel is air-conditioned so please be sure to close your windows before leaving your room for the day to avoid loss of cool air and an influx of thirsty and vicious mosquitoes.

Internet/wifi is available at the hotel for the hotel guests. They are happy for other painters to use the service briefly, but to be aware that it can be slow, and even slower if being accessed by many people. There are other places to use wifi in town if you are not a guest of the hotel. Please consult the Painter Point for locations and for an explanation of how to buy your own temporary phone chip locally that will allow you to use your smartphone, Phone, or iPad here during your stay.

Brushes and Paints:

Please do not paint in your room, or clean paintbrushes in your room, or leave paint brushes or paints in your room. Your easels and brushes can be left overnight in an upstairs conference room that will be indicated to you by the staff at the reception desk.

Please clean your brushes at the new brush washing station in the parking area of the hotel and not in the decorative fountain, bathrooms, or rooms of the hotel or restaurant.

The hotel staff, being unaccustomed to dealing with paint, requests that you try to avoid going to bed covered in paint! Baby wipes, readily available in supermarkets, easily remove traces of oil paint and help greatly to avoid staining sheets. Remember those tick checks at camp? 


Your valuables should never be left unattended (even charging) in public rooms of the hotel or with the reception desk, because staff is sometimes absent from the desk leaving it unsupervised. They are your responsibility at all times.

Missing or lost items must be mentioned to your teacher or a member of the hotel staff immediately. The hotel has a safe, and is happy to allow you to use it to store your cash and/or passport if you wish.

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