The field school participants will live in an agriturismo (a working farm with a hotel and restaurant), called Le Colline, located very close to the Vacone villa site (< 2 km). Le Colline has apartments of two to six people, each apartment with a separate bathroom. The agriturismo has internet access. All meals will be provided at the agriturismo for staff and students Sunday dinner through Friday lunch as part of the program costs. Students will have to pay for their own meals at other times (Friday dinner through Sunday lunch), from the agriturismo or elsewhere. Students will also be able to visit the town of Vacone regularly.

Mosaic of photos of Le Colline showing bedroom, exterior, and dining room.

Students are encouraged to travel to Rome or other nearby locales on most weekends. On Friday afternoon, staff will provide transportation for students to a nearby train-station (Poggio Mirteto) for a direct train into Rome (ca. 45 minutes); likewise, they will pick up returning students on Sunday late afternoon. The exception will be the last weekend when students will stay until Sunday morning, with meals and accommodation paid for by the program costs.

Mosaic of photos of the village of Vacone showing the hilly landscape, the streets and its cream colored brick buildings.


Participants should be prepared to work hard physically as part of the field school. Muscle power is what moves the earth around as we excavate the remains. We use pick-axes, shovels, hand-picks, trowels and brushes to remove the earth, and we move it away from the trenches with wheelbarrows. At the end of the project, we must “backfill” the trenches with sand, geotextile and more dirt, all by hand. While we work early in the day to avoid the hot Mediterranean sun and encourage you to drink lots of water and take other precautions, it still gets hot. Because of all this, you must be reasonably physically fit to participate in the field school.

Students peering up from excavation site and dust off earth from the ruins.

We start working on site at 7am and stop ca. 1:30pm for lunch at the agriturismo. We have a snack-break in the middle of the workday, ca. 10am. About two or three days a week, we meet again ca. 430pm to work in the small finds lab (cleaning and sorting pottery and other finds taken from the site) or we have lectures and discussion. When we don’t need to meet for this, you can have that afternoon time off until dinner and then after dinner.

Quiet time at the agriturismo MUST be respected between 1130pm and 600am.

On work-days, Breakfast is at 6:00am, Lunch is at 2:00pm, and Dinner is at 8:00pm.

Mosaic of photos of students using survey equipment, maps, and measurement tools.Group photo of the 2014 field school participants on a hillside