Casa Cares – Reatreat and Group Meeting Center
Discovering Italy, Tuscany and Tuscan Rural Life
A stay at Casa Cares offers an exceptional experience. The Villa I Graffi, in use by Casa Cares Children’s Home from 1971-1975 and then from 1983 as a guest house of the Waldensian Reformed Church of Italy, is a historical building begun perhaps in the 15th century on a 2000-year-old Roman road. No luxury villa, the work building was once the buzzing hub of a sharecropping farm to which belonged numerous sharecropper houses.
Everyone knows of Tuscany and its sights. It is rare in the world to have such a concentration of natural and man-made beauty, thanks in part to being, along with Classical Greece, one of the two highest points of artistic expression in Western Civilization. Through lectures and day trips participants learn of and experience the artistic heritage of the region.
But that is just a part of the program. What happened to the sharecropping system? Why were there more children in children’s homes in Italy than in any other country in the world? How did Italy become a major political battleground between East and West during the Cold War? What was involved in the transformation and what are the consequences for Italy as it moved from a country of emigrants to a country of immigrants? How is interreligious dialog in the most culturally Catholic country of the world? What might “culturally Catholic” even mean?
On the calendar are lectures of local politicians, church leaders, and social scientists. In addition Casa Cares’ organic farmer will share his perspective on his work and Italian agriculture. Tuscan cooking is at home here, permitting knowledge and tastes from our farm as well as of Chianti wine, Vin Santo, extra virgin olive oil, the traditional saltless bread, the ribollita, the panzanella….
In a short time we are immersed in Tuscany with the only exception a visit to Umbria and Assisi, another of Central Italy’s treasures.