Program, Fees and Scholarships

Learning Experience

The student’s experience will be in three main axis of activities:


Hands-on construction is the backbone of the Building Beauty. Students engage in direct construction from the first to the last day of the program. In the first semester they study and map historical building techniques, ornament and materials, to then engage in a full-scale in-lab reconstruction of, for example a wall, a vault, an arch, a window frame, or a combination of those. In the second semester, students design and build a project.


Seminars follow a “cenacolo” (“dinner circle”) format: world leading scholars and professionals from a range of different areas of science and arts come and first work with the students in the building site; then they reflect on what building means from their own point of view, and finally sit and share dinner with students, staff and external visitors in one of the marvellous monastery’s indoor halls or outdoor terraces (depending on the weather). The aim is to create a relaxed and informal atmosphere that allows guest staff and students to exchange ideas and feelings in the most appropriate way, and to inform networking at a deeper level.


A series of workshops aimed at raising our awareness of our own individual and collective feelings. Feelings will be explored in relation to space, the body-mind, and the way they interact in the hands-on physical work of making artefacts. This line of activity is meant to provide the knowledge required to observe, understand and act within a complex system where elements have both individual and interrelated value, and where observation, understanding and action are related to our experience of such elements and their interrelation. Feelings are the gateway that connect our deep self to the external world: learning to name and recognize them, trust them, and live with them, is crucial to our ability to work with others and with the structure of the land.

Finally, two major events will conclude the program:

  • In the “Theory of Beauty Conference” students discuss their experience with world leaders from academia as well as the profession in an international and interdisciplinary conference.
  • In the “Cisternino Summer School”, a two-weeks residential stage in an old “masseria” (country house) close to the village of Cisternino in Puglia, students will learn from a local master-builder the construction technique of the traditional “trulli” houses.
Entitlement To Apply
The course is open to individuals holding a Laurea (Bachelor) or equivalent experience in architecture or indeed any other area of knowledge in Science, Humanities and the Arts.
The course is accredited by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR). It offers 60 credits (or European Credits Transfer System), equivalent to 120 UK/USA credits, over 24 teaching weeks running from November to end of May.
Tuition Fees and Accommodation
Tuition fees will be updated soon
Interested students: Please check regularly as information on this page is subject to continuous update.
Sponsors: If you wish to support with a donation, please get in touch with Maggie Moore Alexander at .
Alexander Family Scholarship
Entry profile: Female students
Deadline for applications: July 31st 2017
Amount: $5,000 USD
Form: Contribution to FeesThe Alexander Family Scholarship is offered by Maggie, Lily and Sophie Alexander in support of women from any course of studies, compliant with the program’s entry conditions, who demonstrate good learning capability, a strong commitment to building beauty that changes lives, and engagement with the ethos of the program. With this scholarship, the Alexander Family celebrates the extraordinary educational history of the place, particularly sensitive to the role of women in community and society.

Applicants are required to submit a complete CV and a Supporting Case explaining why they want to attend the course. Moreover, shortlisted applicants may be requested to make themselves available for a personal Skype meeting with Building Beauty staff. The documents must be submitted to by 18:30 (Rome time) of July 31st 2017.

Learning Structure

Credits By Taught Modules and Classes

Typical Study Week By Semester

Summer School and Conference
The Program includes a Summer School in an ancient “masseria” (“country house”) in Cisternino (Puglia), where students learn the traditional “trulli” construction technique from an experienced local master-builder.The Summer School is the final event fo the program, an intensive building experirence as much as a celebration of one year of achievements and intense life. A joyful farewell to Building Beauty.

The Objective Nature of Beauty Conference 2018

The production of research outputs is encouraged and supported as part of the ordinary course of activities at the Building Beauty course.

The Objective Nature of Beauty Conference wishes to be a unique occasion to explore beauty from different perspectives. What generates it? How do things become beautiful? Why do we tend to respond well to certain configurations and less so to others? Why is beauty strictly connected to life? What we can learn from nature where beauty is generated without effort?

Also, we wish to explore why the contemporary world has lost the capability to understand and generate beauty, and if the nature of beauty can be explored as a matter of science for the XXI Century.

This event is open to scholars, researchers, and students with different backgrounds who wish to share and discuss experiences and their work in an International context.