Italy Design/Build: Masonry Restoration

View Syllabus

Spend two weeks in the Italian Alps helping restore 500 year-old vernacular stone buildings and learning design skills necessary for this restoration and for any restoration you may subsequently tackle on your own.

Yestermorrow has collaborated with the Canova Association since 2010 in the preservation and adaptive re-use of abandoned stone buildings throughout the Ossola Valley, north of Lago Maggiore and Milan. Projects have included a small water-powered mill, a barn, a communal laundry, a stone oven and a vaulted cantina. Much of our work is focused on restoring the abandoned village of Ghesc.

No prior skills are required to take the course, which is taught in English, and an ability to engage in modest hiking is desirable. The masonry work is tailored to each individual’s physical ability. This course is a combination of masonry construction, historic preservation, adaptive re-use, natural building techniques and the application of the design/build philosophy. You will enjoy field trips, good food, and spectacular accommodations at Villa Raghezzi. Lodging is included in the tuition price, however food and flights are not. Students are responsible for organizing their own travel.

Info Session Presentation and Q&A

Field Project References:

  • Sketches of the site map and Ghesc.
  • Click here for an update on the work and happenings in Domodossola in 2015. 



AIA Credit Courses


All levels


  • Sterling College: 5 Continuing Education Units ($650 additional)
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA): 133 HSW Learning Units

Related Courses