In September 2018, I completed a writing residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre in Northern Italy. COVID-19 brought all events at the Centre to a screeching halt for an extended period of time. The Centre is gradually reopening. Announcements about residencies and workshops are forthcoming. Updates about the Centre's activities are posted here:
The grounds of the Bellagio Centre are located on a 50-acre promontory of land on Lake Como. The villa provides a spectacular vista of the lake, granite mountains, and small villages dotting the area. Walking paths on the grounds wend through clusters of pine trees, the ruins of an old castle, olive and cypress trees, and gorgeous flowering bushes. Church bells ring out from the village at noon each day, providing a calming interlude from intense writing. From the balcony of my study room, I had a panoramic view. Dr. Saleem Ali described the intent and purpose of the Bellagio Centre, and captured the beauty of the area in his article, which first appeared in Springer Nature, August 22, 2021. See https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/blog/human-connections-conferences-and-sustainability/.
The Bellagio Centre is a perfect setting to deepen reflections, foster creativity, and sharpen writing. The month-long residency provided me with many opportunities for inspiring conversations with fellow residents: novelists, poets, non-fiction writers, and scientists. The experience gave me the boost I needed to seriously embark on penning my memoir.