A Commitment Beyond Words

The stated mission of Esperienza is to inspire individuals to discover, live and study in rural Italy thereby promoting appreciation and revitalization of the area. Nice words, but our passion and commitment run far deeper. It all began when Anna Bonavita, our founder, read a New York Times article about the plight of many small towns and villages in Italy. All are special gems, but suffering from a devastating population loss due to changing times. With her own history and love of Italy, Anna decided to do something about it, beginning with the region she knew best. She had a vision of bringing visitors to Pennabilli and Emilia Romagna. There, they’d take part in the local community, learn more about the language, culture and cuisine, and perhaps enjoy deeply immersive and transformative experiences.

Through a coordinated effort with this one local Italian community, and with the help of a small team of passionate Italophiles, she fulfilled that dream. In 2018, some fifty visitors took part in the first language and culinary immersion programs. By all measures, both programs were a resounding success. Most importantly, this first effort has brought renewed optimism to the town and region.

For one interesting perspective, please watch the video below.


A special message from the mayor of Pennabilli, Mauro Giannini:


“I had incredibly high expectations. Pennabilli and the entire Esperienza actually exceeded them. “
— Andy W.