The the Permaculture Italian Academy and the Permaculture Festival in Bolsena

presents the first

European Permaculture Convergence (EUPC) in Italy.


From the 7th to the 11th September 2016 in Bolsena (VT)

there will be meetings, debates, workshops, events
with participants and speakers from all over the world.

The EUPC 2016 main theme is “Permaculture: A Living Community”,
for 5 days of learning and fun in the beautiful Bolsena.

Download here the EUPC MAP






Permaculture and EUPC

During such an age featuring a shrinking in natural resources pushed by the development of human settlement, it becomes crucial to create an integrated approach to resource management able to harmonize natural environment and human settlement.

Within the environmentalist movement Permaculture is a bottom- up system of management of human-shaped landscape able to meet primary needs of mankind in a frame of preservation of the richness and resilience of natural habitats. Conceived first as a set of farming techniques aiming to maintain the natural fertility of the ground, later on Permaculture has indeed become an integrated system of design including several fields such as Architecture, Economics, Ecology and Law systems for enterprises and communities.

“A culture cannot survive for long without sustainable farming foundations and an ethics on the exploitation of soil”: it is indeed this sentence, coined by Bill Mollison (1928), an Australian scientist and biologist, considered as the father of Permaculture alongside with David Holgrem (1955 – ), to sum up the philosophy of Permaculture.

Elaborated at the end of the 1970’s, the principles of Permaculture have been implemented since the early 1980’s, leading to the arrangement of buildings and villages based on these principles and of epistemic communities pursuing their preservation and further spread all over the world.

The European Permaculture Convergence (henceforth EUPC) is a series of conferences taking place any other year during which the experts of Permaculture coming from all over Europe share their knowledge, experiences, methodologies and projects in Permaculture and related fields.

EUPC takes place any two years and has a duration of 5/6 days whose the first 3/4 are usually centered on Convergence and the last day is centered on the Festival. During the Convergence the experts of Permaculture coming from the host country organize other events, such as conferences, workshops, briefings, storytelling, lab sessions, shows with music and dances, in compliance with the ethics and principles of Permaculture.

Any European country can host EUPC through its associations of experts of Permaculture before submitting a request to the Council of Permaculture (www.permaculturecouncil.eu), an umbrella organization which has organized 12 EUPC conferences since 1992.


Anno Luogo Titolo Report
1992 Germany EUPC 1
1994 United Kingdom EUPC 2
1996 Prinzhofte, Germany EUPC 3
1998 Slovenia EUPC 4
2000 Czech Republic EUPC 5
2002 Slovakia EUPC 6
2004 Czech Republic EUPC 7
2006 Brno, Czech Republic EUPC 8
2008 Hostetin, Czech Republic EUPC 9
2010 Nethen, Belgium EUPC 10 report
2012 Eschenrode, Germany EUPC 11
2014 Batak Lake, Bulgaria EUPC 12

In 2016 the next EUPC edition is taking place in Bolsena, Italy.

During the meeting which took place on June 3rd 2015 in Florence, to which all the participants to the italian organization of EUPC 2016 took part, “Permaculture: A Living Community” was chosen as the title and the main theme of EUPC 2016.

The choice of Bolsena as location of the event shows fit because since the Etruscan Age the Lake of Bolsena and the neighboring areas have always been a meaningful example of symbiosis between nature and human life thanks to the setting of human interventions aiming to create a balanced harmony with nature and to avoid the arousal of negative impacts on the environment.


Permaculture: A Living Community

The topic of EUPC 2016 is “Permaculture: A Living Community”.
The key words of the event are going to be:

·      Ethical principles
·      Being/Living
·      Existing Community
·      Devising the Present

Many speakers are going to be invited to the Event and they are going to share their expertise about Permaculture with a large audience. These panellists are going to talk about the essential topics of Permaculture, how human interventions impact natural habitats, the “Holy Economics” and the tradition of giving presents, the character of “community builder”, the lifestyle of Italian experts of Permaculture – being either scholars or simply dedicated to Permaculture but not owning a specific education on that.

Moreover, several activities allowing the “creation of community” are going to be organised (i.e. lab sessions, archaeological labs, Restoration labs, lake fishing, folk music and dances, circuses for kids etc.).

The organisation of an event has its roots in the previous EUPC editions: the 2016 edition has indeed its roots in the International Permaculture Convergence taking place in London in September 2015


What is Permaculture?

“A human civilization cannot survive for a long time if it is not founded upon sustainable farming and ethical management of the land” (Mollison, 1974)

This sentence by Bill Mollison sums up the essence of Permaculture: an integrated approach to resource management covering a number of subjects and techniques ranging from Agriculture to Architecture, City Planning, Biology, Forestry and Zootechnics and aiming to create human- shaped landscapes in order to meet the basic needs of population.

The method of Permaculture was first explained by the Australian scientists Bill Mollison and David Holgrem in their works Permaculture 1 and Permaculture 2, published respectively in 1978 and 1979. At that time the scientific community was already aware of the negative impact that the Industrial Progress was yielding on the natural resources, consisting in a shrinking of the energy sources, the reduction of the wellness of population and the reduction of biodiversity. The contribution given by the works by Mollison and Holgrem to the scientific literature concerning the implementation of solutions to the issue of impoverishment of natural resources stands out among the others because it arranges an all-inclusive approach to the issue, which is not limited to the description of farming techniques but further expands to the proposal of the fusion of tasks belonging to human settlement, such as construction, site planning, energy and water management and community building, with growing plants for farming and activities involving the exploitation of raw materials. Hence the integrated approach of Permaculture.

Permaculture from theory to practice

The ethics underlying Permaculture is based on three principles:

  1. Care for the earth
  2. Care for the people
  3. Return of surplus

Switching from the theoretical principles to space devising, Holgrem summed the principles of Permaculture in twelve points:

  1. Observe and interact
  2. Catch and store energy
  3. Obtain a yield
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services
  6. Produce no waste
  7. Design from patterns to details
  8. Integrate rather than segregate
  9. Use small and slow solutions
  10. Use and value diversity
  11. Use edges and value the marginal
  12. Creatively use and respond to change
Italian Academy of Permaculture

The Italian Academy of Permaculture is a non-profit organisation aiming to favour the spread of Permaculture in Italy by offering courses of “Applied Permaculture Design”, by working alongside with other well-known Associations and experts of Permaculture and through setting up conferences in other Institutions too.

Any 6 months the Academy organises meetings between teachers, apprentices and amateurs in different places. These meetings are called “Plenaries” and they are the chance to exchange experiences and ideas, in order to spread the knowledge of Permaculture under mutual supervision, in order to show one’s own experience of Active Learning.

Active Learning is a path leading to the Diploma in “Applied Permaculture Design”. The study plan, which integrates theory and practice, follows this circular trend: to do > to observe > to think > to project > to do …

The path of Active Learning lasts at least 2 years and during such a path the student is required to make a project showing their skills to implement the ethics and principles of Permaculture completely and showing their expertise through using a number of tools of project making, new instruments and skills.

For information concerning Active Learning have a look to the website of the Italian Association of Permaculture: http://www.permacultura.it/ > Cosa fa l’Accademia > Diploma di Progettazione in Permacultura Applicata.


Bolsena Lake


Bolsena Lake is an interesting touristic hub, where the natural variety melts with the richness in art and the archaeological heritage.

Fifth Lake for size in Italy, the Lake is located in a volcanic caldera which was created by the crumbling of Vulsinio and soon flooded by rains.

The waters of the Lake are affected by two main natural processes: sudden changes in the water level (similar to tides but, unlike these, not foreseeable) and freak waves.

The habitat of the Lake is rich in animal species. Among fishes you can find the Whitefish, the Pike, the European Perch, the Largemouth Bass, the Common Carp, the Doctor Fish, the Common Rudd and the Big-scale sand smelt. Policies of Animal protection have favoured the presence of a large variety of waterfowls, often migratory.

The Lake is also particularly rich in vegetable species. Along the coasts lie woods of oaks and on the hills lie chestnuts and grapevines, olive trees and vegetables.

The verdant nature, the stunning landscapes and the mild climate of the area have always pushed people to practise outdoor sports, such as trekking, cycling, sailing, canoeing, game fishing, paragliding etc.

The lovers of walking on hills can go deep into the historical memory of this Italian corner, by walking along the Medieval path of Via Francigena or following the footprints of Swindlers on Sentiero dei Briganti.

Bolsena and its neighbourhood

The mild climate of the area around the Lake, featuring warmer winters and less sweltering summers than in the hinterland, has always favoured the human settlement so that on the banks on the Lake lie several villages.

First of all, the town after which the Lake is named: Bolsena. Founded by the Etruscans and taken over by the Romans in 264 BC, Bolsena still looks as picturesque as it did during the Middle Ages. On nearby hills woods of oaks, chestnut trees and hornbeams work as the backdrop of Etruscan necropolises. On the coasts of the Lake there are many restaurants where you can have typical dishes and wines.

Not to be missed are the celebrations on Saint Christina’s Day, happening on July 23rd of each year. The inhabitants of the village, disguised as Ancient Romans, honour the Saint through the Mysteries, plays recalling Christina’s martyrdom through a tens of plastic scenes on temporary stages arranged in the town centre.

Worthy of a visit is Capodimonte, a village located on a picturesque promontory on the south-western banks of the Lake.

During the 16th century Capodimonte was house to the Aristocratic Family of Farnese, who completely renewed the village by erecting the Octagonal Tower, Collegiata of Santissima Annunziata and Palazzo Borghese.

The new part of the town developed along the banks of the Lake, where the old plane trees shadow the bathers. Part of the Municipality of Capodimonte is also Isola Bisentina, an island reachable from the port of the village through motorboats. Beside motorboats, also sail boats can dock in the port of Capodimonte

The main port of the Bolsena Lake is Marta, a picturesque village of fishermen located on a hill. Not to be missed are the Clock Tower and the Church of Madonna del Monte in the town centre. From the port of the village you can leave for excursions towards the islands and you can practice watersports.

On the south-eastern side of the Lake lies Montefiascone, which stands on the highest mountain of Monti Volsini.

Art and Culture

As well as nature, the cultural heritage is an attraction of the greenways of the long lake.

Bolsena conserves interesting remains of its Etruscan- Roman past, such as the ancient walls and the Amphiteatre of Mercatello. From Saint Christina’s Church you can easily have access to the underneath Catacombs, a typical example of early Christian underground architecture featuring Medieval renovations and conserving fine masterpieces by Renaissance artists.

Located inside Rocca Monaldeschi della Cervara, the Museo Territoriale del Lago di Bolsena conserves an interesting exhibition featuring the history of the area from its geological origins to the Etruscan- Roman and Medieval Age up to now.

Montefiascone hosts the Museum of Antonio da Sangallo, an Institute of Studies on the famous Renaissance architect and features scale models of his works in High Lazio and in the area ruled by Farnese.

Inside Rocca Farnese in Valentano you can visit Museo Archeologico della Preistoria dell’Alta Tuscia, which includes two sections, the first one hosting items found in Alta Tuscia and dating back to between the Lower Old Stone Age and the Early Iron Age, and the second one with items dating back to the Medieval Age and Renaissance in Valentano.

Those keen on History of Clothes definitely ought to visit the Museo of Storia del Costume Farnesiano in Gradoli. Here you can see a collection of clothes and items which tells the history of fashion between the 15th and the 17th century. Moreover a collection of weapons and armours integrate the exhibition which is arranged according to a chronological order. The clothes were made by looking to those depicted in the frescoes of Palazzo Farnese in Caprarola. In the end a wide-ranging collection of items (linen, jewels, gloves, fans etc.) completes the exhibition.

Archaeological itineraries

Having been inhabited by several populations since the Etruscan Age, the area of Bolsena Lake is rich in archaeological remains.

  • Particularly interesting is the Necropoli di Poggio Pesce-Battaglini, situated on a hill just outside the town centre of Bolsena. There you can visit a rocky necropolis with tombs carved in the rocks dating back between 7th and 2nd century BC.

The archaeological site is located in a private garden where the Velzna Archaeological Group is planting several species of botanical roses in order to create an interesting Park from the archaeological and naturalistic viewpoint and to make it accessible to tourists. Moreover, Velzna is going to set the area of the park so that it can be used for the Permaculture Festival in September 2016.

For visits to the Necropolis of Poggio Pesce- Battaglini phone the offices of G.A. Velzna – Phone: +39 333 28 25 533.

  • In the town centre of Bolsena, close to the district Castello you can visit the Archaeological area of Poggio Moscini. It hosts the ruins of the new town of Volsinii, founded in 264 BC by some refugees who survived the destruction of Etruscan Volsinii (now called Orvieto). The archaeological research carried out by the French School of Archaeology of Rome between 1946 and 1986 have revealed the ancient Forum dating back to the second  half of the 1st century AD, the Roman Basilica which later on became a Christian Church, a number of shops and two houses, the Casa del Ninfeo and Casa delle Pitture.

Free entrance. Summer hours (from March 1st to October 31st): Tuesday and Thursday 2- 7.30 pm: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 8am – 1.30 pm; first and third Sunday of the month 8am – 1.30pm.

You can have free access to the Amphitheatre in Mercatello. Built during the Republican Age, it was completely renewed during the second half of the 1st century AD, when the Roman Empire was ruled by the emperors belonging to the Flavi family. Such a time was the most flourishing for Volsinii. Some remains of the old building are still visible, such as the outside ambulatory, the internal columns and the huge circular cavea. Throughout the centuries such a building, which developed on at least two levels of arches, was often renewed and was also deprived of its structures and materials until it was almost completely destroyed.


How to get to Bolsena

Travel to the EUPC it's easy, and with a broad choice of connections.

How to Get to Bolsena, PDF version

By Plane

Bolsena is in a strategic position, linked to some of the most important airports in Italy.

The closest airports are:

By car

If you drive to Bolsena, you can take either the motorway or minor roads.

  • From North: take Autostrada del Sole (A1), get off at Orvieto and follow Strada Umbro-Casentinese for 24 kms.
  • From South: take Autostrada del Sole (A1), get off at Orte, take the trunk road towards Viterbo for 30 kms and then Cassia Road towards Siena for 30 kms.
  • For those taking Strada Statale Cassia: Bolsena is at 112 kms from both Siena and Roma
  • For those taking Strada Statale Aurelia: get off at Montalto di Castro, then follow the street signs towards Caniuno-Valentano

By train

Bolsena does not have any train station but it is linked to close railway stations through buses. The closest railway stations are:

  • Orvieto at 24 kms
  • Montefiascone-Zepponami at 16 km
  • Viterbo at 30 kms

For information on the train times take a look at the website of Ferrovie dello Stato – www.trenitalia.com .
For information on the bus times take a look at:

www.umbriamobilita.it – for buses from Orvieto
Toll free number : 800512141 – Phone number : 0039 75 50 67 81
www.cotralspa.it –
for buses from Montefiascone-Zepponami and Viterbo
Toll free number: 800174471 – Phone number: 0039 761 25 15 72

By bus

Bolsena is connected to COTRAL bus network – www.cotralspa.it .
You can get to Bolsena from everywhere either directly or with just a change.

  • From Rome: Departure from Saxa Rubra and change in Viterbo. Free toll number: 800 174471 – 0039 761 25 12 62 – cotralspa.it
  • From Orvieto: Departure from Piazza Cahen and Piazzale FFSS Orvieto Scalo. Free toll number: 800512141 – umbriamobilita.it

By ferry

The port of Civitavecchia is 85kms away.

If you travel by car take SS1 Aurelia towards Grosseto/ SS675 towards Viterbo/ SS2 Cassia towards Siena.