This is one in a series of “Lessons from…” documents I have written after visiting places that are of interest as precedents for Las Catalinas. Some of these towns I have visited before. I stayed in Pienza circa 2004 on a study trip with the Seaside Pienza Institute. Civita de Bagnoregio I visited way back in 1985, inspired by the write-up it received in Rick Steve’s Europe Through the Backdoor. But, this is the first chance I have had to visit this region since we began work on Las Catalinas in 2006. It is a mother lode of lessons and examples from hilltowns. In this document I will focus on the positive examples. There are plenty of negative examples – things we would not want to emulate. Some of the towns we encountered were too dark, too closed in. Historically, I’m sure they had their reasons. But we are building for pleasure and beauty – we don’t need to be a fort as well. I do believe we can take the best from these lessons and then do even better! For PDF of my report, click “Lessons from Italy, September 2012”.