About Us 2019-01-03T09:24:06+00:00


With decades of experience as writers and lovers of Italy in all its dimensions, our program leaders are the ultimate guides for a week of
creation and inspiration

For seven days, a small group of international writers work on memoirs, fiction, and poetry learning about writing in the morning and wine in the evenings, accompanied by exquisite food and conversation.

Suzanne Branciforte


Suzanne is a wine communicator who works with prestigious Italian wineries in Italy. She is a Food&Wine blogger and created the Italian Grapevine, a blog for Italophiles, foodies, and wine-lovers everywhere.
She is a Certified Sommelier (Italian Association of Sommeliers – AIS) and member of the Association Le Donne del Vino. She graduated from Harvard and got her MA and PhD from UCLA. Author of the best-selling Italian language program Parliamo italiano! (John Wiley & Sons, 5th edition) and she is the founder of the school Study in Italy.

 Suzanne is director of Grapevine Experience, which she founded so that more people could enjoy the inimitable dolce vita Italian lifestyle and have fun while learning. Born in New York and a resident of Italy for the past two decades, she knows that good wine doesn’t grow in ugly places.

Jonathan Levi


A graduate of Yale and Cambridge Universities, where he co-founded the literary magazine Granta in 1979, Jonathan has worked not only with literary giants like Richard Ford and Louise Erdrich, but also with new writers of all ages. Co-director of the Gabriel García Márquez Fellowship in Cartagena, Colombia, Jonathan has also taught at Yale and NYU, as well as at Under the Volcano in Tepoztlán, Mexico.

He is the author of the novels A Guide for the Perplexed and the recent Septimania, as well as many opera libretti, musicals, plays and hundreds of articles for journals ranging from The New York Times to Condé Nast Traveler. Jonathan has lived in Rome since 2004.

Alison MacLeod


Alison MacLeod is an award-winning novelist, short story writer and academic.  Her most recent book, All the Beloved Ghosts (Bloomsbury UK & USA/Penguin Canada), was shortlisted for Canada’s 2017 Governor General’s Award for Fiction and for The 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize for best short story collection in the UK and Ireland.  It was also named one of the Guardian‘s ‘Best Books of 2017’.  Her novel, Unexploded (Penguin UK/Canada), was long-listed for The 2013 Man-Booker Prize for Fiction, named one of the Observer‘s ‘Books of the Year’, and serialised for BBC radio.  MacLeod has served as a judge for numerous literary prizes and awards, and has appeared at literary festivals worldwide.  She has been an occasional contributor to The Sunday Times, the Guardian, and several BBC programmes.

  She has more than 20 years’ experience of designing and teaching literature and creative writing courses in higher education, as well as mentoring writers in the community.  She lives in Brighton, where she is working on her next novel for Bloomsbury.

Marta Orrantia


Marta Orrantia is a Colombian writer and journalist, the founding editor of Gatopardo magazine and editorial director of Rolling Stone in the Andean region. Her most recent novel, Mañana no te presentes (Don’t Show Up Tomorrow), deals with the taking of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá in 1985. She teaches in the Masters’ Program of Creative Writing at both the Universidad Nacional and Universidad Central in Bogotá.