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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday 10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

Accessibility Information

Visit the carle


Innovations in Education

Innovations in Education: A Study Tour of the Early Childhood Centers of Pistoia, Italy

March 10 – 15, 2019

Please email to be added to the waitlist.

The Innovations in Education study tour, launched in 2010, has quickly become known for the variety of learning opportunities it offers its participants, as well as its intimate view of Pistoia. Participants tour school environments; learn about the schools’ history; talk with school staff and teachers about both practical and philosophic aspects of teaching and learning; see a wide variety of documentation; and share with other participants their observations, beliefs and practice. Participants also have the opportunity to experience the geography, history and culture of Pistoia, where the value of aesthetics and deeply held beliefs about the potential and rights of all children and families are so foundational.


Tentative, subject to change

Sunday, March 10

Afternoon Tour of the city of Pistoia
Meet at the hotel
Time TBD (most likely 3:00 pm)

Monday, March 11

8:00 am    
Breakfast at Hotel (Locanda San Marco)

8:45 am    
Travel by bus to Scuola dell’infanzia, Marino Marini and AreaBambini Verde

9:30 am    
Presentation on the organization and goals of services for children in Pistoia by Federica Taddei

10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Visit Scuola dell’infanzia, Marino Marini and AreaBambini Verde, a preschool and children’s center both with a focus on science and nature. Introduction by insegnanti Dora Vivona and Elisabetta Giovannelli

12:30 - 1:30 pm

1:30 pm
Travel to Scuola Dell’Infanzia Parco Drago

2:00 - 3:30 pm    
Visit Scuola Dell’Infanzia Parco Drago, with its focus on creating an atmosphere of well being for pre-school children while fostering freedom of expression and originality. Introduction by insegnante Alessandra Gonfiantini

4:00 pm
Return to Hotel and gather for group reflections.
Dinner on your own

Tuesday, March 12

8:30 am    
Breakfast at Hotel

9:15 am    
Travel by bus to Lago Mago

10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Visit LagoMago, an Infant/Toddler Center surrounded by nature in Pistoia’s large Puccini Park. Introduction by insegnante Gabri Magrini

12:30 - 2:00 pm    
Return to Hotel / Lunch

2:30 pm    
Leave hotel for a tour of Marino Marini Museum
Dinner on your own

Wednesday, March 13

8:00 - 9:00 am    
Breakfast at Hotel

Take the early morning to enjoy Pistoia’s wonderful outdoor market featuring clothing, shoes, and home goods

12:00 - 1:00 pm
Lunch on your own

1:15 pm
Travel by bus to Scuola Dell’Infanzia La Filastrocca

2:00 - 3:30 pm
Visit La Filastrocca one of Pistoia’s preschool programs with a special mission focused on books, stories, and the imagination which uses group literacy activities as a context for encouraging shared meaning making through creative experiences.  Introduction by insegnante Loredana Palemieri

4:00 pm
Return to hotel and gather for group reflections
Dinner on your own

Thursday, March 14

9:00 am    
Breakfast at Hotel

10:00 am
Walk to AreaBambini and AreaGialla

10:30 – 12:30 pm
Visit AreaBambini Rossa, one of Pistoia’s four children's centers specifically designed for very small babies and toddlers (18 months - 3 years).

Visit AreaBambini Gialla, a center with a focus on storytelling and the construction of games and toys.  Introduction by insegnante Deborah Cappellini.

12:30 – 1:30 pm
Return to Hotel/Lunch

2:00 pm
Travel to Asilo Nido Il Faro

2:30 – 3:30
Visit Asilo Nido Il Faro an infant/toddler center with a focus on building community.

4:00 - 6:00 pm
Laboratoria Di Cucina in the kitchen of Nido Il Faro

6:30 pm
Closing Dinner with the group

Friday, March 15

9:00 am    
Breakfast at Hotel

9:30 am    
Walk to Educational Center, Villa Baldi Papini, Via dei Pappagalli, 29

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Closing reflections on the week’s experiences

12:00 pm
Optional (not included in program fee)
Gather with the group for lunch at the Marino Marini Cafe before departing.


The cost includes the program fee, hotel accommodations (Locanda San Marco) for 5 nights (Sunday, March 10 – Thursday, March 14 with check-out on Friday morning), a tour of Pistoia, guided tour of the Marino Marini Museum, a cooking class, Italian-style breakfast each morning, lunch Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and one group dinner. Each participant is responsible for covering their own flight and travel arrangements.

Register with a $250 non-refundable deposit.
To lock in early-bird discount register by December 14.
All balances due by January 11. 

Register by December 14:
$2400     Large Single room
$2250     Regular Single Room
$1950     Shared Double Room (per person)

Register after December 14:
$2650     Large Single room
$2500     Regular Single Room
$2200     Shared Double Room (per person)

Museum Members receive a $150 discount off the total price.


Registrations must be received by January 11, 2019. 
A minimum of 7 participants is required to run the program. We recommend that you make any plane reservations with this fact in mind.

Study Tour Registration Form

Additional information and paperwork will be sent closer to the program date. For more information email or call (413) 559-6306.


  • Full refunds will be given if program is cancelled by the Museum.*
  • Refund requests received up to the January 11 deadline will be honored in full less the $250 non-refundable deposit.*
  • Refund requests received after the January 11 deadline cannot be honored due to the limited spaces available for the program. 

    *Refund policy applies to program fee only. Air fare and any other costs incurred are the sole responsibility of the participant.


Located in Tuscany, Pistoia is the perfect location for day trips to Florence, Lucca and other nearby Tuscan cities.

The dates of the program were chosen to offer travelers the greatest flexibility in terms of arriving before the program begins or extending one's stay beyond the closing date. If you choose to arrive early or extend your stay, we ask that you contact the Locanda San Marco directly to make those arrangements. You will be responsible for covering charges for the additional nights.

If you are traveling with others not part of the study tour, depending on room availability, you might need to arrange for your own accommodations. If that is the case, we will make the necessary changes in the cost of the trip for you.

As mentioned in the program description, each participant is responsible for making their own flight and travel accommodations. We recommend that you fly into the Florence or Pisa airport and from there take the train to Pistoia.

Organized by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Assessorato all’Educazione del Commune di Pistoia.

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