Scagnello Permaculture Design Course

The Rainbow Tree, Scagnello,
Piedmont, Italy

(72 hours over ten days)

19th - 28th May 2012

Tutors: Aranya with Pietro Zucchetti and Ezio Gori

This course will be taught in English, with some translation assistance into Italian.

Permaculture is about solutions. There are plenty of things to worry about, but permaculture helps you to focus on the things that you can do to make a difference."

Andy Goldring

Come and find out how....


"It was the best two weeks of my life" *

Rainbow Tree
Permaculture Association design course certificate

This practical course will bring the possibility of significant and positive life changes. Although permaculture is most commonly thought about in connection with gardening & farming, its principles, ethics and design methods can be adapted and used in each individual's own work, interests and home to bring about a more harmonious & sustainable lifestyle. Permaculture offers a perspective on all aspects of building a sustainable future. Permaculture encourages us to use our individual skills, knowledge and interests, whilst drawing on traditional wisdom, science and our innate ability to observe and learn from the world around us.

Course participants will be awarded the Permaculture Association (Britain)'s internationally recognised Certificate in Permaculture Design.

"I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and informal teaching styles" *


Bees at Rainbow Tree


Permaculture course at the Rainbow Tree

The Permaculture Institute of Italy is based at the Rainbow Tree smallholding located in Scagnello, a small village of 200 inhabitants, on the Ligurian alps, 163 miles from Mont Blanc (15774 ft) and 40 miles from the Mediterranean. The village operated as a stop for travellers during the Roman age, in fact it's name means “seat” in the local tongue, a place where you can find somewhere to rest after a long journey. There is one shop in the village where you can have a coffee or eat a panino, plus a bar managed by the local community during the evening. Scagnello is famous for its black truffle mushrooms, fruits of all sorts and it is very close to the famous wine making area of “Langhe”. The area is one of the most diverse in wildlife and flora in Italy because Scagnello is located on the edge of the Mediterranean sea and the Alps. Also, the village has some old churches where it is possible to admire renaissance paintings. The Rainbow tree smallholding will be the venue of this course; the smallholding is very young (one year) but it is already possible to see a vineyard at it's second year, a contour vegetable garden, the first two layers of a forest garden (high canopy and bush layers) and a micro-scale keyline system with a dam and feeder channels. The small holding will keep grazing guinea fowls and chickens in the near future. It is possible to observe a wide range of wildlife from deer, badgers, hares, buzzards, eagles, foxes, praying mantis, a great variety of butterflies, damselflies, ladybirds and more.


Permaculture course in Scagnello Permaculture course at the Rainbow Tree
Weaving the web of life

"Inspirational" *
Learning outcomes:
  • To observe patterns in nature & apply what we learn to create guiding principles.
  • To use permaculture ethics, principles & design tools to create sustainable systems.
  • To understand the importance of caring for soil & water, & to know techniques for doing so.
  • To start using permaculture in your own life, towards creating a more sustainable lifestyle.
  • To understand how to apply permaculture design to both land-based & non-land-based systems.

"I'm amazed by my change of thinking" *
Trees session flipchart

Subjects covered:

Spirals of erosion & points of intervention ~ Boundaries & limiting factors ~ Observation skills ~ Site surveying ~ Permaculture ethics & principles ~ Design methods ~ Soil conservation, types, texture & factors in fertility ~ Green manures & dynamic accumulators ~ Kitchen gardening ~ Integrated pest management ~ Water & sewage treatment ~ Fruit tree growing ~ Agroforestry & Forest gardening ~ Trees & their Microclimates ~ Permaculture & future generations ~ Patterns in nature ~ Food choices ~ Ecological footprinting ~ Sustainable economics ~ Urban permaculture ~ Green architecture ~ Bioregionalism ~ Non-land based design ~ Accelerated learning techniques ~ Seed saving & plant propagation ~ The Permaculture Association & Diploma WorkNet ~ Where next? & lots more......

"Eye opening" *

We use group work, discussions, videos, slide shows, observation, guided walks & practical activities as learning methods. These are supportive of different learning styles & for people with learning difficulties. We will also be visiting other projects where permaculture theory is being put into action.

Design courses are not just about imparting information to the students, there is plenty of knowledge out there, the important thing is knowing how to use this & feeling confident to do so.

Permaculture course at the Rainbow Tree
"I've enjoyed the positivity and enthusiasm on the course" *

Learning the principles using cards

Empowerment is the essence of the course. We will be using practical and theoretical teaching methods to create a fun, lively & inclusive course. The course culminates in the main design activity that helps to consolidate all of the learning & empower students to take permaculture back into their own homes, lives & community. As a group we will benefit from collaborative learning & from having fun together. We don't expect any previous knowledge & recognise that everyone has their own unique skills, knowledge & areas of interest to bring to the course.

"Learning should always be like this" *

* Comments from previous years' course participants.

Click here to view a slideshow of photos from previous residential courses
Keyline works at the Rainbow Tree


Full fee: €550 (euros) - discounted to €490 if paid two months before the course.
Couples: €900
Unemployed: €250

The fee includes all tuition and course materials. Camping is provided on-site free of charge. Please note: food and travel costs are not included.

Those preferring to camp (rather than rent accommodation nearby) will need to bring their own tent.

For more details & booking visit the Permacultura Italia website
or contact: Pietro: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Scagnello in Italia