Dear Bread Loafer,

As we noted on our website, we’re closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 and are in consultation with Middlebury’s Emergency and Crisis Management Teams. At this time, we are planning to run all four conferences as scheduled, including Bread Loaf in Sicily. We will keep you informed of new developments and invite you to be in touch if you have any questions.

With Bread Loaf in Sicily moving along as planned, we are sending this email today with the information you will need to make flight arrangements. We want to provide these details to help you plan.

However, considering how rapidly developments related to COVID-19 are happening around the globe, we are asking participants and faculty to wait until May 1 to purchase your flight tickets and to follow the recommendations below once the time comes to purchase flight tickets.

  • Wait until May 1 to purchase your tickets. This follows a four-month advance purchase, which is what we are planning to do for staff and faculty.
  • If you can, when purchasing tickets, choose the refundable or partially refundable fare (it’s usually the higher fare).
  • Some airlines may offer more flexibility than usual, as well as the ability to change a ticket without extra charges during a certain period of time. It’s worth checking on special options like this one as you connect with airlines.
  • Purchase travel insurance (that includes medical insurance) at the same time that you purchase your flights. Consider choosing the “Cancel for Any Reason” option. Please note that we recently learned that most travel insurance will not cover changes that are connected with the Coronavirus. It will be important to note exactly what the travel insurance plans cover.
  • Each year, Bread Loaf in Sicily faculty and participants are asked to submit a Middlebury Travel Registration Form (access will go out later in the spring). This travel registration is shared with Global Rescue, which is available to assist travelers taking part in a Middlebury program abroad who are affected by medical and security emergencies. Global Rescue is available to consult and ensure appropriate medical treatment or safety measures are being taken. Although the Global Rescue consultation service does not replace travel insurance, it will help by providing helpful information should an emergency arise.

Though we have asked for a nonrefundable deposit of $300 to hold your spot in the program, we would like you to know that should Middlebury Bread Loaf in Sicily decide to cancel the 2020 conference because of COVID-19 we will refund your full deposit. All payments made to Middlebury College for the Bread Loaf in Sicily program for both enrolled students and traveling companions will be refunded.

We anticipate that Student Financial Services will send access to invoices in early June. Please click here for more details regarding the standard payment schedule and cancellation policy for Bread Loaf in Sicily.

Making Your Fight Arrangements

Below you will see important details regarding the arrival and departure days including taxi details. As noted above, we are asking all Bread Loafers to wait until May 1 to make flight arrangements. When you have your flight reservations in place, please send a copy to us at Please plan to send us your flight arrangements so we receive the information by May 20, if possible.

A few things to keep in mind as you make your plans:

The conference arrival day is Sunday, September 20. For those leaving from the East Coast of the United States, keep in mind this will require departing on Saturday, September 19. On September 20, please plan to arrive at the Palermo Airport in Sicily between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Bread Loaf shuttles will transport participants from the airport to the hotel during this time. (The ride from the airport to the hotel is approximately one hour.)

The last day of the session is Saturday, September 26, a travel day. Shuttles will leave the hotel as early as needed to get participants and faculty to the airport in time for their flights.

When planning your trip, it’s best to schedule your flights so that any layovers allow two or more hours for making flight connections. This will make it more likely that not only will you make your connection but that your bags will be transferred successfully as well.

If you would like to extend your visit at the hotel (if you wish to arrive earlier than September 20 or stay later than September 26), please let the Bread Loaf office know. We will make hotel arrangements at Villa San Giovanni for you, but you will pay the hotel directly for those additional nights while you are there. During any additional days at the hotel, conference staff and faculty will be occupied with planning and preparations so unavailable, but the hotel staff will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have, from how to get downtown to where to have dinner.

Please note that the shared Bread Loaf taxis are available only on the official arrival day during the window of time noted above and on the departure day (taxis will leave the hotel as early as needed to make sure participants arrive in time for their flights). The shared Bread Loaf taxis are included in the conference fee. If you would like help making taxi arrangements on a different day, just let us know (in this case you will pay the driver directly; the one-way taxi fee is approximately 120 Euros).

In the early summer we will send a packet of information about the program, including a Handbook with packing tips. We will also send instructions on how to submit a replacement manuscript for workshop critique should you wish to do so. (The manuscript guidelines will be the same as those followed by participants during the application process, and we will ask to receive the manuscript by August 3; the forthcoming mailing will include more details.)

Please be in touch at any time should you have any questions. We would be happy to talk with you.


Noreen Cargill and Jason Lamb
Bread Loaf in Sicily