VERONA, ITALY -- In collaboration with Veronafiere's Marmomacc Stone Academy, Assimagra -- the Portuguese Mineral Resources Association -- will offer the first continuing education course on natural stone design for foreign architects in Portugal. "Designing with Natural Stone Portugal 2014" will offer more than 18 educational credits approved by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

This program, which will be offered from June 1 to 6, 2014, will provide an opportunity to learn about Portuguese natural stone materials and their extraction, processing technologies, and new products and surface finishings. Portugal is the eighth most important player in the global natural stone trade, but second in per-capita terms. Participants will visit the two largest stone quarrying and processing hubs in Portugal: the marble region in Alentejo (Vila Viçosa) and the limestone region in the Serras de Aires and Candeeiros Natural Park -- located in central Portugal. They will also be able to discover Lisbon, one of the most iconic cities in Europe.

"Designing with Natural Stone" was conceived to help architects learn advanced techniques in the use of marble, limestone and other stone materials. It is a unique combination of classroom lectures, guided architectural tours and field trips to local quarries, as well as to natural stone processing facilities. This comprehensive approach enables architects to better understand stone's full life-cycle -- including how marble and limestone are quarried, cut, processed, finished, selected for specific jobs and installed -- all using the latest technologies and products.

Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from Lisbon and a $225 registration fee. The organizers will cover -- in addition to the four days of education -- five hotel nights, meals and other local expenses during the course.

Capacity is limited.Those interested in information on the program and on how to apply should email Sebastiano Brancoli at The deadline for submitting applications is April 7, 2014.

"Designing with Natural Stone" has been recognized by the AIA as a "Best Practices and Trends" educational program. More than 250 U.S. architects have participated in the program offered in Verona.