You are here

Italy Courses

Biology – Kyle Patton

BIOL 304/HUMN 300 – The Flora of Florence

As we walk the streets of Florence, we are surrounded by the natural world. Flowers flowing from windows and gardens around every corner pull our attention and request our presence. Italy is a place of beauty, and the Italian region of Tuscany shines bright at its center. Over thousands of years, humans have become dependent upon plants for food, shelter, drugs, and energy. This course starts with an introduction into Botany, the study of plants. Throughout the semester, students will learn the importance of plants in the daily lives of humans and the roles plants play in literature and art.

BIOL 313 – The Science of Italian Food

Hungry? How about Italian? Italy is well known for its pastas, wines, olives, truffles, and other delicacies, but are these foods 'good' for you? This course combines basic nutrition with the metabolic processes in the bodies of animals to illustrate how food is broken down and converted to energy, or in some cases, to fat. We will visit markets and factories to learn the processes of converting raw products from the field to the delicacies found at the dinner table.

Music – Chan Kiat Lim

MUS 481/HONR 365 – Exploring Italian Operas & Opera Houses – Treasures of Italy

When one thinks about Italy, what comes to mind? Good wine, pasta, and of course, opera. Come on a tour of Italian operas and historical opera houses and learn how to listen to and appreciate Italy’s greatest treasures in majestic settings. As you examine how the characters in an opera interact to convey drama, you will learn how musical elements such as style, harmony, rhythm, melodic construction, and form are intertwined to deliver a satisfying musical experience. Florence, the birth place of opera, offers numerous opportunities to explore these masterpieces but our tour of operas and opera houses will explore Italy’s greatest opera houses, including the largest open-air operatic stage Arena di Verona, the prestigious La Scala, and the lavishly gilded La Fenice. Finally, after a good meal of pasta and vino, you can say, “Let’s go to the opera!”

MUS 481/HUMN 300/HONR 365 – Exploring Renaissance Music, Arts & Architecture in Their Birthplace of Florence

Have you ever wondered what tunes Sandro Botticelli might have had on his iPod while he painted in his studio? Have you considered who would have been the equivalent of Lady Gaga while Michelangelo was painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Did you know Florence was the cradle of ART AND MUSIC during the Renaissance? It was bursting with musical life that included the development of musical genres and styles that have lasted to the present day. Join me on a tour of discovery of Renaissance art and music in the city of Florence. Walk the streets, study the architecture, see the sculpture and paintings, and hear live concerts of Renaissance music in a city whose heart beats to a rhythm 500 years back in time.

Visual Arts – John Hathorn

VIAR 309/HUMN 300/HONR 365 – Reinterpreting Michelangelo: Responses in Word & Image

For centuries artists have drawn inspiration from Renaissance artists as resources for interpretive exploration. Guided by individual interests, students will explore the city of Florence and her masterworks as points of departure for creative exploration. Whether choosing the essay, camera, poetry, watercolor, or other preferred mediums, students may freely experiment with a format of choice. The city of Florence and museum collections throughout the region will serve as our primary classroom.

VIAR 321/HUMN 300/HONR 365 – Heretics & Saints: Connecting the Renaissance & Contemporary Art

This course will explore significant influences that Renaissance artists and humanists continue to have on contemporary art. How the contributions of notable figures such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti among others continue to impact artists working in diverse mediums and across international boundaries will be examined. The city of Florence, which famously retains its Renaissance blueprint, as well as museum collections throughout the region will serve as our primary classroom.

Mandated for ALL Participants
Humanities 300: Italian Language & Culture

This course provides an introduction to conversational Italian language and will expose students to various aspects of the Italian culture. The language component is held three (3) hours per week. The additional components are held at various times (day and evenings) throughout the six-week period. This course will include:

A. Pre-Departure Orientation – Preparation for travel and life in Italy
B. Italian Language – Conversational Italian taught by local language school
C. Cooking Italian – Hands-on cooking experience preparing authentic Italian cuisine    
D. Wine Tasting – Seminar on Italian wine and proper tasting techniques
E. Culture – Guided tours and visits to cultural sites and activities

All course meetings (except the orientation) are led by certified and qualified Italian-based teachers or guides and are arranged by the American Institute of Foreign Studies (AIFS). There is no need to list this course as an option because ALL participants will automatically be scheduled to take this course.