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Italy Courses

Architecture & Design - Ms. Nadya Kozinets

DSGN 471 (G) – Renaissance Villas & Gardens Looking At/In/From: Sketchbook

Renaissance villas and gardens of Florence and Rome are among the most beautiful anywhere in the world. They are also great examples of well-defined public space that captures a sculptural quality of space with plants, light, order and organization. Get inspired by magnificent Italian villas and gardens and explore elements and principles of design through a close on-site examination and sketching of villa's interiors, exteriors and gardens. Italy will come alive as you become immersed in the celebrated rich artistic and architectural masterpieces - palaces, churches, piazzas, museums and gardens.

DSGN 474 (G) – Makings of Italian Renaissance Villas & Gardens

Historically in Italy power, wealth, influence and learning were expressed in the garden - an essential part of Italian villa. Explore the history of Renaissance associated with makings of iconic villas and its magnificent gardens that are still, 500 years later, have a powerful resonance with us. The projected sites to visit will include Hadrian's Villa, Villa Orsini, Villa d'Este, Villa Medici, Villa Lante, Villa Aldobrandini, Pitti Palace and Boboli gardens.

Informatics - Mr. Brian West

INFX 499/MGMT 460/HMGT 416/HONR 475 - Management of Information Systems of Italy

Using the Tuscan region as a backdrop, students will learn about information systems and technologies and how these are used in business around Italy. How do restaurants handle sales, or how do hotels book rooms or provide Wi-Fi for guests? In what manner do store owners use technology to make decisions about how many items to order and what price to set for sell? How does a museum create a website for the public or how is a database used for inventory of items for any of these businesses? We will answer all of these questions by creating websites, using decision support systems, creating databases, working on mobile apps, and much more.

INFX 499/HUMN 400/HONR 475 - Technology & Society: An Italian Perspective

In the seventeenth century Galileo proved that the Earth was not the center of the Universe and that change the way the world viewed mathematics and computing. While students explore Italy we will also explore the contributions of that nation and its citizens to technology and computing. We will be able to see firsthand the Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machine, discuss Marconi’s radio waves that are the bedrock of Wi-Fi. We will talk about more modern discoveries such as Alessandro Volta’s invention of the battery cell and Federico Faggin’s first design of the microprocessor and how all of these contributions help to create our computers, tablets, phones and the how we use all of these devices to communicate. This course approaches the Renaissance as a Scientific/Engineering rebirth.

Visual Arts - Mr. Brian Kelly

VIAR 321/HUMN 300/HONR 365 - Gouged & Pressed From Mantegna to Durer: Connecting the Renaissance to the Hand Pulled Print

Printmaking is both a tool and artistic practice that brings images to the public through illustrated books, newspapers, and through the production of artistic prints. The invention of the Gutenberg press helped transform Italy during the Renaissance period and during the 15th century prints were mass produced and created for the middle and lower classes providing access to reproductions of artworks produced by artists such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Titian. While in Florence and its surrounding regions, students will explore the influence of the print on both art and society and will also visit the Uffizi Gallery, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Museo degli Argenti Bargello Museum, Boboli Gardens, Academia, the Fondazione Bisonte, and the Armadillo Atelier to study prints, drawings, and paintings first hand. We’ll complement your study with visits to Italian printmaking workshops providing technical understanding of how different types of prints are made, movies, and lectures on artists that we will study while in Italy.

VIAR 309/HUMN 300/HONR 365 - Special Topics in Art Florence: Observed, Marked & Pressed

The Renaissance has long been fascinated by many themes including religion and ritual, archaeology, art and civilian, the natural world to tales of the monstrous and murder through tales and images of terrible things. Florence has been the home and has served as a source of inspiration for artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Giotto, the poet Dante, among others. Like Florence’s great artists of the past, students will be guided by their individual interests and artistic medium while examining and using Florence’s landscape, museums and culture as sources for creative exploration and research. You will visit in Florence, some of the most important museums, which will serve as our classroom including the Uffizi Gallery, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Museo degli Argenti Bargello Museum, Boboli Gardens, Academia, the Fondazione Bisonte, and the Armadillo Atelier to study prints, drawings, and paintings first hand. These locations will serve as sources of inspiration allowing you to develop a greater awareness of the role of drawing as an investigative process in the development of creative work and it’s use as an expressive means of communication. We’ll complement your study with a series of drawing workshops and drawing sessions to provide a technical understanding of how different types of mediums such as acrylic paint, water color, printmaking, oil pastel, charcoal, conté, and graphite can be incorporated into a drawing. Additionally, you will participate in structured drawing sessions to help develop ideas related to the work the student intends to make on site in Italy, as well as watch lectures on artists that we will study while in Florence.


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:

  1. Pre-Departure Orientation – Preparation for travel and life in Italy
  2. Italian Language – Conversational Italian taught by local language school
  3. Cooking Italian – Hands-on cooking experience preparing authentic Italian cuisine       
  4. Wine Tasting – Seminar on Italian wine and proper tasting techniques
  5. 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.