Courses & Credits

Amazing courses as well as grades, credits, and transcriptsSelect Study Abroad students have 2 academic options for participation in our Italy program.
 
OPTION 1:
Italian Ambassador Program
Price: $7,750*

The Select Study Abroad Italian Ambassador program is a credit-free educational experience dedicated to immersing students in the rich culture of Italy. Each day, Monday through Thursday, is comprised of a unique on-site activity addressing a range of topics from the history of the city of Florence to learning more about its culinary delights. Lectures will be given throughout the city and largely by the expert Select Study Abroad team, giving students in-depth and hands-on knowledge of their host country. Upon successful completion of the Italian Ambassador program, students will be presented with a certificate of completion. This option is also ideal for participants with cultural or international interests and career goals.
 
OPTION 2:
College Courses at the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici
Price: $8,950* (1 course) / $9,950* (2 courses)

Select Study Abroad students can also choose to attend college-level courses at the prestigious Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici in Florence’s city center. All courses are taught Monday through Thursday in English with the exception of the Italian language courses. Students enroll in one or two academic courses worth 3 credits each, which are based on the semester scale. Upon successful completion of their courses, students will receive an official transcript from the Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici in English with letter grades. If a student’s home university requires an American transcript, there is an option to receive one from Marist College (LdM’s American school of record). Select Study Abroad strongly recommends that students speak with their academic advisor or registrar about courses taken abroad. See below for detailed course descriptions for summer 2019 classes.

*Prices do not include airfare

Over 90 percent of employers believe that students who have studied abroad are likely to possess other highly desirable skills, including: cross-cultural communication skills, independence, cultural awareness, maturity, flexibility.

CourseHero.com

We are happy to guide students through the course approval process and can provide a tentative syllabus for specific courses.
Remember: courses fill up quickly every summer, so students are encouraged to APPLY and enroll early.


COLLEGE CREDIT COURSES *:

Ancient Rome: This course offers a comprehensive introduction to the history and growth of the ancient Roman empire from the early settlements in Latium, through the republican and imperial periods, to the formation of a new Roman world after the crisis of the 3rd century. A series of themes and issues will be explored: the range of primary sources available for ancient history; the political organization of the Roman state; the territorial expansion and its influence on the cultural and administrative sphere; Roman religion and the spread of Christianity; the Roman frontiers and the barbarian populations; and the end of the Roman world and the birth of a new society. In order to stimulate students’ critical skills in observing historical phenomena, a problem-oriented approach will be supported by readings of primary sources. Students will also have the chance to observe different approaches to understanding the past and will develop a sense of the role of historians and history in society.

Florentia: the Ancient Roots of Florence: This course analyzes the ancient past of Florence from its origins to the end of the Roman Empire. A few aspects concerning the Barbarian rulers will also be considered. The ancient town of Florentia will be discovered during each lesson through a variety of sources: written texts from ancient and medieval authors, archaeological evidence, past excavations and recent discoveries, artifacts and items housed in local museums as well as objects unearthed in recent years. Emphasis will be placed on the urban pattern by tracing and locating the main temples and sacred spaces, public buildings and private houses. Beyond acquiring a basic chronology and a timeline, students will closely examine selected topics about Roman civilization, art and architecture, lifestyle and customs. To better understand certain themes, visits and field trips are planned, including to the National Archaeological Museum of Florence and little-known archaeological areas.

Greek and Roman Mythology: The traditional stories about the Greek and Roman gods and heroes have always been a fundamental part of Western Art and literature especially since their “rediscovery” by Renaissance humanism. The major divinities of Greek and Roman religion are examined in their historical and archaeological context, focusing on the influence that Greek myths had on the Roman world. The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Roman foundations myths and sagas will be discussed with particular emphasis on the relationship between myth and history. Visits to the National Archaeological Museum of Florence will reinforce the topics treated in class. The pictorial narratives, so common in Greek and Roman monuments and objects, will introduce the sophisticated visual language created by the Greeks to tell such elaborate tales; the visit to the Uffizi Gallery will show the students how Renaissance artists revived the Greek and Roman tradition. To know Roman mythology is to understand the real essence of the ideals and aspirations of the great Roman Empire, while the roots of modern psychology can be found in study of Greek mythology.

Co(ok)quinarius: Ancient Sources of Italian Cuisine: Co(ok)quinarius, which takes place also within the fascinating context of the Florentine Central Food Market, explores the main elements of ancient Mediterranean food culture as the forerunner to modern Italian cuisine. Following the guidelines of experimental archaeology, students learn to understand, prepare, taste, and evaluate ancient Etruscan, Greek, Roman, as well as Near Eastern dishes within their social dimensions and cultural perspective. Starting from the distinction between the consumption and the use of food, students explore Etruscan, Greek, and Roman culinary traditions. Topics include the meanings of food, its social dimensions, the history of specific commodities; everyday eating habits and etiquette; rituals and taboos. This knowledge permits the class to accurately understand, recreate, cook, and taste ancient recipes. During interactive lessons students will improve their practical skills, learn how to prepare different recipes, and develop their knowledge of both the theory and practice of food anthropology.
The key of the analysis is the Food Sign, a specially-developed tool with two inseparable sides: anthropological meaning and gastronomy. This instrument helps to show that in Antiquity any given dish wasn’t a mere result of a recipe to prepare food in a particular way as part of a meal, but was inevitably linked to sacral and social meanings. Students will be able to recognize and appreciate ancient traditions and to link them to the modern cuisine (when a particular tradition has continued) and interests.

Co(ok)quinarius: Ancient Sources of Italian Cuisine: Co(ok)quinarius, which takes place also within the fascinating context of the Florentine Central Food Market, explores the main elements of ancient Mediterranean food culture as the forerunner to modern Italian cuisine. Following the guidelines of experimental archaeology, students learn to understand, prepare, taste, and evaluate ancient Etruscan, Greek, Roman, as well as Near Eastern dishes within their social dimensions and cultural perspective. Starting from the distinction between the consumption and the use of food, students explore Etruscan, Greek, and Roman culinary traditions. Topics include the meanings of food, its social dimensions, the history of specific commodities; everyday eating habits and etiquette; rituals and taboos. This knowledge permits the class to accurately understand, recreate, cook, and taste ancient recipes. During interactive lessons students will improve their practical skills, learn how to prepare different recipes, and develop their knowledge of both the theory and practice of food anthropology.
The key of the analysis is the Food Sign, a specially-developed tool with two inseparable sides: anthropological meaning and gastronomy. This instrument helps to show that in Antiquity any given dish wasn’t a mere result of a recipe to prepare food in a particular way as part of a meal, but was inevitably linked to sacral and social meanings. Students will be able to recognize and appreciate ancient traditions and to link them to the modern cuisine (when a particular tradition has continued) and interests.

Art History I: Antiquity to Early Renaissance: This course is a survey of the visual arts in Western Europe, from ancient Greece to the Early Renaissance. Throughout this course students encounter the principal monuments, artists and themes in painting, sculpture and architecture, and discover the changes in styles and taste in this period. The course explores the historical, philosophical and cultural contexts essential to understanding the visual arts and the impact they have had through the ages. Great importance is given to the interpretation of subjects and symbols, to the different techniques and styles used by artists, and to the role of public and private patrons. On-site teaching provides the incomparable experience of studying important works of art and architecture first-hand. The material is approached as an introduction to the discipline of art history, with the aim of fostering appreciation and the desire to further investigate this field.

Art History II: High Renaissance to the Present: This course is a survey of the visual arts in Western Europe, from ancient Greece to the Early Renaissance. Throughout this course students encounter the principal monuments, artists and themes in painting, sculpture and architecture, and discover the changes in styles and taste in this period. The course explores the historical, philosophical and cultural contexts essential to understanding the visual arts and the impact they have had through the ages. Great importance is given to the interpretation of subjects and symbols, to the different techniques and styles used by artists, and to the role of public and private patrons. On-site teaching provides the incomparable experience of studying important works of art and architecture first-hand. The material is approached as an introduction to the discipline of art history, with the aim of fostering appreciation and the desire to further investigate this field.

The Built Environment of Florence: This course will explore the factors that have led to the development of Florence, its architecture and open spaces. The construction of the city up to the architecture of the 19th century will be studied from the architectural and historical points of view. This course is divided into lectures in class, walking tours, visits, field trips and sketching on site, all fundamental for the understanding of the city. We will draw on the parallel history of the town of Florence to understand the growth of the city, but the main interest will be on the architecture and the way it developed. To better understand the historical development of the city the course will also focus on the history, the artistic productions of the time, the philosophical currents and the powerful families that ruled and determined different architectural choices.

Leonardo: The Renaissance Genius at Work: Leonardo da Vinci, more than anyone else, represents Renaissance confidence in the boundless faculties of the human mind. Largely self-educated, driven by curiosity, and gifted with an extraordinary capacity for observation, he tried to explain numerous phenomena in several disciplines, such as anatomy, hydraulics, geography, astronomy, botany, mechanics, optics. Equally important is his work as an artist. His refined painting style and his projects with regards to fresco painting and bronze casting were innovative. His writings, such as his Book on Painting, help us to understand his creative process. The course will cover the breadth and variety of Leonardo’s artistic and scientific interests, highlighting his ability to transfer visual analogies from one field of research to another. His personal artistic interpretations of traditional subjects will also be studied. Thus, students will understand Leonardo’s unique genius as artist, scientist, and inventor.

Palaces of Florence: The aim of this course is to introduce students to the history of the palaces of Florence from 13th to 17th centuries. Public and private palaces had an important role in the life of the city through the centuries, and, by studying them, students will have the opportunity to understand not only the development of their architectural style, but also the social, economic, cultural, and political history of Florence, in an interdisciplinary approach to the subject. Students will study the evolution of Florentine palaces directly in front, and inside, of the buildings: many of the lessons will be held on site, and site visits form a crucial dimension of the learning experience.

Renaissance Art at the Italian Courts: This course explores all aspects of artistic activity at the major Italian courts during the fifteenth century. This analysis will not only be confined to an art historical approach, but will also consider various aspects of court life - the chivalric tradition, hunting, jousting, scholarship, and court festivals - which have an influence on the visual arts. Comparisons will be made with Northern European courts of the same period. The main focus of attention will be Pisanello and the courts of Ferrara and Mantua, Mantegna and the Gonzaga court in Mantua, Francesco Cossa at the D’Este court in Ferrara, Piero della Francesca and Laurana at the court of Federigo da Montefeltro in Urbino, and Piero della Francesca and Alberti at the Malatesta court in Rimini. The student will become familiar with the special patronage conditions, which dictated the nature of Renaissance art at the princely courts of Italy. The student will have a detailed knowledge of the work of five court artists and a broader familiarity with three others.

Principles of Marketing: Marketing is a dynamic and an exciting field, a key tool in confronting the challenges that enterprises are facing every day. The purpose of this course is to introduce marketing principles and concepts. In this course students will learn about the “real” nature and scope of marketing management. They will be introduced to aspects of marketing, such as: Marketing Strategy, 4 P’s, Market Planning, Retailing and Wholesaling, Target Marketing, Market Segmentation, Services Marketing. You will also learn about the strategic importance of marketing to an enterprise, whether it be a profit oriented business firm or non-profit organization.

International Marketing: International competition makes international marketing one of the most critical skills for business survival. In their continuing quest for new ways to establish and maintain their competitiveness, many firms are recognizing the advantages of operating in international markets. These benefits include sourcing materials, capital, labor and expertise, relocating manufacturing, and distributing product and services to new markets. While there are many benefits, each company must identify the potentially huge risks taken when operating overseas and the uninformed company may suffer tremendous set backs before realizing any benefits. This course is an introduction to the complexities and implications of foreign markets. Emphasis is on the various economic, social and cultural factors that impact on international marketing, the 4 Ps (product, price, places of distribution and promotion) and how these aspects of marketing are influenced by international business environment.

Wine Business: This course explores the business and marketing of wine, with special focus on U.S. markets. Wine trade and consumption in the US have constantly increased in recent years. If until the early 1990’s wine consumption was concentrated in a few major states, today wine is consumed by a large part of the entire US population. Italian wine, counting for 30% of U.S. wine imports, is a major part of this economic and cultural scenario. In addition, new wine markets have emerged worldwide. This growing interest has strengthened the role of traditional key players of the wine trade such as importers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, while helping to create new professional figures such as wine writers, wine club managers, and event promoters. In this course students learn skills that help equip them to take on such roles. Given the notable diversity and quality of Italian wines, students examine issues of sourcing, shipment chains and trading channels, and market impact. The course includes business simulations, and students produce a start-up or marketing project.

Event Planning: Marketing is a dynamic and an exciting field, a key tool in confronting the challenges that enterprises are facing every day. The purpose of this course is to introduce marketing principles and concepts. In this course students will learn about the “real” nature and scope of marketing management. They will be introduced to aspects of marketing, such as: Marketing Strategy, 4 P’s, Market Planning, Retailing and Wholesaling, Target Marketing, Market Segmentation, Services Marketing. You will also learn about the strategic importance of marketing to an enterprise, whether a profit-oriented business firm or non-profit organization.

Global Business and Society: This course explores challenges facing modern corporations in organizing cross border activities. Specifically, it appraises the main economic theories of determinants of international business activities, and it offers a global perspective on long-term change in the world economy and the interaction between countries. Special attention is focused on the dynamics of international trade and investment, including the relationship between trade and economic growth, trade imbalances and protectionism. The course also looks at the role of economic and political institutions (WTO, IMF, etc.) and examines the main characteristics of the emerging economies, for instance India and China. Themes include competition, development, exchange rate theory, the international monetary system, ethics, decision-making, and strategic operations in an international environment. Finally, the course examines a variety of alternative perspectives on the origins and processes of globalization.

Principles of Finance: This course introduces students to the basic concepts of finance such as time value of money, valuation and risk, assets, securities, financing long-and short-term, capital markets. This will also result in the exposure to basic procedures for the application and interpretation of financial statement analysis. The course will combine the theoretical underpinning of finance with real-world examples, including several case study discussions.

Social Media Marketing: This course covers the planning and integration of social media into marketing plans and it will explain how to build winning strategies and how to track their effectiveness. This includes learning about fundamental marketing concepts that are relevant to the digital world and acquiring new skills for creating and implementing successful marketing campaigns, online strategies and operations pursued through new media. Students will be introduced to the most popular social media platforms and will learn about the differences between specific media tools and the different purposes of operations pursued through each of them and their proper use to expand business and engage with online customers. In this course, students will be able to build effective digital tactics and gain skills to become social media managers.

Luxury Brand Management: This course offers students an opportunity to develop a deeper and nuanced understanding of the multi-billion dollar market for branded luxury goods and services. The topic is examined as a concept and as global economic reality and addresses historical development, contemporary eco-political and social functions, and the continued impetus for design, popular culture, and the arts. The challenges of building, protecting and strengthening a brand are examined from a broad range of diverse products and is relevant for the student interested in the managerial, entrepreneurial, not for profit and government sectors of industry. Analysis of the relationships between luxury brands and desire, status, excess, consumption and economic value helps to reveal why even during economic recession the demand for luxury climbs to new levels. Students examine how the physical consumption of luxury and psychological consumption are being questioned, expanded and transformed by new variations. Exploring case studies not limited to fashion, students learn management essentials from the luxury perspective, applying the critical tools that make the difference in developing successful strategic plans.

Intercultural Communication: The course, which introduces students to the basic patterns of cross-cultural psychology and communication, proposes an analysis of communication behavior in interpersonal and intercultural, individual and group environments. Along with a study of the influence of culture on identity, viewpoints, and communication, it progressively proposes all the theoretical concepts that are necessary to analyze communication in an interpersonal and intercultural context. Topics include: common communication difficulties, communication roles and proxemics. Special emphasis is placed on rituals, message patterns, clothing, myths, ideologies, and on the influence of the mass media on our cross-cultural representation of reality.

Event Planning: Marketing is a dynamic and an exciting field, a key tool in confronting the challenges that enterprises are facing every day. The purpose of this course is to introduce marketing principles and concepts. In this course students will learn about the “real” nature and scope of marketing management. They will be introduced to aspects of marketing, such as: Marketing Strategy, 4 P’s, Market Planning, Retailing and Wholesaling, Target Marketing, Market Segmentation, Services Marketing. You will also learn about the strategic importance of marketing to an enterprise, whether a profit-oriented business firm or non-profit organization.

Social Media Marketing: This course covers the planning and integration of social media into marketing plans and it will explain how to build winning strategies and how to track their effectiveness. This includes learning about fundamental marketing concepts that are relevant to the digital world and acquiring new skills for creating and implementing successful marketing campaigns, online strategies and operations pursued through new media. Students will be introduced to the most popular social media platforms and will learn about the differences between specific media tools and the different purposes of operations pursued through each of them and their proper use to expand business and engage with online customers. In this course, students will be able to build effective digital tactics and gain skills to become social media managers.

Public Speaking and Presentation Skills: This course provides an introduction to public speaking in group and whole-class situations. It will help students develop their delivery skills as well as the content of their presentations, including the development and organization of ideas and the use of research materials. Students will analyze a variety of speeches, in written and oral forms, and will be required to develop working outlines for their own presentations. Classes will also involve voice and body language exercises and will teach strategies for overcoming performance anxiety.

Literature and Journalism: This course will examine the principle relationships between literature and journalism in a comparative context, focusing on American and Italian writers. Authors extending from Poe to Buzzati, from the exponents of American New Journalism (T. Wolfe, N. Mailer, G. Talese, etc.) to postmodern writers Fallaci, Tabucchi, among others, are considered. The course gives particular attention to the reporter as a character, to fiction and nonfiction style, and to ideas and theories of information, news, chronicles, and the art of communication.

War and Media: This course analyses the role-played by the media in the evolution of national and international wars. We will investigate the extent to which the media either influence decision-making about military interventions or serve as tools in the hands of government officials seeking to influence public opinion. A number of media-related phenomena will be studied including the CNN effect, agenda setting, real time policy, media diplomacy, media war, news management and propaganda, through the examination of key international conflicts, especially since 1950. Several different topics will be explained to understand the intersection between war and media: the proliferation of satellite technologies and the Internet; the importance of international TV networks such as CNN and al Jazeera; the role of still and moving images; the importance of journalists and journalistic conventions; the relevance of press conferences, briefings, and official statements; the representation of war in movies and artists’ works; the media gap between “North” and “South”; the emergence of “non-Western” media; and also the spread of ethnic conflicts and terrorism, and the increasingly asymmetric nature of war.

Public Relations: Students will study the definitions, functions, and evolution of public relations, including the application of PR theory and ways to plan a PR campaign (planning process, issue analysis, research methods and strategies). The different fields in which public relations practitioners operate will be presented through case studies and exercises: media relations, event management, crisis management, corporate identity, internal/external communications, community relations, international PR and marketing support, and effectiveness evaluation. Finally, future perspectives, and new technological opportunities will be taken into account, trying to define new boundaries for a discipline too often underrated or misunderstood.

Global Sports Marketing: This course will cover the practice of sports marketing in the increasingly globalized athletic economy. Students will begin by discussing the global sports economy and the creation of international sports brands. Students will study the different aspects of sports marketing including sponsorships, event planning, public relations and publicity, all within the complex nature of international sporting events and audiences. Students will examine the differences in marketing practices across nations and cultures and study the challenges of marketing international sporting events to varied audiences. Students will also look at the impact of globalization on the needs for corporate sponsorships, as well as the impact of global sporting events on local and international communities. Students will examine case studies of various global sporting events to better understand best practices. By the end of the class, students will create a strategic marketing plan for an international sporting event.

The Food of Italy: A Gastronomic Tour: Although characterized by unique and distinctive features, Italian cuisine is still perceived as the result of many different regional culinary traditions that, although merged and diluted over the centuries, still maintain their particular flavors and distinct ingredients. The course focuses on the different aspects of regional food in Italy, from ingredients to recipe preparation and cooking techniques, with particular attention to the following factors: historical origins and developments; climate and environmental conditions; social issues; food production; nutrition; and safety and health. Emphasis will be placed on how food relates to the local lifestyle and culture. Regional economy and local resources will be analyzed and compared. Students will be introduced to the various local products through lectures and class demonstrations.

Wine and Culture: Wines of Italy: Despite its ancient origins of wine production, it is only recently that Italy has experienced a tremendous improvement in the quality of its wines. This course introduces students to wine appreciation by studying the most representative wines of the regions of Italy. The distinct historical, traditional, economic, geographical and climatic aspects of each region will be studied in order to assess their importance for the local wines. The major grape varieties and wine-making techniques will be presented and each wine will be tasted with a complete organoleptic analysis: visual, olfactory and gustative. Students will also learn how to pair wines with food. Specific information on the marketing of the wine (classification, sale, market) will also be provided. Students will also learn and understand how to read an Italian wine label and the different steps in Italian wine classification. During classes students will visit some of the most famous wine shops in Florence.

Italian Food & Culture: Pairing Food & Wine: Italian cuisine is the result of many different regional culinary traditions that, although merged and diluted over centuries, still maintain their particular flavors and distinct ingredients. Thanks in recent years to a greater availability of wines from different regions, the pairing of food and wine, always a traditional aspect of Italian cuisine, has become more important in the organization of a menu and the presentation of a meal. In this course the various ways of pairing Italian food and wine will be analyzed and used for menu planning. This involves research into aspects of both wine and food, with special emphasis on classification and technical terminology, nutritional and health issues, chemical composition, sensory and other evaluation techniques, as well as cooking skills that will be practiced regularly in class.

Current Trends in Italian Cuisine: This course explores major trends in contemporary Italian cuisine that have been emerging in recent decades. These trends, revealed in both everyday and haute cuisine, involve fresh reinterpretations of regional traditions, revaluation of local products, interest in lighter and healthier diet, and an emphasis on creativity. Driving these trends are such diverse factors as interest in other cuisines, innovations by leading chefs, and especially changes in Italian society and lifestyles. Students learn basic cooking skills as well as some specialized cooking methods and techniques. They discover how to select quality ingredients, and they compare their eating habits with those common in Italy today. Particular focus is given to the following aspects: historical origins and developments of food production, regional dishes, seasonal and environmental conditions, social issues, nutrition, safety and health. In each lesson students learn how to prepare representative recipes, with attention to ingredients, nutritional values, and presentation.

Wine Business: This course explores the business and marketing of wine, with special focus on U.S. markets. Wine trade and consumption in the US have constantly increased in recent years. If until the early 1990’s wine consumption was concentrated in a few major states, today wine is consumed by a large part of the entire US population. Italian wine, counting for 30% of U.S. wine imports, is a major part of this economic and cultural scenario. In addition, new wine markets have emerged worldwide. This growing interest has strengthened the role of traditional key players of the wine trade such as importers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, while helping to create new professional figures such as wine writers, wine club managers, and event promoters. In this course students learn skills that help equip them to take on such roles. Given the notable diversity and quality of Italian wines, students examine issues of sourcing, shipment chains and trading channels, and market impact. The course includes business simulations, and students produce a start-up or marketing project.

The Science of Food, Health, and Wellbeing: The primary focus of this course is to analyze the biological properties of the body and the effects that foods have on it. Students learn the basics of nutrition (proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, natural supplements), including how the phytochemicals and nutrients of foods can improve health. They will also study habits, programs, and dietary regimens for healthy living. Nutritional healing and wider questions of wellbeing are also addressed. Includes hands-on preparation of healthy dishes.

Italian Regional Food in a Cultural Setting: Although characterized by unique and distinctive features, Italian cuisine is still perceived as the result of many different regional culinary traditions. Merged and diluted over the centuries, they still maintain their particular flavors and distinct ingredients. The course focuses on the different aspects of regional food in Italy, from ingredients to recipe preparation and cooking techniques, with particular attention to the following factors: historical origins and developments; climate and environmental conditions; social issues; food production; nutrition; and safety and health. Emphasis will be placed on how food relates to the local lifestyle and culture. Regional economy and local resources will be analyzed and compared. Students will be introduced to the various local products through lectures and class demonstrations.

Nutrition Studies: The aim of this dietary education course is to provide guidelines and develop critical thinking for a healthful diet and lifestyle. Intended for non-majors in science, the course addresses the basics of the chemistry, biology, and medicine of nutrition including the physiological principles that underlie a balanced diet and the correct uptake of nutrients. Particular emphasis is on the Mediterranean diet. Themes include: nutrition requirements; nutrition and wellness; food sources and production; consumer choices; social dynamics that lead to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia among young people; the effects of excessive weight on health; obesity in western societies.

Co(ok)quinarius: Ancient Sources of Italian Cuisine: Co(ok)quinarius, which takes place also within the fascinating context of the Florentine Central Food Market, explores the main elements of ancient Mediterranean food culture as the forerunner to modern Italian cuisine. Following the guidelines of experimental archaeology, students learn to understand, prepare, taste, and evaluate ancient Etruscan, Greek, Roman, as well as Near Eastern dishes within their social dimensions and cultural perspective. Starting from the distinction between the consumption and the use of food, students explore Etruscan, Greek, and Roman culinary traditions. Topics include the meanings of food, its social dimensions, the history of specific commodities; everyday eating habits and etiquette; rituals and taboos. This knowledge permits the class to accurately understand, recreate, cook, and taste ancient recipes. During interactive lessons students will improve their practical skills, learn how to prepare different recipes, and develop their knowledge of both the theory and practice of food anthropology.
The key of the analysis is the Food Sign, a specially-developed tool with two inseparable sides: anthropological meaning and gastronomy. This instrument helps to show that in Antiquity any given dish wasn’t a mere result of a recipe to prepare food in a particular way as part of a meal, but was inevitably linked to sacral and social meanings. Students will be able to recognize and appreciate ancient traditions and to link them to the modern cuisine (when a particular tradition has continued) and interests.

Introduction to Multicultural Education: Provides students with an understanding of the concepts, theories and strategies that constitute the five major dimensions of multicultural education as defined by James A. Banks: equity pedagogy; content integration; knowledge construction process; prejudice reduction; empowerment in school culture and social structure. We will explore these dimensions within the context of the host culture of Italy and analyze these forms of knowledge in terms of cultural differences, inclusions, and exclusions. Students will reflect on and describe how multicultural education connects with their experiences in the communities and in the schools in Italy. Because prior knowledge and cultural experiences shape our beliefs and values, students need to critically analyze their notions of race, culture, and ethnicity. Through immersion and first-hand experiences we will explore and inquire into how culture and different cultural contexts influence one’s beliefs and behavior.

Fashion Illustration: This course for beginning students explores the world of fashion illustration. Students will learn how to sketch a fashion figure, add garments, and render different materials using media like colored pencils and markers. Special attention will be given to coloring and shading. During the semester there will be site visits to such locations as the Ferragamo Museum and the Costume Gallery at the Pitti Palace, as well as fashion trade fairs and fashion design studios. Students will also learn about the job of a fashion designer and the main steps to organize a collection. In addition, they will illustrate their own designs on the fashion figure showing their own style and taste in fashion. This is an introductory level course without prerequisites, although an artistic background is helpful.

Fashion Buying Concepts: Retailing and the fashion business are stimulating, fascinating, and in a process of continual change. Understanding the dynamics and significance of retail buying concepts will be critical to the success of anyone interested in buying, selling or communicating retail consumer fashion products and services. Students will study fundamentals of fashion buying including planning, assorting, pricing and purchasing retail fashion inventories. The effect of different retail formats on purchasing, identification and evaluation of resources and discussions on ethical issues in sourcing are included. With global fashion industry constantly undergoing change, an important part of this class involves understanding current events and how they affect retail buying. This includes the luxury as well as other sectors of the industry, mass-market brands and independents. The course is targeted towards students who are looking for careers in fashion buying, merchandising, marketing, design, advertising or public relations and should have already taken classes towards these majors. The ability to work in teams and communicate orally is strongly emphasized.

Fashion Marketing: This course explores fashion marketing and merchandising. It focuses primarily on brands and their fashion marketing strategies for product development, advertising, promotion and retailing. The course analyzes the thinking behind the strategies for fashion products, paying special attention to the emotional aspects of fashion communication. Students will approach current business practices and examine new and emerging trends and issues that impact on the fast-moving environment of the fashion and textile industry, looking at the globalization of the industry, trade shows and key events. Specialized topics include the importance of the European fashion system, with a comparison to some American brands and strategies. Case studies will provide a vision of how companies in today’s environment are evolving marketing strategies to meet the new consumer’s demand, in terms of product design, distribution and communication.

Visual Merchandising: This course explores contemporary visual merchandising strategies. It focuses primarily on understanding visual merchandising techniques, concepts and processes, and recognizes how visual merchandising efforts support retailing trends and sales success in retail store spaces. The course analyzes the philosophy behind the creative process and identifies a variety of resources for idea development, such as marketplace dynamics and consumer trends. The aim of this course is to prepare students in the process of designing, planning, and organizing visual displays and in-store designs that effectively communicate brand identity. Through lectures students will learn theory and techniques for visual displays. Students will apply this knowledge to the design and creation of model window display and/or in-store designs. This course provides a vision of how retailers in today’s environment are adapting visual merchandising and communication strategies to meet consumers’ demands.

History of Costume: Students explore the historical styles of Western dress and adornment through the ages from the ancient Egyptian period to the 20th century. Costume is viewed within the context of the period related to major historical developments, technology, production, and the economy. Further discussions center on the cultural and religious influences, societal values, political climate, and specific individuals seen to influence the fashions of each time period.

Fashion Consumer Behavior: This course examines the decision-making process of the customer through fashion concepts, theories, cultural influences, demographics, psychographics, and consumer dynamics. Students learn the analysis of perceptions, communication, and ethics to determine how a customer can turn into a consumer by understanding behavior and reactions to the impact of purchasing. Students analyze research data and the application in assessing market strategy. The theory of motivation and the reasons underlying the wearing of clothes are also studied.

Luxury Brand Management: This course offers students an opportunity to develop a deeper and nuanced understanding of the multi-billion dollar market for branded luxury goods and services. The topic is examined as a concept and as global economic reality and addresses historical development, contemporary eco-political and social functions, and the continued impetus for design, popular culture, and the arts. The challenges of building, protecting and strengthening a brand are examined from a broad range of diverse products and is relevant for the student interested in the managerial, entrepreneurial, not for profit and government sectors of industry. Analysis of the relationships between luxury brands and desire, status, excess, consumption and economic value helps to reveal why even during economic recession the demand for luxury climbs to new levels. Students examine how the physical consumption of luxury and psychological consumption are being questioned, expanded and transformed by new variations. Exploring case studies not limited to fashion, students learn management essentials from the luxury perspective, applying the critical tools that make the difference in developing successful strategic plans.

Love and Natural Selection: Science and Myth: Evolutionary psychologists claim that men and women differ substantially in their attitudes and abilities. They theorize that beauty and attractiveness are signals of good health, good genes, or other qualities, and that all forms of human love are unconscious strategies for passing on these qualities to the next generation. These theories make excellent stories for popular science writers, which will often present them as proven facts that are very relevant to everyday life. Even a shallow examination of the theories and the data supporting them will demonstrate that many hypotheses made by evolutionary psychologists are controversial, have very little empirical evidence supporting them, and will usually have very little practical relevance to people. Throughout the course we will learn the theoretical bases of modern evolutionary biology, review the most popular theories of evolutionary psychology (e.g. psychological gender differences, sexual love, marriage, parental love, female beauty, male beauty, sperm competition, female orgasm), observe the way they are presented in the media, and critically examine the science that supports them.
Graphic Design: This course gives students a theoretical and practical introduction to graphic design in the era of the digital communication. Students follow a program based on practical applications, realized entirely with computer graphic techniques. The constant search for the harmony of shapes, colors and words goes together with the learning of the most modern digital graphic techniques. During the course bi-dimensional vector graphics will be used for the realization of all the assigned projects. The fundamental concepts of the manipulation of the images, are also taught to complete the same projects. In consideration of the great importance that advertising has in this course, students’ projects address communication issues, exploring the principal media and investigating ways of working with different targets. Curiosity and an inclination for research are the essential characteristics of students interested in this course. Student must be familiar with the computer environment. Professional printing skills are developed in a commercial printing center.

Digital Graphic Techniques Fundamentals: This course trains students in the basics of computer graphics, developing foundational techniques and skills within the standard set of software applications for the design field. Image optimization and manipulation, graphic illustration basics and Web design principles are covered extensively. Students work on individual practical projects, image make-ups, graphic illustrations, and Web layout design. Professional printing skills are developed in the context of a commercial printing center.

Foundations of Visual Communication: This course is essential for all students that, either as beginners in graphic design or with previous experience in digital graphics, desire to learn the secrets of “good design.” The aim of the course is to assist students in developing intellectual skills and familiarity with the rules, which underpin the creation of graphic works that convey both aesthetic quality and communicative power. The course is structured into a series of projects, lectures, analyses, and drawing exercises. Topics include: B/W techniques, layouts and grids, colors and shape balance, mirror and rotational symmetries, repetitive patterns, archetypes and primary shapes, fonts and typography, studies of visual languages and cultural backgrounds, analysis of styles and artwork, rules to derive families of shapes and colors, formats and harmonic proportions such as the diagonal of the square, icons, logotypes, and trademarks, studies of 3D models and packaging. The course places emphasis on the learning of graphic design principles and concepts that are independent from the tools used for production (digital or manual techniques). There is a focus on learning from the great tradition of Italian design, and students are encouraged to make the most of the visual and cultural experience offered by the city of Florence.

Italian Renaissance Civilization and Culture: This course explores the historical, literary and cultural developments of one of the most remarkable and vibrant periods of Italian history: the Renaissance. Students will be introduced to the main historical developments of the Renaissance period from the late 14th century to the end of the 16th century. The Renaissance is above all the age of the individual and the affirmation of his/her achievements, best summed up by the credo “Man – the measure of all things”. The focus of this course is therefore upon great personalities of the Italian Renaissance mainly in the fields of the visual arts, literature and philosophy, but also drawn from those of politics and civic life. These include key figures of the most prominent Italian families: the Medici, the Sforza, the Della Rovere; artists and architects: Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo; writers, poets and philosophers: Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio, Pico della Mirandola, Machiavelli, as well as merchants and bankers. All these individuals left their mark in Italy between the early 1400s and the late 1500s.

The Quarters of Florence: History and Culture: The course offers students a first-hand experience of the historical city of Florence, which from 1252 was divided into four “quartieri” or quarters. Each quarter, which was named after the main church of the district, presents its own particular social, political and urban characteristics, and these form the central themes of the course. Students will discover the prestigious families, major buildings, artistic masterpieces, economic activities and historical events that have characterized the development of each quarter from the medieval period to the modern age. Site visits will form an essential part of the learning experience.

Ancient Rome: This course offers a comprehensive introduction to the history and growth of the ancient Roman Empire from the early settlements in Latium, through the republican and imperial periods, to the formation of a new Roman world after the crisis of the 3rd century. A series of themes and issues will be explored: the range of primary sources available for ancient history; the political organization of the Roman state; the territorial expansion and its influence on the cultural and administrative sphere; Roman religion and the spread of Christianity; the Roman frontiers and the barbarian populations; and the end of the Roman world and the birth of a new society. In order to stimulate students’ critical skills in observing historical phenomena, a problem-oriented approach will be supported by readings of primary sources. Students will also have the chance to observe different approaches to understanding the past and will develop a sense of the role of historians and history in society.

Florentia: the Ancient Roots of Florence: This course analyzes the ancient past of Florence from its origins to the end of the Roman Empire. A few aspects concerning the Barbarian rulers will also be considered. The ancient town of Florentia will be discovered during each lesson through a variety of sources: written texts from ancient and medieval authors, archaeological evidence, past excavations and recent discoveries, artifacts and items housed in local museums as well as objects unearthed in recent years. Emphasis will be placed on the urban pattern by tracing and locating the main temples and sacred spaces, public buildings and private houses. Beyond acquiring a basic chronology and a timeline, students will closely examine selected topics about Roman civilization, art and architecture, lifestyle and customs. To better understand certain themes, visits and field trips are planned, including to the National Archaeological Museum of Florence and little-known archaeological areas.

Florence and the House of the Medici: The course deals with the full story of this extraordinary family, whose fortunes are traced over three hundred years, from the late 14th century to the early 18th century, from the rise of the bank under Cosimo the Elder to the final collapse of the house of the Medici with the death of the last Medici Duke in 1737. Since the power of the Medici family enabled its members to rule Florence, control the papacy, act as the “needle of the Italian compass,” and sometimes influence the policies of an entire continent, the course will provide students with an understanding of the history, politics, civic, and daily life of the period. The Medici family included statesmen, scholars, patrons of the arts, collectors, entrepreneurs, and impresarios. Some of them were poets; others were popes. The course introduces students to philosophical and artistic movements by examining important achievements and some individuals who worked for the Medici, such as Michelangelo, Poliziano, Donatello, Botticelli, and several musicians at the Medici court. Visits to churches, museums, palaces, and galleries, which are important to the study of the Medici family, will supplement the lectures.

The Holocaust: Jewish and Christian Responses: This course is an introduction to the legacy of the Holocaust and its implications. The course explores Christian anti-Judaism as one of many factors in the Nazi rise to power and the “Final Solution.” It then proceeds to various accounts of life in the Nazi ghettoes and death camps and deals with Christian and Jewish efforts to remember the Holocaust within particular communities and places. The course will focus on the Holocaust of the Italian Jews. It will begin with an analysis of the emergence of the Fascist movement in Italy, which led to the Racial Laws. It will proceed with the study of specific stories of persecution, deportation, and salvation in the various cities of Italy. We will study in depth the reaction of the Vatican to the Holocaust. In addition, we will analyze the reactions of Italian society to the Holocaust, starting right after the war until today.

Exhibit Design: This course is based on an architectural approach to the project of exhibit areas. The project research is developed first in the field of temporary commercial fairs and students learn how to manage space both from the functional and the aesthetic point of view and then in the field of temporary exhibitions in a museum, dealing with the difficulty of organization and presentation. During the course, students examine different basic themes and are introduced to real professional applications. The proposed projects are developed emphasizing conceptual and design research and solutions to functional and distribution problems.

Architecture in its Environment: The goal of this course is to learn a method to understand the relationship between architecture and the urban context and to be able to design a relevant architectural project. Emphasis is on the vertical and horizontal dimensions of cities and towns, and on the analysis of shapes and uses of the urban space. The main course project relates to a specific urban situation. The process of the project starts with extensive on-site case study analysis of a site (with outdoor walking and sketching), of its historical context and urban surroundings. In class students will develop, examine, and discuss the main elements, themes, and issues of the project. The completed project includes sketches, site plans, architectural plans, elevations, and sections, as well as an oral presentation delivered in class.

The Built Environment of Florence: This course will explore the factors that have led to the development of Florence, its architecture, and open spaces. The construction of the city to the architecture of the 19th century will be studied from architectural and historical points of view. This course is divided into lectures in class, walking tours, visits, field trips, and sketching on site, all fundamental or the understanding of the city. We will draw on the parallel history of the town of Florence to understand the growth of the city, but the main interest will be on the architecture and the way it developed. To better understand the historical development of the city, the course will also focus on the history, the artistic productions of the time, the philosophical currents, and the powerful families that ruled and determined various architectural choices.

Public Space Design: The course will investigate the key role of public space in contemporary cities. Special attention will be placed on the capability of places to attract people and emotional scenarios linked to their reactions. Examples of recent works from world-renowned architects, landscape architects, and artists will provide the student with different design methods. A specific site in Florence or elsewhere in its surroundings will represent the core of the project; students will be asked to start off with a conceptual idea and gradually give shape to it up to the final presentation through drawings, models, video, etc. The course will mainly be carried out in class, although guided outdoor surveys will also take place.

Sustainable Architecture: Sustainability is a characteristic of a process or condition that can be maintained at a certain level indefinitely. Our current lifestyle is not sustainable because we base our energy requirements on burning fossil fuels that are running out, causing global warming and pollution. The key aim of the sustainable architecture approach is to help resolve the present energy crisis by designing self-sufficient buildings. The two basic principles applied are: reduction of energy needs and the use of renewable forms of energy (solar, wind, geothermic, hydroelectric or biomass). Other topics touched upon in the course are: the use of local building materials; the study of local traditional passive strategies such as how to create a pleasant home despite climate conditions and encouraging a sustainable lifestyle such as cohabitation-housing.

Furniture Design: The course aims to provide students with a basic understanding of the theories and techniques of furniture design. The lessons examine the various design processes and procedures, while also considering space and the functional analysis of design. For the most part, the class will be a workshop for design projects. The course will also consider the importance of targets and visual communication signs. Students will carry out personal research on pieces of furniture, materials, and designers in order to explore furniture design and to develop a personal style.

Jewelry Making I: This course is meant to give students a first approach to jewelry making. The main equipment and tools used (machinery, pliers, files, and saw), together with safety regulations will be explained. Students will work at the silversmith’s bench, learning the basic techniques for creating simple pieces of jewelry with design transfer, sawing, filing, soldering, polishing, and simple settings for cabochon stones. The course will also introduce the lost wax casting methods and wax carving. The aim of the projects is to develop manual and creative ability.

Jewelry Making II: This course aims to increase the manual and creative abilities of students through an in-depth study of several production techniques at the goldsmith’s bench, with particular attention to sawing and piercing, soldering, and the construction of a hinge. Some surface production techniques will be examined. A detailed study of the soldering techniques and assemblage methods will be carried out together with the projects that will be assigned during the course. In addition, some setting techniques for faceted stones will be introduced.

Elementary Italian Language 1: This course is offered for 3 or 4 credits for absolute beginner students who have never studied Italian before. Its aim is to give the basis of the language, allowing students to deal with the most common everyday situations by expressing themselves in the present and past tenses. Key grammatical topics include: definite and indefinite articles; noun-adjective agreement; present tense of regular and main irregular verbs; prepositions; direct pronouns; present perfect; possessive adjectives. Key thematic areas include: shopping for food; in a restaurant; daily life and spare time; travelling; vacations; the family.

Elementary Italian Language 2: This course is offered for 3 or 4 credits and designed for students who have completed one semester (or equivalent) of Italian and already have a basic vocabulary and knowledge of elementary structures of the language. By the end of the course students should be able to complete simple and routine tasks requiring an exchange of information on familiar matters, to describe their background and issues related to everyday life. Key grammatical topics include: review of Elementary 1 course contents; simple and compound prepositions; reflexive verbs; future; imperfect tense; indirect pronouns; introduction to present conditional. Key thematic areas include: shopping in Italy; daily routine; habits in the past; Italian festivities; Italian food; in a hotel.

Intermediate Italian Language 1: This course is offered for 3 or 4 credits and directed towards the acquisition of more complex structures of Italian language in order to express personal opinions and preferences. By the end of the course students should be able to enter unprepared into conversation on topics that are familiar; to relate the plot of a book or film; to write correct texts on topics of personal interest. Key grammatical topics include: review of previous level contents; past perfect; prepositions; combined, indefinite and interrogative pronouns; present and past conditional; linking words; impersonal forms; present and past subjunctive. Key thematic areas include: Italian geography; food and cuisine; holidays; driving in Italy; dwellings; health and body.

Intermediate Italian Language 2: This course is offered for 3 or 4 credits and introduces students to contemporary Italian society by exploiting different sources including literature, the media and press. By the end of the course students should be able to show a high degree of understanding of complex written and spoken texts and respond appropriately to them, both orally and in writing. Key grammatical topics include: review and expansion of contents of previous levels; forms and use of the subjunctive mood; imperative with pronouns; introduction to passato remoto; infinitive and gerund; degrees of comparison; passive voice; relative pronouns; reported speech (first level). Key thematic areas include: famous Italians; issues of contemporary history, culture and society; local arts and crafts; Italian cinema.

Italian Language Advanced 1: This course is designed for students who already have a solid grammatical/lexical basis. By the end of the course students should be able to understand most TV news and information on current affairs; read contemporary literary prose; write texts about a wide range of subjects; achieve the degree of confidence with the language that makes communication fluid and clear. Key grammatical topics include: consolidation of previous levels; impersonal forms; clauses and constructions using the subjunctive; passato remoto; passive forms in contrast; relative clauses in contrast. Key thematic areas include: changes in the Italian language and dialects; typical Italian products; immigration in Italy; environmental issues.

Italian Language Advanced 2: This course is designed for students who have a high degree of fluency in Italian both in speaking and in writing. By the end of the course students should be able to formulate ideas and opinions with precision and recognize a wide range of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms, as well as apply register shifts. Key grammatical topics include: review of previous levels; past perfect subjunctive; past conditional; indefinite adjectives pronouns; verbs and prepositions; conditional clauses; trapassato remoto; gerund, infinitive, participle; tense agreement; reported speech (second level). Key thematic areas include: Italian regionalism; the Risorgimento; politics and the media; contemporary literature and cinema; cultural heritage. Selected readings of literary works by modern Italian authors.

Italian Grand Tour: Italy through the Eyes of Famous Travelers: This course is an introduction to the literature generated by the “Grand Tour” experiences between the 18th and the 19th centuries and to its continuation and development in the 20th century. The main focus will be the textual analysis of the memoirs, letters and diaries written by some of the most famous artists, writers, and intellectuals who resided and traveled in Italy. Our selection will include British, German and American writers. Another important aspect of the course will be the study of the history, the works of art, the monuments and the folklore events of the main Grand Tour destinations: Venice, Florence, and Rome. Students will learn about the different experiences of famous foreign travelers in Italy through the centuries and will be able to understand some stereotypes, prejudices, and idealized visions about Italy and Italians that still survive today.

Italian Crime Fiction: From the middle of the twentieth century, Italian writers such as Gadda and Sciascia began to integrate into their novels and short stories certain aspects of the crime genre. By the 1990’s a new generation of writers such as Camilleri, Ammaniti and Lucarelli had developed a specifically Italian approach to an international literary genre, the “Italian noir”, which aims at revealing unpleasant truths to a vast audience in an entertaining way. The goal of this course is to explore some of the most representative works of the crime fiction genre in contemporary Italian literature, from its early forms to the present. The study of these works will also involve an analysis of the strong socio-cultural dimensions of contemporary Italy, which are the result of a complex combination of geographical, historical, political and linguistic factors. These in turn affect different forms of organized and unorganized crime, and differences in the relationship between citizens and the law. During the course students will also study the relationship between Italian crime fiction and its foreign counterparts.

Literature and Journalism: This course will examine the principle relationships between literature and journalism in a comparative context, focusing on American and Italian writers. Authors extending from Poe to Buzzati, from the exponents of American New Journalism (T. Wolfe, N. Mailer, G. Talese, etc.) to postmodern writers Fallaci, Tabucchi, among others, are considered. The course gives particular attention to the reporter as a character, to fiction and nonfiction style, and to ideas and theories of information, news, chronicles, and the art of communication.

Italian Literature and Society: 1945 to the Present: This course is two pronged: It is both an introduction to contemporary Italian literature and society and it teaches students how to read a literary text. Students will focus on works of fiction beginning with those of Leonardo Sciascia and continuing with the works of such writers as Alberto Moravia, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italo Calvino, among others. We will read and discuss both literary texts and works on Italian history and society. The readings will be complemented by a series of original video documentaries and feature films. The purpose of the videos is to contextualize the works within the social and cultural landscape of contemporary Italy. The course methodology will be based on assignments prepared in advance by the students and on class discussions, alternated with oral presentations by the students.

Introduction to Statistics: This course introduces the basic concepts and techniques of statistics. Topics include: the description of data; simple probability; binominal and normal distribution; confidence interval estimation; hypothesis testing; simple regression and chi-squared distribution.

Digital Film Making II: The course, the second in a sequence, explores the language of film images along with its figurative and narrative components. Story line, treatment, screenplay and storyboarding will be covered, as well as literary adaptations and original movie scripts. Through the use of professional equipment, all the different roles of a given production team will be analyzed: preparation, casting and work plan, technical means of directing, video shooting styles, basic photography and lighting techniques, editing methods with digital formats, audio postproduction. The course aims to connect the different creative stages to provide students with a global view of the expressive power of the media – from a basic idea to a final video project.

Ceramics: This course is suitable for students who do not have any experience with clay or have only basic knowledge regarding hand building and wheel throwing with clay. Students will be instructed in the fundamental notions regarding this topic. Special attention will be given to the correct and healthy positions for the spine, hands, fingers and wrist. Students will receive technical information about clay and firing, and at the end of the course, they will be able to decorate their objects with slips and glazes.

Foundation of Oil Painting: This is a course for beginning students or students with no previous training in Fine Arts, wanting an introduction to the traditional techniques of oil painting. The course deals with the most fundamental principles and elements of still-life painting, with an emphasis on the perception and build-up of form, tone, and color on a two-dimensional surface. Exercises will be introduced to students in highly structured lessons, including the theory of color, supplemented by practical demonstrations. The exceptional works of art in the city of Florence will be investigated and analyzed as an integral part of the course. The aim of the course is to give students the basic knowledge of oil painting techniques.

Florence Sketchbook - Beginning: In this course students develop basic observation, drawing and watercolor skills in a refreshing way. Students keep a series of sketchbooks and develop finished drawing projects from them. After initial training in fundamental drawing techniques for pencil, pen and other media, the course is dedicated principally to sketching outdoors in the city and environs. Students develop ability in representing a variety of subjects, including the human form, architecture, and landscape. Exploiting the advantages of the site, students explore such themes as historical monuments, street life, and formal gardens. They encounter art of the past, including efforts to sketch the same or similar topics. The course equips students to efficiently capture impressions by drawing in various media at various rates and scales, keeping annotations, ideas, sketches, and analyses of artwork in a journal, and developing personal interests. Students explore the monuments and vibrant street life of Florence, and observe numerous buildings, outdoor sculptures and squares that form part of the outstanding and entrancing artistic heritage of medieval and Renaissance Florence.

Florence Sketchbook - Intermediate: This course consists of gathering research in the traditional form of sketching from the museums, streets, and environments of Florence as artists have done for centuries. This includes sketches taking inspiration from sculptures, paintings, architecture, formal gardens and squares, as well as drawing from life in streets and markets, with an in-depth study of foreshortening and perspective. Students will be encouraged to write annotations and observations as well as to investigate their areas of interest. Students gain firsthand knowledge of original works by direct observation in situ, learn drawing and painting skills in a refreshing way, and learn to create sketchbooks that may serve as source material for future projects.

Principles of Drawing and Composition: This course will teach the basic techniques of figure and object drawing. The program is designed to introduce the fundamental principles and elements of drawing using charcoal, pencil and various other media, such as red chalk. Each lesson has a specific aim and forms part of a progressive buildup of skills through observation with a series of exercises. Still life, human figure, architecture, and nature will be investigated, as subject matter and perspective studies will be analyzed in depth. References to the exceptional works of art in the city of Florence will be investigated and analyzed as an integral part of the course. The aim of the course is to develop basic skills and a better understanding and knowledge of drawing, and to encourage further studies.

Intermediate Painting: The course is intended for students who have already taken the foundation-level course or have a similar background in painting. It takes students into further studies in oil and will introduce the technique and methods of acrylic painting.
Focus is on the nude as well as object painting using a number of different approaches to life painting. Some of the most important techniques of oil and acrylic painting are covered to provide students with a sound foundation preparing them for more ambitious work. Emphasis is on color mixing, handling of brush strokes, glazing, and scumbling, as well as traditional canvas preparation. Exceptional works of art in the town of Tuscania will be investigated and analyzed as an integral part of the course. The goal is to provide students with an understanding of the most essential elements in life painting.

Acting Dante’s Inferno: Following the great interest aroused by the novels of Dan Brown, this course offers students in Florence a special approach to the roots of the Italian culture and language, represented by the work of Dante Alighieri and, in particular, the Divine Comedy. Each lesson will be divided into two parts; the first hour will be devoted to preparatory exercises to develop awareness, theatre discipline and cohesion of the working group. The remaining hours will be devoted to the study of some passages of Dante’s Inferno taken from cantos V, XXVI and XXXIII (Paolo and Francesca, Ulysses and Count Ugolino). At the end of the course, students will have learned, in a completely dynamic way, the strength, the semantic and evocative power of Dante’s language. An evocative performance, in the form of “living pictures” of extracts from these cantos, will take place at the end of the course, in “The Inferno Room” inside the museum of the Franco Zeffirelli Foundation.

Theatre History: The Contribution of Florence: Florence was one of the capitals of Western culture, not only with regard to art and literature, but also to performing arts and drama. Via a multidisciplinary approach the course outlines the contribution of Florentine theatrical culture to the definition of the Western theatrical model: from the fundamental input given by Machiavelli’s comedies to the settlement of this genre, to the stage devices created by Giorgio Vasari, to the invention of Opera around the Medici Court. The course will be divided into in-class lectures, with the support of slides and videos, and lessons “in the field,” visiting relevant sites. The aim is to make the students discover how political power, citizenship and urban space are involved in theatricality, how different elements (texts, acting, design, architecture and use of technology) combine to represent a shared model, and how many contemporary cultural attitudes still result from this.

Introduction to Ethics: This course introduces ethics as it has developed in the Western world over the last 2,500 years and as it is analyzed in most of the English-language academy. Much of the course revolves around classroom discussion. Student research may focus either on a particular normative (e.g. should we preserve wilderness?) or meta-ethical (e.g. are ethics grounded in emotions?) issue or another approved topic drawn from current events, literature, poetry or song. Students will present their findings and opinions first to the class; then in the research paper they submit. Course readings will be drawn from a wide range of historical and contemporary sources. Topics include the nature of ethics: the roles of reason and emotion, the role of gender, whether ethics are local or universal — human rights, too? — and theoretical foundations: the individual’s wellbeing, the welfare of all, fundamental rights and duties, virtues reflected in character, what things a rational agent could agree to. An international slant is privileged in the study of particular cases, such as: duties to help strangers and immigrants, duties to help others at home and abroad, climate change, and foreign intervention.

Introduction to Western Philosophy: Ancient and Early Modern Thinkers: While introducing students to philosophy as a discipline in term of methods, contents, and questions, the course examines the evolution of the main schools of philosophical thought. The focus is on its main thinkers and fundamental concerns from the Middle Ages through the rich debates of the late Renaissance, with its reforms and Age of Science. However, since the ideas of many early Western philosophers were rooted in ancient philosophy, the course begins with the study of some key ideas of Greek, Roman, and Early Christian thinkers. Attention is given to the cross-influences between Catholicism and philosophy that are one of the special traits of the Italian cultural heritage. Among the thinkers analyzed are Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Petrarch, Marsilio Ficino,Pico della Mirandola, Machiavelli, Giordano Bruno, and Galileo Galilei.

Logical, Critical, and Creative: The Power of Reason: This introduction to logic provides students the tools to develop logical thinking and sound reasoning skills. Logic is an essential tool in many academic fields, and it consistently plays a vital role in our daily lives. Logic is the basis for valid arguments to convince others, while analytical and critical thinking skills serve to evaluate positions taken by others, including the powerful and persuasive appeals made by commercial and political advertisers in this digital age. Students will analyze both media and Internet sources and learn how to construct well-reasoned arguments on a variety of topics. The course deals with traditional logic, with concepts and techniques of modern logic, and with some philosophical issues related to critical reasoning. Basic concepts explored early in the course include logic itself, the structure of arguments, how to distinguish arguments from non-arguments, deductive from inductive arguments, and how to evaluate such arguments in terms of their validity, strength, soundness, and cogency. In addition, the course examines formal logic and categorical propositions, and syllogisms. Some attention is given to propositional logic, how to use truth tables, and predicate logic.

Yoga: Breathing, Meditation, Spirituality: Exploration of yoga as a historical religious phenomenon, set of physical practices, and also as an element of modern culture; includes both lecture and practical components. We will analyze yoga’s roots in ancient India and such texts as the Upanishad and Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras, as well as its popularity and place in contemporary culture. Students will examine yoga as a spiritual, mental, and physical practice; in other words, as a path to attain spiritual realization and union with the divine, as a quieting and focusing technique, and as a healing and balancing physical exercise. Hence, we will study various breathing (pranayama) and meditation techniques along with ayurveda, an ancient Indian healing system and “science of life.” Included is an overview of such different forms of yoga such as Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kundalini, Yin, as well as Laughter, Restorative, Bikram and yoga therapies for eating and addictive disorders. Finally, students will explore the interactions between practitioners of yoga and social, political, and environmental activism.

Jewish Life in Italy from the Renaissance to the Present:This is a general introduction to the rich and varied world of the Jews in relationship to the history of Italy from the first Jewish settlements until today. We shall examine the early history of the Jews of Italy from their arrival as imperial slaves during the ancient Roman Empire. Next we shall discover the fascinating and dynamic relationships of the Jews as bankers, artisans, authors, and physicians. We shall see how the Jews, while separated from the mainstream culture of Christian Italy, gave a remarkable contribution to the ideas of the Renaissance civilization. Finally the course will examine the modern experience, from Napoleon and the Italian Risorgimento, through the catastrophe of the Nazi Holocaust, to the Jewish contribution to contemporary Italy.

The Holocaust: Jewish and Christian Responses:This course is an introduction to the legacy of the Holocaust and its implications. The course explores Christian anti-Judaism as one of many factors in the Nazi rise to power and the “Final Solution.” It then proceeds to various accounts of life in the Nazi ghettoes and death camps and deals with Christian and Jewish efforts to remember the Holocaust within particular communities and places. The course will focus on the Holocaust of the Italian Jews. It will begin with an analysis of the emergence of the Fascist movement in Italy, which led to the Racial Laws. It will proceed with the study of specific stories of persecution, deportation, and salvation in the various cities of Italy. We will study in depth the reaction of the Vatican to the
Holocaust. In addition, we will analyze the reactions of Italian society to the Holocaust, starting right after the war until today.

Introduction to Digital Photography: The course provides a basic approach to how the photographic digital camera works. Students gain a broad knowledge of the history of photography and an appreciation of aesthetic concerns that enable them to express themselves in a more cohesive and creative manner. Basic classic photography skills including an understanding of focal length, aperture, shutter speed, composition, and quality of light are integrated with techniques specific to digital capture and the manipulation of images in Photoshop. Photoshop software is used to process and print photographic imagery. During the course, specific assignments will help students to learn all basic digital techniques. In the course students acquire confidence in knowing how to use their camera well, increased technical control of the medium, and a more critical eye. At the Florence site only this course is 80% digital and 20% film and darkroom, with some basic black and white developing and printing techniques. Note: each student must be equipped with an SLR digital camera with manual function and with at least one lens.

Principles of Fashion Photography: The course provides a basic approach to photographic practice, with a focus on the essentials of fashion photography. A broad knowledge of the history of photography and major aesthetic concerns, combined with an overview of fashion photography to the present time (techniques, culture, esthetics, trends), help students increase their expressive and creative capacities. The course concentrates on the main technical aspects such as lighting, settings, locations, use of flash units, portable and studio units, and light metering. Students learn basic and creative classic photography skills (including an understanding of the use of the camera) and digital techniques for fashion applications, with emphasis on color digital photography using Camera Raw and Photoshop (used to process and print photographic imagery). Particular attention will be given to on-location shooting and studio photography activities, with practice photographing models. As far as possible students collaborate with the Fashion Department to develop fashion photography projects. For such projects students shoot pictures to meet the fashion application requirements of the project development team, thus experiencing a real working situation. This course is 70% digital and 30% film and darkroom. Note: each student must be equipped with a SLR digital camera with manual function and with at least one lens.

War and Media:This course analyses the role-played by the media in the evolution of national and international wars. We will investigate the extent to which the media either influence decision-making about military interventions or serve as tools in the hands of government officials seeking to influence public opinion. A number of media-related phenomena will be studied including the CNN effect, agenda setting, real time policy, media diplomacy, media war, news management and propaganda, through the examination of key international conflicts, especially since 1950. Several different topics will be explained to understand the intersection between war and media: the proliferation of satellite technologies and the Internet; the importance of international TV networks such as CNN and al Jazeera; the role of still and moving images; the importance of journalists and journalistic conventions; the relevance of press conferences, briefings, and official statements; the representation of war in movies and artists’ works; the media gap between “North” and “South”; the emergence of “non-Western” media; and also the spread of ethnic conflicts and terrorism, and the increasingly asymmetric nature of war.

International Conflict Resolution:The course presents concepts and theories related to the peaceful transformation of international violent conflicts, illustrating them with examples taken both by global peace initiatives and Italian experiences in the field. Approaches to International Conflict Resolution have become widely used and discussed in the last decade. New roles and tasks have emerged for international organizations such as the United Nations and the OSCE. At the same time, civil society organizations have increasingly played an important role in conflict resolution, through “second-track” or citizens’ diplomacy, conflict sensitive approaches to development, as well as third party nonviolent intervention. In Italy, several peace organizations have their roots in Christian Catholic values. The strong tradition of self-government has also encouraged municipalities and regions to work on development and peace issues. At the end of the course participants will have a clear understanding of international conflict resolution and will have gained an insight into concrete examples from both global and Italian organizations.

Basic Printmaking: This course is an introduction to the various techniques of black and white printmaking, such as etching (hard ground, soft ground, aquatint, sugar lift, dry point, pastel, spit bite and mixed media), woodcut and linoleum cut. The art and technique of reproducing and printing metal plates, wood panels, linoleum and other matrixes will be thoroughly investigated and understood. In learning the above techniques and methods, constant reference will be made to printmaking, not only as a very old process practiced in Italy and in the rest of Europe during and after the Renaissance (Mantegna, Pollaiolo, Parmigianino, Rembrandt, Goya), but also as a modern approach (De Chirico, Carrà, Picasso, Munch, Seurat).
Love and Natural Selection: Science and Myth: Evolutionary psychologists claim that men and women differ substantially in their attitudes and abilities. They theorize that beauty and attractiveness are signals of good health, good genes, or other qualities, and that all forms of human love are unconscious strategies for passing on these qualities to the next generation. These theories make excellent stories for popular science writers, which will often present them as proven facts that are very relevant to everyday life. Even a shallow examination of the theories and the data supporting them will demonstrate that many hypotheses made by evolutionary psychologists are controversial, have very little empirical evidence supporting them, and will usually have very little practical relevance to people. Throughout the course we will learn the theoretical bases of modern evolutionary biology, review the most popular theories of evolutionary psychology (e.g. psychological gender differences, sexual love, marriage, parental love, female beauty, male beauty, sperm competition, female orgasm), observe the way they are presented in the media, and critically examine the science that supports them.

Psychology of Crime: This course approaches the knowledge and understanding of criminal behavior and its impact upon individuals and society from developmental, cognitive-behavioral, and other psychological perspectives. The basic premise of this course is that multiple variables affect people’s behavior and for this reason this study requires attention to personality factors and how they interact with situational variables. Topics include: criminological theories, biological and psychological models of criminal behavior, crime and mental disorders, human aggression and violence, sexual assault, and criminal homicide. Students will acquire a new framework for interpreting criminal behavior. Students will be familiarized with different perspectives on criminal behavior as well as etiology, risk factors, assessment and treatment in relation to different criminal behaviors. Recent research findings will be incorporated.

Social Psychology: Social psychology is concerned with how we think about, influence, and relate to other people. This course is about the study of human social behavior, examining theories, findings, approaches, and methods in social psychology, as viewed from an interpersonal perspective. Topics include: The role of others in shaping self-concepts, as well as the formation of perception, attitudes, attribution theory, obedience, conformity, and social relations. We will further look at the causes and methods of reducing prejudice and aggression, as well as explore altruism, the development of gender roles, stereotypes, and nonverbal behavior. Readings and activities assigned will inform the discussion, broaden students’ knowledge of and perspectives on human social interactions and give them a framework from which to interpret social behavior. In addition, since this course is taught in Florence, Italy, it provides a natural opportunity to compare and contrast the influence of culture on individuals. Living for even this short period in another country helps you see and understand the relationship between the individual(self) and society, and a chance to view your own culture from a distance.

Organized Crime: Sociology and History of Italian Mafia: “Mafia” is one of a long list of words – like “pizza”, “spaghetti” and “opera” – that Italian has given to many other languages across the world. It is commonly applied to criminals far beyond Sicily and the United State; places where the Mafia in the strict sense is based. “Mafia” has become an umbrella label for a wide array of gangs – Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Chechen, Albanian, Turkish, and so on – that have little or nothing to do with the Sicilian original. This course is a history of the Mafia in Sicily. Some of the most famous American mafiosi, such as Lucky Luciano and Al Capone, will also be taken into consideration because the history of the Sicilian Mafia cannot be understood without telling the story of the American Mafia to which it gave birth. The course analyzes the Sicilian Mafia through a historical, social, and cultural perspective, tracing its progression from the unification of Italy to the present day. An analysis of the sociological aspects of the Mafia will be considered, including “the language of the mafioso,” “code of silence.” the ways of violence, the social relationships within the organization, messages and messengers, structures of power, profits and losses, and the relationships between the Mafia, politics, and religion.

Italian Society Today: Through this course, students will take a close look at the changing nature of Italian society, focusing on the postwar period and especially the last thirty years. Using a sociological framework, students analyze the opportunities and challenges affecting Italian society during the economics and cultural revival that followed reconstruction and today. Themes addressed include everyday life, demographics and the lifespan, health, gender, family, education, religion, politics, legality, business and labor, culture, consumption and leisure, national and other identities and perceptions, urban and rural life, Italian regions and the “southern question,” emigration and immigration, race and ethnicity, diversity and integration (European, Mediterranean, global) and current issues. History and politics are addressed, but the primary focus is on the social structures and tensions. This course offers a key to understanding the present and future of this distinctive and fascinating country.

Travel Writing Throughout history, Italy has inspired writers and poets to wax lyrical in ways that few other countries have done. Countless English- language novels, stories and poems have woven a bel paese of words around the Italian experience. This course provides an opportunity for students to focus first-hand on the art and craft of travel writing, with particular emphasis on cities in Italy, but also with excursions into other worlds – real or imaginary. Through reading, writing, and visits in and around the city center, students will explore places of historic, artistic, cultural and personal interest. They will learn “by example” from a selection of great travel literature from the world in general, and from Italy in particular. And they will learn “by doing”, via a series of guided exercises and assignments that explore the distinctive qualities of travel writing – its combination of history, culture, information, rumination, musings and memory – and the ways in which this particular art can lead to a deeper understanding of their own experiences and cultural identity.


Disclaimer:

*Course offerings are subject to change and vary between each session. Please contact us for any questions about a specific course or session schedule.

**Some courses may require students to purchase books or other courses materials or include additional fees for equipment. These fees are the student’s responsibility and are to be paid once in Florence.

***Some universities are established affiliates of Lorenzo de'Medici (LdM) in Florence, Italy. If you attend a school that is an LdM affiliate, you must speak with your study abroad office regarding your interest in our programs and may need prior approval. Click here for the current list of LdM affiliates.