Florence, Italy

Students live in apartments in the heart of Florence in this 4-week program. They use the facilities of the Florence institute, the Santa Reparata International School of Art, to enroll in 2 courses offered by Maryville and other St. Louis-area and MOSAIC faculty. Students live in apartments in central Florence.  Excursions to Siena and other local sites are included, plus there are optional day as well as overnight trips to Venice, the Amalfi Coast, and Rome.  Return date depends on participation in Rome optional excursion.  Two sessions are offered in summer 2015.  Specific courses for each session will be available after Christmas break.  Estimated total cost (includes tuition, housing, food, and local excursions) for 6 credits is $4,900 plus airfare (estimated at approximately $1,375). 3 additional credits are available for $750.  (Costs vary for optional trips.)  Courses are for 3 credits each.

Session I: (May 19 to June 19) option 3-day post-program trip to Rome

  • Study of Human Body through Great Italian Renaissance Artists
    (Natalia Moraru: Anatomy – MU)

The Italian Renaissance artists Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael set a new standard in their portrayals of the human figure.  They produced images of the body that combined medical knowledge and an artistic vision of humanity’s place in the world.  They also significantly influenced our understanding of the human form in art and science.  Italian Renaissance art can hardly be imagined apart from the discoveries in the human body’s structure. Italian humanists demonstrated how extremely complicated but at the same time perfect and beautiful the human body is.  That is why learning Human Anatomy along with studying of Italian art masterpieces can be very important and impressive Florence 3 (Venice)for both science and arts major students.  And that is why Florence with its magnificent enjoyable atmosphere that inspired the great Italian humanists to create their fabulous paintings and sculptures would be the perfect place for students to learn all the inheritance of Italian masters and feel and understand that Human Anatomy has a great beauty.

  • The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food (John Baltrushunas: Art Design – Maryville)

Art, architecture and history are often the markers of a country’s development. The epic history of Italy can also be told through the flavors and character of its cities. For thousands of years Italy’s historic cities have been magnets for everything that makes for great eating: ingredients, talent, money, and power. We will experience this in the food we eat and through the artifacts of the Etruscans, the Romans, the Renaissance, the Baroque, the Fascists and the contemporary. We will see how taste, creativity, and civic pride blended with princely arrogance, political violence, and dark intrigue to build magnificent palaces, breathtaking cathedrals and the world’s favorite cuisine. We will follow the Arabic origins of pasta and we will seek out the medieval recipes that reveal Italy’s long love affair with exotic spices. Food demonstrates Italy’s class struggles whether seen in the opulent theater of a Renaissance wedding banquet, the thin soups and bland polentas that forced millions to emigrate to the New World, or the nostalgia for a soup made of stale bread. Starting with its cultural mandate to preserve the old ways of raising and preparing its food Modern Italy has evolved to a center of sustainable agriculture. Italians live much closer to their sources of food than we do in the United States. The markets are beautiful in their celebration of the locally grown produce, regional cheeses and cured meats.  We will cook and visit restaurants of traditional cuisine.  In the museums we will see the visual record of each era. We will visit farmland and vineyards that still feed Italy.  This course will be documented in a journal or blog of pictures and reflections on the historical and epicurean experiences. A research paper will be completed after we return.

  •  Drawing in Florence (Steve Teczar: Visual Arts – Maryville)

Trevii Fountain

This course requires observational drawing from original monuments of Italian art, architecture, culture and history from Etruscan and Roman, through Renaissance and Modern times in Florence. Emphasis is on perceptual drawing on-site to develop and to apply drawing skills; to document and enhance the study abroad experience while living independently in Florence and experiencing Italian culture firsthand; and to allow for creative expression. There are also opportunities to visit Fiesole, Siena, Venice, Milan, Cinque Terre, Rome, and other historic sites and towns in Italy, and to draw and photograph related content. Drawing in Florence may be taken as an introductory 200-level course (ADSA 208 70) which is for students with little or no background in drawing or art history, but who have a keen interest in drawing and the visual documentation of their experiences in a travel journal; or it may be taken as an advanced 400-level course with the instructor’s permission (ADSA 408 70). This is for students with prior learning in drawing and art history who have a strong interest in documenting their experiences by drawing, collecting artifacts, writing and keeping a travel journal.

  • Ancient Mysteries & Medieval Hill Towns: Tuscan Art and Architecture(Todd Brenningmeyer: Art History and Archaeology – Maryville)

This course will examine Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture in Tuscany and the some of the surrounding regions.  Students will participate in a series of field trips that take them outside the city of Florence where they will explore the ancient tombs and cities of the Etruscans and RomansFlorence Justin picture as well as Medieval and early Renaissance art and architecture.  The course provides a unique opportunity to explore scenic hilltop villages, ancient cities of the dead, and Roman monuments that influenced the development of art in Florence and elsewhere.

  • Architecture and Design in Italy (Darlene Davison: Art Design – Maryville)

The city and countryside will be our studio as we explore some of the best architecture, interiors and design in the world.   We will investigate the principles of form and composition in the making of architectural space, rich historical architectural and elegant contemporary design.  Florence, famous for its rich history as the cradle of the Renaissance, will be our base. Milan, recognized as the world capital of contemporary design and creativity, will be an extension of our Florence studio where we will see a thriving design industry and the latest in Italian furniture and design.

  • Florence Museums and Galleries (Metra Mitchell –  Maryville)

This course traces the origins and breadth of Florence’s major art and cultural collections.  Students will visit all the important and some out-of-the-way museums and galleries:  Accademia and The David, Uffizi, Santa Maria del Carmine, Santa Maria del Fiore, Santa Croce, San Marco, Bargello, San Lorenzo, Opera del Duomo, and Museo Bardini and Palazzo Pitti.

After a day of wine tasting in Tuscany

  • Exploring the Culture of Florence (James Harf: Political Science & International Affairs – Maryville

This 3-credit course allows students to prepare for and reflect upon a wide range of both group and individual excursions during their 3-week program in Florence, Italy.  Students will participate in several day-long and longer excursions, including city-wide excursions in Florence, Sienna, Venice and Rome, as well as several other excursions outside of Florence.  Additionally, students will select other sites, activities, events, and programs to experience.  In total, students will select 15 excursions prior to departure for Florence.  StudentCody. Renee, Nicole and Ashley in the Colosseums may change a handful of sites/activities after arrival abroad.  To begin the process of selecting sites and activities, go to the Internet and type in top tourist, historical, cultural sites and activities in Florence, Rome, etc.  Then peruse the various lists and read the descriptions of each site/activity.  In 30 minutes you will have an abundance of ideas that will form the basis of your initial list of 15 sites and activities. These latter 15 locations:  (1) could represent a variety of student interests and would be simply used by the student to fulfill the total number of elective credits toward graduation; or (2) may be tied closely to a student’s general education requirements; or (3) may be tied to a student’s major/minor.  In the latter two cases, the student should also seek prior approval of the list of 15 sites from his/her campus academic advisor if the course is to be used for a student’s general education requirements or major/minor academic program. The selected sites in these cases will relate to the specific discipline(s) of the general education area or the major/minor program.  The student will write two short papers for each excursion, a “before excursion” paper where the student describes the reason for the choice and what he/she expects to find, and an “after excursion” paper where the student reflects on his/her experience.  The “before excursion” paper is due prior to arrival in Florence and the “after excursion” paper is due one month following the end of the overseas portion of the program.  The “after excursion” paper must be accompanied by proof that you visited the location so described.  It may be an admission ticket receipt, a digital camera photo, or some other piece of evidence.

Session II: (June 21 to July 22) optional 3-day post-program trip to Rome


  • The Science of Wine Making and Tasting (Jennifer Yukna – Maryville)

Students will study the biology, chemistry, andEllen in Pisa geography of wine production in Italy.  This course will emphasize grape varieties used in different regions of Italy, the soil and environmental conditions necessary for successful growth, the science of fermentation, the impact of alcohol on health, and the chemistry of taste and smell.

  • Conservation Psychology in Italy (Peter Green – Maryville)

The intersection of mental and physical health with nature in italy.  This is the course I taught in Australia and can be taught anywhere, world wide, where there exists a variety of natural spaces – parks, rivers, creeks, etc., whether truly natural or manicured like the formal gardens in England.  There was recently an article in National Geographic about how a new mental institution was built on a barge on the Seine with lots of windows, and how the incidents of violence stoppedOne other important factor is the availability of transportation to reach these natural spaces.

Italian Influence on Collage (Brant Schuller –Millersville University)
Digital Photography (Shauna Frischkorn – Millersville University)
Drawing in Florence (Metra Mitchell — Maryville)
Florence Museums and Galleries (Metra Mitchell — Maryville)
Exploring the Culture of Florence (James Harf: Political Science & International Affairs – Maryville)