A summertime trip to Italy gave 19 York University students an opportunity to learn about the country while being immersed in its culture.
The journey overseas took the students to Rome and Florence in June and July as part of York’s Italian Summer Studies Abroad Program, which is taught by Professors John Picchione and Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano.
Students studied modern and contemporary Italian culture for three weeks while living and breathing all things Italian in the Eternal City.
Students were able to explore key issues of Italian society, with a focus on the following: unification and national identity; fascism and the resistance; political parties and intellectuals; the role of the church; shifts in social values; youth revolts and feminism; visual arts, cinema, literature and design.
In Florence, the focus was on the city’s contribution to the arts, literature and culture in the context of the social and political transformations taking place during and just before the Renaissance.
Students spent time in museums, galleries and churches gazing at the artistic works of Michelangelo, Leonardo and Giotto, among others, while living just a few steps from the Ponte Vecchio.
This third-year course, offered on an annual basis and taught in English, is open to all York University students, as well as to those who attend other universities (with a letter of permission).
Students who participated in the study abroad course this year said that highlights of the trip included a cooking class organized by Iannacito-Provenzano and visits to the Colosseum and the ruins in Fiesole and other nearby cities.
“I was in awe seeing Botticelli’s Primavera and the Birth of Venus up-close and personal,” said one third-year visual arts student. “It was the best experience ever.”
The Italian Summer Studies Abroad Program (Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics) allows students to learn about the rich heritage of the bel paese and enrich their personal growth as they immerse themselves in a new culture and way of life.
Along the way, new friendships are made, new ways of looking at the world develop and horizons are broadened by this unique experience.
For details about the 2016 Italian Summer Studies Abroad Program in Rome and Florence, contact Professor Iannacito-Provenzano (email@example.com) and look for upcoming information sessions.