In May, twenty students participated in the Early Modern Studies Programme’s study abroad course in Florence, Italy. The course, which is taught entirely on site in daily visits to Florence’s churches, museums, palaces, and civic institutions, gives students the rare opportunity to consider the art, literature, philosophy, and politics of Renaissance Italy first hand.
We read Dante and Boccaccio while picnicking in the Boboli Gardens, compared sculptures of David in the Bargello Museum, and discussed gendered conceptions of beauty in the Pitti Palace. During this month-long intensive class, students formed new and long-lasting friendships and experienced both the joys and trials of living abroad.
For many, it was a life-changing experience, whether it confirmed their chosen academic paths or provided the spark to set out on new ones. Highlights from this year’s trip included climbing Brunelleschi’s dome, a class trip to Siena, and an extraordinary extracurricular bike ride around the top of Lucca’s medieval walls!