UVA in Italy - Art and Architecture of Rome

Summer Term

Program Director

Francesca Fiorani (ff6f@virginia.edu)

Program Description

The program provides firsthand, direct knowledge of the art and architecture of Rome through a series of extended on-site visits to the archeological sites, monuments, and museums of the city and its countryside.
The program develops over five weeks. In the first four weeks the program meets four days a week for at least five hours (5 hours). The two courses (ARTH 316Z and ARTH 336Z) meet on alternating days. Classes are taught in the form of extended on-site visit. Only occasionally classes meet in a classroom for brief lectures. For the course on ancient Rome, students visit such famous sites as the Roman forum, the Colosseum, the imperial palaces, the Pantheon and the Circus Maximus. For the course on Renaissance and Baroque Rome, students visit the Vatican Palace and St. Peterís, follow the steps of Caravaggio around the city, enter into the palaces of Renaissance and Baroque aristocrats and cardinals, and examine Renaissance and Baroque churches. In the fifth week of the program students work individually or in small groups on their final assignments under the close supervision of the faculty.
Students enroll in two courses, each course dedicated to the art and architecture of the city at different historical moments. Students have to enroll in both courses.

Credit Hours

Six (6)

Language of Instruction



By Instructor Permission


At least one class in any of the following fields: Art History, Architectural History, European History and European Literature.


In addition to the regular class meetings, the group takes the following field trips:
1. Day trip to Tivoli to visit the Roman Hadrian Villa and the Renaissance Villa díEste.
2. Day trip to Ostia, the ancient port of Rome.
3. Two-day trip to Naples and Pompeii.


Prof. John Dobbins
(3 credits)
Prof. Francesca Fiorani
(3 credits)


John Dobbins,
Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology,
joined the UVA faculty in 1978 after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. His specialty is Roman Art and Archaeology. Professor Dobbins has excavated in Spain, Italy, Greece, and Syria and currently is Director of the Pompeii Forum Project (see http://pompeii.virginia.edu/demo.html). His most recent publications pertain to his research in Pompeii. For three summers (1998-2000) he served as co-director of the Summer Program in Archaeology of the American Academy in Rome.

Francesca Fiorani, Associate Professor of Art History,
received her Ph.D in Renaissance Art from the University of Rome, her native city, and joined the University of Virginia in 1995. An expert on the relationship between art and science, she has published widely on Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance maps and artistic theory. The author of The Marvel of Maps. Art, Cartography and Politics in Renaissance Italy (Yale University Press, 2005), she is currently writing a book on Leonardo da Vinciís Shadows. She teaches a great variety of graduate and undergraduate courses on Renaissance Art at the University.


Students will be housed in double-occupancy rooms in apartments shared with other students on the program. The location of the apartments will be conveniently connected to the historic center of Rome by public transportation.
In Naples students lodge in a 2** hotel (double-occupancy rooms). Breakfast at the hotel is included.


Francesca Fiorani
Art Department
P.O. Box 400130
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Applications are accepted on line at University of Virginia Study Abroad
(search for: Italy Art Summer).

Fiske Kimball Fine Arts LibraryUVa Art MuseumVisual Resources Collection