UMW in Italy | Exploring Ancient & Early Modern Empires


UMW in Italy

Exploring Ancient & Early Modern Empires


Program Dates

May 11 – May 27

Summer 2021


Register for this program by January 1, 2021. Registration is not confirmed until your deposit has been received.

View our cancellation policy.

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Program Fees


$500 deposit due upon registration.
$4,700 payment due February 2, 2021.


  • Round-trip airfare
  • Ground transportation in-country
  • Some meals
  • Housing and accommodations
  • Group excursions
  • International health insurance
  • UMW Education Abroad fee

NOT Included

  • UMW tuition (may be part of your Spring 2021 course load)
  • Transportation to and from US Airport
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplemental snacks, some meals
  • Souvenirs
  • Immunizations
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Health Information

International travel may require immunizations or preventative medicines. Please refer to the US Center for Disease Control’s Traveler’s Health Information Page for recommendations. The UMW Health Center provides free travel consultations by appointment, as well as travel information for UMW students. The Center for International Education recommends that each student have a personalized medical consultation prior to international travel.

This program includes significant amounts of walking each day (including over uneven ground) and stair climbing. There are few elevators in museums and historic sites. 

Led by Dr. Liane Houghtalin and Dr. Marjorie Och, the program examines the  expansion and decline of ancient Rome, Renaissance Florence, and early modern Venice. Students will have the opportunity to explore the art, archaeology, history, culture, and contemporary society of these Italian cities.

  • Start your adventure in Rome with visits to ancient sites including the Pantheon, Colosseum, and Forum, as well as the Renaissance and Baroque treasures of the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica. We lay the groundwork here for our study of “empire.”
  • Explore the streets, palaces, and museums of Florence to learn why the Renaissance begins here. Renaissance Florence offers countless opportunities to investigate how ancient Rome influenced early modern city states.
  • Discover Venice, a city built on the sea, to examine how this medieval town borrowed ideas from both antiquity as well as the Ottoman Empire to redefine “empire.”
  • Visit the Venice Biennale, the world’s most important contemporary art exhibition, and see how Venice remains at the center of global issues with this year’s theme, “May you live in interesting times.”
  • Spend your evenings walking in the steps of Caesar, Lorenzo il Magnifico, and Marco Polo to reflect on the power of the past on our present.


Students will stay in double or triple-occupancy rooms at local hotels and hostels.  All hotels will have WiFi and breakfast included.


Students will earn 3 credits for either ARTH 360C: Special Studies in Art History or CLAS 351F: Special Studies in Classical Civilization.  An additional 3 credits related to the trip may be arranged through participation in ARTH 491 or CLAS 491, individual study courses, with one of the instructors in the Fall 2021 semester. The course will take place during the last eight weeks of the Spring 2021 term followed by the in-country portion of the program.  To enroll in the course for Spring 2021, students must register with CIE and then contact the Faculty Director(s) for POI.

This course satisfies the Experiential Learning/Beyond the Classroom or Global Inquiry/Diverse and Global Perspectives general education requirement by contract with the Faculty Director(s) only.

Requirements & Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in order to participate. This program is open to all UMW students regardless of major or year of study. It is also open to non-UMW students.


Faculty-Led Program Scholarships are available to UMW students (deadlines apply).


See the program fees and payment due dates in the right column. Use the Make a Payment button below to pay your deposit and regular program payment. Use the Special Payment option to pay a special amount (such as additional insurance or payment in a different amount as a result of a scholarship award).

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