UMW in Italy | Exploring Ancient & Early Modern Empires


UMW in Italy

Exploring Ancient & Early Modern Empires


Program Dates

July 19 – August 12

Summer 2021



Program Fees


$500 deposit due upon registration.
$6,280 payment due May 10, 2021.


  • Day-trip transportation in-country
  • Some meals (breakfast provided each day. Additional 3 lunches, 3 dinners included)
  • Housing and accommodations
  • Group excursions
  • International health insurance
  • UMW Education Abroad fee
  • Transcript and associated fees

NOT Included

  • Round-trip airfare
  • 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, and in partnership with SAI, 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.

  • Rome will be the program’s home base 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 on a 2-day trip to learn why the Renaissance begins here. Renaissance Florence offers countless opportunities to investigate how ancient Rome influenced early modern city states.
  • Discover Venice on a 2-day trip, 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.”
  • Daytrips to Tivoli and Ostia Antica will provide the opportunity to examine additional Roman sites and a spectacular Renaissance villa and its garden.


Students will stay in double or triple-occupancy shared apartments in Rome. Apartments will be equipped with air conditioning, kitchen, linens, basic utensils for eating and preparing meals, internet, and a washing machine. Each participant will have a USD $75.00 utility allotment per month. Any utility usage over this amount will be charged to the participant at the end of the program.

During overnight excursions, students will be housed in double or triple occupancy rooms in three-star hotels.


Students will earn 6 transfer credits on this program. All students will take the 3 credit course titled “Exploring Ancient and Early Modern Empires” taught by UMW faculty members Dr. Och and Dr. Houghtalin. Students will also take an additional 3 credit course, “Cinematic Rome”, taught by Italiaidea, a local Italian institute for higher education.

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).


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