The Northern Italy Trip marks a significant turning point in the Rome Semester. This seven-day trip includes overnight stays in three of Europe's most historic cities--Florence, Venice and Assisi. It is scheduled during the later weeks of the semester in order to take advantage of a natural period of transition in the semester's curriculum. Ancient Greece and Rome now make room for the birth of Christianity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the awakening of the modern world. The Northern Italy Trip is a perfect way to explore these periods to their very fullest. Lectures, guided walks, museum visits and generous amounts of free time for independent exploration are the keys to bringing the great historic and artistic treasures of these Medieval and Renaissance cities alive. Essentially, the Northern Italy Trip invites students to turn their full attention to the historic shift-culturally, politically and religiously-from the ancient to modern world.
Unparalleled works of art and architecture from the Middle Ages and Renaissance are a mainstay of the trip. Visits to world-class museums such as the Uffizi and the Accademia of Florence or the Doges' Palace in Venice bring students into direct contact with many of the great masters of the European past. The trip also schedules visits to notable churches-among them, the Duomo of Florence, the Church of San Marco in Venice, and the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.
Another attraction of the trip is its focus on Roman Catholic thought and the larger European intellectual tradition in which it is situated. St. Francis of Assisi and Dante hold a prominent place in that tradition, as do Machiavelli, Ficino and Leonardo. Memorials to these and other historic figures are still visible today for students intent upon returning to the roots of Europe's intellectual history.