F&M in Italy

 

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"The summer program was the capstone of my Italian career at F&M.  It was special because it was my first time really traveling alone, and it was my first time traveling to Europe.  Learning the Italian language was not easy in my first years at F&M, but getting the opportunity to fully submerge myself in the language and the culture propelled my knowledge to another level that I once thought to be attainable.  And of course, it was a lot of fun."  Nick Porcelli '15
 
"Being in a small group allowed to only use Italian, I made long-lasting memories and my language skills skyrocketed.  My time at Vicchio helped prepare me for my semester-long study abroad in Padova, Italy."  Emily Meneghin '15
 
During my time in Vicchio, my language skills vastly improved; that is only possible with such a close-knit immersion program.  The classes and the study trips wonderfully enhanced each other, which not only made the summer fun, but also full of opportunities to hone my reading, writing and conversational abilities."  Livia Meneghin '15

 

Franklin & Marshall's Summer Program in Italian is located in Vicchio del Mugello, a small town in Tuscany 30 km north of Florence, to which it is well connected by train. Vicchio was the birthplace of the painter Giotto, whose house can still be visited today. It is also the site of a major Etruscan archaelogical excavation, sponsored by Franklin & Marshall, Southern Methodist University and the University of Pennsylvania Museum.

WHY VICCHIO?

Unlike Florence, Vicchio offers opportunities for personal contacts with local people through sports, social events, or individually-tailored internships.  It also allows for a full-immersion language and culture experience, impossible in large tourist cities.  All courses are specially designed for the Vicchio program and aim to take full advantage of the location in Italy (including visits to markets, interviews, research on local history, artwork, and monuments.) Regular dinners and excursions with faculty are also part of the immersion program.  The summer program is a highly effective learning experience that combines the pleasures of living in Italy with the high quality of academic instruction and one-on-one interaction with faculty that distinguishes Franklin & Marshall. 

SUMMER 2017 DATES AND PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The program is approximately 6 weeks, and is divided into two sessions.  

Students will arrive in Vicchio on Monday, May 22.  Classes for Session I will begin on Tuesday, May 23.  All students will have four hours of class instruction daily and will be free during the weekends, except for organized field trips.  In the past, students have visited Siena, Venice, Pisa, Milan, etc.

Between Session I and Session II, the program will travel to Apulia. The trip will allow students to experience another aspect of Italy's cultural and natural landscape and will serve both as a break and a transitional moment in the program.  Students will be actively involved in planning some aspects of the trip as well as in preparing for it through research and reading.

Classes for Session II will begin on Thursday, June 14, and the program will close with a final dinner on Friday, June 30.

THE ACADEMIC PROGRAM

Intermediate Italian

Students that have completed Italian 102 will take two 200-level language and cultural studies courses.  Students completing these courses will receive two regular F&M credits and letter grades for them, just as if the classes had been taken on the F&M campus. The prerequisite for these courses is satisfactory completion of ITA 102 or the equivalent, or placement at the 201-level. Upon their return to F&M, students will be able to take ITA 201.

Session I

ITA 240: Landscapes of Tuscany.  This course focuses on Vicchio and the Mugello Valley, and includes historical, artistic, and literary components (20th-century literature, with poetry by Dino Campana, literary prose by Sibilla Aleramo, and a short memoir on the anti-Nazi resistance struggle in the Mugello. The course includes excursions (to Scarperia, Borgo San Lorenzo, Palazzuolo, the Medici castle of Trebbio, and the Apennine mountains), which students prepare in advance by doing historical and art-historical research in local libraries and giving presentations. Students will take a midterm and a final exam, each with a written and an oral component to prepare in advance.

Session II

ITA 241: Florence, Capital of the Renaissance.  This course shifts the students' attention to the capital city of Tuscany. The course includes "hands-on" learning components involving cultural visits, map-making, and the creation of a literary guide to the city as the final project, in collaboration with upper-level students.

Advanced Italian

Students who have completed ITA 202 by May 2015 will have the opportunity to take two advanced-level courses that aim at integrating coursework and group and individual urban explorations. Both courses are entirely grounded in local history, art, literature, and natural landscape. These courses will involve classroom instruction as well as field trips, hikes, and interactions with local people. Students completing these courses will receive two F&M credits, which count as electives for the Italian minor. More advanced students can also engage in independent research projects. Interested students should consult program faculty to discuss opportunities suited to them.

Session I

ITA 340: Landscapes of Tuscany.  This course focuses on Vicchio and the Mugello Valley, and includes historical, artistic, and literary components (20th-century literature, with poetry by Dino Campana, literary prose by Sibilla Aleramo, and readings by medieval and Renaissance authors including Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, and Giorgio Vasari). The course includes excursions (to Scarperia, Borgo San Lorenzo, Palazzuolo, the Medici castle of Trebbio, and the Apennine mountains), which students prepare in advance by doing historical and art-historical research in local libraries and giving presentations. Students will take a midterm and a final exam, each with a written and an oral component to prepare in advance.

Session II

ITA 341: Florence, Capital of the Renaissance.  This course involves readings in medieval and Renaissance literature, as well as "hands-on" learning components involving cultural visits, map-making, and the collaborative creation of a literary guide to the city as the final project, in collaboration with the intermediate students.

THE FACULTY

Professor Scott Lerner (PhD in Comparative Literature, Harvard) is Professor of French and Italian and has taught both French and Italian literature and language courses at all levels.  He has co-founded and directs the summer program.

Giovanna Faleschini Lerner (PhD Italian, University of Pennsylvania) is Associate Professor of Italian.  She has taught all levels of Italian language and literature both on campus and abroad.

Professor Chelsea Pomponio (ABD Italian, University of Pennsylvania) is a scholar of Dante and the political history of medieval Florence.  She has previously taught in the University of Pennsylvania Summer-in-Florence program.

Professor Arianna Fognani (PhD Italian Studies, Rutgers University) is Visiting Assistant Professor of Italian and has extensive experience teaching Italian language and culture both in the USA and in Italy.

ACCOMMODATION

Students are lodged in the hotel L’Antica Porta di Levante, located in the center of town, at walking distance from the train station, grocery stores, and restaurants. The hotel's Michelin-reviewed restaurant will provide a high-quality breakfast and dinner every day.  Students occupy double and triple rooms with private bathrooms.​

PROGRAM FEE AND FINANCIAL AID

The program fee is expected to be $6,700.

This includes:

  • lodging in Vicchio with breakfast and dinner
  • transportation and accommodation on field trips
  • tuition for 2 F&M credits

This does not include:

  • airfare
  • transportation from airport to Vicchio
  • lunches while in Vicchio
  • some meals on field trips

Students are expected to make their own travel arrangements from the US. This is common policy for summer travel courses at F&M, as it allows students some flexibility in their travel plans, such as spending more time in Europe after the course is over.

Financial aid is available. Students are encouraged to apply for study-abroad and research grants through the Office of International and Off-Campus Study.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Professor Giovanna Faleschini Lerner or your Italian professor.

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