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Florence: Italian Renaissance

The Italian Renaissance in the Twenty-First Century

  • Florence, ITALY
  • TRAVL-UG 9202| 4 credits | Instructors: Bella Mirabella (NYU Gallatin) & Cecilia Martelli (University of California, Florence)
  • LEVEL: Undergraduate NYU and non-NYU students
  • TOPICS: Literature, art history, architectural history, and more
  • TRAVEL DATES: June 6 - June 29
    • Round 1: Feb. 15 (priority registration)  | admissions notification by March 1
    • Round 2: March 10  | admissions notification by April 1

Space is limited and some programs close before the final deadline. Early application is encouraged. Students must confirm participation approximately 2 weeks after the advertised dates.

pastel-colored buildings next to a river and bridge

Italy’s location in the Mediterranean Basin, with its proximity to North Africa, the Middle East, and Turkey, helped make Italy and Florence a place of international trade and intellectual exchange and hence the center of the Renaissance in Europe with regard to art, culture, literature, economics, and politics.

These global influences on Italy (and Europe) permeated all aspects of the Renaissance—from Dante’s philosophical ideas and his conception of the afterlife, to Machiavelli’s advice on politics, to a revolution in science and mathematics, to early conceptions of capitalism, to innovations in art and architecture, and to concepts of love and poetic expression. All of these events continue to influence every aspect of our contemporary lives; hence, the complexities of the past help us understand the challenges of the present.

During a three-week interdisciplinary program in beautiful and historic Florence, students will receive an immersive and multifaceted learning experience that is an essential beginning to understanding our modern world through the lens of the Italian Renaissance. This team-taught course, with a professor of art and one of literature,  places emphasis on the cultural, historical, political, and gendered contexts from which the literature and art of Renaissance Florence emerged We focus on the literature, culture, art, and thought of the Renaissance through multiple perspectives such as gender, the place of the Other, the role of religion, questions of transgression and Justice, as well as art practice, and the role of patronage .

Readings may include the writing of Pico Della Mirandola, Dante’s Inferno, female writers such as Moderata Fonte, the comic play, Gl’Igannati  as well as art texts such as Vasari's The Lives of the Artists and contemporary essays on Renaissance artists. Students will study key art concepts, such as naturalism in the rendering of the human figure and perspective, by focusing on Florentine artists such as Giotto, Masaccio, Botticelli, da Vinci, and Michelangelo in the places where these works were created. There will be guided visits to the churches, museums and monuments of the city, giving students the opportunity to have a direct and in person approach to the art works.

There will be short assignments as well as a final essay/presentation.

Classes are taught in English and meet four days a week. Students will visit museums and churches such as the Uffizi, the Bargello, the Duomo, and the church of Santa Maria Novella to engage fully with the art and architecture of Renaissance Italy.

Gallatin students: This course fulfills 4 credits of the Interdisciplinary Seminar as well as the Humanities and Early Modern requirements.

Note: Students who are enrolled in this course cannot concurrently take another course.


  • Undergraduate students, NYU and non-NYU schools
  • Must have completed at least one full-time college semester before the course begins
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA, good academic & disciplinary standing
  • Must be matriculated at a college or university during the Summer 2022 term


All advertised fees below will be due according to NYU’s summer billing cycle (typically early May).

*Program fee includes mandatory excursions, some meals, and mandatory international health insurance, which is provided for the program duration. IMPORTANT: the program fee becomes nonrefundable after students confirm participation in the course. Course tuition, the program fee, and other fees above are due typically by early May, according to NYU's summer billing cycle.

Other Major Costs to Consider:

  • Round-trip airfare (students purchase their own tickets and are responsible for their own accommodation for travel beyond the program dates); students will be notified when to book flights
  • Fees for passport; fees for travel visa, if required
  • Most meals and local transportation

Financial Aid

The Gallatin Dean's Scholarship is available for this program. See our Financial Aid for Study Away page for details on eligibility and additional opportunities.

Important Travel Details

Housing: Students are required to reside in housing arranged by NYU Gallatin. Students who have questions or concerns about accessibility or disability-related accommodations should contact NYU’s Moses Center.

Travel Documents: All program participants are required to have a valid passport, and certain participants might need a travel visa. These documents should be obtained well in advance of the program start date.

Helpful Links: Lonely Planet Florence, US State Department: Travel to Italy

Contact Info

NYU Gallatin Office of Global Programs
411 Lafayette St., 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003
1 (212) 998-7133 phone
1 (212) 995-4265 fax

Social Media: Facebook | Instagram (@gallatinglobal)

Past Photos from Gallatin's Florence Travel Course