Western Art, History, and Religion in Florence, Rome and Assisi integrates the combined curricula of two courses (CTH 221: Catholic Experience II, and HAA 130: European Art) and encompasses two Learning Domains (CTH 221 fulfills Understanding the Past, while HAA 130 fulfills an Arts and Literature), plus the Junior-year Experiential Learning. It explores Rome and Florence, magnificent capitals of European art and architecture, and (in Rome’s case) home of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as Assisi, the medieval city at the origin of a movement that highly affected history, the history of Catholicism, and the history of art in the Middle Ages and beyond.
Students will engage with the most important historic, cultural and artistic sites in Florence, Rome, and Assisi in a variety of ways: lectures from DePaul faculty and guest lectures from local experts, discussions, on-site learning at museums and historical landmarks, experiential learning activities, and cultural activities. We’ll visit important museums and churches, including the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Basilica of Saint Peter’s, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapels in Rome, and tour Assisi, with an emphasis on the legacy of Saint Francis. Experiential learning activities include onsite presentations, exhilarating tours of the cities, and spectacular private excursions to world-famous structures, such as the Colosseum.
This program allows students to develop an enhanced awareness of the complex cultural intersections of history, religion and art history, while facilitating their opportunity to witness firsthand the inextricable connections between art history and Catholicism in a key period for the formation of the Western civilization (13th- 18th century).
Emanuele Colombo (Ph.D., University of Milan-Padua, Italy) is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Catholic Studies at DePaul University, Chicago. He had research fellowships in Italy (University of Milan), France (EPHE, Paris-Sorbonne), and the US (University of Notre Dame and Boston College). His research is focused on religious history in the early modern period: theology and politics, Jesuit missions, and Christian-Muslim encounters.
Susan Solway (Ph.D., Northwestern University) is professor and founding chair of the Department of History of Art and Architecture at DePaul University, Chicago. She is an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Catholic Studies and teaches courses on European art and architecture. Her research focuses on the function and importance of coins and seals in the visual culture of the Middle Ages.
All students will be enrolled in the following 2 courses:
CTH 221: Catholic Experience II
4 credit hours
Liberal Studies domain
Understanding the Past (UP) or Experiential Learning (EL)
The course provides an overview of the history of Catholicism and its interactions with institutional, political, cultural, and social history from the Protestant Reformation to the French Revolution. The main topics of the class are the Late Medieval Society; Humanism and Erasmus; the impact of the Age of the Reformation; the Council of Trent; the so-called wars of religions; the geographic discoveries and the New Worlds; the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution; the Catholic Church and the French Revolution.
Additional course information
Cross-listed with HST 219 and REL 207. Course will be taught online.
HAA 130: Introduction to European Art
4 credit hours
Liberal Studies domain
Arts and Literature (A+L) or Experiential Learning (EL)
Utilizing a chronological and geographical framework, this course examines the visual arts, primarily painting, sculpture and architecture, from ancient Greece to the seventeenth century with an emphasis on the spectacular Italian art and architecture that we will see firsthand abroad.
Additional course information
Exact dates TBD, but 5 or 6 3-hour meetings will be held in LPC
Please note that although some courses are registered in a particular term, some coursework or final assignments may be due in a different term. E.g. Course registered in winter quarter, but coursework is due in spring quarter once the travel component of the program is complete.
In Rome, accommodation in dorm-style structures at St. John’s University. In Assisi and Florence, accommodation in hotels.
In Rome: Tour of the Colosseum and Roman Forum, plus amazing separate VIP Colosseum Underground Tour; guided trip to Ostia Antica; Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini; Pantheon; Early Christian Catacombs; Trastevere, including the former Jewish Ghetto in Rome and Santa Maria in Trastevere; Casanatense Library; Vatican Museums; Sistine Chapel; papal audience; St. Peter’s Basilica and visit to the Dome; St. Ignatius and the Gesù; evening of Italian music; Piazza Nuovo, Trevi Fountain, etc..
In Assisi: Walking tour of city, including Roman Museum and Roman Forum (now the Piazza del Comune); Santa Maria Sopra Minerva/Roman Temple of Minerva; Museum of Memory, to view exhibit, Jewish Lives Saved in Assisi, 1943-1944. Tour of Rocca Maggiore, famed medieval castle ruins. Franciscan Assisi with guided tours to Basilica of San Francesco, Duomo di San Rufino, Basilica di Santa Chiara, San Damiano, and Santa Maria degli Angeli, with Porziuncola.
In Florence: Tours highlight landmarks of early Italian Renaissance art and architecture, including Baptistry, Duomo (also archaeological remains of Santa Reparata); Palazzo Vecchio; Giotto’s campanile (climb); Opera del Duomo Museum; Uffizi Gallery (holding world’s greatest collection of Renaissance art); Bargello Museum; Santa Croce/Pazzi Chapel; and Academia with Michelangelo’s David.
All students participating in study abroad will be charged both tuition (billed at the regular DePaul tuition rate, based on the number of credits enrolled) and a program fee. Please read the program fee details carefully to understand exactly what is included, as this can vary from program to program. If the program fee is posted, be sure to note whether the fee is current or from a previous year (past program fees may serve as a guide until the current program fee is available). If the current program fee has not yet been posted, please check back closer to the application deadline. Please also note the withdrawal policy.
DePaul offers several types of scholarships for students studying abroad, and students should visit the scholarship page early in the application process for information on eligibility and deadlines.
DePaul Study Abroad is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and this program is currently moving forward in the Summer 2021 term. If the program is canceled prior to departure, students will be refunded 100% of the program fee and withdrawn from any associated classes with no penalty or tuition charges. Study Abroad has also modified the standard Withdrawal Policy, and any students who commit to this program and decide to withdraw 90+ days prior to the program start date will not be charged any withdrawal fees. For more information, go to the DePaul Study Abroad COVID-19 Updates page.
If you are planning to study abroad and do not have a passport, apply for one immediately. Some programs require students to obtain student visas. In that case, contact the country's local consulate or embassy for up-to-date instructions. As of this publication, students traveling with US passports on the Italy: Western Art, History, and Religion in Florence, Rome, & Assisi program DO NOT need a visa. Please note that visa requirements can change quickly. Study Abroad will update this website to reflect changes as they become available.
Here are some helpful tips from former students who have participated in this program:
There is a lot of walking on this trip- be sure to bring comfortable shoes.
Familiarize yourself with the areas you are visiting to.
Always have a portable charger on you, they will be helpful during long days.
Put your phone down, embrace being uncomfortable.
Always carry drinking water on you, it can very hot and it’s easy to become dehydrated.
Learn basic Italian greetings, it will facilitate communicating with locals.
Exchange dollars to euros before the trip so you don’t have to worry about converting them on site.
Budget for gelato! It’s so worth the $2-4 per dish.
Don’t worry about going into the trip not knowing anybody- you will soon find that you become very close with your peers and end up creating lasting friendships.
DePaul University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or handicap in admissions, employment, or the provision of services. Inquiries regarding this policy should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources, 1 East Jackson Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604.
Circumstances, such as an unexpected event abroad or a curriculum change, may require DePaul University to make changes to the program. DePaul University reserves the right to cancel or alter programs and courses without notice.