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Venice Study Group

Director Fall 2018: Assistant Professor Monica Facchini, Department of Italian

The cultural achievements of ancient, medieval, and renaissance Italy have a central place in the study of western civilization, and the city of Venice, the site of the longest-lived European republic, played a pivotal role in that history. The Venice Study Group is open to students who have a strong interest in Italy’s cultural heritage and in its position within the world of modern culture. The interdisciplinary program of study is designed to give students direct experience with Italy’s cultural past and a critical look at its present. Students will have the opportunity to study at first hand archaeological sites and museums, the music, art and architecture of Venice, historical collections and archives etc.  By participating in the study group, students should acquire a deeper sense of the temporal developments of western civilization as well as a better understanding of contemporary Italy.
Students posing with a pumpkin during the fall 2018 Venice study group

Program Structure and Course Credits

All courses are taught by the director or specialists residing in Italy, and are only open to study group students. Instruction is in English except for the language component. Colgate’s affiliation with the University of Venice gives students access to the University’s dining halls and libraries.

Italian Language (ITAL 201Y or 202Y) These language courses are designed to improve students’ ability to understand, speak, read, and write Italian. Students will take their Italian language course at the appropriate level. Taught by local instructors.

The Arts of Venice During the Golden Age (ARTS 311Y) A study of the history and artistic achievements of Venice, especially music, architecture and painting from 1200 to 1900. Includes concerts, visits to churches, museums, and other monuments in the area. Taught by local instructors.

Introduction to Italian Cinema (ITAL 223Y) This course is an introduction to major works of Italian cinema from Neorealism to contemporary productions. Students will watch and discuss groundbreaking films by Italian directors such as Rossellini, Fellini, Antonioni, Pasolini, Benigni, and others. Students are required to attend weekly screenings in addition to regular class meetings. Taught by Prof. Facchini.

Venice and Italy (ITAL 226Y) A survey of Italian history and culture through literature and film, with a particular focus on Venice and the Veneto. Taught by Prof. Facchini.

Students are required to register for the four study group courses and are not permitted to exercise the S/U grading option.

Field Trips

The study group courses will routinely meet at locations in Venice that are of historical or cultural interest. In addition, there will be field trips to Rome, Firenze, Turin, Bologna, and Pordenone that are organized in conjunction with ITAL 223Y and 226Y.

Students in Venice in 1984 Colgate Students in Venice in 2013

Cultural Life and Extracurricular Activities

The city of Venice, a virtual living museum, has a rich cultural life and inexhaustible opportunities for exploration. The autumn season is particularly active with artistic exhibits, film festivals, theatrical productions, operas, and concerts. The nearby cities of Padua and Verona also have an extensive cultural life. There are several athletic clubs in Venice (including that of the student association of the University of Venice).  Students may also join local choral groups.

Living Arrangements

Housing arrangements will be made by the director before the arrival of the students, who will live in furnished apartments with other Colgate students. They will be responsible for their own meals, except for occasional group meals on the field trips. They may cook in their apartments, or eat in the university dining hall.

Standards of Conduct

Students’ conduct is expected to reflect positively on the group and to support the goals of the program.  Academics are to be taken seriously. Attendance in classes, field ,and performances is required, including the weekend events. Norms of behavior (regarding cleanliness, noise, safety, etc.) should be those of adults in an Italian residential setting rather than of students in American college dorms or apartments.

Piazza-San-MarcoPrerequisite Course Work and Selection Criteria

The Venice Study Group welcomes applicants from all concentrations. The only prerequisite is the satisfactory completion of ITAL 122 or equivalent, which can be satisfied in the spring of 2018.


For details of student expenses on this study group, please see Student Cost Estimate Sheets.

Passports and Visas

You must confirm that your passport is valid through June 2019. All students participating on the Venice Study Group will be required to obtain a long-stay student visa. With participation on this study group comes the responsibility of understanding and complying with the Italian government’s visa requirements. If you will not be traveling on a U.S. passport it is imperative that you contact an adviser in Off-Campus Study/International Programs and International Student Services, 101 McGregory Hall to learn as much as you can about the regulations. For some students there are significant visa requirements to be met that take time, advance planning, and incur extra costs.

Program Dates

Venice Study Group Dates: 1 September - late December 2018.

More Information

For more information, please contact Professor Monica Facchini (315-228-7048), 208 Lawrence Hall or by e-mail at