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UVA in Italy: Photography and Contemporary Art History
Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy; Rome, Italy; Venice, Italy (Education Abroad Programs Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Class Status:
1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5
Language Requirement:
Open to Non-UVa Students:
Housing: Hotel Language Courses Offered: No
Language of Instruction: English
Credit Type:
Direct Credit
Program Type:
Faculty led
Tuition Payments Made To:
Education Abroad Advisor:
Abby Leake
Application Fee:
Study Abroad Administrative Fee:
Subject Area:
Art - Art History, Art - Studio Art, Photography
Program Description:
Italy Photo Art History Lead

UVA in Italy: Photography and Contemporary Art History


Set in the beautiful hills of Tuscany, the program offers students a unique opportunity to learn the principles and techniques of photography, and to familiarize themselves with the art and history of contemporary Italy. Using cameras they build themselves in class, students return to the fundamentals of photographic practice through a focus on pinhole photography, as they explore in person the visually rich culture of Italy.

Announcements IconAnnouncements

This program will run again in Summer 2019.


Location IconLocation

The program in Photography and Art History in Italy begins in Rome. While its monuments of classical, renaissance, and baroque art and architecture are well known and unsurpassed, the Eternal City has increasingly become a center for contemporary art. Students will visit Rome's museums of modern and contemporary art, including its brand-new MAXXI: the Museum of Art of the XXI Century, and stop at a number of private galleries in the historic city.The program is based in the medieval Tuscan town of Castiglion Fiorentino, situated on the main train line between Rome and Florence. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Val di Chio, the small, walled city and its environs offer students a friendly and manageable place in which to live and work. The region's juxtaposition of ancient and contemporary culture provides rich subject matter for photography.

While living in Tuscany students will visit Florence's museums, both old--the Accademia and the Uffizi--and new; Florence is home to Italy's National Museum of Photography and to the experimental art space La Strozzina, in the cellars of a renaissance palace. Students will also take day trips to a regional photography festival and to contemporary museums housed in the historical center of the medieval city of Siena.

The course will culminate with a visit to Venice for the contemporary International Arts Biennale. The Biennale is the most celebrated arts event in the world and is based at the Giardini, which houses 30 permanent national pavilions and includes a large exhibition hall that features a themed exhibition curated by the Biennale's director. Additional off-site and The Peggy Guggenheim Museum will offer an extensive experience of the city and it's art.

Italy Photo Art History Study Italy Photo Art History Locale

Courses IconCourses

The assignments in the three-credit photography course (ARTS 2511, 3112, or 4900) will teach students the physics of photography and the basics of the darkroom, as well as allow them to create a collection of photographs drawn from their experience in Italy. Their final portfolios will include a selection of their ten best prints. The course covers all aspects of black and white photography, including the functions of the camera, the processing and printing of images, critical judgment, and professional presentation.

In the three-credit art history course (ARTH 2472), students survey the important movements in Italian art in the twentieth century and come to understand their historical and aesthetic contexts. The course will be taught both through classroom lectures in Castiglion Fiorentino and visits to important museums and collections in Rome and Tuscany.

Pinhole Photography in Italy
(ARTS 2511, 3112, or 4900; 3 credits)

Modern Art in Italy
(ARTH 2472; 3 credits)

Faculty IconFaculty

William Wylie |

Photography courses are taught by William Wylie, Professor in the McIntire Department of Art. Prof. Wylie has been teaching photography for over twenty-five years and has directed this program since 2005.

Christa Noel Robbins |

Modern Art in Italy is taught by Christa Noel Robbins, Assistant Professor of modern and contemporary art history in the McIntire Department of Art. She is an advisory editor for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism and has published in the Oxford Art Journal and Art in America.


Accommodation and MealsAccommodation and Meals

Throughout their time in Tuscany, students will be housed in shared rooms at a recently renovated ancient convent. Founded by the Benedictine Sisters in the thirteenth century, the convent building is conveniently located in the heart of Castiglion Fiorentino. Meals are taken communally with students and faculty from other participating U.S. universities.

While in Rome and Venice, students will stay in hotels.  Breakfast and some group dinners will be provided.

Cost and Financial Aid

The program cost and payment schedule are listed under the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page. Students with identifiable financial need are encouraged to apply for fellowships, scholarships, and financial aid.

Rome Celebration

Accessibility IconAccessibility

The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.


Passport IconPassport and Visa

All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program. Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program return date. US passport holders will not need a visa to participate in this program. International students should meet with their International Student Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process.


Health Info IconHealth and Safety Information

All students considering Education Abroad should consult the Students Abroad section of the U.S. Department of State’s web-based travel resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health web resources to research health, safety, and security conditions; visa requirements; immunization requirements; and recommendations on staying healthy and safe in their target destination(s). Students should also carefully review the UVA Education Abroad Health & Safety Abroad web page. Parents and guardians are strongly advised to review all of these resources, as well. UVA students and visiting students enrolled in UVA Education Abroad programs are subject to the University of Virginia’s Policy on Student International Travel.

This program is currently not accepting applications.