Office for International Study
Smith Programs Abroad
Smith in Florence
Smith in Geneva
Smith in Hamburg
Smith in Paris
Smith Consortium Programs
Smith-Approved Programs Abroad
Eligibility Requirements
costs & Financial Aid
How to Apply
International Experience Opportunities
Health & safety
For Faculty
For Families
For Students Approved to Study Abroad
For Smith Students Abroad
For Students Returning to Smith
Photo Exhibit
Smith in Florence

Related Links

Smith Center Courses

Italian Art History (1400-1500)

4 credits, Fall

A panoramic view of the main artists of the Renaissance present here in Florence. The site visits richly illustrate their works and vividly bring home the realization that they were created here as an integral part of the Renaissance culture.

Artists studied: Andrea del Verrocchio, Antonio del Pollaiolo, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi, Michelangelo, Perugino, Raffaello, Leonardo, Fra Bartolomeo, Andrea del Sarto, Pontorno, Rosso Fiorentino, Bronzino, Vasari.

Site visits: Sassetti Chapel (Basilica of Santa Trinita), Tornabuoni and Strozzi Chapels (Church of Santa Maria Novella), Opificio Pietre Dure (Museum of Precious Stones), Cloister of the Vows (Church of Santissima Annunziata) and Cloister of the Scalzo, Uffizi Gallery

Sustainable Food

4 credits, Fall

Since the foundation of the Slow Food movement, but also from its very origins, Italy has been synonymous with an appreciation for good food. This course examines the social and historical evolution of the production of food and the impact on Italian society. The site visits provide a compelling argument for both the ethics and superior quality of sustainable food.

This course approaches sustainable food from both a social and historic aspect, which includes the study of new alternative distribution channels, ew and old production techniques that respect animals and the environment, culinary history and the origin of Italian cooking traditions, the impact of Italian cuisine, and food production and eating habits on Italian culture.

Guest lecturers:

Site visits include:

Italian Social History

4 credits, Fall

A multidisciplinary approach to contemporary Italian culture. It also takes into account the historical reasons for the current political situation. The course offers an overview of Italian 20th century history and includes the study of important aspects of Italian life: regional differences, local identities, emigration and immigration, the integration of recent immigrants into Italy, internal fighting during WWII, terrorism in the late ‘60s and 70s, organized crime and the Mafia, Italian politics, sport, the evolution of the concept of family and the role of women in society.

Italian Stylistics

4 credits, Fall

A review of basic and advanced language structures. It includes a variety of activities to learn different linguistic registers: collaborating with a local radio station, visiting a newspaper, preparing video material and improving linguistic skills through a full immersion in the city and in Italian life. This is a required course for all students unless they place out of this language level.

University Auditing - The Road Less Traveled

2 credits, Fall

Students are asked to audit, once a week, a course at the University of Florence. They are also asked to write weekly diaries about their experience. The Director reviews these diaries and meets with the students to discuss their experience and to help them prepare for University of Florence classes in the Spring. This course is graded S/U only.

Survey of Italian Literature 2 (ITL 251)

4 credits, Spring

The second part of this survey of Italian literature builds on the writers studied in Survey 1 and covers the period from the 1600s to the 1900s. The course will focus on the ideas and movements - scientific, social and literary - of the different periods and examine how they found expression in the literature of the time. Writers examined will include, among others, Galileo Galilei, Carlo Goldoni, Casanova, Cesare Beccaria , Giacomo Leopardi, Alessandro Manzoni, Giovanni Pascoli, Giovanni Verga, Luigi Pirandello, Eugenio Montale & Italo Calvino. This is a required course for all students.

History of Costume

4 credits, Spring

This course analyses the origins, evolution, decline, re-birth and finally, the most recent developments of Italian fashion, from the Renaissance up to contemporary Made in Italy. The approach is an interdisciplinary one in which the various manifestations of Italian fashion will be examined in relation to such fields as history and art history and viewed in an economic, social and international context. The relationship between fashion and cinema, photography, the Web, journalism and social media will also be examined.

Site visits include:

Immigration in Italy

4 credits, Spring

The course has been constructed as a kind of journey in time and personal experience. Along the way students will encounter people that, in one way or another, share a similar experience of coming into contact with - and being immersed in - a culture other than their own. Travelers along the same road who are certainly less fortunate than the students, both in terms of their point of departure and that of arrival, but who, at the same time, have to come to terms with their own past and with an identity that is both enriching and in flux.

Meetings with:

Pistoia Internship (3 students)

4 credits, Year-long course

Students who have taken basic Education Courses at Smith can apply to participate in this program. Interns are each allocated a school: either a Nido for infants and toddlers  or an early childhood school for 3-5 year olds. Each student spends one day a week observing and interacting with the children under the supervision of the head teacher. They are required to write up their observations in a diary and discuss them each week with the supervising teacher, read related articles, and take part in several extra meetings with teachers and parents over the course of the year. In May each student gives an oral presentation in her own school with visual documentation describing an aspect/aspects of her experience.

Studio Art (students may take one course)

4 credits, Spring

Sample of recent courses taken: Photography, Etching, Printmaking, Sculpture, Drawing, Painting, Book Making