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Da Vinci in Italy

The arrangements for the travel, housing, meals, excursions and course content of this program have been made by the leader. Questions about this program can only be answered by the program leader listed below.

Program Type Departmental
Program Location Florence, Milan, Venice, Italy
Course # SA 20202
Duration Spring Break
Upcoming Program Dates
Spring Break 2018 03/09/18 to 03/17/18

Program Leader

Name Dino Felluga

Enrollment Details: Enrollment Currently Closed

Program Description

  Leonardo da Vinci in Italy is a fully cross-disciplinary  study-abroad program that explores the transition from the medieval period to the Renaissance across multiple disciplines, thus laying out how much of what we take for granted today about technology or about the human subject were implemented in this rich period, especially in Italy.  The focus for the course will be that most famous Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci.  There is an accompanying 3-credit, semester-long course that students can choose to take in order to have the fullest experience.  During the semester-long course, Dino Felluga will lay out da Vinci’s innovations in philosophy, optics and art history while Steve Wereley will guide students using the STEAM lab in the Honors College to reconstruct some of Leonardo’s inventions, followed by co-teaching the March Break program in Italy.  We will also address advancements of the period in engineering, architecture, biology, astronomy and governance.  By co-teaching the March Break program, Professors Wereley and Felluga will link da Vinci’s scientific discoveries to his artistic and philosophical innovations.  We will clarify how new forms of scientific investigation were made possible because of changes in thinking about time, space, law, governance, and the human subject during this time period, all supported by the fact that Italy was the most important center for printing before the Roman Catholic Inquisition began heavily censuring such publications.  This exploration will help students also to think about the analogous changes being effected by technology in our current postmodern period, as well as the advantages of cross-disciplinary thinking.  We will consider whether da Vinci’s “interdisciplinarity,” the essence of the so-called “Renaissance man,” teaches us something about genius and what is necessary to push knowledge forward in our own time.


The study-abroad program will take students to Venice, Milano, and Florence, Italy for March Break 2018.  Leonardo in Italy will earn students two HONR credits and will be capped at 25 undergraduate students, with a mix of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.  Students will arrive on Saturday, March 10 and depart on Saturday, March 17 (with an overnight trip to Florence on March 14, plus a day trip to Milano on March 15).  Students will be able to choose to do one of the two courses or both together.


Our interdisciplinary approach forces students to think about the constructed nature of the things they take for granted as “natural” (e.g., time, space, human subjectivity, meaning, sight, gender, knowledge, and law), thus opening their eyes to the significance of cultural differences. 


One large focus of the course is the Renaissance, and the area surrounding Venice and Florence was particularly influential in the transition from a Medieval to a post-Renaissance way of thinking about all aspects of the human.


Please contact program leader for more information.

Academic Credit

2 credits


minimum of 3.0 GPA

Program Cost

$1,665 (includes all lodging, activities, tickets, some meals, vaporetto pass, and train to Florence and Milan).  In addition, students will be responsible for airfare (around $1,250) and a majority of meals.  

Application Deadline

Deposits will be due Nov. 15; only the deposit secures your place in the program.

Country map courtesy of The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin