Rome Summer Study Tour
“Before I went to Rome, I had never traveled internationally. The program opened up new worlds for me, ancient and modern. I walked in the footsteps of legends while enjoying Italian culture. Witnessing history firsthand has forever changed my understanding of the past. In my opinion, a student couldn't ask for a more fascinating and enjoyable trip!”
Kelsey Suloman, Rome Alum 2011
This intensive, 18-day, faculty-led study tour offers students the opportunity to experience the history and archaeology of the ancient city of Rome, with excursions also to nearby sites and to the Bay of Naples. While in Rome, students are led on daily walking tours through the ancient monuments and historical sites that still today bear witness to the grandeur of Ancient Rome. Archaeological and historical sites include highlights such as the Colosseum, scene of gladiatorial combat and public spectacle, the Pantheon, a feat of Roman engineering with its magnificent dome, the Roman forum, where students walk along ancient streets among temples, basilicas, and other public buildings in this historic city center, and the Largo Argentina with the remains of temples of the Roman Republic and the steps to the portico of the Theatre of Pompey where Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C.E. On guided tours of the major art and archaeological Museums in Rome, such as the Capitoline Museum, the Vatican Museum, and the Palazzo Massimo, students see masterpieces of art and sculpture of the Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman eras. In addition, there are opportunities to visit several early Christian churches and sites, including at least one catacomb. Outside of Rome, students stroll through the suburban port city of Ostia.
“We took a number of trips outside the city of Rome. Ostia, Rome’s ancient port city, was a wealth of beautiful mosaics, and allowed us the freedom to explore the layout and feel of an ancient city in a way that no ground plans or photographs in a text book would have done justice. We also stayed several nights in the town of San’Angnelo outside of Sorrento. On this trip we visited the famous site of Pompeii, as well as the lesser known and equally fantastic Herculaneum and the ancient city of Paestum with the most well-preserved Greek temples outside of Greece.”
Melissa DiJulio, Rome Alum 2012
A four-day trip to the Bay of Naples area (Campania) offers students the opportunity to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum, both destroyed and preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. In a visit to the Naples National Archaeological Museum, students see the finds from both of these towns and from throughout the region. And at the nearby Helleno-Roman city of Paestum (the ancient Greek settlement of Poseidonia), the Greek temples remind students of Greek settlers in Italy and their influence on Roman culture.
This program is specifically designed to enhance and extend previous classroom studies by a unique travel experience. Historical and archaeological lectures accompany each site visit. Students are required to participate actively in site and museum visits, based on their assigned readings, and site and museum reports. Students can take either 3 or 6 credits for the program.
Students and faculty stay at a hotel in the heart of Rome, within walking distance of many ancient remains, museums, and other cultural sites. In Campania the program stays in a pleasant hotel near Sorrento. Breakfast is served in the hotels; students are responsible for most other meals.
Students have time to enjoy life in contemporary Italy while on the program. Students typically explore Rome in the late afternoons and evenings, and enjoy famous tourist attractions, such as St. Peter’s, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia, Campo de’ Fiore, and the neighborhood of Trastevere with its cobbled streets, medieval buildings, and cafes and restaurants.
“What a great chance to go on a guided tour of Rome with faculty who really know what they are doing! The ancient city comes to life when you get to know it like the back of your hand. But it's certainly not all museums and ancient ruins. You have the opportunity to experience the sights, sounds, (and food!) of the modern city at the same time.”
Andrew Wigman, Rome Alum Summer 2012
For application details, go to Rome: Study Tour of Roman History and Archaeology (Summer) in Education Abroad at the Penn State Global Programs Office.