Summer Art History and Language Program with Dr. Carpino in Siena, Italy: Art and Life in Tuscany
Summer 2023 (June – early July)
This program represents an immersion experience in the heart of Tuscany and is centered in the beautiful medieval city of Siena. Students take a 3 credit class on “Art and Life in Tuscany” in conjunction with a 3 credit class entitled “Italian Culture: Language, Food, and History.” Being in Tuscany allows students to gain numerous insights into Italian art and culture through course instruction, cross-cultural activities and excursions. “Art and Life in Tuscany” focuses on Etruscan, Medieval and Renaissance art now housed in the museums and churches of Castellina-in-Chianti, Florence, Pisa, Pienza, San Gimignano and Volterra as well as Siena itself. In “Italian Culture: Language, Food and History,” students are introduced to the Italian language, learn the basics about Italian history and the Sienese Palio, and find out how modern Italian identity is related to food. Many Italian staples from pasta to olive oil, gelato to wine & pizza to panforte, have backstories that give insights into Italian culture and history. Our focus, in particular, will be on the cuisine of Tuscany and, especially, the city of Siena. Students will apply and build upon their developing knowledge of Tuscan art and culture through excursions to a local contrada, a panforte factory, a gelateria, pecorino cheese shops and wineries, as well as through two cooking lessons at the Fontegiusta Scuola di Cucina, an overnight stay at a pilgrim’s dormitory along the Via Francigena and experiencing the July Palio.
“Before I left for my trip to Siena, Italy to take the summer course, Art and Life in Tuscany with Professor Carpino, I was scared and anxious to be in a different country and learning a subject that would not be in my normal class schedule. Professor Carpino taught me how to feel at home in Siena and Tuscany and I never thought I would feel like I belonged in such a different place. She has so much knowledge and experience it made me feel comfortable but also able to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. Without Professor Carpino my knowledge of culture and art would be slim. This course has made my college experience at NAU unforgettable and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to study in Italy with Professor Carpino.” -student Natalie Kitt
Students in Siena with Dr. Carpino”Art and Life In Tuscany showed me what learning should look like. Professor Carpino did such an amazing job of making sure every day was interactive and full of learning. We never had classes in a classroom and instead we had class in museums, churches, or throughout Tuscany where we would learn about the history of a church, a painting, or a town while looking right at it. In fact, returning to a traditional class setting in a classroom was a challenging adjustment after learning lessons this way. I will never forget the information we learned about the Palio or the history of the churches and I constantly share my knowledge with my friends and family. I wish all classes at NAU were structured the way Professor Carpino structured this program. Besides learning about history and art, Professor Carpino helped us to get immersed into the town we were living in by encouraging us to try new foods, taking us to the local market, teaching us what authentic pizza should taste like, and by taking us on pilgrimages throughout Tuscany. The most special thing about this program is the atmosphere and community that Professor Carpino created. With such a small group, we all became like family and cried on our last night together. This truly shows how special the program was and how much it changed all our lives. Now we always look forward to our “Italian family dinners” at Professor Carpino’s house. This program will always hold a special place in my heart thanks to Professor Carpino.” -student Nicole Fornabaio