Assisi, Florence, Ravenna, Tarqunia, Paestum, Pompeii. Amalfi Coast, Rome, Italy

Humanities Spring in Assisi

when 24 June 2017 - 22 July 2017
language English
duration 4 weeks
fee EUR 1

Assisi is our home-base, but all of Italy is our source book.Students travel widely to see some of the greatest works of art & architecture of all times At HSIA, students learn to connect individually and constructively to the great art we see together in collages, sketches, poems, prose, architectural drawings, and photography. In particular, HSIA gives students the great art and architecture of the past (Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance) and makes it part of their lives forever. Students have classes in the morning which are doors into the art we travel afternoons to see. Learning at HSIA is interdisciplinary; students read passages from Homer and then look at Greek vase paintings of the same subject. Or they read a Robert Browning monologue on Filippo Lippi, and use it to understand the painter's colors in his lively fresco cycle in nearby Spoleto (where we also attend events-- usually an opera, contemporary dance performed in the ancient Roman theater, and a concert. The also eat a lot of ice cream when we are in Spoleto!). Or in our landscape painting afternoon activity, students study the history of landscape painting and travel to see the best examples of Classical and Renaissance works. We help students to broaden their visual vocabulary and discover which periods and artists of the past can inspire them in their lives and their works. We also exposed students to the relaxed rhythms of Italian culture while they are here -- in piazzas, gardens, or sitting on fanciful benches gazing at the sea when we are on our tour south of the Amalfi Coast. It is important to us that students have time to relax and process the great art and architecture they see while they are at HS. We go swimming often at the little springs (with waterfall and natural pool) near the school, and organize most of our longer trips (to Tarquinia and Ravenna, for example) to include a picnic and swim at the beautiful local beaches. HS is committed to making time for students who paint and write to dedicate themselves to their creative work while they are here.

Course leader

Humanities Spring in Assisi is a not-for-profit Italian cultural association, founded by an American classicist and poet from New York City who is also deeply interested in the visual arts.

Target group

We are interested in high school and university students with a true interest in art. All courses are conducted in English, but English does not have to be your first language.

Course aim

HSIA brings the great art of the past (Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Medieval, and Renaissance) to life for students and makes it part of their lives together. Students experience works of art in context and in their Italian context. So, for example, we walk along the ramparts of an early Renaissance castle near lake Trasimeno, and experience together its hexagonal form, an innovation at the time. This leads to discussions of architecture as sculpture, to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and to students' own past and personal experience of great architecture, both contemporary and of the past. Or, we look at examples of ancient Roman collage and compare them to the work of Jasper John and to collages students have made at Humanities Spring. We also talk a great deal about the content of the work we look at, and ask students to connect it to their lives. At Humanities Spring, we believe that art can help us both to ask questions and solve problems. We also like to stretch our students; tot expose them to art and literature they might not have experienced or learned to love if they had not come to Humanities Spring. We are a small lively community; conversation is at the heart of the HS experience.

Credits info

Students have often applied and received credit for their work at Humanities Spring, from both high schools and universities

Fee info

EUR 1: The HSIA fee covers all expenses while at HS -- room, board, tuition, all entrance fees and all travling expenses within Italy. It does not cover airfare to Italy and our occasional meal out (once or twice a week). We are a not-for-profit and offer a wide range of partial scholarships to students who are truly interested in the Humanites Spring experience.


Scholarships at HSIA are of two types: Work-Study, which includes the possibility of working at HSIA during the program or directly before the program (doing maintenance projects or helping in the kitchen or the garden or the library and sometimes as a tu