Colorado State University-Pueblo’s intensive month-long summer study abroad program in Perugia, Italy in July immersed students in the Italian language and culture, provided them with exceptional linguistic training from native speakers, and provided firsthand experiences with the characteristics that define the vibrant country.
According to trip coordinator and program director, Dr. Chris Picicci, professor of Italian, the trip was made possible in part by the university’s commitment to support study abroad initiatives as well as financial support from the Dante Alighieri Society of Pueblo, which provided scholarships to help students offset program costs. During a two-day stop in Rome with Picicci and his wife, Adrianne Hamilton, doctoral student in the history of art at Yale University, students explored the ancient streets of the Eternal City and visited several of its most remarkable monuments. Students received a private tour of the Galleria Borghese, one of Rome’s outstanding museums of ancient and Renaissance art, where they discussed the significance of several prominent works (including those by Canova, Caravaggio, Bernini, Titian and many others). Students also visited the Pantheon, the Coliseum, and the Vatican, and concluded the tour with a visit to one of the city's more unique neighborhoods, Trastevere, where students dined at a quaint trattoria just steps from one of the oldest churches in Rome.
“Preparing America’s college students for a multilingual and multicultural world can be achieved with foreign language skills and cross-cultural experiences and competencies” Picicci said.
While in Perugia, students attended the Università di Perugia per Stranieri, where they enrolled in 25 hours of Italian per week. The University of Perugia hosts a wide range of Italian courses from beginning Italian to more advanced coursework in Italian literature, history, art and cinema. Students also participated in cultural tours, which included several tours of local businesses and monuments, all led by native speakers. Picicci required students to write a journal documenting their reactions to living and studying abroad as well as several compositions pertaining to their study abroad experience to supplement their primary coursework and amplify their writing skills in Italian. Each student who participated in the program received a certificate of attendance from the host institution and six credits of foreign language credit at CSU-Pueblo.
Perugia is one of the most exciting Italian cities during the summer months, as it hosts a 10-day international jazz festival in July. Crowds of Italians and tourists alike flock to this hilltop town to listen to open-air concerts held in a variety of venues. This year, the event featured B.B. King and James Taylor, among other music legends. In addition to the lively ambiance of Perugia itself, students experienced the cultural offerings of such Umbrian cities as Assisi, home of Saint Francis, and Spoleto. Students had tours of the upper and lower basilicas of the church of San Francesco, as well as the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli Porziuncola, where Saint Francis had his ministry and passed his final days.
“Participants gained a new appreciation for the subtleties of their own culture, as well as an admiration for the people and places that contribute to Italy's unique and enduring cultural traditions,” Picicci said.
For more information about CSU-Pueblo’s July 2010 study abroad program in Perugia, or if you would like to support the Italian Endowment, please contact Picicci at (719) 549-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.