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Yale Summer Session in Rome: Rome

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Program Information


Rome, Italy




Sunday, May 24, 2020 to Saturday, June 27, 2020



Area of Focus

Arts & Humanities

Distributional Requirements

Fulfills Hu distributional requirement


Study Center

Course Number



2 Yale credits


Virginia Jewiss 


Yale College Applicants: HUMS 444 (City of Rome) or permission from instructor, Virginia Jewiss, if not enrolled in HUMS 444 during the Fall term, who will determine if the applicant has a satisfactory background in the program’s subject matter.

Other Applicants: Permission from program instructor, Virginia Jewiss, who will determine if the applicant has a satisfactory background in the program’s subject matter.


Rome was Aeneas’s new home, and heir to the glory of Greece. Under the Caesars, Rome was the seat of the most extraordinary imperial power the world has ever known. Rome was where Peter became the rock of the Church, and it remains the indisputable center of western Christendom. Rome was where Petrarch gazed out on the ruins of that ancient civilization; his ruminations gave rise to the Renaissance. Rome was where Martin Luther witnessed the corruption and decadence of ecclesiastic power; his outrage fueling the Reformation. And Rome is where the Church responded most dramatically to that schism; the spectacular artistic patronage and urban planning of the Baroque period reshaped the city. Rome was the high point of the Grand Tour and the mecca for Romantics. In 1938 Rome was where Hitler first met Mussolini. And in 1957 the signing of the Treaty of Rome led to the founding of the European Economic Community.

Nothing is simply ancient history in the Eternal City. The intersection - still visible in the urban landscape - of past and present, of arts, politics, and theology is the focus of this five-week, interdisciplinary study of Rome from its legendary origins through its evolving presence at the crossroads of Europe and the world.

In addition to the core curriculum, students will complete a guided independent research project, which will allow them to pursue a particular interest and get to know the city better. 

Class days, times, and locations will vary, as the city of Rome is the classroom! However, students should expect about 2 - 3 hours of work outside the classroom each day, as well excursions and other program activities.

The schedule below is from a previous summer and contains dates that differ from those of the upcoming summer.


Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad updates program budgets in late January. Please note the year listed on the button below.

Summer 2020 Budget

Trips and Activities

Participants should be prepared to do a great deal of walking in this course! Rome will be our classroom, and we will often discuss a book or work of art on the very spot that inspired it. We will hold class in Rome's extraordinary museums, churches, piazzas, and archeological sites, in order to study the layers of history and the complex interweaving of sacred and civic spaces. We will walk through the countryside, tracing ancient Roman roads and aqueducts, along the third-century Aurelian Walls, through Medieval neighborhoods, down Renaissance streets and Fascist era boulevards, learning through place as we come to know the contours and expanse of this ever-changing yet eternal city. We will also travel to Ostia Antica, Rome's ancient port city, and Tivoli, home of Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este, with its enchanting water gardens.

Eating is the center of Roman life. Local market tours, wine-tasting sessions, picnics, and group dinners at neighborhood trattorias will allow participants discover Roman specialties and participate in the Italian habit of lingering and talking around the table.


Participants will live in apartments in Trastevere, Rome's lively and beautiful medieval quarter. The neighborhood is known for its markets, small food shops, and restaurants. Apartments have furnished kitchens, where cooking (and tasting!) lessons will be held. Each student will be provided with bed linens, changed weekly, and there are fans in the rooms. Seminar meetings will be held in air-conditioned classrooms in the heart of Rome.


Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and are expected to arrive in Rome before 5:00 p.m. on the first day of the program and depart no earlier than the last day of the program (see 'Dates' above); additional information will be provided upon admission.


For course content questions contact instructor, Virginia Jewiss. For general program questions contact the Study Abroad staff.

Learn More

Review eligibility requirements, the application process, and deadlines:

How to Apply