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Yale Summer Session in Siena: Elementary Italian I & II + Culture

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Program Information


Siena, Italy




Saturday, May 23, 2020 to Saturday, July 18, 2020



Area of Focus

Arts & Humanities

Distributional Requirements

Fulfills L1 & L2 & Hu distributional requirement


Study Center

Course Number

ITAL S110-S120 & ITAL S152


4 Yale credits


Deborah Pellegrino    |   Millicent Marcus    |   Serena Bassi 




This program includes both intensive language study, encompasing the first two semesters, ITAL S110 & S120, of Elementary Italian, and cultural, with the course ITAL S152: History, Culture, and Film in Tuscany, while living and studying in the Tuscan city of Siena, engaging in travel and cultural encounters in Tuscany and Rome.

ITAL S152: History, Culture, and Film in Tuscany

Tuscany has always occupied a privileged place within the history of Italian culture just as it has exerted a powerful hold on the imagination of foreigners--artists and tourists alike. This course will critically examine examine the cultural identity of Tuscany, as manifested in its history, art, architecture, and folklore, with a special focus on Siena. Literary and historical readings, cinematic representations of Tuscany, in-depth tours of the city's monuments and museums, as well as field trips to Florence, San Gimignano, Pisa, and the Tuscan countryside. Particular attention will be devoted to the defining ritual of Sienese life: Il Palio, the splendid medieval horse race run in the city's central Piazza del Campo.

Classes will be held Monday - Friday with the language course(s), ITAL S110-S120: Elementary Italian I & II, meeting from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and the cultural course, ITAL S152: History, Culture, and Film in Tuscany, meeting from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. There may be times when formal Friday classes are cancelled in favor of an excursion. Participants should expect about 2 hours of work daily outside of the classroom as well as program excursions and activities.

The syllabi 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

Students on this program will not only visit cultural sites in and around Siena but will also take trips to both Florence and Rome. Participants will attend the Palio di Siena, a horse race that is held twice each year with bare back riders who represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards.


Students will be housed with local host families in Siena, who will provide both breakfast and dinner. Living conditions and distance to where classes will be held will vary amongst housing assignments.

Homestays are an integral part of this program. This living arrangement provides participants with the opportunity to learn more about the host culture, increase language proficiency, and form meaningful connections in the community. Students admitted into the program are expected to spend time getting to know their homestay family and be mindful of the need to balance time spent at home with time spent traveling or going out with friends. If you have any questions about living with a homestay family, we encourage you to reach out to the program instructor.

Participants must depart housing on the last day of the program.


This program will have two sections: in the first section the langauge courses (Elementary Italian I & II) will be co-taught by Deborah Pellegrino and Sandro-Angelo De Thomasis and the cultural course (History, Culture, and Film in Tuscany) will be instructed by Millicent Marcus; in the second section the langauge courses (Elementary Italian I & II) will be co-taught by Anna Marra and Megan Crognale and the cultural course (History, Culture, and Film in Tuscany) will be instructed by Serena Bassi.

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements and are expected to arrive in Siena 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 the Italian Summer Program Director Simona Lorenzini. For general program questions contact the Study Abroad staff.

Learn More

Review eligibility requirements, the application process, and deadlines:

How to Apply