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

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International Study Award (ISA)

The ISA provides a stipend for one credit-bearing summer study abroad experience for eligible undergraduates receiving a Yale scholarship. You must apply to Yale Study Abroad and be approved for a Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad or Non-Yale Summer Abroad program. Yale Study Abroad does not administer the ISA. For all ISA-related details, including how to request funding, when it gets disbursed, how much funding you can expect, and more, visit the ISA website.

Program Information


Siena, Italy




Friday, May 24, 2024 to Saturday, July 20, 2024



Area of Focus

Arts & Humanities

Distributional Requirements

Fulfills L3 & L4 & Hu distributional requirement


Study Center

Course Number

ITAL S130-S140 & ITAL S235


4 Yale credits


Giacomo Berchi    |   Deborah Pellegrino     |   Simona Lorenzini  


Yale College Applicants: ITAL 120 (Elementary Italian II), ITAL 125 (Intensive Elementary Italian), or placement exam into L3.

Other Applicants: Completed two semesters of college-level Italian and evaluated by the Italian Summer Program Director, Simona Lorenzini. Please contact Prof. Lorenzini (simona.lorenzini@yale.edu) prior to the application deadline.


[NOTE: Program details (overall status, dates, costs, etc.) are subject to change each summer, and the information on this page will be updated as such details are finalized.]

This program includes both intensive language study, encompasing both semesters, ITAL S130 & S140, of Intermediate Italian, and cultural, with the course ITAL S235: Tuscany between Past and Present: A Literary, Historical, Cultural, and Geographical Journey in Tuscany (and beyond), while living and studying in the Tuscan city of Siena, engaging in travel and cultural encounters in Tuscany and Rome.

ITAL S235: Tuscany between Past and Present: A Literary, Historical, Cultural, and Geographical Journey in Tuscany

Known as the cradle of Italian language, Tuscany has always wielded a powerful influence on the imagination of artists, writers, poets, historians, scientists, and bankers well beyond its own regionality.

The course will critically discuss the Tuscan imagery, as expressed in literature, history, art, architecture, science, and folklore, with a special focus on Siena. The study material will include 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, and Livorno. Through a close analysis of different kinds of genres and authors, from poems to satirical magazines, from Giovanni Boccaccio to Dino Campana, the course will explore the richness of the Tuscan cultural history and its influence on the Italian culture tout court, as well as the emergence of the Tuscan language as the standard language of Italy.

Classes will be held Monday - Friday with the language course(s), ITAL S130-S140: Intermediate Italian I & II, meeting from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and the cultural course, ITAL S235: Tuscany between Past and Present, 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.


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

Summer 2024 Budget

Trips and Activities

Much of the course activity preceding and during the “days of the Palio” will be devoted to granting our students an insider’s experience of this spectacular and overwhelmingly emotional event. In addition to the trips to the Tuscan sites mentioned above, there will be an excursion to Livorno and a weekend stay in Rome.


[NOTE: Students are required to stay in program-provided housing.  There is no option for individually-arranged housing.]

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.


The language courses (Intermediate Italian I & II) for this program will be co-taught by Teresa Rossi and Deborah Pellegrino; the cultural course (Tuscany between Past and Present) will be instructed by Simona Lorenzini.

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.

Important Information Before Applying

  • All YSS Programs Abroad are intensive, highly structured academic programs for Yale credit and grades.
  • Students may only apply to one YSS Program Abroad per summer.
  • Admission is not guaranteed. Applicants should anticipate that more students will apply than there are spots available, and Yale College students should apply to a backup Non-Yale Summer Abroad opportunity.
  • Ensure that your transcript reflects how you have met the pre-requisite, if applicable, prior to applying.
  • Participants must commit to the full program dates. Late arrivals and early departures are not permitted.
  • Participants are required to be enrolled in all program courses.
  • Participants should expect evening and weekend requirements. Students who have questions about religious observance during a YSS Program Abroad are encouraged to Meet with an Adviser.
  • Program-arranged housing is required for all YSS Programs Abroad. Students are not permitted to secure independent housing. Students who have housing-related questions about placements, allergies, religious observance, or disability-related access are encouraged to Meet with an Adviser.

Apply to a YSS Program Abroad

Yale Study Abroad Adviser

Susan Evans