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Arts and Culture in Venice

Location

Venice, Italy

Program Description

Venice, often listed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, was at the forefront of commerce from the middle ages through the eighteenth century. Due to this, the arts and humanities flourished, nurtured by being at the crossroads of Europe and the Byzantine region. We will be investigating not only the cultural artifacts but will compare and contrast the arts and humanities in Venice to other western centers, including our own.

This three-credit course satisfies JMU’s Group One, Cluster II General Education requirement.  Our investigation will begin with a number of readings and video to be done before travelling to Italy, allowing us to spend more time immersing ourselves in the life and culture of this slowly sinking city. Much of our time in Venice will be spent in the streets, churches and squares learning how the Venetians historically integrated the arts and humanities into their world.
We will explore a variety of spaces and events, including visits to the island of Murano, several trips up/down the Grand Canal, the Doge’s Palace, a number of churches (including St. Marks Basilica), La Fenice Opera House, a classical music concert featuring Venetian music, St. Mark’s Square and much more (including regular stops for gelato!).

Finally, there will be two free weekends, during which students can continue to explore Venice or travel to other destinations, such as Rome, Milan or Florence.

Location Description

Venice is a truly unique city – one worth visiting before it inevitably sinks below the water line. You will find that it is one of the few places as beautiful as the postcards! Comprising approximately 118 small islands connected by bridges and manmade walkways, transportation is entirely on foot or small boat (at its widest point, it is less than 2.5 miles wide). Venice not only fostered the development of many world-class artists, but many international writers, painters, musicians and architects travelled to Venice to work and play. We will be walking on streets once travelled by people like Marco Polo, Ernest Hemingway, Stravinsky, Galileo, and Napoleon to name but a few. Additionally, the city is home to the most famous Carnival celebration in the world; no trip to Venice is complete without stopping at a carnival mask shop!

Venice has been an international travel destination for centuries. As such, the city truly knows how to treat tourists; assistance is readily given and most Venetians speak several languages. A wide range of restaurants – from cheap to expensive – guarantees that you will not go hungry (and did we mention the gelato?). Getting lost is seldom a problem as you are on a small island: you can’t go too far! It is said that it takes less than a day to traverse the city but more than a lifetime to see it. Venice is truly a living museum and should be on everyone’s ‘must see’ list.

Director

Jeffrey E. Bush | bushje@jmu.edu | School of Music

Accommodations

Accommodations will be provided for students through furnished apartments – most with internet access, kitchenette, and access to laundry facilities. Students will be in shared flats which are centrally located.

Students are given a weekly cash stipend to cover most of your food expenses. Additionally, several group meals will be included.

Additional Items to Consider

There will be two or three on-campus class meetings during the spring 2018 semester. Additionally, there will be several worksheets to be completed (available on Canvas) before traveling to Italy.

Travel to Venice:

A current passport is required. Plan to fly into Venice's Marco Polo Airport (VCE). The Alilaguna ferry provides transportation from the airport to the San Marcos dock (fee required).

Mobile service:

US cellphone plans can be extended to Venice through the student’s carrier. Likewise, if you have an 'unlocked' phone, you may wish to purchase an inexpensive SIM card once you arrive in Italy.

Language:

No knowledge of Italian is required for this program. Italian is the native language, but English is widely spoken and common on signs and menus in Venice.

All logistics, including these, will be fully discussed in group meetings leading up to the program.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Open to all majors

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Interview with Program Director
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU and first semester transfer students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

apply now

Application Deadline

Dates


All dates are tentative and subject to change

Courses

HUM 250: Foundations of Western Culture: Venice through the Ages (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.

Cost

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