Il Conventino

Il Conventino links students to Florence's past and present

M.A. in Political Science, European Union Policy Studies
 
Il Conventino in Florence

JMU students have a legacy of community involvement and support. The JMU students in Florence also engage with their new local community abroad. A short walk from JMU’s Campus in Santo Spirito, EUPS students increasingly frequent “Il Conventino,” or “The Little Old Convent.” Nestled in the Oltrarno District and decorated with historic charm, Il Conventino is a unique complex where students can study, eat, and embrace the Florentine community. Initially founded as the monastery of Saint Theresa and Discalced Carmelite nuns in the nineteenth century, the grounds later served as a hospital, then as local artisan workshops. In the 21st century, Il Conventino serves an entirely different purpose.

As a space for residents and tourists alike, today, Il Conventino preserves Florence’s local artistry and craftsmanship while promoting civic discourse. The building hosts dozens of weekly events and workshops in its antique rooms and green spaces. Whether students stop by to snack at the café or browse a vintage clothing shop, there is plenty to do. Il Conventino’s weekly schedule includes yoga classes, book clubs, and other pop-up events. No matter your interest, there is something for everyone to love!

EUPS students are finding themselves right at home at Il Conventino. Earlier in the semester, JMU students in Italy had the opportunity to gather on the grounds to listen to the remarks of a JMU alumnus who studied abroad in Florence. In a quaint room overlooking the center garden, students asked questions and engaged in lively discussions about the Renaissance, politics, and early career development. After that, students stopped at the café to enjoy a traditional pranzo (lunch) with the guest speaker and JMU undergraduate students.  

Il Conventino is more than a meeting space; it is a gateway for JMU students to become a part of Florence’s vibrant and historic community. As students who live and study in the city, embracing its multifaceted culture can be intimidating. Community-based projects, like Il Conventino, make that task a bit easier. By offering a place where students can study and immerse themselves in culture, EUPS students can get a taste of the community that many Florentines have come to know and adore. 

Whether students attend a JMU seminar, practice their Italian, or catch up with a friend, Il Conventino is quickly becoming an integral part of JMU’s cultural curriculum. It offers students and community members the chance of meaningful engagement over shared interests and hobbies in a comfortable and relaxed setting. Through EUPS students’ involvement at Il Conventino, they pass down lessons Dukes know all too well: when we respect and invest in our local communities, we appreciate our interconnectedness.


Alexandra Wilson Tuman, JD is a EUPS student and the program's Communications and Recruitment Graduate Assistant. Alexandra graduated cum laude from JMU in 2019 with a BA in International Affairs and a BS in Communication Studies. She recently graduated from Seton Hall Law in May 2023. After graduation, Alexandra hopes to use her legal knowledge to continue working in international policy. 

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Published: Thursday, November 30, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2023

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