The City of Florence
has a century-long tradition as the intellectual, political and artistic
center of both the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The ancient
architecture, museums, monuments, and churches in Florence provide today's
students with unique opportunities for understanding the forces which shaped
the European civilization.
The Fiorenza Program is situated in the
heart of the birthplace of the Renaissance and offers a unique lens for
students to critically understand and experience first-hand the interaction
of culture, humanities, politics and the arts. Through encounters with new
cultures, students explore the contemporary world with an appreciation of
the contributions of Western civilization.
Capital of the region of
Tuscany, Florence inherits the culture of the Etruscans, the mysterious
forgotten people who were heirs to the glory of Greece long before there was
a Rome. The city was founded by Roman veterans returning from the wars. More
than any other city of Italy, Florence was the stalwart defender of civic
liberty during the Renaissance. Her intensely loyal citizenry produced the
people and ideas that served as models for a Europe in transition from the
medieval to the modern.
Florentine museums are crowded
with the paintings that transformed European taste in the fifteenth century;
her streets are lined with buildings that initiated modern architecture.
Yet, the city is more than a museum piece. It is intensely alive - a center
of modern art, fashion, and refinement.
Florence is also central to
Italy’s present. It is three hours by train to the region of Lombardy,
the humming center of Italy’s economic miracle and a stepping-off place for
the ski slopes and lakes of the Alps. It is also three hours to Venice, a
city which no photograph can do justice. It is two hours to Rome, capital of
Italy and of the Church, where ancient, medieval, and modern culture mingle
in every street. It is four hours to Naples, Pompeii, and Mount Vesuvius,
the southern region no traveler would want to miss.