Students take four 4-credit courses; all taught in English. (ITO100 Introduction to Italian will have Italian too,)

Courses directly earn Saint Anselm College credit and are factored into student GPAs.  Note below that many Orvieto courses fulfill core learning requirements.

All students will participate in ITO 200 Chiavi: Keys to Our Cultural Heritage, the core mission course, which is structured around cultural workshops and tours of important historical sites. These trips are a key component of the Orvieto semester-long program.

Classes are taught by Saint Anselm faculty and Saint Anselm College approved local professors.

All classes are taught in the Palazzo Negroni, located in Orvieto's historic center.

expected Spring 2020 courses (subject to change or expansion)

  • ITO 100 Introduction to Italian
  • ITO 200 Chiavi: Keys to our Cultural Heritage [WI] [GLOB] required of all students in the Orvieto progam
  • ITO 201 Food, Wine & Italian Culture
  • ITO 202 History of Italian Cinema   fulfills Communication major Visual requirement
  • ITO CL223 Classical Mythology:The Heroes [AEST] [CITZ] honors option
  • ITO CL262 War and Culture in the Ancient World [HIST]
  • ITO PH107 Ethics [ETH]
  • ITO TH250 Catholic Vision [CATH]
Courses may close subject to enrollment. When registering for Orvieto courses, students are asked to choose (in addition to the required Chiavi course) 4 courses and indicate their preferences. While every effort will be made to honor choices based on these preferences, enrollment in specific courses cannot be guaranteed.

ITO 100 - Introduction to Italian
This course provides the basic elements of the Italian language with a communicative approach that focuses on everyday life situations and on the cultural context in which they occur. In class, students will read passages in Italian, practice oral exercises, complete fill-in exercises, listen to recorded dialogues from native speakers at normal speed of authentic language and complete related exercises.

ITO 200 - Chiavi: Keys to our Cultural Heritage [WI] [GLOB]  required for all Orvieto semester participants
This course seeks to give an overview of the major Italian cultural achievements that have significantly shaped Western civilization. Through an examination of Italian civilization over the last 3000 years, from Etruscan to modern, students will gain an understanding not only of Italian culture but also of the underpinnings of our own.  This course is structured around weekly seminars/lectures as well as guided tours, field trips and cultural excursions.

ITO 201 - Food, Wine and Italian Culture 
Social, political and cultural changes in Italy since the first millennium B.C. have shaped the multi-faceted Italy of today. In a global landscape dominated by tendencies towards cultural sameness, this course aims to identify what constitutes Italian cultural specificity, "Italian flair" emerging as a prominent element of Italian culture, lifestyle and identity. Among the topics that will be discussed: the differences between Standard Italian and other language varieties such as popular Italian and dialects, connecting the differences with the material culture aspects, i.e. tradition and everyday life in Italian regions; landscape, which today is increasingly tied to ecology, geography, and the use of land, will be analyzed in terms of its aesthetic value and function, illustrating its cultural and historical identity; the physical and historical geography of Italy; the history of some Italian culinary traditions from ancient Etruria to the Renaissance; ceramics, wood and textile crafts; labels and special productions (doc, docg, dop); the philosophical strategy of the world of slow food.

ITO 202 - History of Italian Cinema
This course presents the development and changes in Italian society through the analysis of movies from the most important Italian directors that are milestones in the history of Italian cinema. The movies shown in class will be analyzed and discussed both for their artistic value and mastery in making them and for the Italian social, political and historical background and milieu they reflect and are also influenced by. The movies discussed during lectures will be shown in chronological order, with focus on some of the most important events in the Italian history that deeply affected Italian society: Fascism, the war and post-war time, the economic boom of the early sixties, the anger and protest of the young generation. "Genre" movies will be also discussed, "Comedy Italian Style" and "Spaghetti Westerns" in particular, for their value as cinematic products and for the everlasting influence they have on national and worldwide cinematic production. Information about important periods of Italian history, from Fascism to the present time, will be given throughout the course.    fulfills Communication major Visual requirement

ITO CL 223 - Classical Mythology: The Heroes [AEST] [CITZ]; honors option
A study of the major Greek and Roman saga cycles (the stories of Heracles, Oedipus, Jason, Odysseus, Aeneas, Romulus, etc.), their origin, content and interpretation.  Consideration is also given to various approaches to saga: historical, political, anthropological, literary and artistic.  Emphasis will be placed on the role of the hero within the context of ancient and modern societies and to the influence of classical saga upon ancient and modern art and literature.  Touring important historical sites and museums in Italy will enhance the student's experience and understanding of the classical tradition, particulary the use of mythological heroes throughout Italian history as a type of symbolic communication.

ITO CL 262 - War and Culture in the Ancient World [HIST]
This course aims to introduce students to aspects of the culture of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans by studying how the practice of ancient warfare intertwines with broader cultural developments of the ancient world. A series of illustrated lectures will dwell in detail upon the nature of ancient warfare itself and its interrelation with the political, religious, and economic realities of the ancient world. Visits to local Orvieto museums and landmarks will also provide an important context for this course.

ITO PH 107 - Ethics Seminar [ETH]
This course provides a presentation of the rational principles of moral conduct, with application to specific cases; includes discussion of major ethical theories.

ITO TH 250 - Catholic Vision [CATH]
This course provides an introductory survey of the distinctive vision of the Catholic tradition as that vision has been articulated in doctrine, practice, and culture. It will focus in particular on some of the unique expressions of the Catholic tradition in the history and life of the Church in Orvieto. In addition to classroom lectures, the course will also include cultural excursions within the city of Orvieto.


Contact Information

Prof. David George
Faculty / Director
Institute for Mediterranean Archaeology
Palazzo Negroni, Piazza Corsica, 2.
Orvieto (TR) 05018 Italia
phone: +39 333 9313426

Prof. Linda Rulman
Faculty / Director
Saint Anselm College Orvieto
Palazzo Negroni, Piazza Corsica, 2.
Orvieto (TR) 05018 Italia
phone: +39 333 9313426