Art History department offers students, faculty and alumnae, international study tours to Europe. These tours enhance the Manhattanville experience by providing an opportunity to explore new lands, gain intercultural awareness, and develop aesthetic knowledge by focusing on the history of European art and architecture. Art History Professors Lisa Rafanelli and Megan Cifarelli lead study tours to the beautiful region of Tuscany, Italy.
The class work focused on two sections: Ancient/Etruscan and Early-High Renaissance Art and Architecture. The Participants kept a written journal of their journey, made on-site oral presentations, and took a final exam upon their return.
The journey began with Tarquinia, an important Etruscan site. We explored a necropolis of painted burial chambers from 800-100 BCE. We then made our way into Florence, the heart of the Italian Renaissance. For the next four days we were dazzled by the works of Botticelli, Simone Martini and Leonardo in the Uffizi Galleries, Donatello's David in the Bargello, the view from the top of Brunelleschi's dome of the Florentine Cathedral, and Michelangelo's marble sculptures everywhere we turned. A highlight was seeing the famous Chimera in the Archaeology Museum. We also enjoyed gelato, shopping on the Ponte Vecchio, and wonderful dinners with new friends. Nina Wladowski, a junior English major at Manhattanville said, "Florence almost became home in just a few days."
Our next stop was San Giminagno, a medieval hill town in Tuscany. San Giminagno's charm and quaint streets enchanted students. Next was the hill town of Volterra, one of the most important Ancient Etruscan towns with a world-class museum and ancient Roman ruins. Our next destination was Siena. We enjoyed a walking tour of the city, visits to the Cathedral and the Palazzo Pubblico, and the famous Campo. In the Museum of the Cathedral, everyone was amazed by Duccio's moving masterpiece, the Maesta'. Participants felt Siena was a mix of two worlds, where you can find a modern lifestyle set in a medieval town. Our last day was spent visiting Assisi, looking at the famous fresco cycle often attributed to Giotto. Participants were moved when we visited the tomb of Saint Francis and understood better that this is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Italy. Gabrielle del Vecchio, a senior Art History major who has traveled with the department to Rome last spring affirmed that, "for an Art History student, nothing compares to seeing the art in person."