Students visit historic sites in Italy during Cornell in Rome semester

May 26, 2011

After touring architectural sites, museums, villas, and churches throughout Italy, 60 graduate and undergraduates completed a five-month semester abroad in May as part of AAP's Cornell in Rome program. One of the semester's highlights was a visit to the Sacro Monte di Varallo, a recreation of the Holy Land dating to the late 15th century in Northern Italy. The site offers a unique opportunity to study architecture since it includes more than 45 chapels, hundreds of life-size sculptures, and landscape architecture in situ. "The still extant multimedia complex is unusual in the extent to which landscape, architecture, painting, and sculpture coupled with religious ritual are integrated in codependency," says D. Medina Lasansky, associate professor of the history of architecture and urbanism, who accompanied the students on the trip. "Such integration goes beyond any theoretical discussion of Renaissance visual culture." The visit by 54 students and five faculty members to Varallo was featured in the weekly newspaper Corriere Valsesiano. Other field trips taken during the semester included excursions to Tuscany, Napoli, and Firenze. During the semester, students attended a lecture series on topics ranging from "City as Political Form" to "Stories on Objectification Told by an Artist." The lecturers, chosen by AAP faculty, included Michelangelo Pistoletto, a world-renowned artist and one of the main representatives of the Arte Povera. Participants for the spring semester included 51 students from Cornell and nine from Brown University, Vassar College, and The New School for Social Research. The program is based at Palazzo Lazzaroni, a restored 17th-century building in the historic center of Rome.

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