Flight to the U.K.
Edinburgh | Days 1–3
We begin with an intensive orientation in Edinburgh, Scotland, helping us to create a community of culturally-aware, traveling scholars. We'll get acquainted, learn the ground rules and our unique approach to study and travel. There will also be essential introductions to the academic subject areas and the interdisciplinary framework we'll use throughout the program.
Edinburgh is not only Scotland's capital, but it's also the cultural capital. Our tour here takes us up and down the Royal Mile, which is the main street in Edinburgh's Old Town. Explore the Medieval center of the city before climbing to Edinburgh Castle on top of an ancient volcano. Other likely stops include a visit to the Scottish Parliament as well St. Gile's Cathedral, Scotland's principle church.
London | Days 5–9
The Tower of London brings the Middle Ages to life, while St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey introduces us to one of Europe's most magnificent cathedrals. See the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace on walking tours. The British Museum is a vast storehouse of treasures from every period of civilization; of special interest is the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon in Athens and the Rosetta Stone, which provided the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian writing. The National Gallery will be a highlight of the many art museums we visit. We'll also visit the theater or concert performances.
Paris | Days 10–14
Paris is considered the art capital of the world. Be introduced to Paris through a cruise on the Seine. Visit the Musee du Louvre ("Mona Lisa," "Venus de Milo"); the Musee D'Orsay (the world's finest collection of Impressionist paintings) and the Musee Rodin.
Discuss Napoleon at Les Invalides, where he lies in the crypt of the Eglise du Dome. Tour the Musee de l'Armee where you'll view his favorite horse and the room he died in. We'll also visit the Centre National d'Art et Culture Georges Pompidou (a collection of modern art).
We'll see Notre Dame, the Gothic chapel of Sainte Chapelle and the nearby Conciergerie, where Marie Antoinette, Robespierre and many others spent their last days in prison during the French Revolution. Hear a chamber music concert at one of the following venues: Sainte Chapelle, Saint Severin or at the Church of Saint Julien le Pauvre.
Chartres and Versailles
We'll venture outside of Paris to Versailles, the magnificent palace of Louis XIV and to Chartres, with its majestic Gothic cathedral, Notre Dame des Chartres.
Amsterdam | Days 15–17
Travel by train to Amsterdam, the political and cultural capital of the Netherlands, and take a walking tour of the city. We'll be sure to visit the Ann Frank House.
Take a guided tour of the Van Gogh Museum where we'll discover the artist's work from earliest years to his last painting. We'll be sure to see works of the many Dutch masters in the Rijksmuseum including such artists as Rembrandt and Vermeer.
The Rhine Valley: Bacharach | Days 18–19
Board a steamer for a cruise on the Rhine River and glide past vineyard-covered hills, including the Lorelei Cliff from which, as Heinrich Heine relates, beautiful sirens lured weary sailors to the treacherous rocks. Spend the night in a castle overlooking the Rhine, in Bacharach.
Munich | Days 20–24 Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is a cultural center of Germany. Take a tour of the Alte Pinakothek, famous for works by Dürer, Rubens, Rembrandt and its large collection of Dutch, French and Italian masters. Visit the Neue Pinakothek with works by 18th and 19th century artists and the German Expressionists. Travel to Dachau on the outskirts of Munich to visit the concentration camp established there by Nazi Germany.
Zurich, Switzerland | Days 25–26
Get acquainted with new arrivals and discuss the ground rules for the Mediterranean portion of the program and our unique approach to study and travel. Get an essential introduction to the academic subject areas and the interdisciplinary nature of our program.
Take advantage of the museums and attractions located in Zurich. Visit several churches including the Fraumunster which features stained-glass windows designed by Marc Chagall. Visit one of several of Zurich's fine museums, including the Kunsthaus.
Venice | Days 27–29
Our first view of the city called "the bride of the sea" will be as we exit the train station and stand at the edge of the Grand Canal. On a walking tour, we'll cross a few of the more than 200 bridges connecting the archipelago of small islands forming the city. We'll visit the Piazza San Marco, called by Napoleon "The most beautiful drawing room in the world." Tour the Basilica and see the 10th century Bell Tower. Visit the Galleria dell Accademia, with its collection of Venetian paintings, including Bellini's "Madonna," Giorgione's "Tempest" and Tintoretto's cycle depicting the life of St. Mark. See the Scuola San Rocco with Tintoretto's masterpieces.
Visit the Collezione Peggy Guggenheim, a canal-side palazzo housing works by many modern masters including Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Constantin Brancusi, Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollack. Spend evenings exploring the treasures of the city or sit at a cafe along the canal watching gondolas glide by.
Florence | Days 30–33
Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, is an essential component of our program. Located in the center of Tuscany, it offers a unique opportunity to study the accomplishments of an age within the geographical confines where they were produced. See the Uffizi, which includes the best of the Italian Renaissance: Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Michelangelo, da Vinci and Titian, along with superb examples of Northern art. Visit the Duomo and climb up Brunelleschi's structure for a panoramic view of the city. See the baptistery, Ghiberti's "Gates of Paradise" and the Bargello, with its collection of Florentine sculpture including works by Donatello, Verrocchio, Michelangelo and Cellini.
In Florence, visit the Piazza della Signoria and discuss aspects of the Florentine Renaissance. The Loggia dei Lanzi houses sculptures by Benvenuto Cellini and Giambologna, and affords us an opportunity to stand under the arcade and survey the civic heart of Florence. Situated across from the Loggia is the Palazzo Vecchio. See the Galleria dell'Accademia, housing Michelangelo's "David" and a number of his other works.
No tour of Florence would be complete without a look at its famous churches. Visit Santa Maria del Carmine with Masaccio's frescoes in its Brancacci Chapel; Santa Maria Novella with Masaccio's "Holy Trinity" and frescos by Ghirlandaio; San Marco with Savonarola's cell and Santa Croce, where we'll discuss famous Italians buried there. Evening classes may be held in one of the hotel balcony rooms or at leisure in the cafes near the Mercato Centrale. Travel by morning train to our next destination, Rome.
Rome | Days 34–38
On our arrival in Rome, we'll go on a walking tour of the ancient city. View the Castel Sant' Angelo, the Pantheon, Trajan's Column, the Colosseum, the Arch of Constantine and the Roman Forum. In the ruins of the Forum, hear a lecture on the history of ancient Rome.
Visit the Vatican Museum with its sculptures such as the "Laocoön Group" and the "Apollo Belvedere," the great Egyptian Art Collection, the Raphael Rooms, the Greek Vase Collection, the Chapel of Nicolas V with frescos by Beato Angelico and the Sistine Chapel, the jewel of Renaissance art in the heart of the Vatican. Visit St. Peter's Basilica with Michelangelo's famous "Pieta" and Bernini's "Baldacchino."
Experience some of Renaissance and Baroque Rome. Visit the Galleria Borghese with Bernini's greatest early sculptures and a collection of Titians and Caravaggios. Enjoy a walking tour to see Loyola's Chiesa del Gesu, Santa Maria della Vittoria with Bernini's "Santa Teresa in Ecstasy," Piazza Navona with three Bernini fountains and the Spanish Steps. We'll stop at the Trevi Fountain to drop in a coin, which according to tradition assures our return to the Eternal City. Fly from Rome to Madrid, Spain.
Madrid | Days 39–42
Begin our visit to Madrid with a walking tour, taking in the Puerta del Sol, the 17th-century Plaza Mayor and a sampling of
Medieval and Baroque architecture. Madrid is known for its art museums. Visit the Museo del Prado, home of one of the finest art collections in the world. See an exceptional body of works by Velázquez, Goya, Heironymus Bosch, Rubens and many others.
Visit the modern art collection at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and see Picasso's "Guernica", an eloquent painted protest to the horrors of war. The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza displays an extensive private art collection with a range of excellent works dating from the 13th to the 20th century. We'll take a day trip to San Lorenzo de El Escorial. This spacious architectural array is named for the monastery which was built by Philip II of Spanish Armada fame as a mausoleum for his father, the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. In addition to the monastery, it contains a basilica, a royal residence, a library of 40,000 rare books and the tombs of most of the Spanish kings and queens since Charles V. With its
collection of art and books, the complex was known as an intellectual center during the 16th and 17th century. Travel by bus to Barcelona.
Barcelona | Days 43–48
Barcelona is the home of some of the most important innovators in modern art such as the architect Antonio Gaudí and Pablo Picasso. Take a walking tour past Modernista gems by Gaudí, including Casa Milà, Parc Güell and the towering Sagrada Família, still under construction after more than 100 years. Barcelona is famed for its two mountains: Tibidabo and Montjuic.
Time permitting, we'll visit Montjuic and see the Barcelona Olympic monument, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's masterpiece of international style architecture, The Barcelona Pavilion and the Museum of Catalan Art. Visit the Museu Picasso and view a broad survey of his works from 1890, when he was nine through his formative years in Barcelona to his death in 1973.
Visit the Fundació Joan Miró, exhibiting works from throughout Miró's career. In the winding streets of the medieval Barri Gòtic, visit the magnificent Gothic cathedral. Do some last minute shopping, a stroll along the tree-lined La Rambla with its many shops and restaurants. Experience it all: urban graffiti, street performers, city markets, modernista architecture and the tastes of tapas and paella.
At this point, we'll have experienced a tremendous range of European cities and cultures and forged new memories and friendships. We'll look back at the vast amount of knowledge we now have about European history and art and the comparative view we've gained with which to view American culture and history. As we prepare to say goodbye to our amazing adventure, we'll wrap up coursework, have a last group meal and prepare for our flights home.