Pitt in Florence - Italian Minors Track


Florence is the ideal setting to spend the summer studying in one of the most historic, cultural and beautiful cities in the world. The city is filled with cobblestone streets, open-air markets, unique food experiences, artistic masterpieces, stunning architecture.

This program is designed for students of all majors interested in pursuing an Italian minor. You will take 2 courses (6 or 7 credits - depending on your Italian language level) on this 6-week long program.  No previous language experience is necessary, but you are required to take the appropriate Italian language level while abroad in conjunction with an approved Italian minor elective.

This program runs simultaneously alongside the regular Pitt in Florence - Summer program.

The city of Florence and hills of Tuscany becomes your classroom during this program. The program includes full day excursion to Siena and San Gimignano. Students also have the opportunity to interact with the local community and immerse themselves in optional cultural activities through the CAPA My Global City program. CAPA-led events include a walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo for stunning views over the city of Florence and a hike in the nearby hills, followed by dinner in one of the best pizzerias in town. Other activities, often self-guided, reflect what’s going on in the city at the time and may include a walking tour to the most important markets of Florence, tasting typical Italian snacks, a night at the opera, or attending soccer match at the Florence Stadium.


What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop Italian language skills that will enable you to interact with the community 
  • Build an understanding of Italian culture from a first-hand perspective
  • Progress with your Italian minor at Pitt

Florence, Italy is the capital city of the Firenze province and Tuscany region. It is surrounded by the picturesque rolling hills of Tuscany. Florence is a majestic city that is visually stunning, culturally rich and has a storied past. Florence was founded as a Roman Military colony around the 1st Century BC. The city’s population began to grow due to its location in the fertile, farmable hills. Its location also was perfect for economic development in the region.

Florence became a haven for an ever-growing immigrant population that still exists today. Florence has its strong Italian roots but is also very much a multi-cultural city. Due to the growing economy and influx of immigrants it became the perfect location for merchants and artists. This in part, led to the Renaissance period in the 14th to 16th centuries. Many of the most influential artists of that time period flocked to the city to work on their art including Michelangelo, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Leonardo da Vinci. They left behind masterpieces in the forms of frescoes, sculptures, paintings and architecture that are still visible throughout the city today Despite its pivotal role in the history of civilization and its significance as an artistic and cultural center, Florence retains the bustle and charm of a small town in a bygone age. Ancient, medieval, renaissance, cosmopolitan, yet with all modern conveniences, Florence, perhaps more than any other city, is a tapestry displaying Europe's emergence from the Dark Ages through to the 21st century.


Where You'll Live: 

You will live like a Florentine during your program abroad. Housing placements are scattered throughout the city-center and location depends on availability and housing option. Exact addresses are provided closer to departure. Regardless of the option you choose, nothing is ever far from you in Florence. The city is geographically very flat, pedestrian friendly, and walkable. Remember, though, that it is a very old city - expect uneven roads/sidewalks and lots and lots of cobblestone.

Like the streets of Florence, no two apartments on the Pitt in Florence - Italian Track program are alike in terms of design, but all will give you a comfortable place to call home in Italy.  Most apartments are located within an hour commute to the CAPA Center, either on foot or by bus. Apartments are still within what is considered the city-center. 

  • Shared bedrooms (2 students/bedroom)

  • There are typically up to six students in each apartment

  • A fully equipped kitchen

  • En-suite bathroom

  • Shared living area

  • Washing machine(s) in the building (Italian apartments typically do not have dryers).  

  • Meals aren’t included, so plan on learning to cook with local ingredients or budget money to eat out.

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions. 


What You'll Study: 
  • You will take two courses on this six-week program: Italian language (depending upon level) + 1 minor elective
  • The courses are approved by Pitt and you will receive letter grades for the courses.
  • Please note that the Italian language classes (ITAL 0101, 0102, and 0103 are 4.0 credits).
  • Pitt faculty member, Jenny McCord, teaches some of the Italian language classes. The other courses will be taught by local faculty from CAPA.

All students interested in this Italian track should connect with Lorraine Denman, Italian Language Program Coordinator at Pitt, to discuss the pursuit of the Italian minor. 

Italian: Here and Now (4 credits) (ITAL0101)

An introduction to the Italian language, including basic grammar, vocabulary and speech patterns. Primary goal is to achieve competence in the spoken language, along with basic skills in reading and writing. Face-to-face lesson meetings consist of communicative activities in which students practiced learned structures and vocabulary.  Students will watch/listen/read lectures, complete exercises related to grammar and vocabulary. This instructional approach is designed to allow for maximum interaction in the classroom environment, so that students can receive extensive feedback on their progress. 

Italian: There and Then (4 credits) (ITAL0102)

This course is designed to teach you the basic vocabulary and grammar you need to navigate Italian culture, history, and society. This innovative class consists of face-to-face class meetings in which students practice their Italian in communicative activities.  In addition, students will watch/listen/read lectures, complete exercises to hone their Italian linguistic skills. Students will also  learn about Italian culture, including Italian fashion and design, travel destinations, popular culture, and contemporary literature.  Primary goal is to achieve competence in the spoken language, along with basic skills in reading and writing.

Italian: What If (4 credits) (ITAL0103)

Learn Italian in a comfortable and interactive classroom environment! This course is designed to teach you the vocabulary and grammar you need to navigate Italian culture, history, and society. This course consists of face-to-face class meetings in which students practice their Italian in communicative activities. Students will also watch/listen/read lectures, complete exercises to hone their linguistic skills to better their Italian. In addition, students will learn about Italian culture, including current events, Italian politics, and contemporary literature and cinema. Emphasis continues to be placed on the oral-aural skills, but the reading and writing skills become increasingly stressed.

Firenze Popolare (ITAL0110)

This is an advanced-intermediate level course, taught in Italian, designed for students who have already taken Italian language for three semesters. Students will expand their existing vocabulary and continue to develop their linguistic competencies by engaging in the reading, viewing, analysis of authentic materials, such as ads, brochures, videos, songs, magazine articles, films and short literary texts selected to expose students to modern Italy and its cultural, political, socio-economic history.

Italian Renaissance Art History (ITAL0183)

This is a cross-listed course with HAA 0302 Italian Renaissance Art History. Only students in the "Pitt in Florence - Italian Track" are eligible to register for the ITAL 0183 course code. All other students interested in this course must apply for the Pitt in Florence program and request HAA 0302. 

This is a study abroad course taught in Florence, Italy. We will explore the arts - painting, sculpture, architecture, and the decorative arts - that flourished in Italy between 1250 and 1590. The Renaissance is one of the great epochs of Western culture; this course offers an introduction to the visual evidence that reveals the development of new attitudes about human life and its meaning. Emphasis will be on works of those revolutionary individuals who transformed the arts - Giotto, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Bellini, Titian, and Palladio - to name only the most important. 

Analyzing and Exploring the Global City - Florence (URBNST0408)

Florence is a global heritage city: millions of people every day crowd into its small streets admiring the ancient buildings and its artistic heritage, which creates revenue as well as issues. For this reason, contemporary Florence and its inhabitants are less well-known by visitors. Florence today has an ethnically diverse population with complex socio-cultural dynamics that shape the identity of this fascinating city. Although migration to the city has intensified over the last few decades, ‘multiculturalism’ is not a recent phenomenon: over the centuries the city has celebrated diversity, with different ethnic groups, different nationalities and various religious groups who have contributed to Florence’s social and cultural wealth. Even the briefest of walks can unveil this wealth to the eyes of the attentive observer – and it is precisely this ‘below the surface’ understanding that this course provides. Florence is, and always has been, a ‘global’ city. We will analyze the complex dynamics that shape the identity of Florence by applying a critical perspective to the notion of globalization and by analyzing the socio-cultural forces at play both historically and presently. Students will learn to analyze the cultural variety present in the city, examining which ethnic communities live in Florence today, and gaining insight into their lives through scholarly sources and direct observation. Throughout the course we will discuss the relativity of cultural values; we will analyze how multicultural aspects of Florence’s identity have been discursively constructed and by which social actors; we will review which policies the local and national administration have put into effect to deal with these issues.


The University of Pittsburgh partners with CEA CAPA Education Abroad for this program. CEA CAPA works with institutions of higher education to build programs that meet their goals for learning abroad, and offers study abroad and internship programs in destinations around the globe. CEA CAPA focuses on academic offerings, support frameworks, and oversight structures for students and visiting faculty.

The CEA CAPA Florence Center is housed in three buildings in the heart of Florence, including in Palazzo Galli-Tassi, a 15th century palace. The CEA CAPA Florence team is available throughout your program to assist and support you 24/7 with any urgent situations.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Lauren Perri

Hi! I'm Lauren, Program Manager for Arts & Sciences students. As an undergraduate student, I studied abroad in Marburg, Germany. Since then, my career in international education has taken me to many locations around the world. Particularly, I have an affinity for Florence, Italy. There is nothing quite like the challenge of navigating a new city, country, and culture! Let's chat about global experiences.

Schedule an appointment

Schedule an appointment with me using Pathways! 

  • Schedule an appointment with me using my personal link.
  • Login to Pathways with your Pitt username and password
  • Select Find Available Time
  • Select the time you want to meet
  • Review the appointment and click the schedule button
  • You will see a graphic that confirms that you have made an appointment with me & receive a confirmation in your Pitt email 

Don't see a time that works for you? Just send me an email at lap140@pitt.edu

Your In-Country Contacts: 

Jenny McCord

Jenny McCord teaches the Italian 0101 and Italian for the Professions Course on this program. She is also your in-country program advisor. Jenny earned a Master of Arts in Italian literature and a Master of Teaching in foreign language education at the University of Virginia. She has been teaching Italian classes at the University of Pittsburgh since 2006 and has worked for study abroad programs in Bologna, Florence and Rome. Jenny has recently completed a Master in intercultural studies and social mediation at the University of Padova, and is interested in promoting intercultural competencies in an effort to expand social bonding and facilitate integration of vulnerable parties in our communities.

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition Fees $4,938.00 $5,138.00
Program Fee $3,061.00 $3,061.00
Study Abroad Fee $300.00 $300.00
Total Billed by Pitt $8,299.00 $8,499.00

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare ~ $1,500
Meals and Personal Expenses ~ $1,500


Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad. Visit our Budgeting page for more information.


What's Included: 

As a part of your Pitt in Florence - Italian Track program fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 6 credits or 7 credits, depending on your Italian language level course
  • Shared accommodations throughout the program
  • Excursions and cultural activities, including the CAPA My Global City calendar of offerings. My Global City events/activities from the past have included: a gelato tour around the city, a boat ride on the Arno, a cooking class, and more! 
  • On-site transportation  
  • International travel health insurance
  • Airport transfer
When You'll Go: 

This program runs for six weeks, beginning in May and ending in July. See the dates sidebar for exact program start and end dates.

What Else You Need to Know: 

This program runs parallel to the Pitt in Florence - Summer program. If you are not interested in/pursuing an Italian minor, then you should apply for the regular Pitt in Florence - Summer program. 

All students interested in this Italian track should connect with Lorraine Denman, Italian Language Program Coordinator at Pitt, to discuss the pursuit of the Italian minor. 

Florence is warm in the summer. Please prepare yourself that A/C is not as common and is regulated.