This course offers an introduction to cultural and literary expressions of the regions Umbria, Marche and Emilia Romagna in Italy. Students will be introduced to some of the main writers, poets and artists that had ties to these regions such as Dante Alighieri, Baldassarre Castiglione, Jacopone da Todi, Saint Frances, Giacomo Leopardi, Piero della Francesca, Leon Battista Alberti, Luciano Laurana, Luca Signorelli, Giotto and Raphael. Students will read excerpts from some of the most important writers in Italian literature and visit places linked to their narrations. They will discover the Gradara castle located closed to the famous Riviera Romagnola, where the tragedy of Paolo and Francesca, narrated in canto V of Dante’s Inferno, took place. In Recanati they will enter the house of another major Italian poet, Giacomo Leopardi, and will have the opportunity to observe from close some of the places described in his poetries: Silvia’s house and the Colle dell’infinito. By visiting Assisi, students will focus on the life and work of Saint Frances, author of the first literary production in Italian, while observing the cycle of frescoes inspired on his life, painted by Giotto in the Basilica. The travel will also include the visit of the cities of Rimini, Urbino, the Museo della carta e della filigrana in Fabriano, Gubbio, Todi, Perugia and Ravenna. Since food and wine are also an important part of Italian culture, workshops on Italian cuisine will be organized.  At the end of the travel, each student in the class will be responsible for providing blog topics/ articles on given topics.

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