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Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Contemporary Italy

"History, Art, Film, Food and Folklore"

canceled for Summer 2020 due to COVID-19 global pandemic


This course is taught in English and has no pre-requisites. If you have experience in Italian, you might be interested in our other Italian summer program: Italian in Context

The Italian island of Sicily is exuberant and beautiful, filled with natural beauty, stunning architecture and is rich in history and archaeology. With a history spanning nearly three thousand years, Sicily is a magical place: Greek ruins mingle with Baroque mansions, Byzantine castles sit next to Moorish palaces. Situated between the ruggedness of Mount Etna and the softness of the dazzlingly azure or the Mediterranean, Sicily will steal you heart with its enchanting allure.

You will earn six credits, participate in day trips and an organized weekend together to experience a variety of cultural activities.

Rooms at Hotel Garibaldi in Palermo, a four star Hotel. A full American style breakfast is included every morning. A wide variety of inexpensive and moderately - priced restaurants and cafés are within easy walking of the Hotel. Some of the lunches will be held at the/close by the school after class. Welcome dinner and good-bye dinner are included in the price.


Contact: Dr. Angela Tumini

General Description of the course:

There is a reason why Italy is a favorite destination for students, scholars and and visitors across the globe. Not only its rich history encompasses civilizations that span from Ancient Greek, to Etruscan, Roman and Norman, just to name a few, but also because Italians have a way of practicing the art of beauty in every aspect of their life. Food, art, fashion, design, theater, cinema, literature, street festivals and ancient celebrations disguised by Catholic rituals, as well as the profound contrasts that exist between different areas of the country, all contribute to give the country a cultural dimension of unique value. All of that culture is framed within a landscape that is incredibly varied and surprising, and that makes the Italian way of life speak of harmony and balance of shapes, colors and flavors. Italy itself is a way of life and an endless source of inspiration. Placing a particular focus on Sicily, this Italian Culture course is an opportunity to learn more about beauty, and above all, it represents an opportunity for students to experience first hand an authentic and profound way of life while they widen their cultural scope and intellectual understand on how the intertwining of ancient cultures can still shape the essence of Italy as modern country within a globalized world.

Six hours of undergraduate credit are granted by the University of South Carolina. This course can be used towards major (e.g. International Business or Global Studies) minor and general requirements. It also satisfies the experiential learning requirement.

Dr. Angela Tumini, a faculty member from the University of South Carolina, will teach the course and will be in residence and she will oversee the program and participants' general well - being.

INSTRUCTIONAL FORMAT: Class will meet every day, Monday to Thursday from 9:30AM to 12:30 PM with 15m coffee breaks in between. Meetings will be divided between illustrated lectures, guest presentations, class discussions, short readings and presentations. Sight visits will be conducted during afternoons and weekends.

Admission Requirements

  1. There are no specific requirements the course is taught in English and if participants speak Italian will do some work in the Italian language.
  2. All students must be at least 18 years of age. They do not necessarily have to be enrolled at UofSC, but must pay UofSC tuition for three credit hours.

Out of Class Activities:

  • Interviews with Local Business Owners
  • Exploring Traditional Sicilian Cuisine and the influence of Arabic food
  • Learning about the tradition of Sicilian Ice Cream
  • Learning about Sicilian Ceramics
  • Exploring Palermo’s way of life
  • Exploring the famous fresh food market of Palermo


List of Sight Visits:

  • General Tour of Palermo
  • Mosaics of Palermo
  • Palermo’s Folklore – “Il Festino”
  • Taormina
  • Siracusa & Greek Theatre
  • Ragusa Ibla and Noto
  • Trip to Mount Etna
  • Trips to Locations of Screened Movies
  • Agrigento: The Valley of Temples

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.