Last weekend, my Early Art Renaissance class had a weekend excursion to Florence, Italy from Friday morning until Sunday evening. In that short amount of time we accomplished many museum and church visits as well as getting some free time to see the city on our own.
Here is the list of all the places/works of art we learned about and viewed.
Cenacolo di Sant’ Apollonia (Last Supper fresco by Andrea del Castagno)
Museo di San Marco (paintings by Fra Angelico)
Church of Santa Trinita (Ghirlandaio’s Sassetti Chapel)
Church of Santa Maria Novella (Giotto’s Crucifix, Masaccio’s Trinity, Ghirlandaio’s Tornabunoi Chapel)
Baptistery Doors by Ghiberti
Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Donatello, Della Robbia, Michelangelo)
Museo del Bargello
Church of Santa Croce (Cimabue, Giotto, Donatello, humanist tombs, Pazzi Chapel)
Accademia (Michelangelo’s David)
Piazza della Signoria
Santa Maria del Carmine – Brancacci Chapel
So that list takes care of all the art we fit in our weekend. I feel so fortunate to have a professor who cares about our class and learning experience that they take a weekend of their time to show us all the important works of art that are relevant to our course syllabus. These were also places that I know I would’ve overlooked if I visited Florence on my own.
Another thing I enjoyed about the weekend was getting to know our professor, Frank Dabell, on a more personal level. Each day we had lunch and dinner with our professor, and it was a nice break from the lectures, a change to all relax and talk to each other. My class is also very small (only 9 students), so it was like we all bonded even more as our “art history family”. One night we even convinced our professor to join us for dinner at an “American-Style Diner” in the heart of Florence. Part of the cultural experience (at least I think so) is to see how other cultures view and incorporate the American culture into their own. I must say, the diner was amazing and the perfect touch of home cooking that my stomach has been craving – chicken fingers, pancakes, and omelets were just some of the selections that were ordered.
The weekend was full of learning, laughs, and memories that will last me a lot longer than just this semester. If you decide to study abroad, I highly recommend taking at least one course with a course excursion. It will enrich your program so much.