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Program Information:


Professor teaching on site in Florence
  • Explore Dante's most fantastic images in the Inferno, formed through references to the medieval art and architecture in Italy

  • Participate on day excursions to Pisa, Monteriggioni, Siena, Montaperti, and San Gimignano

  • Earn an upper division Literature and the Arts Core credit

  • Study both the sites to which Dante refers to in Inferno and the works of other artists inspired by his poem

  • No previous knowledge of Italian required



Missed the info session? View the presentation here!


Global Seminar group photo

Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 367,569 inhabitants (1,500,000 in the metropolitan area).The city lies on the River Arno and is known for its history and its importance in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, especially for its art and architecture. A center of medieval European trade and finance and one of the richest and wealthiest cities of the time, Florence is considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.

The city boasts a wide range of collections of art, especially those held in the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi. Florence is arguably the last preserved Renaissance city in the world and is regarded by many as the art capital of Italy. It has been the birthplace or chosen home of many notable historical figures, such as Dante, Boccaccio, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Niccolò Machiavelli, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Donatello, Galileo Galilei, Catherine de' Medici, Antonio Meucci, Guccio Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli, and Emilio Pucci.

Dante references specific sites and art in Florence and nearby cities (e.g. Siena, Pisa) in the Inferno. The program simultaneously examines the visual representations of Hell created both before and after Dante's poem. By teaching the course in Florence and its environs students have the opportunity to study both the sites to which Dante refers and the works of other artists inspired by his poem. Site visits aim to bring Dante's spirit realm into sharp focus for students.


Housing has been arranged as shared apartments in Florence. Students will have double rooms.

Students will be responsible for most meals for the duration of the program. A Welcome and Farewell dinner will be provided on the program, along with an Italian cooking lesson.


You are responsible for making your own transportation arrangements to Florence and back.

Transportation on program-related field trips while in Italy is provided as part of the program fee.


  • Course: ITAL 4147, Visualizing Dante's Inferno
  • Credits: 3 upper-division credit hours
  • Approved for: This course has been evaluated to fulfill the upper division Literature and the Arts Core requirement.
  • Grading: This is a CU Boulder course, so you will receive letter grades
  • See course description

This course offers a unique learning experience to study Dante's Inferno imagery up close and personal in Florence. The program focuses exclusively on medieval and early modern literature and art. The course will count towards the upper-division requirement for the Italian major and minor and would count as for the Literature and the Arts Core.

In Italy, the course will consist of lectures and relevant site visits. Many of Dante's most fantastic images in the Inferno are formed through references to the medieval art and architecture that surrounded him: the enchained giants ringing the lower circle of hell are compared to the towered walls of the Tuscan city of Monteriggioni; sinners are stuck upside down in holes in the ground that resemble the baptismal fonts in Pisa; the Inferno's Lucifer munches on sinners much like the devil in the 12th mosaics in Florence's Baptistery. Dante's poem also inspired artists, such as Sandro Botticelli, to depict Hell in manuscripts, paintings, or frescoes and greatly influenced the creation of a new iconography of the underworld.

Students are expected to be full participants at the pre-departure meetings and at each visit and lecture while in Florence. A detailed course syllabus will be provided to all the students and is available from the program director.


The program is directed by Professor Suzanne Magnanini. Suzanne Magnanini is the Chair and Associate Professor for the Department of French and Italian and serves as the department's specialist in early modern Italian literature. She has taught several classes at CU relating to Dante's Inferno.

Professor Magnanini, along with staff from the study abroad office will help in selecting program participants.


The program schedule is relatively busy but when you are not in class or doing a group visit you will have time to explore Florence, many site visits are included.



  • Dante Alighieri Society Scholarship: To be granted one of these awards, the student must be able to document acceptance in an established study program of Italian language, culture or history. Applications are accepted in early spring for the fall or academic year.

  • Ayer Romance Language Scholarship: For students who are declared Italian majors with an overall GPA of 3.0. Other restrictions apply. For more information contact the Dept. of French and Italian.




Program Reviews:
Summer 2013 Participant
I really loved the location, the class and the professor. The excursions were incredible, the housing was great and I was able to interact with locals. The other students on the trip complained a little too much.

Summer 2013 Participant
I loved getting to Bologna, Montaperti battle site, Siena, Montereggione. Seeing and being in the places Dante mentions was amazing; walking through country fields made the centuries fall away.

Summer 2016 Participant
Visualizing Dante's Inferno was a great course. Exploring Dante's inspirations throughout Florence was fascinating! Suzanne's knowledge of Italian literature is remarkable and enhances the study of Dante's poem. Living in an apartment in the city enhanced the Italian cultural experience. Having weekends off allowed for traveling to Cinque Terre and Venice. It was a trip of a lifetime.

Summer 2014 Participant
The course was fantastic. The structure was set up very well to keep us students engaged and the trips were done wonderfully to match the material we were reading in Dante's Inferno. Florence was beautiful and the class helped motivate me to see the amazing sites that I otherwise might not have visited on my own. Thanks to my slight understanding of the Italian language, interactions with locals was a fun and pleasant learning experience. My favorite part was our group excursions for sure.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline App Review Begins Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 01-FEB-2018
Variable 14-MAY-2018 02-JUN-2018
NOTE: Dates on this page are for information only; final dates will be confirmed with participants after acceptance to the program. Do not purchase airfare until instructed to do so by your Program Manager. The Start Date indicates the day participants arrive at the program location; the End Date indicates the day participants depart from the program location.
Summer 2019 01-FEB-2019 ** Variable TBA TBA

** Most programs’ applications are reviewed on a rolling basis (starting August 1st for Spring programs and January 15th for Summer and Fall programs). NOTE: Some programs start the admissions process earlier and fill before the deadline, and some programs’ applications aren’t reviewed until after the deadline. Check with Education Abroad staff for details.

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