Renaissance Art in Florence

Florence was the birthplace of Renaissance art. While staying in the heart of this medieval city, students will have an opportunity to explore the artistic, historical, and cultural milieu into which Renaissance art was born and where Raphael, Michalangelo, and da Vinci worked side by side. The notion of artistic genius began in Florence, and the level of creativity in this small city changed art forever. Museum visits within the city and field trips to Siena and San Gimignano will allow students to study masterpieces of art close up and where they were meant to be seen.

Topics include:

  • The development of humanism and how it influences the arts
  • The role of patronage in the Renaissance arts
  • Renaissance architecture and perspective
  • The development of sculpture and its influence upon painting
  • The masters of the 1400s - Masaccio, Uccello, Botticelli, della Francesca
  • Secularization of art and a changed status for the artist
  • The High Renaissance and the rivalry between da Vinci and Michelangelo
  • Mannerism: breaking up Renaissance space

"Florence, the birthplace of genius"

Faculty: Dr. John S. Nolan, e-mail

May apply toward upper-level credit for the humanities major, Italian associate degree or certificate curriculum, or electives. 

Tentative Course Itinerary

Day 1 (Saturday)

1400Class meets at the Hotel Plus Florence
Room assignments and light lunch
Introduction to the class requirements
Visit to San Miniato

Day 2 (Sunday)

0830Baptistry, Laurentian Library, Bargello, and Cathedral Museum
1345-1545Lecture at the hotel
1615Entry to Brancacci Chapel

Day 3 (Monday)

0900Cathedral, Orsanmichele Museum (architecture), Piazza Signoria, Sta Croce, and Pazzi Chapel
1330-1700Lecture at hotel
1700Ospedale degli Innocenti and SS Annunziata

Day 4 (Tuesday)


Day 5 (Wednesday)

0900Palazzo Rucellai, Sta Maria Novella and Cloister (painting), Sta Trinita, and Sta Felicita
1630First visit to the Uffizi
Review sheets distributed

Day 6 (Thursday)

0900Davanzati Palace, S. Apollonia, S. Marco, and Sta. M. Magdalena
1200-1400Lunch and climb the dome
1600Pal. Medici and Chapel of the Magi, Accademia

Day 7 (Friday)

0900San Lorenzo Complex and Medici Chapels, Sta Spirito, and Palazzo Pitti (optional)
1615Review visit to the Uffizi
1930Conclusions and review lecture

Day 8 (Saturday)

0900-1030Review and question period

Accommodation and Transportation

For your convenience, UMUC coordinates the hotel and excursion arrangements for a flat fee of $650 per student per field study course. This fee will be charged to your student account and covers seven nights of lodging (double occupancy room), as well as local transportation costs and entry to all excursions.

The $650 fee does not include travel to and from the city where the course is held. Students must make their own travel arrangements to the course.

Textbooks and Course Materials

Please refer to the current course syllabus found on the schedule for details about course materials.

Registration Details

You may register for the 3 credit field study course with your local program coordinator or online at MyUMGC. Tuition assistance or financial aid can be applied toward tuition costs. For more information, contact the UMGC Field Study Office at CIV +49-(0)631-534-800, or e-mail

Before completing your travel plans, please verify with your local program coordinator or the Field Study Office at UMGC Europe Headquarters that the course will be held as scheduled. If you drop/withdraw from a field study course after the registration deadline, you will be charged a fee of $100.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How is a field study course different from a regular course?
A field study course packs all of the 48 contact-hours of other courses into seven adventure-filled days on location, so you can earn three credits in 5 weeks. In addition, rather than taking place in an education center, a field study course takes place in a historical European city where the subject being studied has its roots. You will visit historical sites and museums as well as participate in lectures that bring it all together for a one-of-a-kind learning experience.

The on-site portion of field study courses are also scheduled during registration weeks, so they shouldn't interfere with your other courses.

For more information, please visit the Field Study Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.

Helpful Hints

Before you leave:

  • Contact your travel agency concerning insurance coverage for cancellations.
  • Contact your health insurance company for information concerning coverage at your destination.
  • Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of your destination country.
  • Check the weather forecast for your destination.
  • Obtain city maps for your destination.
  • Leave contact information with people at home who may need to reach you during the course.
  • Make sure your legal affairs are in order and leave a short-term power of attorney with someone you trust.
  • Make two photocopies of your passport and the contents of your wallet--leave one copy at home, and bring the other with you.

For more information, please visit the Field Study Resources page.