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Bring Your Camera!

Camera: No matter what, bring a camera to Italy! Whether it be a sophisticated SLR or a simple instamatic, film or digital camera, it is essential to record your experience. Most Cortona alumni savor their time abroad for years through prints and slides. Check your camera carefully before leaving home—take a practice roll to insure the camera’s (and your own) competence. You can also purchase cameras (new and used), accessories, and have repairs made in Cortona, often at a lower price than in the States.

Film: You can buy quality film in Cortona for prices comparable to those in the States. Remember that Kodachrome film must be brought home for processing. Kodacolor, Ektachrome, Fujichrome, etc. may be quickly processed in Cortona. For black and white work, the Ilford films are available all over Europe, and are highly recommended, especially the Ilford FP4. If a film is rated ASA 400 or faster, a lead-bag is recommended for protection from airport x-ray machines.

Darkroom: The program's darkroom and photographic facilities are reserved for photography students under the supervision of the photography instructor.

Digital lab: The Severini School now has a 14-station MacIntosh lab. All of the software necessary for digital photography (Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.) is available. This digital lab is available for all students on the program and has access to the internet. There is also a photography computer lab complete with 5 Intel-based Mac computers, an Epson Stylus Pro 7880 printer and an Epson Stylus Photo R2880.

Miscellaneous: A flash attachment is very useful for indoor ceremonies. Some students will loan their flash to those who don't have one. Trading photos will be an important event at next year's reunion so be prepared to have them available by that time.

Art Supplies

Students are encouraged to wait until they arrive in Italy to purchase supplies for their classes. Built-in, structured time for supply purchase with professors is scheduled for Rome and/or Florence. Students should be aware that several courses may be offered during the same time period. Thus, if a student has his or her heart set on taking 3 classes (i.e., painting, printmaking, and photo), then buys supplies for each in the U.S. and brings them over, the student may find him or herself in a difficult situation when realizing that all three of those classes are taught at the same time. In this case, the student would then have to choose one class and try to sell supplies to other students. To avoid this situation, please come with an open, flexible mind about course offerings and wait to buy supplies once you know your schedule. The class schedule will be announced in Rome and/or Naples, not before.

Fortunately, for most visual art students, art materials and supplies of high quality are available at reasonable costs in Italy. Rome and Florence are good places to purchase some art supplies that you will need in the first part of the course. However, do not overstock with supplies from the offset. Transporting them from Rome to Cortona in a crowded bus may damage some of them and there will be plenty of other opportunities to re-supply both in Cortona and in other cities we visit, such as Arezzo.

Paper stock and made-to-order sketchbooks are available at the two Cartolerie (paper shops) in Cortona. Printing papers and other visual arts basic materials are provided in a short time by the same shops if you ask. Other more specialized items - special paints, canvas, sculpting tools, pens for graphics and LAR -- can be purchased in Florence or ordered in Cortona through the cartolerie.

Keep in mind that acrylic paint tends to be more expensive in Italy. Drawing charcoals are often of a different type or feel to the ones you may be accustomed to, so be prepared to experiment or bring some from home. While you may wish to take with you some basic tools of your specialty, the University has a basic supply of tools that are made available to students. If you do bring your own tools, please put your name on them.

Packing Tips

Try to avoid overpacking. Remember, every individual in the Program, whether faculty, student or dependent is responsible for carrying and moving his or her own luggage. No help is available for anyone. Any experienced traveler will tell you it is no fun to lug around heavy suitcases. This means you should pack a minimum of clothes and accessories in the lightest but sturdiest suitcase you have. Backpacks are highly recommended for easiest transport.


Recommended Items to Pack

All of the following items can be easily purchased in Italy. However, you will be traveling for about 8-10 days before arriving in Cortona, so we suggest you carry with you the things that will make you most comfortable during that period.

  • A wristwatch is a necessity
  • Bath towel, hand towel, and face cloth: take used, thin ones that will dry easily and can be disposed of at the end of the trip if you need space.
  • Soap: in a plastic container, or carry several small soaps
  • Tissues: Small packages of face tissues or wet towelettes are useful.
  • A small daypack
  • A lightweight, rainproof jacket
  • Layered Outfits (Spring & Fall)
  • Travel Umbrella
  • USB memory stick (at least 2GB)
  • Sewing kit: on a small piece of cloth put two needles, several safety pins and an extra button. Around a small piece of cardboard wrap two yards of thread to match each color of your clothes.
  • Laundry kit: Liquid or dry soap that will work in cold water. Put in a small container that can be stuffed into shoes.
  • Writing materials: Remember that your stamps must be purchased in the country from which you mail your letters. Aerograms are cheaper to mail than letters but must also be bought from the country from which you will mail them. You may want to bring a travel diary or journal.
  • Toilet kit: toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo. If you need a hairdryer, it is best to purchase one after you arrive in Italy. Most American hairdryers with a plug adaptor will burn out quickly.
  • Medical kit: bandages, cold tablets, aspirin, motion sickness medicine (if you are likely to need it), insect repellent. If you take prescription medication, including birth control pills, be sure to get enough for the entire trip. Always keep your prescription medication in the bottle from the pharmacy to avoid questions at customs.
    IMPORTANT: Be sure any medications you need on a regular basis are packed into your carry-on luggage. It is possible that checked luggage can get lost resulting in several days delay reuniting with your bags.
  • Plastic Bags: medium to large ones for wet or dirty clothes or towels, small ones for soap & washcloths.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen: the sun in Italy is very bright.
  • Alarm clock: battery operated.
  • Photo Students: Film - lots of it. Film is readily available in Italy, but is more expensive.
  • Camera
  • Bathing suit
  • Dictionary: English/Italian, Italian/English
  • Travel guides for Italy: Recommended: Let's Go Italy, Eyewitness Guides, Rough Guides.
  • Direct Current Adaptors: if you bring electrical appliances like hair dryers or electric shavers. In Italy the current is 220 V 50 cycles (in the US it is 110 V 60)
  • Tape Player/Recorder (optional): with a small supply of tapes/Cds and batteries.
  • Jewelry: leave your good, sentimental and expensive jewelry at home.
  • Leakproof plastic containers: bring along small plastic jars& bottles. They don't break and can be thrown away after you are finished with them. They are great for lotion, soap, cosmetics and anything liquid that can leak or drip.
  • Shoes: Due to increased number of broken or sprained feet and ankles, students are REQUIRED to wear comfortable, durable, practical shoes at all times. This includes flat, arch-supporting shoes for sports, gymnastics, walking, or hiking. Not allowed to wear outside the albergo: flip flops, clogs, high heels, shoes without a back strap. Cortona is very hilly with rough cobblestone streets. Sturdy shoes are essential at all times.
  • Laptop Computer: You will be able to access wireless internet at the Kehoe Center. However, printing both images and text from personal laptops using UGA printers is VERY difficult and not recommended. If students are used to composing on a lap top, they may still want to bring it, being aware that printing access will not be available.
  • Art Supplies

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: Make certain you have a valid passport. Make copies of your passport and bring one with you in a separate place. Also leave a copy of your passport at home. These copies will be necessary if your passport becomes lost or stolen.
  • MONEY: The best way to get cash while abroad is by using ATM machines. You can withdraw up to $250.00 a day from your account and there are banks conveniently located throughout Cortona. If you bring traveler's checks, leave a copy of the numbers at home and a copy elsewhere in your luggage.
  • CREDIT CARD: It is highly recommended that students bring a credit card with them in case of emergencies. Visa, MasterCard or American Express with the student's name on the card, signed on the back.
  • INFO FOR PARENTS/RELATIVES: Print out a copy of the webpage "Information for Parents" and leave this with your family at home. It will provide them with information about how to reach you. Read it carefully and anticipate any additional information they may need during your time abroad. (ie: tax forms, financial aid forms, etc.)


Bring with you the following addresses and phone numbers. Keep these addresses and phone numbers with you at all times so that you can call if you need assistance.

UGA Residential Center Cortona, Italy
Office of International Education
The University of Georgia
1324 South Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA 30602
Phone: +1.706.542.7120
Fax: +1.706.542.4270
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program
52044 Cortona (Arezzo) ITALY
Tel: 011 39 0575 603 157