Dates: May 5 - May 25, 2017

Application Deadline: rolling

Basic Estimated Program Cost: $2,940*

*This cost is subject to change.

Program Description

UGA Cortona Unearthing

Program Description

In partnership with UGA Department of Classics, UGA Cortona will offer a Maymester program that focuses on the history, art, and archaeology of Europe with site visits to excavations, monuments, and museums. Various topics and itineraries examine Pre-Classical Europe, Early Rome and the Etruscans; the Roman Empire in Italy and the Provinces; the Legacy of Imperial Rome and the emergence of early Modern Europe. Relevant to the study of antiquity and its legacy is its influences on art, architecture, and urban development from the Middle Ages to Fascism, and the conservation of art and monuments at archaeological sites and museums. Itineraries in Italy, England, and Scotland alternate with itineraries in Italy, France, and Spain. The program is physically challenging and may not be suitable for all students.   

Academic Goals of the Program: To examine the historical and material evidence of ancient Italian cultures that led to the rise of Rome and the spread of the Roman Empire across Europe, and to contextualize the legacy of Imperial Rome on later periods, including early Modern Europe, the Renaissance and Enlightenment, and Fascism. 

Program Location

The setting for the University of Georgia's Cortona Maymester Program is the small, quiet, walled hilltown of Cortona, Italy. Centrally located within the Tuscany region on the crest of Mont S. Egidio overlooking the vast Val di Chiana, Cortona is surrounded by beautiful olive groves, vineyards, rich valley farmland and immense history.

The town of Cortona is a veritable museum that offers the student a rich artistic and historical environment that reveals itself through fine examples of Etruscan, Roman, Romanesque, and Renaissance art and architecture. Since 1970, the small community of Cortona and the University have shared a mutual tradition of goodwill and respect where the local government and citizens provide generous support and encouragement to the Studies Abroad Program and its students.

In this idyllic environment, the UGA Cortona - Europe: Unearthing the Past Maymester Program provides a challenging opportunity for the serious student who wishes to combine international travel with an intensive period of classroom work, while merging with the lifestyle and culture of Italy and the U.K. While in Cortona, students live in a newly renovated 15th century monastery that provides premium studio spaces and living quarters with historic surroundings. 

Residential Center Support Staff

Chris Robinson - UGA Cortona Residential Center Director
Kristine Schramer - UGA Cortona Residential Center Associate Director
Enza Valente - Office Manager, Cortona
Maggie Faz Perry - Residential Center Coordinator
Mary VanNus - Administrative Specialist
Samantha Burch - Residential Center Advisor
Matt Cutlip - Residential Center Advisor

Academic Program

Europe: Unearthing the Past Program Director and Faculty:

Mario Erasmo is Professor of Classics and Associate Faculty Member of the UGA Center for Archaeological Sciences. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the Legacy of Classical Antiquity, the Cultural History of Death, and the Roman Theatre. His extensive study abroad experience across Europe informs his guidebooks Strolling Through Rome: The Definitive Walking Guide to the Eternal City (I.B. Tauris, 2014) and Strolling Through Florence: The Definitive Walking Guide to the Renaissance City (I.B. Tauris, 2017). 

CLAS4110: The Etruscans and Early Rome

Credits: 3
Course Description: The art and culture of the people of Northern Italy known as the Etruscans, with special attention to their relationship with the Greek world and their role in the development of Rome as a city. 
Meeting date(s): TBA
Instructor: Professor Mario Erasmo 
Department: UGA Department of Classics
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CLAS4130: The Archaeology of Rome's Provinces 

Credits: 3
Course Description: The archaeology of the Western and/or Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, concentrating on the major cities and sanctuaries and their physical remains. 
Meeting date(s): TBA
Instructor: Professor Mario Erasmo 
Department: UGA Department of Classics
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TOTAL: 6 Credit Hours

2017 Program Dates

May 5th, 2017 - All participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from Italy. In order to arrive in Rome on May 6th for the beginning of the program, May 5th is the last possible day to depart the United States for Rome. 

May 6th, 2017 - Official start of the program

May 25th, 2017 - Official end of the program

Tentative Program Itinerary

Rome, Italy
  • Orientation tour of Termini area
  • Palazzo Massimo Museum
  • Baths of Diocletian Museum
  • Pantheon
  • Palazzo Altemps
  • Piazza Navona
  • Vatican Museums
Cortona, Italy
  • Classroom lectures at UGA Residential Center
Florence, Italy
  • Necropolis
  • Piazza della Repubblica (Forum)
  • Piazza della Signoria (Baths; Theatre)
  • Piazza di Santa Croce (Ampitheatre)
  • National Archaeological Museum
Bath, U.K.
  • Bath Abbey
  • Roman Baths
  • Pulteney Bridge
London, England
  • St. Pancras Church
  • Museum of London
  • Leadenhall Market (Forum)
  • St. Paul's Cathedral
Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Calton Hill: National Monument of Scotland (Parthenon)
  • National Museum of Scotland
  • Visit to Dunsyre
  • Departure from Edinburgh

Housing and Meals

Some breakfast meals will be included. A continental breakfast is served in the mornings at the hotels in Italy and the U.K. While in Cortona, the breakfast will be served at the Kehoe Building. Most continental breakfasts consist of bread, jam, fruit juice, and coffee or tea. Students who want or need additional food for breakfast may buy groceries and keep them in the student refrigerator.

Some lunches will be provided while traveling in Italy and the U.K. Lunch while in Cortona and on field trips will be on your own. In Cortona, there are many options for an inexpensive quick lunch at local grocery stores and bars, as well as numerous full-service restaurants. For lunch, sandwiches are available at most bars and grocery stores in town. A "toast" in Italy is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, and most bars will offer other choices as well. Any of the grocery stores in town will prepare a sandwich made to your specifications or you can buy your own fruit, cheese, and bread. The range of restaurants in Cortona varies from first-class full menu restaurants to more inexpensive places where you can order a pizza or a plate of pasta. If you would like to go to a full-service restaurant for lunch, the prices will generally be higher and you will pay for service. A cover charge is automatically added to your bill and you are also expected to tip your waiter. Sitting down in a restaurant means possible waiting times, as food in Italy is cooked only after you order it. In Cortona, smaller family-run restaurants are usually fairly inexpensive and provide an opportunity to make friends with the Cortonese.

Some group dinners will be provided. While in Cortona, three, evening group meals will be covered at Tonino's Ristorante. Tonino's Ristorante serves typical Tuscan fare, and is one of the most well-known and respected restaurants in the region. The dining room seats approximately 100 people and is serviced by the professional staff of Tonino‚Äôs. The restaurant has a balcony with a bar on the upper level providing a spectacular view of the Val di Chiana and is a relaxing place for a before or after dinner coffee or aperitif.  Dinner at Tonino's consists of three courses: the first course (primo piatto) is usually pasta or rice, the second course (secondo piatto) is usually meat or fish and a selection of salad or vegetables, and dessert (dolce) is usually fruit or cake or pastry. A different second course is served to those who are vegetarians. Students are responsible for most dinners, and can choose to prepare their meals or eat at one of the many restaurants in Cortona, and while traveling throughout other cities in Italy and the U.K.

Program Costs

The basic cost of the program is estimated at $2,940. Tuition is not included in this cost. See for tuition rates. The cost of the program includes:

  • Program Deposit (due after acceptance to program) - applied towards total program cost
  • International Health Insurance (UGA requirement)
  • Charter bus and/or train transportation on planned field trips
  • Airfare from within Italy to the U.K.
  • Shared hotel accommodations when traveling and dorm in Cortona
  • Some breakfasts and dinners while traveling with the program group
  • Program t-shirt

Students who are not residents of Georgia or do not attend a University System of Georgia University or College pay an additional $250.00.  

Accommodation Statement

UGA education abroad programs strive to provide reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Areas of disability include, but are not limited to visual, hearing, learning, psychological, medical, and mobility impairments. If you receive disability-related accommodations at UGA or at your home university, or if you anticipate needing accommodations at your overseas site, you will arrange for them with your study abroad program director and the staff in the Disability Resource Center. Examples of accommodations include note taking assistance, extended test time, a quiet testing location, alternative text/media, and accessible housing. Please provide information about your accommodation needs at least 4 weeks prior to departure in order to allow time to arrange for accommodations. Students are asked to disclose disability-related needs prior to the start of the program to help ensure that there are no delays in accommodations and that the student can enjoy the full study abroad experience.