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Skidmore College
Off-Campus Study & Exchanges

Exploring Rome

Memories of Rome 2015

Course Description 

Professors Dan Curley (Classics) and Gregory Spinner (Religious Studies) will lead students on a transformative 17-day travel seminar in Rome, Italy. 

Rome is the Eternal City, an urban center three millennia in the making. As a religious, political, and cultural worldrome capital, Rome has become one of the most imaged and imagined cities on earth, depicted in literature and art by citizens, expatriates, exiles, and visitors alike. Exploring Rome offers an immersive residential experience, where representations of the city meet the realities of urban space and urban planning. Students will tour and present on ancient sites (the Forum, the Colosseum, the Pantheon), as well as the Vatican, major museums, churches, synagogues, palazzi, Fascist monuments, and other locales in which it is possible to discern the spatial and social layering that is Rome's hallmark.  In addition, students will keep travel journals and produce a portfolio that captures their experiences on the tour, thereby continuing the ages-old tradition of writing about Rome.

Learning Goals

Students enrolled in the Exploring Rome travel seminar will:

1) explore Rome as a living and layered urban environment, immersing themselves in the city's history and culture; 

2) synthesize the reading and research of the spring on-campus course, Mapping Rome, during on-site excursions and exercises; 

3) finalize and deliver peer-to-peer presentations in and around the city; and

4) record their excursions and experiences in clear and effective prose, and build a portfolio of travel writing.

Sample Itinerary

May 19–20:  Travel to Rome and settling in

May 21:  The Capitoline Hill and the city center

May 22–23: The Campus Martius (including the Pantheon)

May 24:  The Colosseum and environs

May 25:  The Forum and the Capitoline Museums

May 26:  The Golden House of Nero

May 27:  The Aventine Hill and the Jewish Quarter

May 28:  The Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica

May 29:  Mussolini’s City of the Future

May 30:  The Vatican Museums (including the Sistine Chapel)

May 31:  Ostia Antica, the port of Ancient Rome

June 1:  The Protestant Cemetery and other landfills

June 2:  Republic Day in Rome

June 3:  The Basilicas of St. John Lateran and Santa Maria Maggiore

June 4:  Along the ancient Appian Way

June 5:  The Villa Borghese and the Great Beauty

June 6:  Arrivederci, Roma!


Important Information

Prerequisite: CC 265: Mapping Rome/RE 230: Topics in Religion (course in spring 2019).

Credits: Mapping Rome: 3 credits; Exploring Rome: 1 credit.

Program Fee: The anticipated fee for the travel seminar to Rome is $4,400 (subject to fluctuation). This includes airfare from New York City to Rome, two meals a day, accommodations (double occupancy), activities and ground transportation, Skidmore faculty on site, and the support of OCSE.  The fee does not include personal expenses. Financial aid is available for eligible students. Please see the OCSE travel seminar financial policy page for additional information. 

Meals and Housing: The program fee includes program housing in dorm accommodations for the duration of the program in Rome.  Some group meals will be included in the program fee, as will subsidies for most breakfasts and lunches. More specific information about meals and housing will be communicated to students upon acceptance.  

Flights: Roundtrip airfare from New York City is included in the program fee. 

Application Process: The deadline for applications is October 15, 2018. Students are required to apply for Travel Seminars through the MyOCSE portal. Applications will  be reviewed and students will be notified of acceptances before spring 2019 registration.  Students will then be required to register for CC 265/RE 230.



Stop by the OCSE office (Starbuck 202) or contad Dan Curley ( or Gregory Spinner ( directly.