Study abroad in Italy, Sicily Art History course

Sicily is the place where the history of Italy started more than 2.500 years ago. As Wolfgang J. Goethe wrote in 1786: “Without Sicily, Italy cannot be fully understood. It is here one finds the key to all things”. The Greek theaters along its coasts, the temples on its hills, the Carthaginian and Roman mosaics of its villas are witness and ancestors of Italy’s enormous art heritage. Sicily has served as a meeting place for three continents, each of which has contributed to Sicily’s unique history, art and cultural heritage. Few places have been impacted by as great a number of civilizations: the Sicani, the Sicilian, the Greeks, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Normans, the Spaniards – all influenced the vibrant Sicilian culture. The Art History of Sicily course explores Sicily’s magnificently rich 2500 years of art and culture.

Course code

FA 411 Roots of Italy: Art History of Sicily (taught in English) 
FA 412 Le Radici d’Italia storia dell’arte in Sicilia (taught in Italian)
Course offered during
January Winter Break Study in Sicily, Italy Intersession Programs
Summer Term Study in Sicily, Italy Programs
Semester Study Abroad in Sicily, Italy

Students can enroll in this course or combine this course with a language or other culture courses in a longer study program


Course Description:

This course explores chronologically the art produced by civilizations and cultures that occupied Sicily for over 2000 years. Beginning with the Greeks’ first colony of Naxos and their significant impact on Sicilian art, students move on to Roman artistic ingenuity, the vibrant Byzantine period, the rebirth of antiquity in the Renaissance, the Catholic response to the Reformation and the exuberant Sicilian Baroque art and architecture. Sicily and Taormina specifically, offer a wonderful opportunity to study these various periods due to the countless celebrated examples of art within each period.