Itinerary

Friday, June 30, 2017 – Fly from JFK to Rome, arriving on Saturday, July 1.  Transfer from Rome Airport to St. John’s University facility.

Mon., July 3 – Wed., July 26 or Thurs., July 27 – Class meetings, daily excursions, weekend trips, amazing meals, memories to last a lifetime, etc.

Thursday, July 27 or Friday, July 28 (the exact date depends on airfare pricing, to be determined in early Spring) – Fly from Rome to JFK, arriving in the late afternoon/early evening (New York time)

 

Weekdays (Monday thru Thursday) generally take on one of two forms:

a)    A ‘traditional’ class meeting in the St. John’s facility from roughly 9:45am to noon includes discussions, lectures, and preparation for upcoming field activities.  Screenings and critical analysis of various journalism, film, and television content related to Italy and Rome also takes place during this time.  Particular attention is paid to how ancient, recent-past, and current Italian political and social activity influence the media.

Students then have their afternoons and most evenings free to grab a bite to eat, do homework (primarily the same types of social media they’d be doing anyway), catch a quick nap, and most importantly, to explore the larger classroom of Rome itself.  Almost every weekday includes optional “Apres Class” walking tours of popular – and often, less travelled but equally special – tourist attractions. Students learn very quickly that they do not want to miss these mini-excursions as each reveals the magic of Rome’s layers of history (often, quite literally).

b)   Alternately, the day involves a full-day excursion to a media site or cultural attraction.  Beginning with a ‘call’ meeting in the morning, students travel as a group to the site of the day.  Representatives from the organization host us at these sites, and depending on cultural attractions, either guided or self-guided tours take place.

 

Through the environments in which they live and study, students will have ample opportunity to create their own social media projects for class credit, personal enrichment, and program promotion.  These are incorporated into extensive web and video materials.

Three to four times a week (on average) students and faculty gather for an included group meal (primarily, dinner). These tend to be at restaurants that go well beyond the standard tourist fare and excel in their quality, quantity, and/or hospitality.  Often lasting two to three hours, these occasions provide an opportunity for faculty and students to mix informally, share experiences and insights with one another and identify any ongoing or new program issues and opportunities, and also to experience the love of food and drink that the Italians know how to provide better than anyone in the world!

Weekends (Thursday night thru Sunday night):

The three full weekends of the program include two included (seven nights and nine days, total!) weekend excursions; the third and final weekend, students have the option to either travel to other Italian cities (or even other countries) or stay in Rome to explore what the city offers during the relative calm of the weekend (this is what most students end up doing, with wonderful results).

The included Amalfi Coast excursion is the first full weekend of the program and spans Thursday through the following Monday (four nights).  It is designed to ‘bond’ everyone while experiencing this beautiful region south of Rome.  Sorrento is home base for day trips to the island of Capri, the magical coastal town of Positano, Mt. Vesuvius (yes, we’ll be climbing an active volcano!), Herculaneum (the less well-known but MUCH better preserved fellow doomed city of Pompeii), and lovably ‘gritty’ Naples (the ancestral home area of so many greater New York area Italian immigrants). Breathtaking beauty combines with historic site seeing, recreation, and amazing shopping opportunities.

After a few days back in Rome for the next week of classes, students then head out for the second included-weekend trip – three nights based in the Tuscan jewel of Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance.  Day trips to enchanting Venice and Tuscany’s San Gimignano allow everyone to experience firsthand the charm of the legendary city of islands and the rustic beauty of the central hilly region!

The third weekend students can go wherever their interests and budgets allow (including even other countries). Alternately, students can savor the waning days by ‘simply’ staying in Rome (which takes on a late-summer melancholic glow compared to the hustle and bustle of weekdays). Two optional day trips are possible this last weekend. The first is an excursion to Castel Gandolfo (vacation home of the Pope with the opportunity to swim in Lago Albano – a dormant volcanic lake) at very minimal cost (about $25 for the day); the second is a trip to Cinecittà World – a Disney-like theme park based on the famous Italian film studio, at a cost of approximately $40.

 

Cultural activities, field-trips, and class excursions:

Students have one major first-hand experience observing Italian media professionals at Cinecittà, the largest film studio in Italy with major production and special event operations.  The studios of Cinecittà provide students with the opportunity for observation of professional production and promotion practices and the wonderful on-site museum brings the rich history of Italian cinema to full (Techni)color realism!

Furthermore, a cultural excursion is planned for every week.  These include trips to the major ruins as well as art and religious locations.  The Colosseum, Pantheon, and Roman Forum, Vatican City (including the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica), and Castel Sant’ Angelo are explored via guided tour and included in the program fees.  Self guided (a.k.a. ‘free’) tours include many of the most wonderful public spaces Rome offers – the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazzas galore (Navona, Venezia, Campidoglio, Repubblica, etc.), Monument of Victor Emmanuel, Trastevere, the Jewish Ghetto, Villa Borghese, and other famous and not-so-famous (but really cool!) Roman destinations.

Cinecittà Official Website:

http://www.cinecittastudios.it/en