HSIA 2017 ITINERARY TRAVEL-STUDY: THE HSIA METHOD
At HSIA, our method is comparative. Trips illuminate classes, just as classes help students to connect more deeply with what we see on trips. For example, students compare Robert Browning’s poem, Fra Lippo Lippi, with their own view of that painter’s rainbow-colored fresco cycle in Spoleto. Or students sketch the Doric columns in Paestum and decide whether they agree with Vitruvius that these resemble strong men, or feel they imitate the form of trees (or both!). And students use mythology and observation to explain the names of wild flowers (fiori spontanei in Italian) growing in the fields around Humanities Spring; why, for example, a Venus’ mirror is named after that goddess. At HSIA, students learn to have individual, idiosyncratic conversations with great works of literature and of art. We encourage students to keep a sketchbook or journal (or both!) at home and on trips.
FAVORITE TRIPS TO ENCORE AT HSIA 2017
Tarquinia: (full-day trip) 10:00 a.m. We clamber down into the famous Etruscan tombs here to see the amazing frescoes (from 6th – 4th century b.c.) and later visit one of the best collections of Greek vases in the world. 1:00 : we picnic and swim at the Tarquinia beach. 4:00: visit to an Etruscan temple. On the way home, we stop in Orvieto to see the cathedral and have some excellent ice cream.
Bevagna: (half-day trip) Mercato delle Gaite (Bevagna’s Medieval Festival). Students listen to medieval folk songs played on early instruments, eat medieval food, learn how brass pots, string, cakes, and silk were made and see impromptu medieval street theater. While we’re in Bevagna, we also visit her Roman baths with their whimsical sea-monster mosaics and charming main square with its early Romanesque churches (one still has the form of an early Roman basilica!). 10:00 a.m. We clamber down into the famouse Etruscan tombs here to see the amazing frescoes (from 6th – 4th century b.c.) and later visit one of the best collections of Greek vases in the world. 1:00 : we picnic and swim at the Tarquinia beach. 4:00: visit to an Etruscan temple. On the way home, we stop in Orvieto to see the cathedral and have some excellent ice cream.
Castiglione del Lago: (full-day trip) We have coffee at Lago Trasimeno and visit the battlegrounds of the famous Battle of Lake Trasimene (217b.c.) and discuss Roman strategy and how Hannibal won. Then picnic lunch and swim in the lake! In the afternoon, students climb all the ramparts of Castiglione’s famous hexagonal early Renaissance castle with its magnificent views of the lake and visit the adjoining palace with its Renaissance frescoes inspired by Virgil’s Aeneid.
Perugia: (several half-day trips, some evenings for Umbria Jazz) A lively student town near Assisi with several famous universities, excellent ice-cream, and frescoed cafes. Outings include a climb down a beautiful monumental Etruscan well and visit to Perugino’s frescoed Palazzo del Cambio, an early wall street. Students particularly like listening to jazz in Perugia’s medieval streets and squares.
Assisi: (frequentissimi trips!) Favorites include the peaceful Piazza del Comune (main square) with its lion fountain and torre del popolo, ice cream cafes and loggias, the fairy-tale medieval castle on top of Assisi’s hill, the grass-filled Roman amphitheater, the infiorata, Assisi’s festival of flowers and, as always, the church of St. Francis, bursting with sunlight and its joyful frescoes.
Florence: (full-day trip) The baptistery doors (gates to Paradise) and the baptistery itself with its sparkling mosaics, the Fra Angelico frescoes, the spectacular green and white duomo, the bridges, the piazzas, Giotto’s frescoes in Santa Croce, as much Michelangelo as possible, and a picnic lunch in the Boboli gardens, where we relax and refuel, half way through our day.