Connecting Art and Anatomy in Italy

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Program Description

The study of human anatomy by physicians was the impetus behind the establishment of Italy’s medieval universities. Renaissance painters would even examine anatomy for the perfection of their art through dissecting humans. This region melds anatomy and art and it is for purpose that this course will explore the impact of the Renaissance on human anatomy studies. The course will also cover the controversy that surrounded human dissection.

Program participants will be able to go to see anatomy museums located in Padua, Bologna, Florence, and Rome. These museums have exhibitions that include anatomic wax sculptures and anatomy theaters. There will also be excursions to see Michelangelo’s David and the Vatican museums to view Renaissance masterpieces. This course will detail the link between anatomic studies and the impact on Renaissance artists.

This program uses an interdisciplinary approach in an international context to allow students to explore the links between anatomy and art. This will provide a rich understand of how science and art intertwine as well as the cultural and historical foundation of anatomy education.


This 12-night, program visits six cities: Rome, Assisi, Florence, Bologna, Padua and Venice. Students see the world's oldest anatomy theater at the University of Padua. Stand before Galileo's lecture podium! Students also visit the world's greatest museums. In Rome, tour the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's Pietá and frescos. In Florence, visit the Uffizi Gallery with Botticelli's Birth of Venus, and Leonardo's Annunciation, as well as the Galleria dell'Accademia with Michelangelo's David. Other destinations include the Grand Canal of Venice, and the 2000 year-old ruins of The Roman Forum and Coliseum.

Emphasis is placed upon the Connection between Art and Anatomy.

What`s Included

12-nights accommodation in 3-star hotels in Rome, Florence, Bologna and Padua, (day visits to Assisi and Venice) private bathrooms, all breakfasts, pizza-making experience, three group dinners, private airport transfer and between cities.

Students visit the following, and are provided all entrance tickets:
Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, Capuchin Crypt, Sanitary Arts Museum, Catacombs of San Sebastian, Roman Forum and Coliseum, Borghese Gallery
Assisi: Basilica of St. Francis
Florence: La Specola Anatomical Wax Museum, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia (David)
Bologna: Ancient Dissection Theater and anatomical wax collections
Padua: Ancient Dissection Theater
Venice: Walking tour


Art History, Biology

Program Locations

Rome, Italy

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Program Details

San Diego State University
  • Italy: Rome
School Term:
Summer, Winter
American, Canadian, WorldWide
$4200-$4500, plus air

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