view from Duomo
Music 471: The Tones of Florence
Humanism in Renaissance Florence, Italy
Course Objectives Housing About Florence Travel Information Itinerary
Points of Interest List (also available from the Points of Interest Map)
Frequently Asked Questions    Excerpts from Student Evaluations
After finals and before summer school or your summer job begins, live for two weeks in Florence, preserved cradle of the Renaissance. Florence is an ideal city for the land grant university student. It was founded by agriculturists whose nobility was acquired by the strength of their hands.

By day, you can study paintings and frescoes of Leonardo da Vinci, Fra Angelico, Masaccio and Botticelli, sculptures by Donatello and Michelangelo, and cathedrals and palazzi designed by Brunelleschi and Michelozzo, or wander through the streets and countryside where Petrarch, Dante, Boccaccio, Galileo and Lorenzo de’ Medici walked and wrote; see illuminated manuscripts of the Biblioteca Laurenziana, hear Gregorian Chant sung by the monks of San Miniato.

For evening, listen to opera in opulent halls and concerts in cathedrals. Enjoy the famous “cucina italiana” and Chianti Classico at outdoor cafés bordering the city’s colorful piazze, settings of scenes from movies such as Room with a View, Tea with Mussolini, Hannibal, and Up at the Villa. Meditate in the cloisters. Practice your ciaos and buon giornos in open-air markets, or window shop on Via Tornabuoni at Ferragamo, Armani, Gucci, and Versace.

Wine tasting with Count Niccolò Capponi at Villa Calcinaio, Greve in Chianti
2007 Photo by Lauren Buttrey, Economics

Dr. (Count) Niccolò Capponi will present a lecture/tour of historic Florence, and then take participants to his 15th century palazzo to show documents such as letters from Henry VIII and Mussolini, as well as his priceless collection of Pontormo paintings. Students will also visit his family’s vineyard, Villa Calcinaia, in Greve in Chianti for a wine tasting.

Florence is a safe city with a very low rate of crime. Florentines are friendly to Americans and very patient with our attempts to speak the language of Dante. Historic Florence is small enough to allow walking to most venues.

Program Description
This program is divided into two parts: a one-hour spring (2008) semester course and a 14-day field study program in Florence (May, 2008). The spring meetings will provide an orientation to Florence, its customs, culture, people and language, and a study of Renaissance literary and artistic works that illustrate the concepts of humanism. For those participants not living on campus, the spring course may be taken through the Internet.

The field trips will be organized as follows. Each day will concentrate on works and sites associated with a single Florentine. Class members will select these from a list that includes Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Brunelleschi, Alberti, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Fra Angelico, Masaccio, Donatello, Botticelli, et al. A day trip to neighboring Siena is optional, as are weedend excursions to Rome, Venice, Siena, Cinque Terre, San Geminiano.

Program Fee
The program fee (about $1,700) includes a 90% rebate of ISU summer tuition, lodging, utilities (except telephone), local transportation, guest lecture fees, museum and concert entrance fees, and a Renaissance Dinner in the Palazzo Borghese (Estimated Total Cost: $3,300.00). Scholarships and Financial Aid are available.

This course is open to all registered ISU students and faculty. The ideal mix will include students (traditional and non-traditional) representing a wide variety of colleges and disciplines. A rudimentary knowledge of Italian is desirable but not mandatory.

Students will be housed in studio apartments at Palazzo Mannaioni Residence Hotel, whose origin dates back to the 1400s. Every two-person studio apartment offers a bathroom, kitchenette, television, telephone, air conditioning, and maid service twice a week. Laundry facilities are close by. - more -

Dr. Bleyle is professor emeritus of music, having served on the ISU faculty since 1962. He has taught courses in music theory and history and directs Musica Antiqua, an ensemble that specializes in music and dance of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He has traveled extensively in Scotland, England, Italy and southern France. The Tones of Florence Study Abroad Program has been offered annually since 1998.

Assistant Director
Patricia Edwards Bleyle has taught courses in developmental and abnormal psychology. She has an undergraduate degree in modern foreign languages and advanced degrees in Higher Education and Psychology. Patricia serves as non-academic advisor to students. She has traveled extensively throughout Western Europe.

Application Information:
Study Abroad Center
(a unit of International Education Services)
3224 Memorial Union
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-1133
Tel: (515) 294-6792
Carl O. Bleyle, program director
205 Music
Iowa State University
Ames, IA  50011
Tel: (515) 294-2966
Fax: (515) 294-6409
Applicants will be accepted into the program on a rolling admissions basis. Applications are due February 16, 2009.  An application may be downloaded from the ISU Study Abroad Center.

Information for Parents - Application Form - Study Abroad Student Evaluation - ISU Office of Financial Aid

Student Evaluations from the Summer Tones of Florence Course included these comments:

To be in an environment like Florence, walking the same cobbled streets as so many of the greats and thinking about my own life and passions, mentally morphing the meaning of art with my own perception of reality, was an experience that I will never forget and I am truly sure it has changed me in many more ways than I can comprehend. Eric Nonnecke (FCS)

I think it might take years for me to fully appreciate all of the incredible life experiences I gained in such a short time in Italy. Stacey Goodman (BUS)

In addition to an improved appreciation for the work of the greatest artists and thinkers the world has ever known, I gained some insight into my own life through the habits of the Italians. Jessica Maves (LAS-Political Science)

The light quality is phenomenal. The city is built on a human scale, infinitely walkable, and seems to be filled with locals taking pleasant passeggiate with architectural masterpieces serving as a lively backdrop to everyday life. Sara Vouthilak (Grad Student)

The two weeks that I spent in Florence were probably the best two weeks of my life. Nora Epping (LAS-Music)

The Tones of Florence is open to university students of any age in any discipline. An interview with the course instructor and two letters of recommendation are required.  Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. Vietnam Era Veteran. Any persons having inquiries concerning this may contact the Director of Affirmative Action, 318 Beardshear Hall, 515-294-7612