Art in Italy, Santa Chiara Study Center
Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy
This summer program is sponsored by the CSU Department of Art and hosted by the Italart Santa Chiara Study Center, located in Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany, near Arezzo. Italart is a non-profit cultural association and the legal entity responsible for the administration of the study center.
Some classes, lectures, library research, and studio work takes place at the Santa Chiara Study Center. Much of the coursework takes place during field trips. The coursework is enriched by field trips to important art and architectural sites. Locations that are in close proximits include Florence, Siena, Pienza, Perugia, Orvieto, and San Gimignano to name a few. Courses offered vary according to the specialization of the CSU faculty-in-residence at Santa Chiara but have included art history, drawing, printmaking, painting, fibers, and photography.
Students live and study within a picturesque community of 11,000. Castiglion Fiorentino lies along one of the ridges of Val di Chiana within the Apennine mountain chain. It is of Etruscan origin with subsequent Roman development. The city is in close proximity to major cultural centers - Arezzo is 12 minutes by train; Florence, one hour; Rome, two and a half hours.
The study center sits on the southeast edge of the walled city, overlooking Val di Chio, which connects to the larger Val di Chiana. The three-story U-shaped structure surrounds a courtyard. It was rebuilt in the 1700s for the order of St. Claire and converted into a conservatory for girls in the 1970s. Sections of the structure date back to the 1400s or earlier. Some modifications to the complex took place in the 1930s. The building underwent the first major restoration in 1988 to host American programs.
Students are housed at Park Hotel near Santa Chiara in shared rooms (2-4 students per room) with weekly change of bedding and towels. Continental breakfast provided daily. Dinners served daily at Santa Chiara. Lunch is served Monday - Friday at Santa Chiara, but you will provide your own lunch on the frequent field trip days.
The study center includes dormitory accommodation with private facilities. It also includes design studios, classroom space, a small theater, administrative offices, student lounge, small library, kitchen, and dining room. The meals (including Italian-style lunch and dinner) are served on weekly class days. No lunches are served on field trips or Saturday and Sunday. Dinners are served daily. Room deposits and association fees are paid separately and not included in the program package.
While at Santa Chiara, students have sufficient time on weekends to travel on their own or explore nearby towns. Once in the city of Castiglion Fiorentino, one truly becomes a "citizen" as well as a visitor. Daily interaction with local citizens enhances all levels of study within the program and adds to a lifetime of cultural enrichment.