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Archaeological Restoration, Conservation & Art History in Italy

June 28-July 27, 2013

This month-long program offers 6 credits (3 studio credits in general fine arts and 3 credits in art history). The program is open to undergraduate and graduate students (rising sophomores to second-year graduate students), and to lifelong learners at least 18 years of age who have completed at least one year of college study. All students must have a current, valid passport for travel and a current, valid visa for study in Italy for the program's duration. This program is in partnership with Studio Art Centers International (SACI) Florence.

The program offers a unique opportunity to follow the processes of excavation to conservation of archaeological artifacts. Beginning with two weeks of excavation in Cetamura, in the Chianti hills, students will work with distinguished faculty. Here, they will learn about the discovery of artifacts and how these items are recorded and restored in the conservation lab. Situated between Florence and Siena, Cetamura is a key archaeological site. Discoveries here include an Etruscan sanctuary and artisans' quarter, Roman baths, and a medieval fortified village with various artifacts in stone, terracotta, metal, and glass. While excavating, students will live in the charming Tuscan hill town of Radda.

In mid-July, students then move to Florence, one of Europe's most vibrant cities, for two weeks of classes in Etruscan art history and archaeological conservation. Lectures take place in the excellent SACI facilities, while conservation work is done at the famous Centro di Restauro (State Conservation Lab of the Archaeological Superintendency). In addition to field work, the art history seminar and conservation classes, students participate in field trips to relevant sites and museums. Florence is home to Europe's greatest art and archaeology museums; students will also experience an overnight trip to visit Etruscan tombs and museums at Orvieto, Tarquinia, and Cerveteri, and a day trip to the town of Volterra.

Students live in Radda in double- or triple-occupancy rooms with private baths. Bed linens and towels are provided. While in Florence, students stay in accommodations arranged by SACI. Meals in Radda are included in the program cost, with the exception of meals taken on days off.


Airfare is not included in the program fees. Program fees include all accommodations, all ground transportation within Italy, and most meals.

  • $7,200 includes tuition for 6 undergraduate credits in general fine arts (3 credits)  and art history (3 credits)

Graduate credit is available to qualified students with the approval of the Program Coordinator at an additional cost of $75 per credit. A limited number of merit and need-based scholarships are available. To inquire about scholarships or to request a detailed itinerary or more information on this and other MICA programs, contact the MICA Summer Travel Intensives program at or by phone: 410.225.2219.


Joseph Basile, PhD., program coordinator and faculty, is Professor of Classical Art History and Chair of Art History at MICA. He has a BA in Archaeological Studies from Boston University and an AM and PhD in Old World Archaeology and Art from Brown University. Professor Basile has excavated at sites in the United States, Greece, and Italy, and most recently has been Associate Director of the Brown University excavations at the Great Temple in Petra, Jordan. His research focuses on peripheral art in classical antiquity, Greek vase painting, and the history of archaeology. He has published articles in Near Eastern Archaeology, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, Petra Great Temple Reports, Archaeology Odyssey, Archaeologia Transatlantica, Classical World, Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Archaeological Method and Theory: An Encyclopedia, Revue des archéologues et historiens d'art de Louvain, and Brown Classical Journal. He is currently working on Warriors in Stone, a book on warrior statuary in the Iron Age Mediterranean, for Cambria Press.

Nancy de Grummond, PhD., faculty, is one of the world's leading authorities on Etruscan civilization and art history. Dr. de Grummond is an archaeologist and art historian who teaches in the Department of Classics at Florida State University. Beginning in 1983, Professor de Grummond has led students in archaeological studies at Cetamura. Of particular interest to de Grummond are Etruscan mirrors. Created prior to the invention of glass, the mirrors are created out of bronze and highly decorated with scenes from mythology or daily life. She has written about these special artifacts in A Guide to Etruscan Mirrors. In addition to this book, she has written about Etruscan religion and mythology in The Religion of the Etruscans and Etruscan Mythology, Sacred History, and Legend.

Nora Marosi is the Head of Archaeological Conservation Area at Studio Art Centers International's Art Conservation Department. For the last 8 years Nora, in collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendence of Tuscany, has been coordinating numerous conservation-restoration projects of ancient Etruscan, Roman and Picenian artifacts along with her duties of teaching and organizing courses of archaeological conservation for international students. Nora received her interdepartmental Bachelor degree (summa cum laude) in Technologies for Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at Tuscia University, Viterbo, Italy and a Masters with Distinction in Preventive Conservation at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Her master's thesis focused on the environmental sustainability of current European practices for packing artifacts for transit.