Summer Travel Intensives

Venice, Then and Now

Summer Travel Intensive Program to Venice was cancelled on March 6, 2020 as a precaution and response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). MICA hopes to offer the regularly scheduled Venice program during the 59th Venice Biennale international contemporary art exhibition during Summer 2021.


Travel Dates: Program cancelled on March 6, 2020

Program Overview

Explore the 17th Venice Biennale, the premier international exposition of contemporary art founded in 1895. In this interdisciplinary program, you will visit historical national pavilions in the Biennale Gardens and the nearby Arsenale as you witness first-hand the magical transformation of these spaces, including the work of Martin Puryear in the 2019 U.S. pavilion.

In addition to exploring the historical sites of the biennale, we will seek out projects and installations located throughout the seductive architecture of this labyrinthine city. You will tour the centuries-old Accademia museum, Peggy Guggenheim’s jewel-like collection of modern art, the creatively curated Mario Fortuny Museum, the François Pinault Collection, and the Prada Foundation to gain insights into the international art scene embedded in Venice. As you absorb the sights and sounds of contemporary Venice, the Murano glass industry, the dramatic mosaic of the Last Judgment in the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta on Torcello, and Giotto’s Arena Chapel in Padua, you will practice the craft of art criticism on site. We will also make day trips to nearby towns such as Ferrara, Trieste, and Rovereto. 

Classes are held both in the classroom and on location throughout the program. Local experts, curators, art historians, and participating artists in this year’s Biennale will provide special lectures. As you experience the sights and sounds of Venice, you will live on the beautiful breezy island of San Servolo, just ten minutes away from the historic Piazza San Marco. Fully equipped with wireless connections, an affordable cafeteria, luxurious grounds, and access to the nearby Lido beaches, San Servolo provides a wonderful balance to the academic side of this program. 


Jennie Hirsh has taught modern and contemporary art history at MICA since 2007 and also oversees the graduate Concentration in Critical Studies. Co-editor of Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (2011), she has published numerous essays on modern and contemporary Italian art, architecture, and cinema, and is currently completing a monograph on painter and writer Giorgio de Chirico. She has directed MICA’s program in Venice since 2009, and has lived and taught in various cities in Italy for the past 25 years. She holds a BA in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Italian studies from Middlebury College, and an MA in Italian Renaissance Art as well as a PhD in modern and contemporary art from Bryn Mawr College.

Frank Fantauzzi has taught in numerous programs in Canada, the United States, and Finland. His research focuses on the question of alternative forms of critical architectural practice. His work is often collaborative and focuses on large-scale installations and outdoor constructions. It has been exhibited and published internationally. Fantauzzi's work is multidisciplinary in nature and probes the built environment to explore the cultural dimensions of society and the parallels between social and tectonic structures. He is a founding member of the collaborative. He received his undergraduate degree from Carleton University (Canada) and his graduate degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Program Fees

$7,900 estimated (does not include international airfare) Includes tuition for 6 undergraduate credits in Art History or 3 in Art History and 3 in Architectural Design.


Contact program coordinator Jennie Hirsh at

Open to undergraduate and graduate students in all majors--18 years or older with a valid passport--who have completed at least one year of college. For all programs, credits can be applied to Studio Elective. For more information, or to inquire about scholarships, contact MICA Open Studies at or 410-225-2219.