Study Abroad: “Italian Neighborhoods in Transition”

If you’re interested in studying abroad this year, check out this May seminar in Italy, led by awesome Italian instructor Kathy Rider. More information is also available on the Learning Abroad Center’s website,

From Ghettos to Trulli: Italian Neighborhoods in Transition

Italy is the perfect destination to study neighborhoods in transition. From gentrified Roman neighborhoods to ancient beehive homes now used as villas, Italian neighborhoods will fascinate you. Soak up the local character of each neighborhood, talk with the people who live there, study the history and transformations taking place, and reflect on the implications for residents.

Housing & Meals

You will live in shared housing with other program participants. Welcome and farewell meals are included in the program fee. Additional meals can be taken in the housing or at local trattorias.

Excursions & Social Activities

Excursions will illuminate the program coursework. These excursions will take place in Rome and Southern Italy and may include:


  • Trastevere, a “city within a city” that began as an Etruscan settlement, then became a medieval working-class district, and now a major Roman tourist destination
  • Testaccio, a neighborhood transitioning from working-class to a chic “hipster” destination
  • Monti, an off-the-beaten path destination beginning to experience gentrification near its borders
  • Campo de’ Fiori: Learn how this “Field of Flowers” transformed from a meadow to a place where executions took place in the 1500’s to present-day marketplace
  • Jewish Ghetto: the forced home to about 8,000 Roman Jews for about 300 years, beginning in the 1500’s
  • Esquilino, known as Rome’s Chinatown
  • And more!

Day trip to Naples, third largest city in Italy and flanked by Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples

  • Walking tour of the lively historic city center

Overnight excursion to the Puglia and Matera regions of southern Italy

  • Sassi di Matera (Stones of Matera): ancient cave dwellings in the old town of Matera. Explore how they have been transformed from churches and homes to a place of tourism and a UNESCO world preservation site
  • Trulli: “beehive” houses in Alberobello. Wander through a dense hill town of 1,500 beehive-shaped houses and examine how many have been renovated from peasant homes to elaborate country villas.

Faculty & Staff

On-site support is provided by ACCENT International. You may have access to a computer lab, a classroom space and a library. On-site staff provide information regarding cultural activities as well as ensuring 24-hour emergency support.

Program Leader

This Global Seminar will be led by Kathleen Rider of the Department of French and Italian. Kathleen teaches Italian language and culture at the University of Minnesota and has lived in several different parts of both central and southern Italy. She has done extensive research on Italian history, culture and urban theory and has the unique experience of witnessing the transition of her own childhood neighborhood from multi-generational and working class to young, urban professionals.

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