The Italian Renaissance summer school course
This Summer school course looks at the influence and contribution five key families in shaping today's Italy.
In the 15th and 16th centuries the principalities that became Italy were alive with new ideas. The boundaries of art, architecture, music, science, politics, religion and literature were pushed. It was also driven by bitter rivalry and even open warfare between the numerous independent city states. Out of this chaos and upheaval emerged a number of significant families who drove the development in their individual cities. In a number of cases their quarrels also led to the destruction of much of what they had achieved. This tour concentrates on five important Italian renaissance families and the cities they helped to build.
- The Medici of Florence
- The patriarch of Urbino
- The Este of Ferrara
- The Gonzago of Mantua
- The Sforza of Milan
They intermarried, occasionally they were allies against the Pope, the king of Naples, the king of France and other states. Sometimes they fought pitched battles against each other. But all five left an amazing legacy of buildings and art works.
In this Italian renaissance small group course we take the time to explore these five independent cities. We learn about the families who drove the development of each city. You learn and gain an appreciation of Renaissance Italy. We will discuss each day the influence of each family particularly on the palaces, churches, civic buildings built. We also look at the contribution made to the art world. Of course we also consider the role of the church.
Who were the Families?
Who were the these five families. How did these monumental changes in each principality come to be? How was the wealth created and the impact of these families on society.
In the Classroom
We will read some of the contemporary accounts from both sides and probe the lives of some of the famous figures of each family This class will endeavour to consider and discuss the role these rennaissance cities and these families have played and their contribution to modern Italy
Summer School for Seniors with Odyssey Traveller
Over the last twenty-five years, Odyssey’s small group Summer School program has given countless travellers an unforgettable educational and travel experience. Each summer, we prepare and offer fun and challenging special interest courses and programs designed to give travellers the options and opportunity to learn about history, religion, Australian culture, and the arts, among many other topics. These courses are designed in such a way that enthusiasts can deepen their knowledge of a particular topic or be initiated into new understandings on a subject.
We don't quite live on campus, but we will be staying in a comfortable hotel in central Hobart! We will enjoy welcome and farewell dinners in between our seminars, as well as daily morning tea and lunch.
These programs offered are tailor-made for mature-aged and senior travellers who are eager to explore in-depth a particular topic. Read more about our teaching philosophy in this article.
Below are some of the feedback from our Summer School programs in January 2019:
"Mal was an extraordinary leader in this program about extraordinary women. The depth and breadth of her preparation was amazing and the information book was of publishable quality. The mix of text, documentaries, and various YouTube videos all combined to not only extend our knowledge but kept us focused and interested throughout the course."
"Pav was an outstanding programme leader. His knowledge of plants and Tasmanian gardens is exceptional. His local knowledge and contacts are impressive. At all times he led the group with good humour and tolerance and at all times I felt he was totally in control of the programme. We were very fortunate to have him as our leader."
"The program was so well organised that each day ran very smoothly. Extraordinary women - extraordinary program!"
"All of the local guides were passionate about their places...Everyone was very proud of Tasmania [and] eager for us to get the most out of our visit."
Overview: The Summer school program begins with a welcome reception and dinner.
Overview: Today we begin with a number of questions essential to a study of the period. We start with a look at just what is meant by the Renaissance. We also take a look at the composition of “Italy” and its city states during the Renaissance period. Why did this fragmented Italy actually add to the development of art and learning? What was the role of the condottieri in Italy at the time? What was the role of the popes?
From there we move on to the city of Florence and the Medici family, including their triumphs and tribulations.
Overview: Today Dr David Daintree (TBC) takes the group for a look particularly at Renaissance art and Literature. David is a specialist in this area and will have much to add to our understanding of the period.
Overview: This morning, we return to Florence and explore what happened when the Medici were out of town. What part was played by the very religious Savonarola? And how did Machiavelli come to be such an important figure in Florentine political life?
In the afternoon, we take a look at the city of Urbino and its ruler, Federico Montefeltro. Urbino is off the usual tourist route (unfortunately it doesn’t even have a railway station) but is well worth a look. During the rule of the Montefeltro family the city became one of the most beautiful in all of the peninsula. It was the birthplace of Raphael and is now a UNESCO world heritage city
Overview: Today we’ll look at two cities, Ferrara and Mantua. Ferrara was the home of the d’Este family and they have left an indelible mark on the city. They led tumultuous lives but left behind a great legacy in art, architecture and music. This is where Lucrecia Borgias ended up as the highly respected wife of the duke and mother of his many children.
In the afternoon we’ll move on to Mantua, home of the Gonzago family. We’ll look particularly at the work of the court artist Mantegna and at the role played by Countess Beatrice d’Este.
Overview: This morning we look at Milan during the reign of the Sforza family. Leonardo da Vinci worked here for almost 20 years during the rule of Ludovico Sforza and it was here that he painted “The Last Supper”.
In the afternoon, time permitting, we look at a number of other aspects of Renaissance life including food and feasting and the Renaissance garden.
In the evening we conclude our course with a farewell dinner at the Customs House Hotel Restaurant, starting at 6:30pm.
Overview: The tour will end after breakfast.
What’s included in our Tour
- 6 nights in full en suite accommodation in central Hobart.
- 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 2 dinners.
- Lectures and handouts as indicated.
- Services of a study leader and lecturers.
- Complimentary wifi.
What’s not included in our Tour
- Comprehensive travel insurance.
- Return airfares to and from Hobart.
- Airport transfers to/from your Hobart Hotel
- Costs of a personal nature.