Italy Syllabus

FIU Honors College hiking the Cinque Terre (Photo: Andro Bailly CC BT 4.0)
FIU Honors College hiking the Cinque Terre (Photo: Andro Bailly CC BY 4.0)


IDH 4007 (Spring) and IDH 4008 (Summer A)
Spring: Thursdays 12:30 to 15:15
Summer A Italy: Every Day

John William Bailly ■ ■ 305.348.4100 ■ Office Hours by appointment

Rome, Pompeii, Florence, Pisa, Siena, Cinque Terre, and Venice – an Honors College seminar taught on location in the most historic and magical destinations in Italy. Grand Tour Redux is built on the premise that understanding our past enables us to understand ourselves. This interdisciplinary course examines the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance and the influence of these eras on the contemporary world. The seminar reconstructs the traditional 18th century Grand Tour.

Students can reflect on the contemporary and personal relevance of Italian culture in a 21st century world. Do Roman republican morals guide US civic principles? Do Renaissance notions of individual autonomy define our own? Does Venetian capitalism serve as a model for US business practices? Students walk in the steps of Julius Caesar in the Roman Forum, witness the catastrophic consequences of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, visualize Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, visit the architectural marvels of Florence, and cross the Bridge of Sighs in Venice. The course recreates history through telling the story of individuals and relating those stories to our own times. Be there to meet Julius Caesar, Augustus, Hadrian, St. Peter, Marco Polo, Dante, Lorenzo de Medici, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo, and Gentilleschi. Housed primarily in apartments, students have the experience of living in Italy. “All paths lead to Rome,” or do they?

NOTE: Course content features sexually explicit and/or violent artworks and texts. In addition, many Miami class meetings are off campus; students must provide their own transportation.



  • Dan Brown. Inferno. New York. Doubleday, 2013. ISBN: 9780385537858
  • Dante, Alighieri. The Divine Comedy I, Inferno. London: Penguin, 2006. ISBN 9780140448955
  • King, Ross. Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture. New York, NY: Penguin, 2001. Print. ISBN: 9780142000151
  • Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. London: Penguin, 2003. Print. ISBN 9780140449150
  • Shakespeare, William, and William Montgomery. Julius Caesar. New York: Penguin, 2000. Print. ISBN: 9780140714685


Course Calendar is on Google Calendar. Students will be provided with a link to calendar.

Each student accrues points over the length of the semester. The final semester point total equals a letter grade based the official FIU grade scale (Note: Please disregard the Blackboard percentage).

Class Participation: 10 points
Italia America Project: 20 points
Aesthetics & Values as Text: 5 points
Deering as Text: 5 points
PAMM as Text: 5 points
Vizcaya as Text: 5 points

HBO “Rome 1-6″ quiz: 5 points
“Julius Caesar” quiz: 5 points
HBO “Rome 7-12″ quiz: 5 points
Dante “Inferno” quiz: 5 points
“Brunelleschi’s Dome” quiz: 5 points
“Prince” quiz: 5 points
Brown “Inferno” quiz: 5 points
“Angels and Demons” and “To Rome with Love” quiz: 5 points
Lectures I quiz: 5 points
Lectures II quiz: 5 points

Grand Tour Project: 20 points
Cinque Terre as Text: 5 points
Firenze as Text: 5 points
Pompeii as Text: 5 points
Roma as Text: 5 points
Siena as Text: 5 points
Tivoli as Text: 5 points
Venezia as Text: 5 points
Classical Rome 1 quiz: 5 points
Classical Rome 2 quiz: 5 points
Catholic Rome quiz: 5 points
Cinque Terre quiz: 5 points
Florence 1 quiz: 5 points
Florence 2 quiz: 5 points
Pompeii quiz: 5 points
Siena and Pisa quiz: 5 points
Venice 1 quiz: 5 points
Venice 2 quiz: 5 points

Class Participation Criteria
1. participation in class discussions
2. attendance to class and class excursions
3. preparation for class
4. concentration in class (no texting, no sleeping, and so forth)
5. prompt submission of required information and documents to the Honors College and the Office of Study Abroad

Final grade/total points equivalency
100.0 – 93.00: A
92.99 – 90.00: A-
89.99 – 87.00: B+
86.99 – 83.00: B
82.99 – 80.00: B-
79.99 – 77.00: C+
76.99 – 73.00: C
72.99 – 70.00: C-
69.99 – 67.00: D+
66.99 – 63.00: D
62.99 – 60.00: D-
59.99 – 00.00: F

Each student is allowed one absence per semester. Every absence in excess of this will drop the student’s final semester grade by one full letter grade. Three or more absences will result in an “F” for the semester.

If you intend to request a letter of recommendation, please review this page.

Please review the following policy:

Please review the following policy:

Please review the following policy: