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Discover Italy: Rome Excursions

One of the most exciting parts of the study abroad experience is the opportunity to travel beyond the borders of your host city. With that in mind, we've added several opportunities for our students to explore the cultural diversity of both the nation of Italy and the Mediterranean region!

First, you'll expand your Italian experience through our weekend excursion program. During your semester in Rome, you'll travel with St. John's faculty and staff for sightseeing and educational exploration around Italy. One of our experienced faculty members will guide you on a tour through the historical and cultural landmarks of either Compania or Tuscany. You'll gain a greater understanding of the breadth of the Italian cultural landscape as you take in all that these beautiful regions have to offer.

Then, during your fall or spring break (depending on the semester you study abroad), you'll embark on a five-day trip to Sicily! There you'll be guided by St. John's faculty and staff as you explore the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Best of all, these trips are fully included in the program fee for all St. John's University students!

Weekend Excursion: Campania – Fall Semester
Stretching along the Tyrrhenian Sea, the territory of Campania boasts the breathtaking town of Palinuro, rich history, and delicious cuisine. While itineraries vary, students will visit locations like the UNESCO Heritage site at Pompeii, as well as other cities like Paestum. Students will enjoy tours of the area as well as demonstrations by local artisans. St. John’s staff will guide students through the exciting historic sites and the rich scenery as students expand their experience in this wonderful part of Italy. 

Weekend Excursion: Tuscany – Spring Semester 
Long considered one of Italy’s most scenic areas, Tuscany is also full of rich historical significance from the Etruscans to the Renaissance and beyond. You’ll be guided by a member of our Rome campus faculty, who will explain the long and fascinating history of the regions people, politics, art and structures from an expert’s point of view, drawing connections and showing contrasts between the cultures of Tuscany, Rome and other major Italian and European cities.

5 Day Excursion: Sicily
Students will be traveling to the culturally and naturally stunning Regione Siciliana (Region of Sicily).

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and sits just off the Italian mainland –right at the tip of “the boot.” Various cultural elements of the Greek and Roman empires are still present throughout the region, each serving as a perfect link between the region’s profound history and modern day charm.

Part of that Sicilian charm is a result of the city’s geographic location. The serenity of the crystal clear-watered beaches and the ominous grandeur of Mount Etna are just two staples of Sicilian geography that serve as a standard bearer of the region’s distinct identity.

The Sicilian identity is further fueled by the region’s food. Perfectly utilizing its coastline, natives’ diets are rich in Mediterranean seafood and spices, as well as sweets like cannoli, granite (ice mixed with fresh fruit and juices), cassata (a delicious sweet cake), and marzipan.

The extensive nature of Sicilian culture will flawlessly co-exist with your studies, as it will add context to the Roman-based knowledge you acquire from classes like Italian Sketchbook, Survey of Art and Architecture in Italy, and Appreciation of Italian Food, Wine, and Culture, bringing your Italian studies full circle, and ensuring that you truly do Discover Italy.

Probable visits for the fall semester include: Catania, Mt. Etna, and Taormina

Probable visits for the spring semester include: Palermo, Monreale, and the Salt flats of Trapani

Note for Catholic and Ozanam Scholars: please be aware that the (amazing!) Vincentian heritage tour through France, which you’ll participate in prior to the start of the semester, takes the place of the Sicily excursion. You are therefore ineligible for this trip. 

Note for University of Florida students: In order to participate in the excursions, you'll have to pay separately prior to your arrival in Italy.