Summer Session Update

Chris Robinson, Director

Our summer program began on June 6th in Naples, where the 108 students, faculty, staff visited the sights of the National Museum of Archeology, the Capodimonte, the Ruins of Pompeii and many other sights.  After three days in the area of Mt. Vesuvius and Naples, the group moved on to Rome (stopping at the Royal Palace of Caserta along the way) where we stayed 4 days visiting sights such as the Vatican (+ museums), the Borghese Museum, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and Coloseum and the many, many other sights, sounds, and tastes of Rome.

The summer group then made its way from Rome to Cortona, stopping at Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este in Tivoili.  The archeological site of Hadrian’s Villa provided a wonderful location for students to break out their sketch books and cameras for a wealth of subject matter.  The Villa d’Este not only provided the Landscape Architecture students with great info but many other classes such as the sculpture, Art History and Painting… but certainly provided everyone with a refreshing reprieve from the hot sun with all of its impressive fountains and water garden elements.

Once in Cortona, the summer group hit the ground running with meetings, orientations, inauguration ceremonies, welcome bands and just completed its first week of full-on classes in the studios of the UGA Cortona campus.  They had their first field trip to Pisa and Lucca and the next excursion was to Siena.  The annual 4th of July celebration tradition was memorable as always – where one can find a special blend of good ol’ American French fries, hamburgers and watermelon, combined with pasta, bruschetta and porchetta.  We also continued our annual medieval Independence Day scavenger hunt to explore and discovered Cortona’s hidden cultural and artistic treasures.

Hadrian’s Villa




Cortona Program Enters a New Era

The Cortona Program has seen many changes and new accomplishments this past year, in terms of Directorship, faculty, staff, course offerings and awards.  Through many of these developments, transitions begin to smooth and progressions ensue.  Unfortunately there have also been alterations more difficult to accept including the loss of some very long-term and dear friends. Angiolo Bartolini and Fiorella Coppi passed away early in 2011.  They will be forever remembered by thousands of alumni as close friends and members of the UGA Cortona Program family.

In 2011, more than 225 students participated on the Cortona program, connecting with the community of Cortona and benefitting from the course offerings, faculty and setting of the program’s campus itself.  Some of the newer courses offered in Cortona include: English Literature, Contemporary Sculpture and Chemistry of the Arts.  We have also initiated a new course in Classics, which will be taught this spring semester, 2012.

During the spring of 2011, the Cortona Program played host to the popular “Cortona Experience” held in during late March and early April.  The Experience is a travel-learning venture offering a cultural immersion in Cortona while incorporating a hands-on art workshop component.  This 12 day cultural, historical and art-rich adventure will be offered again in September of 2012.

In 2011, the Cortona program again offered its successful Science and Viticulture/Enology Maymester programs.  Emeritus Regents Professor Dr. David Puett and Alumni Foundation Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dr. Wyatt Anderson initiated the Science program.  In 2011, the torch was passed to Department Head of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dr. Stephen Hajduk and Professor and GRA Chair in Molecular Cell Biology, Stephen Dalton.

Also during Maymester 2011, the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Dean and Director Dr. Scott Angle made a visit to Cortona.  He was joined by a group of CAES Alums and friends visiting the Cortona campus and students participating in the Viticulture and Enology Maymester program.

Summer, 2011 saw the “First Annual Medieval Independence Day Scavenger Hunt”.  We had 12 teams with 39 participants, all running around Cortona to find cultural and historical treasures.  They all expressed how fun the event was, as they also discovered Cortona and it’s history.  Acknowledgements and prizes were given at the annual 4th of July celebration, which took place at the John D. Kehoe Center.

The Fall 2011 semester also welcomed it’s share of visitors, such as a group of University of Georgia’s Libraries advocates, lead by Director of Development, Chantel Dunham.

During the fall semester we were also honored by a visit from the President of the University of Georgia, Dr. Michael Adams and his wife Mary Adams.  Joining President Adams on his visit to the Cortona campus were Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Jere Morehead, Vice-Provost for International Education, Dr. Kavita Pandit and Vice President for External Affairs, Mr. Tom Landrum and his wife Executive Assistant to the Provost, Susan Landrum.

In 2011, the Cortona program also gained visibility by way of published articles such as: Going Global; Wide-Ranging Study-Abroad Programs Offer Photography Students an International Reach, published in pdnedu, Volume 10 issue 1/spring 2011 and Book and Paper Site Visits in Italy, Spring 2011, published in Bull and Branch, Friends of Dard Hunter e-publication.  In addition, a short stop-motion animation called “Memory” created Fall semester Cortona student Ilka Hadlock was recognized as UGA’s Office of International Education annual photo and video contest winner in the video category.

Looking back on 2011, the Cortona Program has truly entered a new era.  Many changes have taken place, setting the stage for the latest cross-cultural trends and a contemporary Studies Abroad experience.  The world is changing at an unprecedented rate, with technology and communications throwing sparks on the fuel.  In a global environment of amorphous change with regard to social, religious, cultural, economic and political topics, the Cortona program continues to provide a beneficial Intercultural experience.  In Cortona, students can dive beneath the surface of an ancient yet ever-changing culture, better equipping them for an increasingly universal future.

Snow in Cortona!

An update – Feb. 2, 2012 – The students and ALL their luggage have arrived in Rome and look forward to a great semester.

No snow in Rome, but Enza sent this photo from Cortona taken yesterday… SNOW!!!!!


  1. Danny Kehoe says:


    What a wonderful update ! Thank you. Personally, I think it amazing that the program today has such a wide variety and wealth of offerings for those fortunate enough to experience.

    Well Done !

    Oh, and on the weather front – ” we did endure the worst hair and rainstorm of the past 50 years.” – not sure what can be done about the rain – but, I am sure Nuccio’s on the piazza could help out with the bad hair stuff. 🙂 ( yes, I had to………….)

    Take care,

    Danny Kehoe

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