Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


Learning Objectives

The Winter School “The Italian Renaissance: Art, Literature, Culture”, aims to provide specific knowlege about the Renaissance age to a potentially international audience, with lectures concerning three fundamental aspects of the Italian Renaissance: artistic production, literature and  the social  history and culture of Renaissance architecture, religious practices, women's history, family structures, food, and landscape design. The curricular aims are: (1) To provide systematic and updated knowledge about the most relevant aspects of Italian Renaissance culture. (2) To develop participants'  understanding of themes, historiographic concepts and interpretations of the Italian Renaissance in an interdisciplinary perspective. (3) To provide students with the intellectual and methodological tools necessary to undertake basic research activity and learn to work directly with sources connected with that period (written and visual). For this purpose, the topics presented are: Geography and Periodization of the Renaissance; Politics and Institutions; Art, Patronage and the Commissioning of Artworks; Literature and Venacular Italian Poetry;  the social  history and  Renaissance architecture as illustrated above.   

The Winter School does not exclude students of the University of Urbino, but it is addressed primarily to an audience consisting in students from other institutions, particularly international ones. For this purpose, the courses will be offered entirely in English.

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Attendance at courses - in English - will allow participants to acquire knowledge and skills that can be applied internationally in various fields of work, mainly related to teaching (literature, history, philosophy, art history, etc.), to historical research, museum curatorship and cultural communication: publishing, tourism, journalism, the media (traditional and online).




The course introduces some key authors, cultural tenets, and practices of the Florentine Renaissance. Starting from Giovanni Boccaccio and his Decameron, which ushers in a new phase in literary Florence, students learn how, later, the Medici family used culture and literature to enhance their power. Particular attention is devoted to Lorenzo de’ Medici, his political practice, and his literary activity. Emphasis also deserves the tradition of writing the history of the city, which students explore through the cultural contexts and agendas, of some of its most important writers: Giovanni Villani, Leonardo Bruni, Angelo Poliziano, and Niccolò Machiavelli. However, all these literary and political practices would be isolated without considering Florentine sociability and its religious, social, and professional networks, such as Academies, Confraternities, and Guilds. As an example of a different cultural context and agenda, one lesson introduces the court of Ferrara and its main literary protagonist, Ludovico Ariosto and his Orlando furioso (The Frenzy of Orlando).

A site visit illustrates the iconography of Palazzo Vecchio, as it was devised by Grand Duke Cosimo Ist and his court artist, Giorgio Vasari, to represent the cultural, political, and military accomplishments of the Medici family.



Lessons in the classroom aim to understand the evolution of Italian art from Giotto to Bernini, with an
emphasis on those artists related to Urbino: Piero della Francesca and Raphael. Students will learn how to
read an artwork on an iconographic and stylistic level; special attention will be given to the sources, particularly The Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari.
Part of the classes will take place in the museums and the churches of Urbino, Florence, and Rome in
order to understand better styles, techniques, dimensions, and architectural spaces and gain direct experience
of the great season of Italian art.



The course proposes a series of lessons focussing on private life in the West, from the end of the Middle Ages up to the Modern Age. We will highlight the specific features of a system that included the individual and the family in a world that was neither private nor public (as we now conceive those terms), in order to illustrate the relationship between the private and public dimensions of life in that period. 

This course will study some essential aspects of the individual and familial private life, showing how community control over public life has produced private space, i.e., a concept of intimate shelter for individuals and the family. The classes will be focused on: 

daily life in town palaces and country villas, wedding celebrations and bride voyages, 

banqueting and festivities; 

the Grand Tour custom of a traditional trip through Europe; 

Italian courtly life; 

the public and private power of women; 

fashion and social role in Renaissance Florence; 

the importance of gardens ideology and their new structure and role both as scenography for the court etiquette and the monks' and nuns' life in counterreformers’ Italian society.

The present course proposes to provide students with the knowledge and the methodological instruments necessary to interpret the various aspects of private life in the Renaissance in order to understand their dynamics and development and to be able to place them accurately on a chronological timeline that has a ‘before’ (the Middle Ages) and an ‘after’ (the Modern Age). Classes will be carried out with the support of images (illustrations and photos of artifacts), films that will support students’ contextualization of the topics and site visits.


An intermediate written test will be administered under the supervision of the individual instructors.

The course takes place in February, March, and April 2024, according to a schedule that will be announced by January 2024.

Some lectures will take place outside the University: Rome, Florence, and Pesaro, which students can reach through an organization prepared by the Winter School.

How to apply for The Italian Renaissance. Art, literature and culture

Course with free access
Number of positions
30 available
Useful information

For candidates from Iowa State University, by virtue of a specific agreement, the same IS University will ensure eligibility for the course.

For other candidates, a copy of the Curriculum Vitae will be requested before enrollment. The Management will then start a selective procedure based on the following parameters = Educational qualification (grade achieved and relevance to the course): 60% (from 0% to 60%); Scientific and/or professional activity: 40% (from 0% to 40%).

Candidates who meet the requirements will be admitted in chronological order of submission of the enrollment application, complete with payment of the due fee until the maximum number of places available is reached. The minimum number of students necessary for the activation of the Winter School is 10. Auditors are expected for a maximum number of 6.

The application for registration must not be sent; the Office will acquire it directly from the system. Candidates who do not complete their registration by the deadline indicated will lose their rights. According to Ministerial Decree 270/04, 1 training credit corresponds to 25 hours of effort per student, including individual study. Pursuant to art. 75 of the Presidential Decree 445/2000, if the Administration finds, on the basis of suitable checks, the untruthfulness of the content of the declarations made by the candidate, the declarant forfeits any benefits obtained from the provision issued on the basis of the false declaration. At the end of the course, a certificate of participation is issued, accompanied by the attribution of 20 university credits (CFU) acquired.

Application procedure
You can apply from the 01/10/2023 to the 31/01/2024 . Using the online procedure you can register to fill in the application and pay with PagoPA (Credit Card, PayPal) to complete the payment of the admission fee.
Online registration
Online registration Registration guidelines
Tuition fees

Enrollment fee:

THE THREE COURSES = € 2,000 - a single payment is required by January 31, 2024

ONE OR MORE SINGLE COURSES = € 600 each - a single payment is required by January 31, 2024

Auditor registration fee: € 500 -  a single payment is required by 31 January 2022

ATTENTION - before making the payment check if the minimum number (10) of participants has been reached.

Payments must be made by accessing  the menu on the left-hand side of the student's personal web page; go to the drop-down menu and click on  "pagamenti". The fee is net of any bank charges for the transaction. The registration fee includes administrative expenses and insurance coverage.

Fees will be returned only in the case in which the Course is not activated.

In the event that the registration fee is paid by a person other than the interested party or by an institution, body or company, the latter must pay the amount following the same methods and timing indicated above.  Failure to do so will result in the person not being registered. Given that the course is part of the institutional activities of the University, the enrollment fee is not subject to VAT; therefore no invoice will be issued.

Information on teaching and research activities


PRESIDENT: Prof. Antonio Corsaro (p.o. DISTUM)

VICE-PRESIDENT: Prof.sa Nicoletta Marcelli (p.a. DISTUM) 


Prof. Antonio Corsaro (DISTUM) 

Prof.ssa Nicoletta Marcelli (DISTUM)

Prof.ssa Raffaella Santi (DISTUM)

Prof.ssa Catherine Farwell

Dott.ssa Marcella Peruzzi 

Dott.ssa Lucia Vedovi 



Prof.ssa Marilena Luzietti

Prof.ssa Claudia Bucelli 

Prof. Simone Testa

Antonio Corsaro
 +39 0722 4800   antonio.corsaro@uniurb.it
Lucia Vedovi

Administrative contacts

Secretary’s Office
Ufficio Dottorati - Post laurea - Esami di Stato
Via Veterani, 36 - Urbino
Office hours
Monday - Friday from 9.30 am to 13pm
 Tel. +39 0722 304631 / +39 0722 304632 / +39 0722 304634 / +39 0722 304635   corsi.postlaurea@uniurb.it

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