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What our students think

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Urban Studies

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ECCO Ghigi

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ECCO Forni

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Un giorno a Bologna

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A May Day in Bologna

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Bologna nascosta

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ECCO: the ECCO Experience

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Elisabetta Cunsolo

Foto Cunsolo bio1Elisabetta Cunsolo teaches art history at the Dickinson College Center in Bologna. At E.C.Co., she offers a course on Bolognese art between the fourteenth and the seventeenth centuries, in which she takes students to various churches, palaces, and museums to study the works of art in their original settings. After a Master degree in Art History at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, during which she specialized in the study and cataloging of Italian prints and drawings, she received her doctorate in art history from the University of Bologna in 2004. Her current research focuses on the study of the sixteenth and seventeenth-century medical book illustration, and on the history of the art and culture of Bologna during the Renaissance.Continue reading

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Gabriele Cosentino

Gabriele Cosentino holds a Laurea in Scienze della Comunicazione from the University of Bologna (2001) and a Ph.D. in Media Culture and Communication from New York University (2011). His dissertation focused on the circulation of political communication across entertainment genres on Italian television. He has published several articles in edited collections on digital media, political communications and cultural globalization, 
and has taught at New York University campuses in New York and Florence, and at John Cabot University in Rome.… Continue reading

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If art is your focus

Giorgio Morandi

Bologna has an extraordinary artistic and historical heritage. Aside from its treasure-filled churches, Bologna’s world-renowned Pinacoteca Nazionale is home to some of the greatest Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces in the country, including works by Raphael, Lavinia Fontana, the Carracci brothers, Guido Reni, Guercino, and many others. The E.C.Co. course Renaissance and Early Baroque Art in Bologna: From Vitale da Bologna to Domenichino and Guido Reni takes students out of the classroom and into the churches, palaces, and museums to investigate Bologna’s key role in the art world between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Students wanting to focus on modern art at the University can take courses in Semiotics of ArtModern European Art, and Museology and Collecting among others.… Continue reading

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For cinema buffs…

Federico Fellini and Marcello Mastroianni

Bologna is home to a world-renowned institution devoted to the promotion, study and preservation of film, the Cineteca di Bologna. Its Cinema Lumière screens a huge selection of movies throughout the year, with a rich program that features independent movies, rarities, classics, animated and silent films (sometimes with live music). Next to the theatre is the Renzo Renzi library which boasts a collection of 38,000 books, 1,100 international and Italian film journals from the Silent Era to the present, 18,000 audiovisual materials, 200,000 movie posters and more than 1,500,000 photographs.  [The catalogue of its books and journals is available online, along with that of the audiovisual materials.]… Continue reading

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If interested in Science

Bologna,_Museo_di_Palazzo_Poggi,_cere_anatomiche_(2)When you think of Italy, your mind probably goes straight to art, literature and the other liberal arts. But did you know that Bologna was the birthplace of experimental science? Science has been taught at the university since the sixteenth century. Eminent Bolognese scientists include Renaissance naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi, who created one of the first botanical gardens in Europe and whose collection of bizarre animal specimen can be seen at the Museo di Palazzo Poggi; biologist and physician Marcello Malpighi, the father of microscopical anatomy; physicist Luigi Galvani, one of the founders of bioelectromagnetics, and physicist Laura Bassi, the first woman in the world to earn a university professorship in a scientific field of studies.… Continue reading

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Major in Computer Science?

Computer ScienceWhen you think of Italy, your mind probably goes straight to art, literature, music, and the other liberal arts. But did you know that the University of Bologna has 39 world-class science departments, as well as science museums and specialized libraries? The Department of Computer Science and Engineering in Bologna is no exception. It consists of more than 60 professors, 44 PhD Students, 41 Permanent Research Fellows, 7 Temporary Research Fellows, and 18 Technical and Administrative Staff and promotes scientific research in all areas of Computer Science.


The CS curriculum is very similar in the US and Italy.… Continue reading

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If you are interested in Education

classroom-2093744_640With the oldest university in the western world and a unique European Museum of Students (MEUS), “the Learned” Bologna is most certainly a city focused on education. Only a few miles away, the internationally recognized “Reggio method” of early childhood education was developed by Loris Malaguzzi and can be explored at the Reggio Children Foundation. An E.C.Co. student interested in education can choose from a wide range of courses offered by the Scienze della Formazione school at Unibo, such as: Children’s LiteratureIntercultural PedagogyDevelopmental Psychology. E.C.Co. students also have a unique chance to get to know the Italian public school system from within by conducting an internship at an elementary or middle school.… Continue reading

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Interested in Human Rights and Gender Studies?

Human-rightsStudents interested in human rights and social justice can count on both in-house and UniBo courses, as well as the opportunity to volunteer at one of many local and international organizations. E.C.Co. offers the course Rights, Welfare, Justice: Human Rights and Welfare State in European and Italian History, which includes visits to the key sites of the city’s legacy of resistance and struggle for social justice. A wide range of courses are available at the University of Bologna, covering the humanities, social sciences, gender and race studies, law, international relations, sustainable development, and much more. These are just a few examples: Fundamental RightsHuman Rights and Political InstitutionsEurope and Africa: Cooperation and SecurityMigration to and from EuropeHumanitarian CommunicationWomen and Social Science.… Continue reading

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Opportunities in International Relations

Photo: DIRCO, Flickr. CC BY-ND 2.0

The University of Bologna is home to a prominent Department of Political Science and International Relations. With students coming from many countries around the world and its prestigious faculty, it is one of the best departments of its kind in Italy. Within SPBO (Scienze Politiche Bologna), E.C.Co. students can choose from a wide range of courses in the fields of political science, international relations, gender studies, law, and history. Students particularly interested in Asia, Africa, and Latin America may find such courses as Politics of Contemporary AsiaHistory and Institutions of the Modern Middle EastInternational Relations and Development in AfricaComparative Analysis of religious-right basedExternal Relations of the EUDiplomacy in a Global WorldHistory and Institutions of Latin America, and many more.… Continue reading

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If you are interested in Urban Studies/Architectural History

commissione urbanisticaIn 1806, the British writer George Tappen wrote in his description of Bologna: “The most remarkable feature in this city are the arcades on which the houses are built […]. In rainy weather the inhabitants may walk from one end of it to the other without the least annoyance from wet, and in the summer season they are defended from the heat of the sun.” Besides the uniqueness of its arcades, Bologna also represents an interesting case-study to understand the urban and architectural history of Italy. The E.C.Co. program offers an unique in-house course on this topic, To Read a City: Urban History of Bologna since the Medieval Period, taught by prof. … Continue reading

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Food culture

Le-Sfogline-Bologna-600x390-600x390Among Bologna’s famous nicknames, “la grassa” refers to its rich and varied cuisine, which can be enjoyed in the numerous restaurants and trattorie, and in the traditional markets and food shops lining the medieval streets of the city. Culinary tradition is an integral part of the region’s identity, and Bologna boasts some of the best-known Italian dishes as its own: lasagne, tortellini, tagliatelle, and the famous meat ragù are all proudly Bolognese. Cured meats and aged cheeses welcome the visitors to the ancient delis in the Quadrilatero, the old market area near Piazza Maggiore. Local produce is also for sale every Saturday at the Slow Food farmers’ market (Mercato della Terra) near the Cineteca.… Continue reading

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How to Apply

The program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors in good academic standing at their home institution.  Two semesters of college-level Italian constitute the prerequisite for the fall semester, three semesters of college-level Italian for the spring. A “B” average in Italian language courses is required. Students wih less than four semesters of college-level Italian are required to attend the August session in Lecce, in the region Puglia. This course is a three-week intensive review of grammar and an introduction to contemporary Italy, and is required of students with only one year of college-level Italian. Students with two full years of college-level Italian may be exempted from the Lecce session.… Continue reading

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Cultural and Social Models in Contemporary Italy

History/Human Rights  Syllabus    Cinzia Venturoli

Any understanding of the basic character and cultural models of a nation must begin with an examination of the rights that have been established and of the social pact that has been established and updated between citizens and State.

To achieve this objective, the course will focus on the history of Italy of the last 70 years to see how the construction of a democratic regime that took place in a completely new international political context created space for the affirmation of new politcal, civil and social rights; the right to full freedom of conscience; and new rights pdertaining to gender identity and the condition of migrants.… Continue reading

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Writing Workshop

Language and Culture  Ivan Tassi


Soon after the Intensive Course of Italian Language and Culture, we will start the nine-week Writing Workshop, along with the E.C.Co and UniBo courses. This course is organized in two parts. In the first one, we read and discuss texts of various genres (stories, novels, essays) with particular attention to improve students’ oral skills. The reading is supported by workshops, with the purpose to write weekly essays on different topics (literature, art, history, cinema). In each class, we develop specific grammar and lexical topics linked to the reading texts in order to improve students’ oral and written skills.… Continue reading

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To Read a City: Urban History of Bologna since the Medieval Period

Urban Studies/History of Architecture      Syllabus          Francesco Ceccarelli

Based on the study of selected Italian cities in the north-central region, the goal of this course is to provide the tools to identify the historical and urban factors that have shaped the region Emilia-Romagna and its urban centers, primarily Bologna. Thanks to its well-preserved ancient historical center, Bologna lends itself to being read as a case study for understanding the city’s spatial organization, its architecture and the palimpsestual layering of the buildings constituting its patrimony. The course will alternate between a series of classroom lectures dedicated to the comprehension of diverse evolutionary phases of construction, and site visits to different aspects of Bologna’s urban fabric.… Continue reading

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Modern Italian Art: 1860-2000

History of Art      Syllabus     Giuseppe Virelli


The goal of the course is to trace a path through Italian artistic production, with a chronological span encompassing the second half of the nineteenth century through the end of the twentieth century.  The focus on Italy will be presented in close relationship with European and extra-European experiences, as contemporary art is not confined to a single geographic location.  Examined in a way that reveals their close interrelationship, the guiding threads of the course are two: the first has to do with history and the chronological evolution of artistic changes and transformations; … Continue reading

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The Cities of Emilia-Romagna on film

Film Studies        Syllabus        Piero Di Domenico

The course has two components:  a first part in which students view and Amarcorddiscuss Italian films featuring cities in Emilia Romagna, including Federico Fellini’s “Amarcord” (Rimini), Florestano Vancini’s “La lunga notte del ’43” (Ferrara), Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Il deserto rosso” (Ravenna), Renato De Maria, “Paz” (Bologna), and Pupi Avati, “Gli amici del bar Margherita” (Bologna).

In the second part of the course, students will engage in a filmmaking Novecento lab and will be guided through the various stages of making a film. Units of the lab will include screenwriting, photography, framing, and editing. In the second part of the course guest lectures by screenwriters, directors and/or directors of photography, and editors explain the technical aspects of filmmaking to students.… Continue reading

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From Page to Stage and Back Again

Theater and Italian Society       Syllabus          Paolo Rota

teatri immagini 2Students will explore the offerings in theaters in Bologna and possibly in other cities. This course helps prepare students for the performances of specific plays that are on in Bologna in the Spring semester. The course unfolds in three discrete steps that correspond to its title: (1) study and discussion in the classroom of the dramatic text (if one exists, for the performance; if not, a text in relation to the subject of the performance); (2) field trips to the theater; and (3) evaluation of the performance through classroom discussion and writing assignments.

Not all theater performances are textual.… Continue reading

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Vanessa Pietrantonio


Vanessa Pietrantonio is assistant professor at the University of Bologna. She teaches literature courses at E.C.Co. She received her doctorate in Comparative Literature in at City University of New York and subsequently won various grants, such as a research grant and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Bologna. She has delivered a series of lectures at the IULM University in Milan on rewriting, parody, pastiche, the modern European novel and on representations of time in Don DeLillo’s Underworld. She has also been a visiting professor of literature at Vassar College, and has taught courses on the history of literary criticism at the University of Bologna.… Continue reading

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Ivan Tassi

IVAN PROVA1Ivan Tassi is the Director of Language Program and Curriculum Coordinator of the E.C.Co. language courses. He teaches Intensive Italian Language and Culture courses and the Writing Workshop. In 2006 he completed the doctorate in Comparative Literatures at the University of Bologna and in 2013 he obtained the license of teaching Latin and Italian Literature in high schools (TFA) at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. He has published books about autobiography theory Storie dell’io (Laterza 2007) and Goldoni’s, Alfieri’s and Leopardi’s autobiographic technics Specchi del possibile (Il Mulino 2008). He has curated the edition of Silvio d’Arzo, Casa d’Altri.Continue reading

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