About Galileo on Trial in Italy
Galileo risked his career, his freedom, and even his life for science.
In this Freshman Seminar Abroad, we will learn about Galileo, the conflicts he faced, and how his discoveries forever changed the world. While in Italy, we'll visit Pisa, home of Galileo and climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa; we'll explore the city of Florence and see one of Galileo's first telescopes; in Rome, we will visit places, such as the Vatican and the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minvera, which provided the backdrop to the end of Galileo's brilliant career.
While on campus, we will learn about 17th-Century Italy and re-enact The Trial of Galileo through debate and discussion.
Housing & Meals
You will live in shared housing at hotels with other program participants. Welcome and farewell meals are included in the program fee. Additional meals can be eaten at local cafés and restaurants around Florence and Rome.
While in Italy, the surroundings will become your classroom and you will explore and experience the seminar coursework through site visits. These excursions will take place in Florence and Rome, and may include:
- Guided walking tour of Florence, a city of great artistic and religious importance in the heart of Tuscany
- Take a Galileo-themed walk through Florence
- Museo di Storia della Scienza (Galileo Museum), where you can see two of Galileo's original telescopes
- The Duomo in Florence, The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiori: climb to the top of the Duomo and marvel at the intricate mosaics and frescoes
- Santa Croce: explore the Basilica where you will find Galileo's burial and stroll the piazza, one of the main squares in Florence
Pisa, Galileo's Hometown
- Day trip to Pisa to climb the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Free time to explore other sites in Pisa such as the Piazza Garabaldi and the elegant Borgo Stretto, filled with interesting shops and cafés
- Pantheon, the most preserved and influential building in Rome
- Collegio Romano
- St. Ignazio of Loyola
- Santa Maria sopra Minerva, including the location of the Trial of Galileo
- Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica
All program participants will be taking the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight, you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center regarding your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.
- To socialize first year students as global professionals who understand that human interaction and culture are relevant to achieving professional goals
- Discover and connect with the University of Minnesota campus and community
- Prepare students to think critically, analyze topics, and appreciate diverse perspectives through pre-departure coursework, learning abroad and guided reflection
- Function as an effective team member by utilizing your personal strengths in a group setting
- Develop an understanding of the importance of future international and intercultural learning
Faculty & Staff
On-site support is provided by ACCENT. ACCENT staff will provide orientation, information regarding cultural activities, and 24-hour emergency support.
Laura Coffin Koch is Director of International Initiatives and Relations and Associate Professor of the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Professor Koch has been a faculty member at the University of Minnesota since 1985, and has taught study abroad courses for 14 years, in both Florence, Italy and Istanbul, Turkey.
About the Learning Abroad Center
Learning Abroad Center programs are:
- Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
- Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
- Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
- Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.