Study Abroad: Rome ...exploration of the Eternal City

Students are eligible to receive 1 college credit during this 12 day seminar, with a focus on the built environment, architecture and anthropology. Students spend time at the Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway for morning class before stepping outside and into the fascinating history of the Eternal City.

Students explore the Roman Forum, which was once one of the ancient city's most popular and influential forums to the city's public meetings, law court, gladiator combat, and also was the center for religious and secular ceremonies.

Students visit the impressive remains of the Baths of Diocletian. Commissioned by the Emperor Diocletian in 298 AD and completed in 306 AD, this impressive architectural feat took up 120,000 square meters and included a gymnasium, a library, and public baths.

Known as Emperor Nero's "Golden House," the Domus Aurea was a palace built for decadence. Students go underground (with classy hardhats) to examine the intricisies of the Emperor's lavish architectural demands of glass mosaics, gilded ceilings, and marble paneling.

Gelato break- when in Rome!

The massive stone amphitheater known as the Colosseum remains an icon for Roman history. (Fun Fact: The Colosseum earned its name because of a statue that was located alongside the amphitheatre called 'the colossus of Nero'. )

Now off to tour the Pantheon with Professor Paolo Vitti!

"I can honestly say that the Study Abroad: Rome program was two of the best weeks of my life. I made lifelong friends who I am still in contact with due to the bonds we were able to form about our various interests in Rome, history, and Notre Dame itself. The faculty was incredibly engaging, and they helped fortify my already great interest in the study of architecture and Roman history. It is an experience I will never forget."

The Pantheon is thought to have been a temple for Roman gods. Rebuilt in 25 BC, it now functions as a church. Professor Vitti walks students through the concept, design, and construction as well as its current function to the global community.

Trevi Fountain is one of Rome's oldest water sources that provided water to the Roman baths and the fountains of central Rome when it was constructed in 19 BC. Today, tourists flock to this site to not only see the beautiful design-but also to toss in coins! According to legend, the first coin guarantees your return to Rome, the second will ensure a new romance, and the third will ensure marriage. These coins are gathered nightly and given to a charity in Rome that helps those in poverty living in the city.

Students travel to Vatican City State to explore the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica with Jill Alexy. Our students get a special tour up into the famous dome of St. Peter!


The St John Lateran Archbasilica is the Cathedral of Rome and one of the most beautiful churches in the world with colossal statues, mosaics and frescoes that run from the ceiling to the ground.

" Out of every spontaneous adventure and each day spent delving into the rich history of the eternal city, what I most enjoyed about the Study Abroad: Rome experience was the unique learning environment created when the city itself became our classroom."

An archaeological scavenger hunt takes students to Osia Antica, now the ruins of a once-thriving commercial port. When Rome fell, the city eventually was covered (and protected) by mud from the harbor. The excavation led to many discoveries of the Roman lifestyle, statue artistry, and living quarters. At the end of the tour, students take a picnic lunch and enjoy a Roman-style meal overlooking the ruins of the city.


Students enjoy a Kosher lunch after exploring the Jewish Ghetto in Rome, the oldest Jewish settlement in all of Europe (dating back to the 2nd century BC) and is home of the Great Synagogue of Rome. It was and remains a place for Jewish culture to live and thrive after overcoming a heart-wrenching past during the Nazi occupation.

The students take the Metro to the Museo Nazionale delle Arti e Tradizioni Popolari (Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions) to find exhibits that represent Italian history and popular culture over the last few centuries.

Students attend a Papal Audience in St. Peter's Square and receive a blessing from Pope Francis.

A favorite day for many students is the visit to the murals in via Tor Marancia. The "Big City Life" project was inspired out of a want for social renewal. Twenty artists from countries across the world created mural paintings on the sides of eleven buildings. This neighborhood was once an abandoned section of the city. Today, thousands visit to see the incredible street art that covers the residential complex. Our students are led through the neighborhood by a current resident who was one of the innovators behind the project.

A closing dinner overlooking the charming town of Frascati, Rome marks the end to a wonderful and unforgettable adventure!

Do something EXTRAORDINARY with your summer!

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.