Theology of Italian Art

Green graphic shaped like the region of Tuscany with the cities Lucca, Florence, Fiesole, Siena, Arezzo, Sansepolcro, and Montalcino labeled on top of it in white text and black pinpoints. And the text May Study Tour.

Join us in welcoming back Villa Le Balze’s iconic study tours! We are excited to announce that our beloved study tours are back and we invite you to join us for this unique program. You can read more about the revival of our tours in Villa Le Balze News.

This thematic tour of Italy organized by Villa Le Balze, the Office of Global Services, and Mission & Ministry is for alumni and the greater Georgetown community. During the tour, participants will explore Florence and Tuscany through group excursions and academic lectures on the Theology of Italian Art. The tour will be led by Father Mark Bosco, S.J., Ph.D., Vice President for Mission & Ministry, who will guide participants through the intricate history between Italian art and faith. Over the course of one week, we will visit multiple cities in Tuscany, explore a winery, and gain insight into the rich history of theology and art in Italy.

The tour will run from May 19, 2024 – May 26, 2024. More information about the study tour can be found below. Registration for the study tour has closed.

Download a printable brochure.

Day 1 (May 19): Welcome to Italy

After a long day of travel to Florence, your day will be free for relaxation and settling in until a casual group dinner.

Day 2 (May 20): Villa Le Balze and Fiesole

You will experience a tour of Villa Le Balze and its grounds, followed by lunch at the Villa. We will then tour one of our host cities – Fiesole – including a tour of the Roman Theater. We’ll end the day with a welcome dinner in Florence.

Day 3 (May 21): Lecture with Father Bosco and Visit to Lucca

The day will start with your first lecture on the Theology of Italian Art by Father Bosco. The theme of the tour asks “how does faith produce culture?” and participants will explore this question through the excursions over the week. Lunch will be then held at the Villa, after which the group travels to Lucca for the afternoon and dinner.

Day 4 (May 22): Sansepolcro and Arezzo

We will spend the morning in the quaint town of Sansepolcro, the birthplace of artist Piero della Francesca, before heading to Arezzo, the “city of gold,” in the afternoon. We will return to Florence in time for dinner on your own or with friends.

Day 5 (May 23): Montalcino Wine Region

We’ll travel to Montalcino for an introduction to the wonderful world of wine in Italy. Here you will get to learn about the history of wine in Italy, the impact the tradition has had on Tuscan culture, as well as the work that goes into making it.

Day 6 (May 24): San Lorenzo Market and the Art of Handicrafts

Art takes many forms, so on Day 6, we’ll explore art through the lens of handicrafts. We will visit several artisan workshops, including a leathermaking school and a goldsmith’s studio. We will then visit the San Lorenzo Market, which is a culturally rich farmer’s market-style experience.

Day 7 (May 25): Evening Mass and Dinner

You’ll have the morning free in Florence to shop for souvenirs and explore on your own. An evening mass will be led by Father Bosco at the Villa/Fiesole/Florence and followed by a final farewell group dinner.

Day 8 (May 26): Depart Florence

This day is dedicated to travel as you make your way back home.

*Itinerary specifics may be subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen incidents.

Father Mark Bosco, S.J., Ph.D., serves as the Vice President of Mission and Ministry on Georgetown’s main campus. He oversees robust ministry organizations on campus, holds a pastoral care program at Georgetown Medstar Hospital, and teaches undergraduate courses in English and Theology.

Father Bosco obtained his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Theology and Literature from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley University. He also obtained his M.Div from the Jesuit School of Theology there as well. Father Bosco specializes in the intersection between theology and art and has been a co-author or editor on five books and almost twenty academic articles on the subject. You can read more about Father Bosco on Mission & Ministry’s website.

In Italy, Father Bosco will take you on a deeply rich cultural exploration of the intersection between beauty and theology in Italy. Participants will experience the theological influence on Tuscan, and more largely, Italian culture. Specifically, we will dissect these intersections through the lens of architecture and art within the Tuscan region.

UnaHotels Vittoria Florence

You will be staying at the chic UnaHotels Vittoria Florence, a 4-star hotel designed by Italian architect Fabio Novembre and located in the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence. The hotel overlooks the iconic Arno River and is only a short distance from Cascine Park. Hotel amenities include free internet, continental breakfast, and satellite television. Your accommodations are included in your program fee*, but the price may vary depending on your requested accommodations.

*Standard Accommodation is a double occupancy (queen bed or two twins) room. Participants may request a single occupancy room at an additional cost of $650.

Program Cost: $5,800 per person (double occupancy room)

Single Occupancy Program Cost: $6,450

The cost for the tour includes accommodations in double occupancy rooms, all guided tours and group excursions, continental breakfast at your hotel every day, most of your lunches, and most of your dinners. It also includes all group transportation from place to place on a charter bus.

Airfare is NOT included in these costs or the program fee. All travelers will need to make their own travel arrangements to arrive and depart Florence.

In addition to their own airfare to and from Italy, participants are also responsible for the cost of meals that are not included (about 4 meals), free-time sightseeing expenses, personal souvenirs, and other purchased items.

Withdraw Policy:

All participant cancellations or refund requests for any reason whatsoever will be subject to a $100 per person cancellation fee. Additionally, participant cancellation between March 16, 2024 and March 20, 2024 will result in forfeiture of 10% of the total trip cost per person; between March 21, 2024 and April 19, 2024 will result in forfeiture of 30% of the total trip cost per person; and between April 20, 2024 and May 11, 2024 will result in forfeiture of 50% of the total trip cost per person. Cancellation on or after May 12, 2024 will result in forfeiture of the entire cost of the trip. Georgetown University reserves the right to make exceptions at its sole discretion in the case of documented medical emergencies.

The tour costs do not include airfare, so your flight arrangements and transfers are completely up to you. However, we do recommend that you fly into Florence’s Amerigo Vespucci Airport (FLR) for the easiest route to the hotel.

You should book your airfare so that you arrive in Florence on Sunday, May 19, 2024 and you depart Florence on Sunday, May 26, 2024.

The University bears no responsibility whatsoever for any travel arrangements made by individual travelers that do not form part of the itinerary. Extensions of stay, hotel accommodations beyond those indicated in the program, early arrivals or departures, and all other arrangements undertaken at the initiative of individual participants are their sole responsibility, and no change can be made in group plans or schedule to accommodate such arrangements.

There are some things that are important to consider before reserving your spot on the study tour.

This tour requires moderate physical activity. Tuscany is hilly, and can sometimes be very steep. During the tour you may be on your feet for up to an hour at a time, walking and standing, indoors and outdoors, in various weather conditions, and sometimes on uneven ground. We have done our best to limit these conditions but our study tour takes advantage of being in Italy and having access to its wealth of cultural patrimony.

If you are someone who needs to limit your physical activity or if you have concerns about the level of physicality, please consult the tour organizers before reserving your spot.

For questions about the study tour, please email