Humanities I is a required 4 credit hour course for Geneseo students, part of the core curriculum. It satisfies SUNY's Western Civilization general education requirement. Based on great works, it examines the search for moral, social, and political alternatives and meaning in the institutions, culture, and literature of Western Civilization from its beginnings to 1600. Students taking Humanities I in Rome for four weeks are not only made intimate with the published works of the period, they can actually experience the location of so much of the course's content - in Rome and through trips to places such as Florence and Pompeii. There is ample free time to explore Rome and its surroundings and to take trips to places like Naples and Venice.
A city of 3 million people, Rome is Italy's capital city and home to The Vatican. It is a treasure trove of history, providing glimpses of its 2,700 year past at every step. Ancient Rome rubs shoulders with the medieval, and the modern runs into the Renaissance. The result is an open-air museum, a city that glories in its glories and is a monument to itself. Ancient Romans, Vandals, Popes, and the Borgias, Michelangelo, and Bernini, Napoleon, and Mussolini all left their physical, cultural, and spiritual marks on the city. Today, Rome's formidable legacy is upheld by its people. Students walk dogs in the park that was once the mausoleum of the family of the Emperor Augustus, a priest in flowing robes walks through a medieval piazza talking on a cell phone. Modern Rome has one foot in the present and one foot in the past.