Art Abroad: Summer Studies in Italy and Greece...It's not just for the Artist

Studying in Italy and Greece

A year ago Emily Tuttle joined the Art Department teaching Renaissance Art History. The students were so enthralled with the topic; she began to plan our first official overseas trip. After a year of fundraising and turmoil in Turkey, our student interest dwindled; however, we recruited other faculty, friends, and family to join us. I'd like to say a huge "thank you" to Emily for inspiring and planning, Alumni and Development for all the support in fundraising and organization, to the amazing friends who joined our LC group, and to Sydney and Christine for having the determination to make it happen. --Carolyn Ford 


So you aren't an artist. Let's clear up some facts:

1. Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Donatello are not Ninja Turtles. They are Italian Renaissance masters.

2. You don't take Art courses at Limestone because you are forced to do so. Limestone's educational system is based upon the Greek idea of the Liberal Arts. The Greeks believed that in order to be the best, you should be well rounded and educated in a bit of everything. If you are an athlete, you should exercise your brain as much as your body.

3. Football and lacrosse weren't always around. During the Renaissance, art was as competitive as sports being cheered for, supported by all, and invested financially. Thanks to the art competition and support, we now have so much great art to see. 

4. Not all art is weird or perverted. Art can be spiritually uplifting. The Christian church, before it had divisions and titles, once used art and architecture to bring people into the fold. Gothic churches aren't deep, dark and depressing. They are light and bright with the use of pointed arches and jewel-like stained glass. Baroque chapels are filled with inspiring dramatic images. Much of the art you see in Italy is located in churches or seen while visiting the Vatican. Don't fret; there is still plenty of weird and perverse art to be seen.

5. You don't have to be into art to take a trip with the Art Department. You don't have to be a "lover of art" to enjoy Italy. You don't have to be a history buff on the Greek gods and goddesses to enjoy the seaside temples on hilltops. Sure, you will see a lot but who doesn't want to see the Coliseum where bloody battles occurred or the Acropolis with the Parthenon (temple of Athena). Who wouldn't enjoy hiking Mt. Vesuvius then visiting Pompeii's red light district Vesuvius destroyed?  Who doesn't like pizza, gelato, pasta, baklava, gyros and a sip of vino? Who would scoff at hitting up a tiny nightclub in Greece or watching the sunset while a DJ spins ambient music on Mykonos? 

6. Traveling abroad is more than just "geeking out" on art and history; it's about becoming culturally rounded. Did we get to "geek out"? Oh yes! Are we fulfilled? Definitely. As a professor and lover of art and travel, it's so important to give opportunities to our students. My favorite part of the trip was watching my students’ excitement each time they'd see the real works of art that had been incorporated into lecture. When Christine sited and measured the Classical Greek figure to see if he fit the "eight heads theory" and Sydney answering questions about Mycenaean pottery, my heart swelled with pride. Finding hidden Bernini sculptures and getting private lectures from Professor Tuttle from her recent papers on Michelangelo made my respect of my discipline grow.

"My favorite part of the trip was being able to open my eyes to new experiences and amazing things such as the ruins of Pompeii and going on my first cruise. I loved leaning about the differences of cultures in each location. I now want to travel the world because of this experience and now I know that if you work hard enough, you can make it happen. I also loved meeting and making good friends that make the experience even better." --Sydney Landreth

"The trip was better than even imagined. There is so much ancient history in both countries. The best experience was seeing the cave where John the Evangelist wrote the Book of Revelations. Also, I enjoyed meeting all the people in the tour group. What I learned was to keep an open mind and not be in a hurry to see all the sights--just enjoy them." --Dr. Betsy Witt, Chair of Criminal Justice at Limestone

"My favorite thing was seeing all of the historical landmarks, especially the Vatican, the Coliseum and Pompeii. Italy and Greece are beautiful and rich in history and culture. I've also been considering focusing my studies in ancient art history. The trip not only gave me artistic ideas, but also to live in the moment, don't be afraid to embrace the new, and don't take things for granted (i.e. free toilet paper)." --Christine Wicht 

"One of the wonderful things about accompanying first time travelers, especially students, is that for them, the experience is even more enriching. Things they have only seen in photographs come to life. I am so proud of our students for not only having embraced new cultures, but immersing themselves in learning to appreciate and value art and art history expanding their curiosity." --Professor Emily Tuttle

If you'd like to know more about the Art Department's trip to Italy and Greece or perhaps ask us where we are planning to go next, please email us as well as visit our social media pages to see tons of pictures: If you'd like to donate to our travel fund, please contact Candace Waters in Alumni and Development.