Course Description

Global 360 - Italian Renaissance is a fully online course that integrates distance learning with virtual exploration of the main Italian cities involved in the development of Renaissance culture. 

The result is a unique and high-impact educational experience provided by the Study Abroad Association. This course introduces the distinctive features of the Italian Renaissance (1300-1600), focusing on the cities of Florence, Siena, Padua, Venice, Tivoli, and Rome. Topics include history, art, architecture, religion, philosophy, literature, music, politics, science, and technology. 

Upon completion, students should be able to appreciate the importance of the Italian Renaissance and its impact on the development of modern Western culture.

Meet our Local Expert

Francesco Restuccia PhD

Francesco is a PhD in Philosophy of Art. He grew up in Rome and Milan, but during his studies he lived in Paris, Berlin, and São Paulo, Brazil. Since 2014, Francesco has been leading programs for SAA throughout Italy and France. Traveling and studying are his passions and he thinks no learning is possible without exploring. He is currently a research fellow at the University of Rome La Sapienza and he is using his knowledge in history and art to develop educational programs both virtually and in person.

Global Learning Outcomes & Competencies

  • Historical & Conceptual Perspectives

    Students investigate and apply concepts from history/humanities to describe and understand developments across time, and the influence of history, geography, religion, ethnicity, and other factors on human identity.

  • Societies & Cultures

    Students explore cross-cultural perspectives, investigate the impact of ancient Roman, Byzantine, Arabic and Northern European cultures on the development of the Italian Renaissance, and analyze the influence of the Italian Renaissance on the development of modern European, Mediterranean and American cultures. They will identify customs, behaviors, thoughts, and perspectives that both distinguish and connect regions, countries, languages and cultures from/to one another and one’s own, and the social and geopolitical factors that shape human diversity.

  • Citizenship

    Students understand the connection between their personal behavior and its impact on global systems. Uses their knowledge, attitudes, and skills to engage with issues that address challenges facing humanity locally and globally.

Course curriculum

  1. 1
    • Syllabus - Humanities Renaissance

  2. 2
    • Unit 1 Overview - Humanism and the Birth of the Renaissance (1300–1450)

    • Humanism and the Birth of the Renaissance (1300–1450) scenes 1, 3, 5-6, 8-10, 13, 16, 18-19, 21-24, 27, 30-31, 35-36.

    • Quiz 1: Humanism and the Birth of the Renaissance (1300–1450)

    • Humanism and the Birth of the Renaissance (1300–1450) - Enrichment Discussion

    • Suggested Reading: Boccaccio - Decameron

    • Suggested Reading: Dante - The Divine Comedy

    • Suggested Reading: Dante - The New Life

    • Suggested Reading: Kristeller - Humanism and Scholasticism in the Italian Renaissance

    • Suggested Reading: Leonardo Bruni - Panegyric to the city of Florence

    • Suggested Reading: Petrarch - The Sonnets

  3. 3
    • Unit 2 Overview - Early Renaissance (1450–1490)

    • Early Renaissance (1450–1490): scenes 2, 5, 6, 8-10, 12, 14-16, 20, 23-27, 31-34.

    • Quiz 2: Early Renaissance (1450–1490)

    • Early Renaissance (1450–1490) - Enrichment Discussion

    • Suggested Reading: Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the dignity of man

    • Suggested Reading: Lorenzo de Medici “the Magnificent”, Sonnets

    • Suggested Reading: Leon Battista Alberti, On Painting (excerpts)

    • Suggested Reading: Cennino Cennini, The Book of Art

    • Suggested Reading: Peter Burke, A case of cultural hybridity: the European Renaissance

  4. 4
    • Unit 3 Overview - High Renaissance (1490–1520)

    • High Renaissance (1490–1520): scenes 2, 3, 5, 7-9, 11-12, 14, 16-19, 23-27, 31-32.

    • Quiz 3: High Renaissance (1490–1520)

    • High Renaissance (1490–1520) - Enrichment Discussion

    • Suggested Reading: Machiavelli, The Prince

    • Suggested Reading: Baldassarre Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier (excerpts)

    • Suggested Reading: Ariosto, Orlando Furioso

    • Suggested Reading: John Sellars, Pomponazzi's Ethics and the Aristotelian Choice of Lives

    • Suggested Reading: Valerie Matarese - Aldo Manuzio and his legacy to the language profession

  5. 5
    • Unit 4 Overview - Mannerism and Late Renaissance (1520–1570)

    • Mannerism and Late Renaissance (1520–1570): scenes 2, 4, 7-11, 14-15, 17-20, 22-24, 26-27, 29, 35.

    • Quiz 4: Mannerism and Late Renaissance (1520–1570)

    • Mannerism and Late Renaissance (1520–1570) - Enrichment Discussion

    • Suggested Reading: Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises

    • Suggested Reading: Michelangelo, Selected Poems

    • Suggested Reading: Vasari, The Life of the Artists

  6. 6
    • Unit 5 Overview - The origins of the baroque culture (1570–1600)

    • The origins of the Baroque Culture (1570–1600): scenes 1-3, 5-6, 8, 10, 13, 18, 21-22, 24-25, 28-32, 34, 36.

    • Quiz 5: The origins of the baroque culture (1570–1600)

    • The origins of the baroque culture (1570–1600) - Enrichment Discussion

    • Suggested Reading: Giordano Bruno, The Cabala of Pegasus

    • Suggested Reading: Anne Muraoka, The Path of Humility. Caravaggio and Carlo Borromeo

    • Suggested Reading: Frances Yates, The art of memory (Giordano Bruno)

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants will:

  • Be able to identify significant ideas, customs, and literary and artistic contributions of the Italian Renaissance.

  • Be able to elaborate the cultural significance of these works/concepts, and historical relationships among them. Exhibit an increased factual knowledge of European culture and history through the recognition and understanding of key events, personalities, places, and social developments through multiple assessments.

  • Improve ability to analyze and critically evaluate ideas and points of view through discussion, and the reading of primary and secondary source documents.

Student Testimonials

Hillsborough Community College


This perspective was a great and beneficial experience in my development as a student. I was able to get into places that otherwise would be very unlikely for me to travel to. There were great features that were able for use that really embrace your curiosity to know more. I believe that more courses can really embrace that inspiring aspect and involve many students that are eager to know more about the world

Central Piedmont Community College


I loved the class. I learned a lot about different countries. I also compared the different countries to the US and I realized that the US needs some catching up to do. The 360GLE virtual platform was easy and self explanatory. I felt like I was in the country I was learning about. It made me think about studying abroad for a semester. I would recommend 360GLE to anyone wanting to learn about different countries or wanting to take educational trips around the world.

Medaille College


The 360 Global Learning Experiences (360GLE) virtual experience was a surreal journey across places that I may never have a chance to visit and if I do, I will have so much hands-on information that will make me familiar with my surroundings. Incredible!

Central Piedmont Community College


I wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed this class. It has been one of the most interesting classes I have ever taken. I love getting to see the places in real time while learning the history and culture of them. It makes me wish I would have majored in Humanities my first go around.

Joliet Junior College


This was a great experience. I've always wanted to travel to Italy and this has enforced that idea and gotten me excited! I'm looking forward to traveling abroad!

College of Central Florida


I really enjoyed the different methods of learning about the countries. It appeals to people who are visual and auditory learners like myself. I found this to be a very interesting experience. I think that it gives a nice international experience when the ability to travel is not available. This is beneficial in a global pandemic, however not limited to that. I definitely see applications to broaden international learning to students that may not otherwise be able to have these experiences.

College of Central Florida


I think this was the best thing invented since sliced bread. It was so immersive and educational, I would love to see more countries virtually.

Valencia College


The 360 global learning experiences is a rich orientation to the culture, and communities students examine within the course material contexts. I thought it was definitely a different form of learning that benefited me and kept me interacting as I learned.

Joliet Junior College


I enjoy the interactive photographs and videos, it makes the experience real. Also having an opportunity to watch videos and view pictures makes the experience varied and more interesting. It’s always very interesting to move around both on the standard map and using camera points to get a grasp of the history and culture of the location.

Hillsborough Community College


I just finished my Honors Humanities class using this amazing software in the curriculum and it was a very insightful experience! Made me want to study abroad ASAP!