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Programs : Brochure
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UVA Architecture in Italy: Vicenza
Vicenza, Italy (Education Abroad Programs Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Budget Sheets Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 15-FEB-2018 25-FEB-2018 24-MAY-2018 29-JUN-2018
NOTE: Students who are accepted to this program must commit to or decline participation by March 1. Students will need to depart the US May 23 to arrive in Italy May 24. Do NOT purchase flight tickets until instructed to do so by the ISO.
Fact Sheet:
Class Status:
2nd year, 3rd year, 4th year, Graduate student Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.5
Language Requirement:
Open to Non-UVa Students:
Language Courses Offered: No Language of Instruction: English
Credit Type:
Direct Credit
Program Type:
Faculty led
Tuition Payments Made To:
Education Abroad Advisor:
Margaret Walter
Application Fee:
Study Abroad Administrative Fee:
Subject Area:
Program Description:

Vicenza and the Veneto: An Introduction to a Practice in a Place by Charlie Menefee
Read the full introduction to the program here.

Lines of connection follow observation.  Relationships are determined following questioning.  Questions start drawings. Drawing therefore is at the core of a designer’s work for it actively combines the processes of observation and considered positioning with the making of substantive marks.  Well-founded consideration and clear position-taking are essential components in a successful design process. Without drawing, design as we know it does not happen.

The Vicenza Program is driven by questions and to a certain degree quests.  No matter the level of sophistication, in my experience I do not know of an instance when a person who has made a drawing pursuant to a question is not wiser (or at least more knowledgeable) for having made the effort.  Drawing never narrows ones field of view - drawing only expands us.  In short, drawing is instructive.  I sense that most students know this.  There is evidence that drawing, when combined with a concerted effort to seek out, question, and document connections, may be one of the most powerful tools a hopeful person has to maintain positive and creative output.


Course Information for ARCH 5800: Vicenza Program
In this 6-credit course, the student will be given the opportunity to:

  • Develop freehand drawing skills through instruction in diagramming, measuring, and recording what they see in sketches and analytical drawings.
  • Develop the essential skill of observing relationships both particular to the place and those that are universal to human occupation.
  • Analyze and record the development of prototypical constructions at the scale of the town, building, and building element. This includes particular architectural types such as Roman and medieval towns, the villa and palazzo types, and also includes elements and conditions such as the window and corner.
  • Address universal conditions such as threshold, boundary, and frame and how these conditions are approached at a range of scales.
  • Consider the making of civic identity through the study of the development of the Venetian town from a Roman outpost to modern economic power as the community incorporates physical, political, economic, religious, pugilistic, agricultural, intellectual, and artistic influences.

This program is open to rising 3rd and 4th years, and Graduate students. Rising 2nd years who apply will be considered for admission after the other applications have been reviewed.

Highly Recommended Prerequisite for Undergraduates
ARCH 5760: Architectural Drawing and Sketching or equivalent architectural or figure drawing course.

Completion Requirements & Grading
Completion will be defined by and grading based on level of productivity, attentiveness, range and quality of critical inquiry and documentation, and degree of improvement in communicating observations through sketching and analytical drawing.

Accommodation and Food
Students will share rooms and dine communally in accommodations in Vicenza. The Casa is neither a hotel nor a dorm. We are guests in a household run and staffed by older women who are directly affiliated with the Catholic church. In fact, the house is intended to be used by those who are studying anything with a religious connection; the more direct the better. Our connection is not as direct as it might be so our behavior in the Casa and as temporary inhabitants of the neighborhood must be exemplary in order for our hosts to feel comfortable with us returning on an annual basis.

Rooms in the Casa are simple and are practically furnished. Sheets and towels are changed once a week when the rooms are cleaned. There is no air conditioning (very limited across northern Italy) so the purchase of a fan might keep your room more comfortable at night. Most rooms will be shared. Many have an adjoining bath.

Food at the Casa is good, nourishing, and plentiful. Cooking follows the rural traditions of the Venetian region. Breakfast consists of cereals, rolls w/ condiments, and fresh fruit. Dinners are two course meals with a pasta dish followed by meat (heavy emphasis on pork and some chicken) and vegetables, with fruit for desert. Vegetarian diets can be easily accommodated. Students are responsible for their own lunches every day as well as dinners on Saturday and Sunday evening. Perishable food may not be kept in your rooms.

Cost & Financial Aid
The program cost and payment schedule are available under the "Budget Sheets" link at the top of this page.

Students with identifiable financial need are encouraged to apply for fellowships, scholarships, and financial aid. In particular, School of Architecture students are encouraged to apply for School of Architecture funding. Review the Scholarships page for additional opportunities.

Accessibility Statement
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. This program typically involves significant time spent standing each day and navigating a variety of terrains, surfaces, and modes of transportation. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.

Passport and Visa Information
All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program. Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program return date. US passport holders will not need a visa to participate in this program. International students should meet with their International Student Advisor and Education Abroad Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process.

Program Director Charlie Menefee,, Associate Professor in Architecture, has served as the program director and primary critic since 1999 when he took over from Mario di Valmarana, the program's founder, when he stepped down from an active teaching role at the School. The faculty for the Vicenza Program is comprised of Professor Menefee, and one other faculty member from UVA's School of Architecture named each year. They are supported by two graduate Teaching Assistants – one for drawing and another for communications and logistics.