The Renaissance Program

The Summer Institute in Florence, Italy

THE RENAISSANCE PROGRAM SUMMER INSTITUTE 2023
MAY 29–JUNE 2, 2023

The Renaissance Program Summer Institute will take place in Florence, Italy, at the end of May 2023.

Save your space. The Summer Institute is limited to 20 participants. So if you’re interested in learning more about the course, let us know by filling out the form below. We’ll then keep you posted on all the details and notify you when preregistration opens in the near future.

Our full-service hotel and conference room is within easy walking distance of all the important sites and artworks in Florence, and we’ll send you information on that too.

Creating the Best Possible World

The Energizing Ideas of the Italian Renaissance

“We must always remember that the Renaissance was a state of mind in so many ways: The concrete effects followed from those fundamental attitudes.”— Kenneth Bartlett, University of Toronto

The core ideas that allowed the Italian Renaissance to emerge and flourish are beliefs that have deeply shaped our modern world and values. These ideas of Renaissance humanism include:

  • A belief that the study of ancient literature and philosophy can create a better society and more virtuous leaders
  • A belief in human dignity, the power to shape our own lives, and a belief that human beings can create works of lasting greatness
  • A belief that beauty is essential because it can enhance, elevate, and deepen human life
  • A belief that learning and education can make a profound contribution to human life—and that a person‘s life, and the city itself, can become a work of art


Join us in Florence, Italy, for five days to explore the energizing ideas of the Renaissance humanists and how Renaissance ideas can benefit the world today.

The Summer Institute will combine five days of presentations and discussions with visits to the most important historical sites and artworks of Renaissance Florence.

  • Day 1: (A): Petrarch, the Birth of Humanism, and the Discovery of the Modern Self; (B) The Recovery of Ancient Knowledge
  • Day 2: Civic Humanism: Creating the Best Possible World
  • Day 3: Human Dignity, Human Potential, and Shaping an Individual Self
  • Day 4: Art, Architecture, and Philosophy: Beauty, Goodness, and Harmony
  • Day 5: Thinking about the Value of Renaissance Ideas Today (and Farewell Dinner)


Each day begins with a two-hour slide lecture and discussion. The site visits, which follow, relate to the topics discussed in the lectures. They include the Duomo (Brunelleschi’s dome), the Bargello Museum (Donatello’s David), San Marco, the Accademia Gallery (Michelangelo’s David), Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery (Botticelli and Leonardo), and an optional visit to Santa Croce (the tombs of Leonardo Bruni, Leon Battista Alberti, Michelangelo, and Galileo).

A common dinner will be held each night to continue our conversations, or you can make your own dinner plans.

Tuition cost (includes museum visits and handouts): $1,500
We are working to obtain a number of scholarships for college-age participants.

Upon finishing the course, you will receive a certificate of completion
and be crowned with an honorary laurel wreath.

Summer Institute Presentors

David Fideler, PhD, is a writer, philosopher, and founder of the Renaissance Program. He has spent decades studying the ideas of classical philosophy and the Renaissance.

A former college professor, David’s writings have appeared in many publications, including The New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. His book on the Roman philosopher Seneca has been published in sixteen languages.

Chandi Wyant, MA, is a licensed guide to the museums of Florence and holds a master’s degree in Florentine Renaissance history.

Chandi is interested in the intersection between humanist and artistic innovations in fifteenth-century Florence, and she’s passionate about the ideas that brought the Renaissance into being. Originally from the United States, she lives in Florence.

Where We Will Meet

The Summer Institute will be held at The Student Hotel in Florence.

The Student Hotel is located within easy walking distance of all the major sites and museums in Florence.

If you are interested in learning more about the Renaissance Program Summer Institute, please fill out the form below and we will send you information on different housing options, room costs, and how to make reservations.

Our morning classes will be offered at The Student Hotel and you are welcome to stay there.

There are also several other places you could stay within a two- to seven-minute walk of The Student Hotel, pending the availability of rooms.

Express Your Interest Now

If you are interested in learning more about the Summer Institute, please fill out the form below, since space is limited to 20 participants.

We will keep you updated on the event, lodging, and let you know how to save a spot when preregistration opens.

If you would like to support our efforts and fund a scholarship for a college-age participant, please contact us.

Thank you for your interest and for your support of the Renaissance Program.

YES! I am interested in learning more about the Renaissance Program Summer Institute.

Please keep me posted on the details and let me know when registration opens.

Copyright 2022 by the Renaissance Program. All rights reserved.