CIEE Rome Courses

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Open Campus Block

By: Ari Au

CIEE Rome had a lot of interesting courses to choose from. I’m a Multidisciplinary Studies major with a focused theme of Exploring Global Cultures, so I had the opportunity to take any of the courses and receive credit for it. In the end, I chose an art history and history class, and I’m so glad I did mainly because of the amazing passionate professors Kevin and Anna. 

I visited many beautiful museums and learned about Italy’s history through these two CIEE Rome Courses: 

  1. AHIS 3003 – Exploring Rome, The Birthplace of the Modern Museum 
  2. HIST 3003 – Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day: The Art, Architecture, and History of the Ancient City

My favorite on-site class visits were the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Capitoline Museum, Pantheon, and the National Gallery of Modern Art. 

1. Doria Pamphilj Gallery

Before taking this art history class, I had never heard of the Doria Pamphilj Gallery. Once I learned the dramatic story behind the Pamphilj family, especially the story of Olimpia Aldobrandini and Camillo Pamphilj, I was intrigued. The Poussin Room and Hall of Mirrors were the most impressive rooms to me. When I entered the first room of the gallery, the Poussin Room, I was in awe. This room amazed me because of its lofty ceiling, the dark red color of the walls, and the gold reliefs on the ceiling intertwined with the paintings. The surprising thing about this room was that it was specifically designed to accommodate the artwork. Because of its uniqueness and opulence, the Poussin Room is my favorite. The Hall of Mirrors had so much gold, light, and mirrors; it felt grandeur and surreal. 

rome gallery doria

2. Capitoline Museum

I went to the Capitoline Museum for both classes. It’s one of my favorite museums not only because of what I learned about the history of its inception and the artwork it houses, but also because of its beauty and the fact that it overlooks the Roman Forum. 

capitoline rome

3. Pantheon

The Pantheon became one of my favorite visits because I found out about the oculus. The oculus is the opening at the top of the dome. From the inside, I thought the oculus looked about 6 feet, but remarkably, it measures more than 20 feet. Prior to our visit, I assumed there was a glass pane, but that’s not the case. I didn’t expect the structure to have an opening, and my professor Anna mentioned that people like to go to the Pantheon especially when it’s raining because of how cool it looks. 

4. The National Gallery of Modern Art

This gallery was the last on-site visit I had, and it did not disappoint. Each room seemed to have its own theme with the same type of media. This was a larger museum and I liked that there was so much space for people to view and enjoy the artwork at their own pace. 

modern art museum rome