Kent State Florence Semester

Four months to change your life…

The Florence semester program offers you a unique experience abroad!

Learn More

Check out Program Information to learn about program dates, orientation, the campus, academics, accommodations, flights, study tours, and much more. 

Imperial Decline: The Twilight of American Hegemony
The Florence dome with a list of the conference's speakers along the left side

Ready to apply? Then click on Applying to Kent State Florence Semester for instructions to apply through our online system.

Pre-Departure Series

Feel better prepared to go to Florence. Join our Florence Pre-Departure Series on all of the following dates. The pre-departure series is open to all committed Florence students of any major or cohort, but is highly recommended for those in the Business, Arts & Sciences, and Comprehensive cohorts. Topics to be covered include: Italian culture, financial aid information, a Florence-alumni panel & more!

  • Friday, October 18, 2019 - 2:00-3:00 PM - Business 206 - Program Cost and Financial Aid + How Italian Genius Shaped the World
  • Friday, October 25, 2019 - 2:00-3:00 PM - Business 206 - Culture Shock and Coping: Health and Wellness While Abroad
  • Friday, November 1, 2019 - 2:00-3:00 PM - Business 206 -Living Like a Florentine + Q&A with the Florence Program Coordinator
  • Friday, November 8, 2019 - 2:00-3:00 PM - Bowman 206 - Florence Alumni Panel
  • Friday, November 15, 2019 - 2:00-3:00 PM - Bowman 206 - Italian Culture
Life in Florence

Read about Life in Florence to learn about fun activities the city offers as well as the history of our Kent State Florence campus buildings.

Class Information

For detailed information about classes, including course descriptions, refer to the Course Offerings page.


To review program fees and what those fees include, check out Program Costs.

Florence Faculty and Staff

Meet our faculty and staff by looking at the staff profiles.


FALL 2019 Lecture Series

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 6:30 PM – Palazzo Vettori - Lecture Hall

Davide Lombardo (Kent State University Florence)

Whatever it takes? European Union 2019:  the State and Future of the Union. 

Davide Lombardo, Ph.D., teaches for the Department of Political Science at Kent State University Florence.  He holds a doctorate in History and Civilization from the European University Institute (Fiesole, Italy). Dr. Lombardo holds an Italian Degree on Modern Italian history, a French Degree on Modern French history, and has studied extensively at Edinburgh, York (UK), Grenoble (France), Pisa and Florence (Italy). In 2009 he was Visiting Research Fellow of the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale University, Visiting Fellow of the Yale Center for British Art, and Andrew W. Mellon Fellow of the Huntington Library.  His researches focus on European Urban Culture from the 19th  to the 20th century. Dr. Lombardo has recently published on the representation of urban spaces in Daumier and on the everyday life in De Certau.


2019 saw two major political event, Brexit and the European elections in may which determined a new parliament and a new commission.  Moreover the transition is still ongoing with the upcoming (end of October) change of President for the European Central Bank with the stepping down of Mario Draghi. This lecture will attempt to assess the new balance of power within the European Union and will look forward to the possible outlooks for the process of integration, the challenge of migration, the Balcan enlargement, as well as the survival of the Euro and of EU.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 6:30 PM – Palazzo Vettori - Lecture Hall

Nicoletta Peluffo (Kent State University Florence)

The Traveling Puppet: Pinocchio from Italy to the USA

Nicoletta Peluffo  has received her Ph.D. in Literature and Media from IULM, International University of Literature and Media, Milan, Italy: her final dissertation focused on transmediality and parody in one of the most important novels of Italian literature: The Adventures of Pinocchio. She earned her MA in Modern Literatures and Languages  at IULM  and a second level Master degree in Teaching Italian  as a Second Language at the Università Cà Foscari in Venice. In Kent State University Florence center she serves as coordinator for the College of the Arts and Sciences and she teaches Italian language and culture. Her research interests are mainly in the field of  comparative literatures and storytelling, with a special focus on narratology and linguistics.


From its publication in 1883, the novel The Adventures of Pinocchio has been the subject of many retellings, rewritings, adaptations, abridgments and reductions thanks to his “genetic power” whose strength is to create a perpetual cooperation with the readers. Its protagonist, the puppet Pinocchio, has travelled outside the borders of its novel and of Italy thus becoming an icon of pop culture, in particular after Disney version. This lecture outlines the main steps of Pinocchio journey from Italy to the USA through adaptation and revival.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 6:30 PM - Auditorium al Duomo

Eike Schmidt, Ph.D. (Director Uffizi Gallery)

Title TBA

Art historian, born in 1968 in Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany). In 2009 he passed with distinction the PhD in art history at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, with a dissertation on “The Medici’s collection of ivory sculptures in the 16th and 17th centuries”. He has worked and lived in Italy for a long time, especially in Florence, where from 1994 to 2001 he was scholar and researcher at the Deutsches Kunsthistorisches Institut. In 1997 he was awarded the ‘Nicoletta Quinto’ prize by the Premio internazionale Galileo Galilei Foundation of Pisa. From 2001 to 2006 he was curator and researcher at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. From 2004 to 2008 he participated in the research project entitled “Women at the Medicean Court”, at the Biblioteca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History Library, Rome. From 2006 to 2008 he was curator in the Department of Sculptures & Decorative Arts at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. From 2008 to 2009 he was Director and  head of the Department of European Sculpture & Works of Art at Sotheby’s, London. From 2008 to 2015 he was member of the Scientific Committee of the Sculpture Journal, London. From 2009 to 2015 he was curator and head of the Department of Decorative Arts, Textiles & Sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. From 2011 to 2015 he was member of the Scientific Committee of TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair), Maastricht, Netherlands. Since November 2015 he is the Director of the Uffizi Galleries. Internationally renowned expert in Florentine art, he has published several  monographies and dozens of essays. He has received the Awards ‘Museum Acquisitions of the Year’ Awards by the Apollo magazine seven times, for artworks acquired for the J. Paul Getty Museum and Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In 2017 he was honoured with the ‘Wooow’ prize by the students from Novara (Italy) and the ‘Excellency Award’ by the Foundation for Italian Art and Culture (New York). Since 2017 he is honorary professor at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin.


SPRING 2019 Lecture Series

Monday, February 4, 2019, 6:30 PM – Lecture Hall

George Cochrane (Fairleigh Dickinson University)

Dante's Inferno: The Making of a New Illuminated Manuscript

Born in 1971 at an American army hospital in Fuert, Germany, George Cochrane grew up in Dublin, New Hampshire. His art training began at the Cambridge School in Weston, Massachusetts and continued at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where he earned his B.A. During college, Cochrane worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and studied in Florence, Italy for his junior year. He earned an M.F.A. from Hunter College, City University of New York. His oil paintings, drawings and prints have been exhibited at venues including the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), North Adams, Massachusetts; Guild Hall, East Hampton, New York; Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, Minnesota; Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey; Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York; Momenta Art, Brooklyn, New York; Repetti Gallery, Long Island City, New York; and Galerie Martin Kudlek, Cologne. His Graphic Novel work has appeared in publications, including ESOPUS and BOMB magazines. The first three chapters of his autobiographical graphic novel Long Time Gone debuted in 2009 at MASS MoCA. The Tweed Museum of Art exhibited Chapter 4 in 2010. Recently, at 153 Coffey Street in Brooklyn, NY, he exhibited paintings, the first seven chapters of Long Time Gone, along with his new illuminated manuscript of Dante's Inferno for Thornwillow Press, Newburgh, New York. Cochrane is an Associate Professor of Studio Art at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey. He lives with his wife, daughter, and dog in Brooklyn, New York. 

Monday, April 8, 2019, 6:30 PM – Lecture Hall

Claudia Rossano (Kent State University Florence Center)

The Mystery of Evolution. From Non-Living Molecules to Human Being

Claudia Rossano earned her undergraduate degree in Biology (2001) and got her Ph.D. in Ethology and Animal Ecology (2004) at the University of Florence. Part of her work on biological clocks was undertaken at the School of Biosciences in Birmingham (UK), where she started a collaboration that resulted in the publication of several papers on the ecological and physiological significance of circadian and ultradian rhythms in animals. Since 2002 she actively participated in numerous EU Framework programs on comparative and integrated approach to the ecology of Mediterranean coastal zones, cooperating with several Universities and Institutes mainly in Europe and North Africa (CNRS, Rennes, France; School of Biosciences, Birmingham, UK; HCMR, Heraklion, Crete; Universitè de Tunis, Tunisia; University of Alexandria, Egypt; Università di Cagliari, Italy). From 2011 to 2015 she worked in the Mapmed Project, on use of bioremediation technologies in Mediterranean touristic ports and transfer of monitoring tools to institutional authorities, with a task on the evaluation of the ecosystem status based on the association of water and sediment macrofauna to phytoplankton and microbial communities. Her actual research interests include biological rhythms, behavioral variability and adaptation, semi-terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, biodiversity, conservation and animal ecology. 


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