Buongiorno da Italia!

Buongiorno a tutti! I am very excited to blog for SDSU: Be International as I travel throughout Italy! This space is usually reserved for students, so I am particularly honored to be one of the first blogging profs!

I am teaching a Faculty-Led Study Abroad program named “Connecting Art and ScienceThe Cultural History of Art and Anatomy in Italy” that runs from June 26-July 8. In this course, students explore the cultural heritage of anatomy education by traveling to Italy where this modern science began. Students visit science museums in Europe’s oldest universities in Rome, Florence, Bologna and Padua, to see historic dissection theaters and centuries old anatomic wax sculptures. We also visit the Vatican Museums, Borghese Gallery, Uffizi Gallery and more!


Students consider the anatomical accuracy of Renaissance masterpieces, the history of science and medicine, as well as the connection between art and science. Students also get the opportunity to experience a new culture, learn a bit of a new language and connect with professors and students in Italy.

Although this is my fourth Study Abroad course with SDSU students, and my tenth educational program in Italy, each experience is new and exciting. Watching students with awed faces as they stand before Michelangelo’s “David”, or inside a 16th century dissection theater, is an experience that I always find rewarding. Students often comment that after this course, their minds are changed forever.

In the coming weeks I will blog from Rome, Florence, and Padua, so please follow me and my SDSU students. Presently I am in Sicily giving an invited lecture at the University of Palermo. I’m also here establishing contacts, and visiting potential venues for a future study abroad program in Southern Italy exploring Greco-Roman expressions of the human body. So stay tuned for that too!

For now, Arrivederci, e ci vediamo a Roma!

Kevin Petti is a professor of human anatomy and physiology at Miramar College. He teaches the faculty-led study abroad program “Connecting Art and Anatomy in Italy” for SDSU, and will blog from Italy this summer.

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