Be sure that you have a current and valid passport (valid for at least three months after the last day of the program and your departure from Italy).
Students with a U.S. or E.U. passport will not need to obtain a visa for their stay in Italy. Some international students (depending on nationality) may need to obtain a visa though. If that is the case, you are responsible for gathering all documentation and going to your regional Italian Consulate to obtain the visa. As you are not going to enroll in an Italian institution and trips and visits represent a significant part of the program, you should apply for a tourist visa.
The Consulate General of Italy in Boston provides visas to permanent residents of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, or to students enrolled in colleges and universities in those states. The Consulate is located on the 17th floor of the Federal Reserve Bank Building, 600 Atlantic Avenue, tel. 617-722-9201/02/03. The closest T stop is South Station. Visa applications are accepted only by appointment: click here to book an appointment.
If you need to apply for a visa please do not delay: although it usually takes less than a month to get a visa, sometimes it can be a lengthy process. For more information about the documents that you need to bring to the Consulate, click this link and scroll down to the section “Tourist Visa.”
1) You are required to bring to the Consulate your round-trip ticket or proof of your reservation (point 5 in the Consulate’s list). Please understand that you cannot change the departure date after applying for the visa.
2) As you will be required to show “proof of lodging” (point 6), contact both the Summer School (<firstname.lastname@example.org>) and Prof. Erspamer for a letter. You will need to specify the names and addresses of your residences in Milan and Siena (find them here).
3) As “proof of economic means of support” (point 7) you must submit three most recent bank statements from a US banking institution or an official letter from your American bank.
4) As “documentation of socio-professional standing” (point 8) you must provide an enrollment certificate to Harvard University or to your college.
5) You must also submit proof of health insurance (point 9) with a minimum coverage of €30,000 for emergency hospital expenses. Your policy must include coverage for “medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.” Contact your health insurance provider to request that document.
6) You need also to provide proof of residence in the U.S.
7) You must bring with you a recent passport-size photo (1.2″x1.5″ OR 3×4 cm) on white background, full face and front view.
To find out if you need a visa to enter Italy, you can consult the visa database of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Click on the question “Do you need a visa?” and then complete the fields for nationality, residence, duration of stay (“up to 90 days”) and reason for visit (“Tourism”). This will take you to a page with information on whether you need a visa to enter Italy and information on the application requirements. Please note, this information is not exhaustive and is intended as guidance only.
Check also the “List of countries whose citizens are exempt from the visa requirement for short stays” published by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.