Milan and Siena 2022

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Before leaving

  • Arriving late in Milan or departing early from Siena is not permitted. It is important for all students to be present for the entire duration of the program.
    As the first event of the program is our welcome dinner on Saturday, June 18, please arrive in Milan and check in at the Residence Zara earlier that day. If convenient for you, you can also arrive the day before, Friday, June 17; in this case, please let Prof. Erspamer know well in advance so that your room can be booked also for that night. If at all possible, select flights that arrive in Milan during the day and that would allow you to get to the Residence earlier than 8:00 PM.
  • Although rules may change by mid June, it is likely that in order to board your plane and enter Italy you will need your CDC vaccination card or other certification approved by the Italian government. Proof of vaccination may also prove necessary to access public transportation, restaurants, classrooms, and other venues while in Italy. Please store a picture of the card or certification on your phone and, if possible, download the digital vaccine card and QR code (in Massachusetts, access the new tool at MyVaxRecords.Mass.Gov; or check the websites of other states’ health departments).
    Please contact prof. Erspamer if you are unsure about the validity of your card or certification.
  • If you do not have a current passport (valid for at least three months after the last day of the program and with at least two empty ‘visa’ pages), then apply for one as soon as possible.
  • U.S. and E.U. citizens 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 the Italian Consulate to obtain the visa. Obtaining a visa might be a lengthy process; do start it as soon as you joined the program. Please apply for a tourist visa (“short term”), not for a student visa. Click here for more information about visas.
  • You must have a health insurance plan that provides full coverage during your stay in Italy. If when you filled out the application you didn’t enter your own health insurance information, then you will be automatic enrolled, for a fee, in the Harvard Summer School plan.
  • If you arrive in Italy before the beginning of the program or stay after the end, be sure to have health coverage. International SOS will assist you up to a week before and a week after the official period of the program. You can purchase from them coverage and assistance for the extra days or weeks that you plan to spend in Europe.
    Download on your smartphone the International SOS Assistance App and register to it. Register your trip in MyTrips.
    Please remember to bring with you a sufficient supply of any necessary prescribed medication: in Italy you might not be able to find that medication, or it could require a prescription by an Italian doctor.
    All participants are encouraged to travel with a basic first-aid kit. It might include: aspirin or ibuprofen, antacids for stomach upset, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness pills, antibiotic ointment, decongestant, band-aids, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent. Mosquito repellent is particularly important, especially in Milan.
  • Students with disabilities or who have accommodation needs due to a disability must contact the Accessibility Services Office. Click here for more information.
  • Please complete all the steps and tasks required by the Summer School; for more information check this page.
  • Book your flight to Italy in advance; prices may increase and fewer options may become available. You may want to contact other students in order to travel together and share the cost of taxis to and from the airport.
    Remember that with most flights to Europe you will be departing the day before the day you wish to arrive.
    When purchasing your ticket be sure that the fare includes one checked bag (usually 44 or 50 lbs). It is imperative that you travel with no more than one suitcase and one carry-on. If students come with too much luggage, it will be impossible to fit it all on our transport bus from Milan to Siena and you might have to ship your extra luggage. You may choose to fill your suitcase only partially in case you want to bring back purchases after the summer.
    For your return flight you may consider leaving from the airports in Rome Fumicino, Florence, or Pisa rather than from Milan. Your accommodation in Siena has been booked until Wednesday, August 18.
    Note that if the intermediate stop of your return flight is in Europe your luggage will be sent directly to your final destination. If it is in the United States you’ll have to clear customs at that airport. Aer Lingus allows you to clear U.S. customs in Dublin, before boarding your plane.
    Click here for more information about your return flight.
    Click here for information on how to get to your residence in Milan from the airport.
  • Depending on the place and time of your departure, you may find it difficult to get to the airport from Siena on the same day by public transportation. In that case, consider sharing a taxi (ideally an 8-passenger minibus) with other students to get directly to the airport from Siena.
  • Please remember that you must purchase the following four books in advance and in the United States. You’ll then have to bring the books to Italy. The books are:
    – Patrick Boucheron, Machiavelli: The Art of Teaching People What to Fear (Other Press).
    – Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities (Harcourt).
    – Giovanni Della Casa, Galateo or, The Rules of Polite Behavior (Chicago).
    – Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just (Princeton).
    Click here for more information.
    It is strongly suggested that you read at least the readings for the first week before the beginning of the program, and in particular Kant’s selection (almost 200 pages) and d’Annunzio’s novel. Click here for more information.
  • For the duration of the program, students are asked to have a working cellular phone so that teachers can reach them in case of emergency and vice versa. Ask your American carrier for international plans and be sure that the phone would work in Europe. It may be cheaper to buy an Italian SIM card with a pre-paid account upon arrival in Italy. The SIM can be used with an American cell phone only if it is tri-band or quad-band phone, if it has been unlocked, and if it has GSM capabilities. Otherwise, you should purchase a cell phone in Milan. Click here for more information about cell phones and cell phone plans in Italy.
  • Please note that credit cards transactions may be denied because done overseas or your card may be blocked. To prevent this inconvenience inform in advance your credit card that you will spend two months in Italy.
  • If you use your debit card to withdraw euros at an Italian teller machine you may be charged a fee. Ask your American bank if they have a partner institution in Italy, so that you can withdraw cash in their branches without paying a fee.
  • Bring with you a couple of passport-size photos. You will need one for your bus and subway pass in Milan. The program pay for that pass but you have to provide the photo. Otherwise you’ll find photo booths in the main subway stations in Milan, including Stazione Centrale and Romolo (the station close to IULM University).
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