29 September 2010

Home for sale

If you've got a spare 8 million dollars burning a hole in your pocket, here's one way to spend it.


I wonder what Seneca would say about spending one's money in such a fashion!

(We won't be getting down to Positano, which is on the Amalfi coast south of Naples, but it looks like a beautiful place to live. And the house featured here is not too shabby either....)

Ancient Italian Town Now Has Wind at Its Back

Article from the NY Times on 28 September. Thought some might be interested. Pretty big step for Italy in it's quest to be more economically and environmentally friendly.


22 September 2010

Seneca's Essays

On Facing the World with Confidence:


This essay explains how to keep yourself safe. It says to own nothing that could stir jealousy in others, keep to yourself, live a private life--as to avoid notice of others. Don't voice your opinions to the public, do not gossip. Do not provoke anyone, use common sense. Having a lot of money or power could lead you to danger as well. No one who can arouse terror can live with peace of mind. And most importantly don't do wrong, because even if no one finds out, you will always know that you did it. This seems to connect with the Dichotomy of Control because you are doing everything in your control to avoid disappointment.

On Rest and Restlessness:


This essay relates to Negative Visualization because it says that when people are constantly moving around from place to place, they are always unhappy and will never find peace. These people can never heal from past hurts because as they move from place to place trying to forget these people or events, they are really only stirring up past memories that cause more pain. People should settle down in one place, interrupted, in order to heal and find inner peace.


I read Seneca's letter on good company. This letter discusses that the time you have to spend with others is your free time and it is in your control what you do with it. This idea is represented in the technique of dicotomy of control. In order to avoid disappointment you can control the people you spend your free time with so surround yourself with people in good standing and that you enjoy being around.

I also read Seneca's letter on the friendship of kindred minds. This letter was interesting, I got the feeling it was referring to self denial. Seneca talks about not allowing yourself to be friends with someone until they develop themselves into the type of person you want to spend time with. He says "such a joy is light and fleeting" referring to spending time with someone you love, but when the person you love is the sort of person that you desire them to be then the joy is sustained. This phrase is what made me think of self denial because this technique enables you to enjoy things more and for a longer period of time instead of having fleeting joy.

21 September 2010

Seneca Letters

The first letter I read was on Self Control. This letter was about your emotions and how they can become vices if you become overindulged in them. No matter what, people will experience certain feelings and desires that they can't always control. But, if you act on these emotions and let yourself become overindulged in them sometimes it is hard and almost impossible to make them go away. What Seneca says is ideal, but also hard to do, is being able to let yourself indulge in emotions and give into certain desires only in moderation. This letter relates to the philosophical technique of Dichotomy of Control. Our thoughts which can dictate our emotions and desires are not always up to us and are out of our control. But what is up to us is how we choose to act on those thoughts and desires.
The second letter I read was On Grief for Lost Friends. This letter was about the line between what is a normal amount of grieving for the death of a friend and what is considered an excessive and unnecessary amount. Seneca says he "would not have you sorrow more than is fitting". Seneca points out that humans are mortal beings and at any moment their time on Earth can run out. This letter relates to the philosophical technique of Negative Visualization because if you visualize what your life would be like if you lost a good friend, it will help your realize and appreciate them more while they are still alive. If and when they do pass away, because everyone eventually does, you will not dwell and grieve for an unnecessarily long period of time, because you already accepted that it was going to happen. And, because of negative visualization you didn't take them for granted while they were still alive.


Seneca's Essays

For the first essay I chose "Instinct in Animals". In this essay Seneca talks of how our instincts are natural, just like animals instincts are natural. He also talks of how everyone has their own constitution and this constitution changes during the different stages of life. Seneca says we must act natural in all situations no matter what it may be because this is how Nature intended us to act. Constitution ties into this idea because Seneca says that during the stages of our life (infant, child, youth, adult) we learn actions that are appropriate for that age and we develop things that are needed for that age. Finally Seneca discusses our souls which he describes as "the consciousness of our constitutions". This is knowing that we are doing something from instinct but we don't know why we are doing it. In relation to our souls Seneca notices that animals show no sign of low self-esteem or carelessness of self so we should try to take after them in this manner.

For the second essay I chose "True and False Riches". Seneca says that it is not that impressive to refuse delicate food and eat common things, but it more impressive to give up common food and eat uncommon food. This causes us to appreciate the delicate foods when we have the opportunity to eat them. The same goes for other items of wealth. He says that as long as we have the essentials we should be happy and we will enjoy wealthy things more than those who experience wealth all the time.

Seneca Essays


The first essay I chose was “On The Futility Of Planning Ahead”. The entire essay seemed to be based around the technique of dichotomy (or trichotomy) of control. He basically is saying throughout the entire essay that we’re planning for eternity, but death is always over our shoulders. Many people pray and beg for a longer life and will do anything to prolong it and have less suffering, but death is one of those things that is completely out of our control, so why waste time worrying about it. I feel this is represented quite clearly in the following section, “But how foolish it is to set out one’s life, when one is not even the owner of the morrow! (uncertainty)”. He says that worrying about the outcome of our future just “eats away the mind” because essentially it is out of our control and just causes unnecessary fear.


The second essay I chose was “On Discursiveness In Reading”. He says, “Do you ask what is the proper limit to wealth? It is, first, to have what is necessary, and, second, to have what is enough”. He’s telling us that happiness and contentment lies within what we have in life and we need to stop striving for things that we do not have. He also refers to the technique of fatalism. He says, “’Contented poverty is an honourable estate.’ Indeed, if it be contented, it is not poverty at all. It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor”. If one’s fate is to be poor and live in poverty, then they need to live contently in the poverty because that’s how they were meant to be. This same idea was used in describing reading. Reading many books or authors at one time is not appreciating what you have and is nothing but a distraction. You will never fully appreciate a book or author until you focus solely on that one without thinking what else is out there to read.


In "On Old Age and Death" Seneca writes that "old age is a time of bloom" and a great time for one's mind. Seneca also counsels to be ready for death and that it could come at any time. He also writes that one must learn how to die and that "he who has learned to die has unlearned slavery." His belief is that at death "there is only one chain which binds us to life, and that is the love of life." I think fatalism comes in to play with this letter because death is a part of life and also the idea that do not worry about what is beyond your control is a big lesson in this teaching.

"On the Trials of Travel" was written by Seneca after a long voyage from Baiae to Naples. He finds it foolish that we will fear one thing more than another even when they will both end the same way. Seneca also ponders about the soul and remarks that the soul can not be "arrested or destroyed inside of the body" but can escape through any part of the body. This writing uses the logic of do not concern yourself with things that are beyond your control for if you fear your soul dying you should not because since it cannot be crushed then it can not be harmed.

Seneca Essays

The first essay that I read was "Self-Control"- CXVI. This essay mainly focused on self control of indulging in our emotions and personal desires like wealth. Many people want to obtain wealth and a high status, but the stoics believe that this will not bring a person happiness. One quote from the essay says, "We are endowed by Nature with an interest in our own well-being; but this very interest, when overindulged, becomes a vice." The writer of the essay talks about how it is very important to at first resist and avoid any temptations of over indulging because it will almost always be easier to avoid them, than to rid yourself of the habit. The more temptations that we give in to will only lead to an unhappier life. The stoics believe that we should live a normal life, which would consist of normal-average daily living even if you have enough wealth to buy more expensive things. This way of living uses the philosophical technique dichotomy of control. When practicing dichotomy of self-control, a person must set the goal to not give in to ones personal desires. We have the ability to control things like our personality, values, and goals. The stoic of this essay says that many people make up excuses for not controlling their personal desires because they love those vices and are unwilling to practice control.

The second essay I chose was "On Values" XLII. This essay is also about having self-control. It talks about valuing ones self by not over indulging because when we over indulge in objects sometimes we ended paying for them more that we actually thought we would. Material things do not add much value to our lives and the feeling that they give us will eventually fade, so it is important to have the self-control not to indulge in these things. One quote from this essay that makes a good point is, "We are eager to attain them at the cost of anxiety, of danger, and of lost honour, personal freedom, and time; so true is it that each man regards nothing as cheaper than himself." We must own ourselves before we focus on owning other things.

Kailee Miller

Seneca Essays

LXVIII: On Wisdom and Retirement


The first essay I read was "On Wisdom and Retirement," in it Seneca discusses how someone should go about retiring. He said that they should not announce that they will retire because they usually hide away from the world and this leads to other people to gossip about what has happened to the retiree. Seneca also suggests to spend your new acquired free time to do what you wish and not worry about what could have been. This essay is a prime example of Fatalism because Seneca is saying that after you retire you should move on with your life and not dwell on the past events that could have made what you are today different.

LXIII: On Grief for Lost Friends


This essay is about how Seneca feels that we should grieve the lose of friends, even though he says that it would be ideal if we were not affected by this tragic event. He says that someone who does not grieve is ideal, but we "may be forgiven for bursting into tears." Seneca understands that grief is a necessary emotion and that there is no way to avoid it entirely. He does however say that is important to not allow our grief to flow without some control over it. I think this essay goes along with the idea of Negative Visualization because Seneca tells us to enjoy our friends now because you never know how long they will be here. With this, if we appreciate the good times we have with friends now, when they go, it won't be as difficult because we will have the memories of those better times.

Seneca Essays

The frist essay I chose was "Facing Hardships." Basically what what Seneca is saying is the only things in life that are miserable are the things we make out to be miserable. He expalins that it isnt by chance that hardships occur, its by nature. It is natural for us to encounter hardships in our lives. Troubles are just a part of life. Senecca goes on to say that we must just agree with God's decision to allow this hardships to happen in our life. This idea connects with the concept of Fatalism. Fatalism urges us to just take things as they are/ as they come. To help us succeed with this we can think of how things could be worse, but do not think about how they could be better. Because how can we appreciate the good things in life if we dont experience the bad? This essay also connects to the idea of Dichotomy of Control, this concepts teaches us that we can't control what hardships come our way, but we can control how we react to them (if we choose to make them unbearable or not).

The second essay i choose was "Self Control." This essay ask the question is it better to have moderate emotions or no emotions at all? It is natural for us as humans to be affected by man's opions, to become affected by negative things that happen to us. It is natural for us to have certain desires and pleasures we want fullfilled. But what Seneca is saying is if you allow that desire to begin, you can't be so sure that you will be able to stop it. In other words it is eaiser to deny a desire from the beginning then to make it go away after we let it in. If you cant control the little that you have, it is better for you to aviod it all together. Of course we can't deny ourselves of everything, its okay to feel emotion and to experience pleasure, but only if we can do so in moderation. This essay connects with the idea of Fatalism also, Fatalism teaches us to learn to desire what we already have (and not what we wish to have). It also connects with Self-Denail because this concept tells us it's okay to enjoy pleasures, its okay to experience emotion; but dont abuse them. By practicing self-denial we are gaining a sense of self-control.

Seneca essays


The first topic I chose was about saving time. This was of particular interest to me because, being a college student, I have many things to do, and never enough time to get everything done. In this essay, Seneca describes how time is constantly slipping away from us, and most of the time we spend is without purpose. Therefore he advises us to not to waste anymore time because by the time we die, it will be too late. In connection to our lecture on Monday, three of the four psychological techniques can be applied to the concept of saving time. As time is slipping away, we should be pondering, "What if I didn't have this time that has been given to me?" The thought alone should give you a greater appreciation for the time you have, making you value it more. We experience hedonic adaptation in reference to time because we grow accustomed to having control over what we do with our time, all the while unaware that time is slipping away. Related to this idea is the dichotomy of control, meaning that some things we have complete control of, some things we have partial control of, and some things are completely out of our control. Time is related to all three of these concepts because although we can not control time ticking away, we can somewhat control what we do with our time. Prior obligations do take some of the time that we have, but it is our decision to do with our free time whatever we choose.

The second of the Seneca letters that I read concerned true and false friendships. Seneca felt that a true friend is someone you can trust, and who knows you as well as you know yourself. You should feel comfortable telling your friends anything, and you should keep friends that are loyal and are not deceiteful. Seneca's thoughts about this topic can be related to the philisophical techniques of negative visualization and self-denial. For example, if you visualize your life without your true friends, you will learn to appreciate their company more, and not take for granted their presence in your life. Self-denial could also be practiced by putting yourself in a situation in which you are around complete strangers. Therefore when you are with your friends, you will be able to reflect on that experience and enjoy the comfortibility of the situation.

Seneca Eassy

The first essay I chose was 'On the Reasons for Withdrawing from the World'. Seneca discusses how humans should not become slaves to the body, but rather embrace and enjoy it. He states that many others we will meet in life will judge us on our body or enslave it, but as an individual we need to cherish our body and yet be prepared to sacrifice it when the time comes. The ideas of negative visualization and fatalism are seen in this essay. Seneca wants us to remember that while we cherish our body we must also not take in for granted. In this aspect the concept of negative visualization plays out when we remind ourselves what it would be like without our healthy body. The second idea of Stoicism was fatalism. We must be ready to give up our body when the time comes, which is something decided by fate.

The second essay I chose was 'On Saving Time'. In this essay, Seneca tells his friend that time is slipping away from them and if they do not begin to enjoy every second life has offered them, they will never begin to enjoy life as a whole. Seneca points out that the greatest lost of time is when we give our time to carelessness and choose to ignore what is going on around us. The Stoicism ideas that are expressed in this essay are control and fatalism. We can not control how much time we are given, therefore we should not worry about it and instead use the time we have as productively and joyfully as possible. We also do not know when our time will run out, therefore we should go with the flow and play your role as best as possible, leaving the rest up to fate.

Seneca Letters



The first letter I chose was grief for lost friends, it mentions that when a friend dies we may weep but we must not wail. The Seneca letter follows Irvine's Negative Visualization. In the letter it mentions "Let us greedily enjoy our friends, because we do not know how long this privilege will be our." Sencea is saying that we need to enjoy our friends while they are still on earth, and when they do die, do not mourn but think of friends who are alive and well and that is like enjoying a meal of cakes and honey.


In the second reading I chose was if someone can have a true or false friendship. In this reading Seneca is saying that if a person considers someone there friend, but does not trust them, then they do not truly understand what true friendship means. This reading can go with Hedonic Adaptation because this is a change or experience that can temporarily affect happiness. When friendship is settled, you must trust; before friendship is formed, you must pass judgment.

Seneca Essay


The first letter I choose was On Facing Hardship, in this letter it mentions that with all the complaining about bad circumstances, there is really only one bad part of this whole equation which is you complaining. He mentions that affairs come by order and not by chance. In life you will have the ups and downs that’s apart of living. This attitude on facing hardships is similar in the dichotomy of control, you can’t control everything bad in your life, things are going to happen to you and you will just need to accept it. Focus on the things in life you can control with the help of setting goals.


In the second letter I choose On the Diseases of the Soul, in this letter Seneca mentions there is a difference between the disease of the mind and its passions. The diseases are “harden and chronic vices, such as greed and ambition”, while passions are “objectionable impulses of the spirit, sudden and vehement.” With the diseases of the mind like greed and ambition can be an impulse from not letting go of incident in the past, for example whether you think someone has more than you. But with fatalism you have to let go of the past to be able to move on with the future. Only at that time will you be “undisturbed by fears, unspoiled by pleasures, we shall be neither afraid of death nor the Gods, it means not craving wickedness or excess; it means possessing supreme power over oneself.”

Senaca Essays

LXIII On Grief for Lost Friends
The sentence that reads " Even such a man will be stung by an event like this, but it will be only a sting." I believe in this sentence he is relating to the negative visualization because if the person who lost that friend had known that people are mortal and will die one day then he would come to accept that death and it would only hurt a little. Another sentence that follows this technique to Stoicism is "Let us greedily enjoy our friends, because we do not know how long this privilege will be our." Also, this reminded me on the two fathers that Irvine compared in the book. The father that cherished the time he had with his daughter the less painful her death would be compared to the father that never thought that the last moment he had with his daughter would be his last.

LVII On Trails of Travel
This caught my attention because it as about travel and I thought it would relate to our trip to Italy. In this letter a voyage is discussed and how two problems or inconveniences occur, but then in my opinion he thinks of the positive side. Almost like fatalism and not seeing how it could be better. "The gloom, however, furnished me with some food for thought; I felt a certain mental thrill, and a transformation unaccompanied by fear, due to the novelty and the unpleasantness of an unusual occurrence." This can be related to out trip if we get stuck in traffic or it is raining.

20 September 2010

Seneca Essays and Stoic Techniques

"On the God Within Us"

"On the Healing Power of the Mind"

"On the Healing Power of the Mind": The prominent theme of this essay is the use of positive thinking to overcome physical illness. A milder theme of the essay is death and how one should look at death. The themes relate to the dichotomy of control and fatalism, respectively.
The former relates in that one cannot control illness, or more specifically it is a thing of which we have some but not complete control. One can do things to hopefully stay healthy (eat well, exercise, proper hygiene, etc.) but for the most part we cannot control physical illness as it is an occurrence of nature. But what we can control in the situation is our mental state. If an ailed man sets the mental goal that he can overcome the illness, and thinks positively that others have faced similar hardship, along with focusing on positive memories, then he gains some control. Though positive thinking cannot guarantee a return to health, it will keep his spirits high and provide him with strength, in a sense.
The topic of death relates to fatalism in that Seneca tells us that death is inevitable. To quote, "you will die, not because you are ill, but because you are alive; even when you have been cured, the same end awaits you; when you have recovered, it will be not death, but ill-health that you have escaped." We are all merely actors, as Epictetus said. We are playing a role and the final scene is death. Death, however, can relate to the dichotomy of control as well due to that fact that we cannot control it. If death occurs naturally, that is, not by suicide, murder, or some form of assistance, then we cannot know its place and time. It is completely out of our hands.

"On the God Within Us": I couldn't make any strong connections between the techniques and this section. The title very much explains the topic. The essay has an Eastern religion vibe, but there are also references to Western conception of god as well. The essay conflates these two viewpoints, but does positively so that we see the importance of the god that dwells within, and also the god that dwells within nature.

17 September 2010

Benvenuti to the Otterbein in Italy Blog

This blog is for students in Otterbein University's Integrative Studies course that is learning about, and then traveling to, Italy in the Fall of 2010. If you received an invitation to be an "author" of this blog, please create a new post, and introduce yourself! If you're not sure how to proceed, don't worry--we'll talk about it in class.


Dr Mills & Dr Johnson

16 September 2010

Italian Serie A

All, not sure if any of you are as interested in European football as I am, but I thought I'd give you the link to the Italian Serie A main page on ESPN. Soccer is a huge part of the current culture not only in Italy but the rest of Europe as well. We'll be in Italy right in the middle of the Serie A season, and also in the final week of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. AC Milan, Roma, and Internazionale are representing Italy in the Champions League, and the final week will likely determine who will go on to the elimination rounds. Milan is always a favourite to advance, but they were just dealt bad news for their next match as their captain and also one of their best forwards are both sidelined with injuries. This story just broke today.

Sorry I won't be rooting for any Italian teams while we're over there, I'm a Chelsea fan. But if you're interested here's the Serie A link and a link to the UEFA site.



Answer to 1.a. & 1.b.

Qualifications for a site/place/or monuments to become a World Heritage Site include being unique and diverse, it must also be considered to be of outstanding valie to humanity. A World Heritage Site (WHS) can be natural or man-made. Postives for being a community surrounding sites would include just being located to one of many "wonders of the world," another would be that WHS receive emergency assistance if they are in immediate danger, so your community too would receive similar assistance. A negative of having your community surround a WHS would be the tourism that might take place.
One WHS in Italy is Venice and its Lagoon. This site is important because buildings (big and small) contain work from some of the greatest artist to ever live. The site is also absolutely beautiful and its lagoons spread over 118 islands.
A second WHS is the Ferra, City of the Renaissance and its Po Delta. This location marked the beginning of modern town planning. It also displays to universal heritage the infulence of Renaissance culture on a natural landscape.
Finally a third WHS is the Church and Dominican covent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. On a wall of this church is the painting of "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci. One of the greatest artist of all time, and one of the most famous art peices as well.

Hello from Courtney

Hi my name is Courtney Kent. I am from Ontario Ohio (Mansfield) and I am a Junior. I transferred here in the middle of my freshman year from Wright State University. I am a Public Relations major with a business marketing minor. I am looking forward to this class and especailly to our trip to Italy. I have never left the country before that in itself is so exciting to me, not to mention the amazing museums, buildings, and art I will get to see while we are there!

15 September 2010

Questions to think about for Irvine, Part 1

There's no need to post answers to these questions on the blog (but feel free to, if you are so moved), but do think about these questions, and bring answers to them to class with you on Friday as we discuss Part 1 (Chapters 1-3) of William Irvine's book.

1. Irvine, in Chapter 1, introduces us to the notion of a philosophy of life. A philosophy of life involves two things: a conception of what the truly valuable things are and then a discussion of what the best means is to pursue those things. What is your philosophy of life?

2. Is it true, as Irvine says on pp. 22-23, that religions don’t offer a philosophy of life? They tell us what is required to be a good person, and what is required to have a good afterlife, but since they don’t tell us (or don’t tell us very much about) what is required to have a good life, they don’t offer a philosophy of life. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

3. On p. 27 Irvine very quickly describes three philosophies of life: those of the Cyreniacs, the Cynics, and the Stoics. Which of these three does your philosophy of life come closest to? If it doesn’t exactly match any of them, how does it compare?

4. What do the Stoics mean by tranquility? Is tranquility (as they understand it) something you value? Is it the most important thing? If it is, why is it so? And if it isn’t, what is more important?

5. Identify two or three positive aspects of Stoicism. That is, what are two or three good features, in your view, of the Stoic outlook? What are two or three problems you have with Stoicism?

Response to 1b

After looking at most of Heritage I found them very fascinating. The three that stuck out to me the most are: Isole Eolie, Crespi d'Adda, and Rock Drawings in Valcamonica. Isole Eolie shows scientist an outstanding record of volcanic island-building and destruction. Its landforms represent features for continuous studies of volcanos worldwide. Crespi d'Adda is a small town that was built for its workers in the 19th-20th century. Rock Drawings in Valcamonica consists of 140,000 engravings on about 2,400 rocks distributed on both sides. These carvings were carved in the rock over a period of 8,000 years. All three of theses Heritage sites are important because it helps us understand what happened years ago and what is now happening within our world. They are all an example of extraordinary phenomenons.

14 September 2010

Response to 1b

A World Heritage site is a site that is considered to be there for all of humanity not just the people by it. UNESCO's goal is to preserve and protect these sites for future generations of the world.

Italy has many sites on the list. I was surprised to see that only 3 were considered "natural" sites. The Dolomites are a mountain range in Northern Italy. The mountain range is a World Heritage site because it is considered one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world. The Dolomites also play a great significance to geomorphology, which is the study of how land forms are made and changing throughout time.

Another site is The Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. This church is important because it houses Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting, "The Last Supper." This painting is famous worldwide and was even featured in the movie, "The Da Vinci Code."

Response to 1.b.

World Heritage sites are different places, monuments, and artwork that have been considered to be of great value to humanity in one form or another. UNESCO tries to protect these sites so future generations can see our natural heritage.

The rock drawings in Valcamonica have more than 140,000 carvings that date back to over 8,000 years, representing a group of people that no longer exists. The figures of agriculture, dance, war, etc. help form ideas of how they once lived and thought, and further contribute to the fields studying their history and sociology.

The trulli of Alberobello are pyramid shaped dwellings that were formed from limestone boulders found in the surrounding fields. This sit represents the very beginning of a construction technique that is still used in today's modern buildings in this area.

-Erin Lenkey

Question 1B

World Heritage sites are places that are nominated to be protected and preserved by UNESCO because they are considered to be of extreme value to the people of the world. Italy has a very long list of World Heritage sites. One of the sites listed is Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto). These towns were built into the landscape, overcoming the disadvantages of the terrain creating beautiful sites that are examples of men working peacefully with nature. Another site listed is the Archaeological Area of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Torre Annunziata. This site is listed because when the volcano Vesuvius erupted it froze these cities in time so that you can go there today and virtually see what life was like during those ancient times.

Kailee Miller- Response to 1.B

Hi Everyone,

The list of World Heritage sites in Italy consists of a wide variety of different places and objects. They are all uniquely different, but some what the same because they all have some historical importance.

The first, World Heritage site that I chose was the Villa Adriana (Tivoli). This monument is important to a universal cultural heritage because it is a complex piece of work containing components from three popular countries- Egypt, Greece and Rome. This piece was created in 2nd Century a.d. by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and played an important role in the rediscovery of classical pieces of work. I think this piece is important because when people go to visit this monument they not only get to view something from Rome, but also Greece and Egypt.

The second, World Heritage site that I chose was the Val d'Orcia. The Val d'Orcia is a beautiful Renaissance agricultural landscape with towns, farm houses and well managed lands. It provides us with an example of what the landscape used to be like in Renaissance time. The people of this land have a great respect for nature and the earth, which gives us all something to follow. I think that it is an important Universal World Heritage site because it takes us back in time to what the landscape used to be like in the Renaissance time.

Kailee Miller

Response to 1.b.

The kind of sites that are designated as World Heritage sites are ones that are listed by UNESCO as having some sort of cultural or natural significance. They are sites that have an importance to all of humanity and ones that are worth protecting for future generations.

The City of Verona was founded in the first century B.C. and it has preserved a vast number of monuments from the Medieval and Renaissance periods. It also represents a military stronghold. All of this and the development of the architecture over 2,000 years makes the City of Verona important to our universal cultural heritage.

The Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes is a railway that opened in 1904 and it connects two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps. It has had a significant technical, architectural and environmental impact on the culture and society of the Central Alps. All of this and the impact the Rhaetian Railway had with the development of mountain railways makes it important to our universal cultural heritage.



Hey guys! I'm Erin Lenkey. I'm from Lisbon, Ohio and am a senior nursing major. I'm extremely excited to learn about and actually getting to explore what we've learned in Italy! I look forward to getting to know all of you!

Response to 1.b.

Though World Heritage sites can be naturally occurring, most of them are man-made, and referred to as Cultural Heritage sites. These specific sites are designated with such distinction not based on aesthetics alone, but also because of the importance of the history surrounding the site, it's influence on ancient and modern life, and it's universal applicability, that is, how it influences cultures from all regions of the world.

One site I wish to focus on is the Historic Centre of Siena. The gothic architecture is not only fascinating to me, but also had substantial influence on architecture and art throughout Europe. The Piazza del Campo looks to be a fascinating centre, and the Cathedral of Siena is a stunning Roman Catholic church.

A second site of importance are the Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia. These burial sites are not only some of the earliest known burial grounds in the northern Mediterranean civilization, but they also display large wall paintings that reveal aspects of life, death and religion in ancient Etruscan culture. The universal impact of this site is for the uniqueness of the tombs, which are unlike any other in design and structure. Also, burial sites have long been of importance to humankind, and a great deal of cultural knowledge can come from studying the grave sites of any civilization.
All the world heritage sites were places that held something worth saving or some sort of memory worth preserving. For example, the city of the Renaissance, Ferrara was a city that attracted important figures in the 15th and 16th century and became a model of the ideal city for the rest of the country. The memory of the city's importance is remembered through world heritage. Another site, Verona is known for its outstanding military background as well as many structural monuments that deserve to be remembered.

hello everyone!

Hey everyone, my name is Ashley Wilson and I am a senior nursing student. I am very excited to be going to Italy with you all. I don't know very much about the history of Italy or much about the philosophers and artwork there, but I am eager to learn as much as I can before we go.


The sites that have been chosen as World Heritage sites are places that have some kind of cultural, natural, or blend of cultural and natural significance globally. These places have had influences on the history of not only the countries in which they are located, but the world as well. Therefore, it is the belief of UNESCO that all people are responsible for preservation of these sites.

Although it was challenging to choose only a few sites to focus on, I was able to choose one cultural and two natural World Heritage sites.

The Historic Centre of Siena is located in Siena, which is a city in Tuscany. The center of this city was designated a World Heritage site because of it's medieval and gothic appearance. At this time between the 12th and 15th centuries, several artists wanted to greatly influence Italian and European art, and did so through the architecture of this city. Preserving this part of history gives insight into the culture of the time.

The Aeolian Islands are volcanic islands that have greatly contributed to the studies of geoscientists. The changes and eruptions that have occured over time have led to these islands being studied for over 200 years.

The Dolomites is a mountain range in the northern Italian alps that have been designated as a World Heritage site. (If you haven't seen the pictures of these you should definitely check them out!!!) The mountains contain many sites where geologists have uncovered fossils from the Triassic period. Some of the highest limestone walls in the world can be found here, alongside ledges and peaks that overlook meadows of incredible beauty. The area is protected by government provinces as well as staff members that control the number of visitors allowed on the property.

Melissa B.


Hi everyone I'm Olivia Pierce. I'm a junior Allied Health major from Monroe, OH. I am super excited to have the chance to travel to Italy with you all and spending the next 10 weeks learning all about the art and philosophy of Italy will just make the experience that much better. I'm really looking forward to get to know everyone..see you all tomorrow!


1 b Answer

Hey everyone,
So as I got looking at the list of historic sites on the world heritage site I choose 1st one to be the Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci. The Last Supper artwork was created by Leonardo di Vinci, whose work was "herald to a new era of art." This piece of artwork is known worldwide and has continued to be an inspiration for many artist. The second place is Venice and its lagoon. Venice is spread across the lagoon on 118 islands. The architect of the buildings are one of a kind, with many of the buildings containing works of art.

Hello Everyone :)

Hey, I'm Jazmyne Flowe from Columbus, Oh and I am a sophomore/junior here at Otterbein. I am majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Psychology and Environmental Science. I am very excited to be in this class. I did sign up for this class because I saw ‘Travel to Italy’ at first glance and it grabbed my attention. After the first class, I am actually really excited to learn more about the art and the philosophy that Italy has to offer. I never took any Italian classes but I will try to teach myself a couple of phrases. I am really excited to get to know everyone in class and for the trip.


1b. Answer

The places that are world heritage sites have an inspiration behind them or have a meaning whether it be a negative or positive meaning. The world heritage sites that I focused on were Piazza del Duomo in Pisa and here are the four masterpieces of medieval architecture. They are the cathedral, the baptistry, the campanile (leaning tower), and the cemetery. All these pieces influenced or inspired monumental art in Italy. The second place is the city of Florence and the city was build on a settlement called Etruscan. These was the symbol of renaissance rose to economic and cultural dominance under Medici in 15th and 16th century.

-Lisa S


Hi! Mi chiamo Kelley and I'm a senior Art Education major with an Art History minor. I have never been to Europe before so I am absolutely thrilled to be going to Italy and seeing all of the buildings and artwork that I've been learning about for the past 3 years. I am student teaching in January and I think this class and trip are going to give me priceless experiences to share with my students! Looking forward to getting to know everyone over the next couple of weeks! Ciao!

Question 1b

Shark Bay, Western Australia is home to a vast sea-grass bed and also five endangered mammals. This site is important to cultural heritage because if it were not protected we may loose some of those endangered species forever and that would be a great loss to society. Then there is Tsodilo in Botswana, it has been called the "Louvre of the Desert" and holds over 4,500 rock art paintings that are preserved in the desert. This art is part of our history and can give us a glimpse back into the past.

Question 1B - Answer

Looking at the list of World Heritage sites in Italy it seems the majority of the sites/places are cultural locations with a few natural sites mixed in. I chose to focus on Val d'Orica and the Rock Drawings in Valcamonica. The Val d'Orica is the location where the landscape was rewritten during the Renaissance to promote good governance and provide an aesthetic pleasings picture. This landscape is important to a universal culture because it reflectes the innovation in land-management and how it tied to the ideals of proper governance. The second site, the Rock Drawings in Valcamonica, consist of 140,000 engravings about culture, war, land, navigation and magic. These carvings are important to a universal cultural heritage because it allows the modern world to discover, interpret, and understand how human culture, over an 8,000 year time span, viewed and described their world. It also is a documentation of the prehistoric world.



I'm Kat Carpenter from Athens, Ohio. I am a senior this year and my major is art education. I want to teach high school art after I graduate. I am really excited to go to Italy again because now I will actually know what the art work is instead of just thinking it looks great. Can't wait to share this experience with you guys!


13 September 2010


Hi everyone I'm Melissa Buschmann :). I'm a Nursing major here at Otterbein, which unfortunately limits the amount of study abroad opportunities that are available to me. This class is enabling me to travel (if only for two weeks), out of the country, which I have never done before. Like everyone else I am very excited to go to Italy, but I am also excited to take the course so that I have knowledge base while touring. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you!

Question Answer

So I guess this is where I'm supposed to answer this question.... if not sorry!!!
1b. For my two world heritage sites, I'm choosing Mantua and Sabbioneta, which are in the Po Valley in northern Italy. Mantua is important to universal cultural heritage because it played a significant role in the start of the opera and opera is now performed by many different people. Sabbioneta is important to universal cultural heritage because of its Hebrew printing-press, which has allowed the Jewish to continue to practice their religion.


Hi everyone!!!!! I'm Anna and I am a sophomore Equine Science/Pre-Vet major with a Life Science minor. It was nice to meet everyone today and I hope we have a lot of fun throughout the quarter and especially in Italy!!!!!! See you all Wednesday :)

Im Lisa

(I did a post earlier on the main page and I just saw the Intro option so I am doing it again)Hey, I am Lisa Shoemaker and I am from Heath, Oh. I'm a sophomore here at Otterbein and I am majoring in Accounting with a minor in Business. I first signed up for this class because I saw trip to Italy, but now after being in the class I'm excited to learn about the philosophy and some art in Italy. I am very excited for the trip and I can help pick out words, but I can't translate:(.. Again I am very excited:)



Hi all my name is Kayleigh Hanlin & I am a public relations major with an art history minor. I am taking this class as part of my personal SYE that I have designed. I am very interested in art, art history and traveling so combining this class with a research project on how Italy advertise their museums to tourist & locals allows me to combine my major & minor to complete my SYE. Look forward to getting to know all of you!

Buon Pomeriggio, from Kailee!

Hi Everyone! This is Kailee Miller. I am a Junior here at Otterbein and I am EXTREMELY excited to go to Italy! I am a Health Promotion and Fitness major, minoring in Health Education, Psychology, and Nutrition. I am looking forward to spending this quarter with all of you, and to travel to Italy. I really, really wanted to travel abroad, and I thought there would be no better time to go than now while in school. Anyway, that's all I have for now, so I will see you all in class on Wednesday!



Hi everyone, I'm Jeff Fabus from Pittsburgh, PA. I am a junior Actuarial Science and Mathematics major. I have been to Italy before but only saw Rome for like 2 days. I am very excited to get to learn about the different art there. I have also been to Madrid, Barcelona, and Cologne; I will also be going to Scotland for an SYE this June. As you can tell, I enjoy traveling and am really excited for this class.


My name is Andrea Weekly and I am currently a junior this year. My major is business administration with a concentration in management. I have never traveled across seas, and this opportunity with Otterbein was one I couldn't pass. I'm excited to be learning more about the cultural and then to finally be able to visit the places we have talked about during the quarter. I think this class will be a definite learning experience for me. See you in class!

Im Lisa

Hey, I'm Lisa Shoemaker from Heath, Oh and I am a sophomore here at Otterbein. I am majoring in Accounting with a minor in Business. I am very excited to be in this class and I did sign up at first because I saw trip to Italy and now that I see the class I am also interested in learning the philosophy and some art in Italy. I did take two quarters of Italian, but in no way can I full translate. I might be able to pick out words and help to understand what people are saying. Again I am so excited for this class and for the trip to Italy.


"Made in Italy": What does it mean?

Here's a link to a recent story in the New York Times about Chinese immigrants working in the textile industry in Italy. The story is set in Prato, which is a short train ride from Florence.


Make sure to view the Multimedia slideshow connected to this article.

Some language learning resources

Here are some internet resources that you can use to learn, or review, Italian. All of the sites have some free content, but there is content you can pay for as well.



http://italianpod.com/ (This is a good site--I subscribed for a few months and listened to their podcasts, but there's some free content available as well.)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/italian/ (This is a site put together by the BBC in England; it has some nice resources.)

If you find other good resources, please share them with the group!

12 September 2010


Hi All, I'm Jimmy Lump. Senior Philosophy and Psychology major. I'm excited to be part of this course and looking forward to the quarter together. I hope each of you had a great summer, and welcome back to Otterbein University. See you in class. Ciao!

Ciao from Dr Mills

My name is Andrew Mills, and, along with Dr. Amy Johnson, I am the co-leader of this class. I'm a philosopher by training, and am currently chairperson of the Dept. of Religion and Philosophy at Otterbein University. I've been at Otterbein since 1999, and I teach courses in Philosophy, Integrative Studies, Honors and SYE. This is the fourth time I have taught the Italy course, and am excited to once again share the wonders of this amazing country, and its culture, with all of you. In addition to having taken Otterbein classes to Italy, I have co-led student trips to Stratford (Ontario), Vienna, Chicago, Michigan, Virginia, and Kentucky. It's always enjoyable to travel as part of an educational experience, in my view, as it enables us all to be more than passive tourists, but to understand the underlying culture we are experiencing when we visit.