Typography and Printing in Italy

  • Spend three weeks in Italy making stops in Venice, Cornuda (a small Italian town off the beaten track with a world-renowned typography and printing museum), Verona, Milan and Florence.
  • Design and print a chapbook on the cast iron handpress with Lucio Passerini at Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione.
  • attend a lecture on the tradition of fine printing in Verona at the Frinzi Library with Claudia Tavella.
  • An international capital of design and fashion with its epicenter near the cathedral and galleria, we will discover Milan in and outside of museums and shops.
  • Explore inscriptions in Milan’s Monumental Cemetery accompanied by James.
  • Visit the magnificent collections of the Galleria degli Uffizi and Academia in Florence, cradle of the Renaissance.
  • Bind personal memory books at the Florence School of Art with Melania Lanzini.​

For more info visit the KU Study Abroad website and m

Italy has been a center for typographic excellence and innovation since the fifteenth century. The typeface Bodoni is named for its designer, Giambatista Bodoni, printer of Parma. In Venice alone, no less than two million books were printed between 1470 and 1500. Italics were invented there, along with the “pocket” book—the forerunner of today’s paperback. In fact, most of the conventions of contemporary book design were established in Italy during the Renaissance. The purpose of the Typography & Printing program is to bring the history of typography to life for students, through visits to collections of historic significance and participation in intensive workshops at Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione, Cornuda, the University of Verona, and the Florence School of Art.

Depart U.S.: Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Arrive in Venice: Thursday, May 21, 2020
Depart Florence: Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Venice, Italy (3 days)
Venice, “La Serenissima”, the “Most Serene”, was the epicenter of printing activity and innovation in the Renaissance. Participants will begin touring the Grand Canal by “vaporetto” making a stop to enjoy the collection of contemporary artwork at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. We will visit the Piazza, Basilica, and Museum of San Marco and spend a day exploring the islands of the Venetian lagoon—Murano, Burano and Torcello.

Cornuda, Italy (4 Days)

The Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione is located in Cornuda, in the province of Treviso, in the heart of the Veneto Region. Located in the buildings of the old “Canapificio Veneto”, the Tipoteca was initiated to house typographic artifacts and events. Tipoteca is not only a rich collection of typefaces, but also an archive, museum, print shop, casting facility and library. Our group will participate in a workshop with internationally recognized artist and printer Lucio Passerini. Under Passerini’s expert guidance students will design, compose and print a chapbook in a limited edition, using the historic metal and wood types in the collection. Tuesday evening, we will take the train to Treviso (“little Venice”) to visit the Salce Collection of historic posters.

Verona, Italy (3 days)
Tucked into a nook on the river Adige, Verona is a lovely, architecturally original UNESCO World Heritage site. Here we will attend a lecture on the History of Fine Printing at the Frinzi Library by lettering artist Claudia Tavella of Yvat&Klerb, Milan and visit the Museo Lapidario Maffeiano, an important collection of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman epigraphs with calligrapher and author James Clough. 

Milan, Italy (4 days)
Milan, the capital of fashion, design and culture is next on our journey across and down the Italian peninsula. We will explore the National Design Triennalethe Studio Museum of Achille Castiglione, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II, Duomo, and Leonardo’s Last Supper. James Clough will lead us on a tour of the most interesting inscriptions and public type in the city at the Cimetero Monumentale.

Florence, Italy (7 days)
The city in which the Renaissance was born, completes our tour. Highlights of our stay include the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus in the Uffizi Galleries, and Michelangelo’s David in the Academia. Each student will create memory books at the Florence School of Art with Melania Lanzini


Students must enroll in 6 hours for the program.

The courses are:
ADS 532 Typography & Printing in Italy (3 credit hours)
ADS 533 Study Abroad—Typography & Printing in Italy (3 credit hours)

Prior to traveling to Italy, students will be expected to attend lectures and discussions in the spring semester and will be given a variety of ‘research’ assignments to prepare them for travel.

Participants will stay in centrally located hostel or hotels in Milan, Verona, Cornuda, Venice, and Florence. Rooms range from double to quad occupancy. Continental breakfast is included daily.