Milan, Italy

The birthplace of Futurism in 1909, Milan today is a center of innovation and the Italian capital of fashion, design, architecture, and contemporary art. Open to all majors, this summer course combines a broad overview of contemporary and historical Milan with in-depth interactions, introducing students to some of the protagonists of its vibrant cultural life through field trips, museum visits, and atelier and studio visits, as well as participation in a workshop at HangarBicocca on the occasion of their third annual summer music festival. Side trips include two days at the Venice Biennale of Architecture and a day in Genoa.

Milan l'è on gran Milan (Milan is the big Milan):

Design, Fashion, Art, Architecture
Instructor: Marina Pugliese
July 9-27, 2018

Check-in: Monday, July 9
Check out: Friday, July 27

Information Session:
Thursday, March 8, 3:15-3:45 p.m., SF campus, GC7

Interested students should contact Marina Pugliese ( to start the approval process for registration.

For the 2015 Expo, Milan renovated its urban outfit with new museums (Fondazione Prada by Rem Koolhaas, Mudec by David Chipperfield) and newly designed sections of the city such as CityLife with buildings by Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, and Arata Isozaki. These modern buildings offer a lively contrast to Milan’s equally stunning historic architecture, such as Sforza Castle and Gothic Cathedral. Housing more than twenty museums (Brera, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Museo del Novecento), Milan also teems with spaces devoted to contemporary art (Fondazione Prada, HangarBicocca, PAC).

The class meets illustrators and graphic designers such as La Tigre and LeftLoft, as well as the editorial team of an important international magazine such as Mousse or IL. We devote a day to the art/design district of Lambrate, viewing the art galleries Zero, De Carlo, Francisca Minini and the Abitare International Design Magazine headquarters).

We visit the Triennale Design Museum and the studios of designers such as Giulio Iacchetti and Denis Santachiara and Studio Museo Achille Castiglioni. In order to understand how design companies strategize and plan the launch of new products, we visit the design headquarters of an important brand such as Fornasetti, Artemide, or Molteni.

The class explores the design/fashion district of Porta Genova through the Armani Silos, the Mudec Museum of Cultures, Palazzo Morando, and two fashion designers, Antonio Marras and Colomba Leddi, whose research is at the threshold between art and fashion. A renowned fashion stylist and editor, Simona Melegari, discusses how to choose and present different brand outfits in magazines.

Support and advice is provided to participants interested in seeking a future internship in Milan.

Using a reader that includes plans and details of the trip, students prep for each visit. They keep a daily journal, written or visual, of their visits and are assigned a topic (an object, a building, an exhibition, a style) for a group presentation. During the course, students exchange ideas and materials in order to build, as a final assignment, a thematic map of Milan.

About the Instructor

Marina Pugliese is an Italian art historian who moved to the Bay Area in 2015. She has been director of three of the most important Milanese museums (Museo del Novecento, Mudec, and Galleria d'Arte Moderna). Marina is passionate about beauty in general, be it art, design, fashion, landscape or food.

Learn more about Marina Pugliese »


Undergraduate Students: Writing 2 (WRLIT-201, 202 or 203), Intro to the Arts (VISST-104), Intro to the Modern Arts (VISST-108), completion of sophomore level by Summer 2018, and instructor approval
Graduate students: Instructor approval

In addition all students must be in good academic, conduct, and financial standing for the 2017–18 academic year. Students who are on probation in fall 2017 are not eligible to enroll in a 2018 summer study-abroad program.

Course Satisfies

For undergraduate students, this course satisfies a 300-level Visual Studies Elective.
For graduate students, this course satisfies a Grad-wide Elective.

Program Fee

$4,995 + $50 summer registration fee

Included in program fee:
3 credits, housing, local transportation, guest artists, field trips, entrance fees, and travel/health insurance

Not included in program fee: Airfare to and from Milan, transportation to and from airport, meals

Related Topics
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All CCA summer study-abroad courses (including Brooklyn) are coordinated by the Office of Special Programs.

Questions? Please see Frequently Asked Questions.

Office of Special Programs
Oakland campus, Ralls 201

Nina Sadek
Dean of Special Programs

Carol Pitts
Operations Manager, Special Programs