About the Program

ISI Florence is a proud partner of the Trasimeno Summer Archaeology Field School. This exciting academic program offers students the rare opportunity to explore a recently discovered and largely unexplored archeological site in central Italy. The dig site shows amazing promise having thus far unearthed the remains of a Roman villa, mosaic floors, multiple edifices, and what may prove to be a Roman road. The dig operates only during the summer months and is located on the shores of Lake Chiusi just on the border with Tuscany and Umbria. The program’s academic center and housing are located in Castiglione del Lago on the picturesque shores of nearby Lake Trasimeno.

This six-week program begins with student arrival and pick-up from the Florence airport and transfer to a hotel for a welcome dinner and brief program orientation. The next day the group is brought to charming lakeside town of Castiglione del Lago where they live with other program participants for the duration of the program. This location was chosen for its wonderfully hospitable community and its jurisdiction and proximity to the archaeological site. Student time will be allocated between on-site work (at the dig site on Lake Chuisi), in-class lessons, extra-curricular activities, field trips to nearby historic sites. At the end of the program, students will enjoy a farewell festa and be taken by private bus to the Florence for the next day’s departure.

The Field School Courses

Class on Site at Lake Chiusi

The Field School consists of two courses, one theoretical and one practical, both based in Castiglione del Lago with daily work on the archeological site. The program aims to provide you with a comprehensive overview of up-to-date theories and methods of archaeological research and fieldwork as applied to the civilizations that shaped the history and culture of central Italy. The two core courses are:

CLAS 320: Archaeology in Central Italy: the Etruscan and Roman Heritage

This course will introduce you to the region’s history and heritage, as context for archaeological research. It also provides a theoretical background for the summer program’s learning and training. Course credit: 3

CLAS 430: Archaeological Field Workshop

This course is an archaeology practicum whereby students work on the site alongside a professional archaeological staff. Students gain fundamental skills of archaeological research and apply them over the course of the project. The goal of the campaign as a whole is to assess the original pattern of human impact in the entire territory, and understand its development since antiquity. Course credit: 3

ISI Florence’s mission is to develop our students’ expertise in the full range of methods and processes employed in a complete archaeological project, from research design and preliminary survey of the territory, to methods of data collection in the field and digging, to the cataloging and display of archaeological remains. Investigating the archaeological heritage of this landscape, our project provides an instructive example of how different civilizations built upon one another in the same geographic area.

The Ancient Roman Excavation Site

The fieldwork takes place at a recently discovered archaeological find located on the shores of Lake Chiusi, on the Umbrian-Tuscan border just a few miles from Castiglione del Lago and Lake Trasimeno. On fieldwork days, a private bus will take students, faculty, and staff to the site for a full-day’s work and research. Lunch is on-site, and students return home in the mid-afternoon. Alternating days will be spent in class, at the local museum, or on field trips to nearby sites of interest.

This archaeological site was has yet to be fully mapped and explored. Preliminary findings indicate the presence of a Roman villa, including thermal infrastructures, mosaics, and a possible Roman road. The Archaeological Field School is a long-term project run in cooperation with local institutions. Every summer, students contribute to the uncovering of the site and the display of artifacts in the expanding archaeological museum of Castiglione del Lago. Join us this summer to explore this exciting discovery and unearth the secrets that lie beneath as we travel back to the time of ancient Rome.


Important Note: Participating in an archaeological campaign is exciting work, but it is also sometimes tiring and challenging. It is important that you are ready and fit for outdoor physical activity. The typical day starts very early in the morning to take advantage of the cooler weather and runs until mid- to late-afternoon.

Student Life in Castiglione del Lago

Lunch In Castiglione del Lago

Castiglione del Lago is a charming medieval town in Umbria, located on top of a small peninsula along the southwestern shores of Lake Trasimeno. A member of the prestigious I Borghi più Belli d’Italia Association (The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy), Castiglione is situated between renowned historical cities, such as Orvieto, Chiusi, Arezzo, Cortona, and Perugia. All Field School participants will stay in Castiglione during the summer term, only a few miles away from Perugia and easily accessible by bus or train. Program participants live in modernly furnished studio apartments (2-3 students each) a short walk from the lake shore, supermarkets and all other important venues. All apartments include fully-equipped kitchens.

In line with Umbra’s traditional focus on community engagement, field school participants will have the opportunity to enjoy day-to-day life as a local and experience the ambiance of an Italian town. A renowned summer location, Castiglione is an international venue for relaxing vacations, swimming and sun-bathing on its beaches, or for practicing a variety of sports: cycling, sailing, wind- and kite-surfing, and canoeing. The beautiful hills surrounding the area offer opportunities for hiking, mountain-biking, and horseback riding. Bus and train services connect Castiglione to other cities, including Rome and Florence, making it easy to travel over weekends.

Community Engagement

The Archaeological Field School is collaborative and aims to involve the community of Castiglione del Lago in a long-term relationship. As part of the project, students cooperate with the local archaeological museum to enhance its visibility and impact.

Local Partnerships

The Trasimeno Archaeology Field School is run by the Umbra Institute in cooperation with the ISIFlorence, The Archeological Superintendency of Umbria, the Comune of Castiglione del Lago and Intrageo Geologico.

Course Descriptions

Program Dates and Fees

Program Dates

May 22nd Friday Departure from US to Florence, Italy
May 23rd, SaturdayArrival in Florence – Transport to Hotel/Welcome Dinner
May 24th, SundayOrientation and Transfer to Castiglione del Lago
May 25th, MondayField School Begins
June 3rd, FridayLast Day of Classes – Farewell Dinner – Transfer to Florence
July 4th, SaturdayProgram Ends – Departure from Florence A

Program Fees – $6,575.00

What’s Included:
Academic Program (2 courses, 6-credits), airport pickup, welcome dinner, transport to dig site, orientation, equipment and supplies, housing, student services assistants, resident director, use of academic facilities in Castiglione del Lago, Program-sponsored cultural activities, overnight trip to Rome and local archaeological sites, museum entrance fees, farewell festa, return transport to Florence airport, official transcripts.

Note: Fees do not include meals, airfare, lab fees (250 Euro), insurance.

Scholarships & Study Grants

ISI offers scholarships, financial aid, and partner discounts for qualifying students. Contact Us about how to make your experience more affordable.

Are you ready to unearth secrets
that have been hidden for millenia?

Trasimeno Archeology Field School Photos