Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to Italy. The field school will take place in the municipality of Altopascio, near Lucca. The closest airports are located in Pisa (PSA) and Florence (FLR), but it may be more cost-effective for students to fly into Rome and take a train to Altopascio.
US citizens are required to carry a passport valid for at least 6 months following the date of entry in Italy. No visa is required to enter the country for a stay shorter than 90 days. All students are highly encouraged to read and review information relevant to traveling to Italy posted on the US Department of State’s website: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1146.html.
Currency and Local Expenditures
As a member of the European Union (EU) Italy adopted the Euro (€) in 2002 – updated information on Euro-US dollar exchange can be easily found online. Students will not incur in any additional fees for the duration of the field school but they may want to bring spending money to purchase souvenirs, gifts and other personal items. Money may be exchanged at local banks, exchange agencies and hotels, or simply withdrawn at local ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, but small establishment may accept only cash.
The official language of the field school is English and no knowledge of Italian is required. However, it is important to keep in mind that the majority of the local population, particularly in rural areas, will not speak English. Students who intend to spend their weekends traveling throughout Italy are encouraged to have an Italian dictionary with them at all times.
Clothing and Equipment
Students should plan on bringing clothing appropriate to the summer season and the following items specifically for the field school: comfortable, lightweight pants and shirts to be worn during excavation (shirts with shoulders and sleeves are preferable to tank tops); closed-toe work shoes with reinforced soles (no sandals or flip flops are allowed on the site); comfortable work gloves; a hat to protect the head during the hottest hours of the day; backpack; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; a pocket knife and camping cutlery; a canteen or water bottle; twin sheet sets (flat sheet, standard pillow case, fitted sheet) OR a sleeping bag; shower and hand towels; personal toiletries; small personal first aid kit and any required prescription medications; basic school supplies.
Lastly, students are expected to always apply common sense and act responsibly. Please keep in mind that the excavation will take place in a village and we want to maintain excellent relationships with the community. No improper behavior or inappropriate attire (e.g., drunkenness, swimming suits on site) will be tolerated. Should a problem with the community arise, please report it to the instructors, who will then seek a resolution. It is likely that local people will visit the site on a daily basis: always interact with them courteously and take the time to address any questions they may have about our activities.