The History and Culture of the Venetian Republic

A First-Year Ampersand Program

The History and Culture of the Venetian Republic

Wade into Venice, the most envied and dazzling city in Europe, and discover how it lost it all. 

How to Apply

The application process for first-year programs and seminars opens on Thursday, May 12, at 4 p.m. (CT) and closes on Monday, May 16, at noon (CT). You will need your WUSTL Key to apply, so please be sure to sign up for your WUSTL Key by Tuesday, May 10 to give it 24 hours to activate. There will be a link to the application webform on the First-Year Programs homepage during this time for you to sign up. A statement of interest (no more than 500 words) is required when you submit your application online.

First-Year Programs homepage

Our Courses


L61 FYP 1703 The Republic of Venice I

The Venetian Republic survived intact from its beginnings in the 5th century A.D. to the Napoleonic conquest of 1797. This course will introduce students to the unique social, cultural and artistic life of the maritime Republic known as the Serenissima. The fall semester will explore the governmental, social, religious, and economic foundations of the republic together with its artistic and architectural expressions up to 1520. The spring term will trace the height of Venice's prosperity and artistic achievements through the painting of Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese, the architecture of Sansovino and Palladio, and the music of Monteverdi and Vivaldi, followed by the city's gradual decline to the tourist mecca and playground for the wealthy of Europe it became towards the end of its existence as an independent state.


L61 FYP 1704 The Republic of Venice II

This course will continue the study of Venetian history and culture, from the mid-sixteenth century to the fall of the Republic to Napoleon in 1797. In addition to studying the political and economic life of the later Republic, we will focus on the impact of various social and cultural issues, such as the Reformation and the Inquisition, early Venetian feminist writers, Carnival and masking, tourism, gambling, courtesans, and the diversity of social life and activities. In the arts, we will consider such subjects as Renaissance and Mannerist architecture, painting by Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Canaletto, and Francesco Guardi, music by Claudio Monteverdi and Antonio Vivaldi, comedies by Carlo Goldoni, and the development of opera theater and the opera business.