Italy: The Past and Present Collide

Libby Rule is a student at Missouri State University. She is an ISA Featured Photo Blogger and studied abroad with ISA in Florence, Italy. 

As an art history minor, I have learned a great deal about Western Art History. But places and art like the Colosseum, The Trevi Fountain, and David are commonly known. Names like Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo Da Vinci are household. And the picture I had in my head of Italy was of these names– of the picture that my art history classes had painted for me. Flying to Italy, I imagined a country frozen in history. And to some extent that’s what I found, but the real place turned out to be much more complex. Everywhere I looked, I saw ancient landmarks surrounded by “new”. New signs, new vehicles, new souvenirs, and new art. I had to readjust my vision of Italy and understand it for what it is: as a place where modern society and the birthplace of treasured art history were coinciding in harmony.

My first stop in Italy was in Rome at the Arch of Constantine. The perfectly preserved monument was surrounded with suggestions of the new.
Technology and the church coincide here in beautiful Santa Crocce.


Even the street art reflects the history of Florence.


Michelangelo’s David is surrounded daily by hundreds of photo-taking admirers.


Ponte Vecchio seems peaceful in the early morning, but will soon be packed by pedestrians inspecting the jewelry shops the old bridge houses.

While gondolas still frequent the canals of Venice, a speedboat is a much more efficient way to get around.

Artists have made their mark on the busy streets of Italian cities.

Views from the top of the Duomo and Piazzale Michelangelo

When you take a step back, however, whether old or new, Italy has some truly breathtaking sights.

Your Discovery. Our People… The World Awaits.

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