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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Imagining Rome: Art Studio and Creative Writing Workshops in Italy

May 26-June 22, 2019

What to pack

Prescription drugs and non-prescription drugs and sundries. European medicines are calibrated differently than medicines in the United States, and the drugs themselves differ from country to country. There are very high taxes on international drug shipments should you need to have a prescription drug shipped to you in Rome. Bring copies of your prescriptions with you to show, if asked, when you pass through security at the airport.

Over-the-counter U.S. drugs or devices. In addition to prescription drugs, bring items that you use only on occasion, such as allergy medications, aspirin, Imodium, Pepto-Bismol, Band-Aids, Monistat, and decongestants.

Contact lens fluid and an extra pair of glasses.

Walking shoes. You will be walking every day in Rome, over rough cobblestones and up and down great numbers of stone steps.

Attractive but comfortable clothing—but not much of it. You are going to Rome as an artist. You do not need to wear a new look every day. Plan to wear a few things many times rather than many things a few times. Anything that you can hang to dry easily will be especially useful. The apartments have both washers and dryers, but the wash-and-dry cycles on Italian machines are unexpectedly long, and you will not want to heat up your apartments on hot days. The Romans themselves usually line-dry their laundry indoors on a rack called a stendino, and every apartment has one.

Italians dress up more frequently than Americans. Their casual clothes are as impeccably cared for and as pressed as their formal clothes. Bring one nice outfit for going to restaurants. Although the Italians wear jeans, they rarely wear shorts in the center of the city, where you will be living.

The weather in May can be warm and mild with occasional rain showers. The weather in June will range from warm to very warm to hot, and it will be humid. Bring lightweight clothes, but also bring something that will allow you to cover up on a cool evening. You also will need to cover your shoulders, middles, and knees, even on a hot day, when we enter the several churches we will see on site visits. Shorts are unacceptable, and spaghetti-strap tops, although fine on the street, have to be covered for church visits.

Pockets are useful whenever you are traveling through the city—it's safer to go into a pocket for a little money than to open up a pack or drag out a wallet.

ATM card with a four-digit (no letters) security code. Check with your bank to discover the cost of using your ATM card abroad before you leave the country, and choose a different bank if the cost is too high. ATMs cards are essential for withdrawing cash from your checking account back in North American.

Writer's notebook/artist's sketchbook. You will receive a notebook or sketchbook at the departure meeting in April, but of course you may buy your own if you'd prefer a different style.


Small shoulder bag or pack for site visits and day trips—a small and flat bag rather than the bulky backpack you currently may be using on campus.

Dictionary. Bring a pocket-sized Italian-English dictionary (unless you are bringing a smart phone to Italy with unlimited data usage, in which case you might wish to use an on-line dictionaries).

Adaptor plugs. The adaptors for American devices are easier to get in the U.S. than in Italy.

Camera cables, extra battery, and storage cards. If you need a cable for your camera, be sure to pack it, because it will be almost impossible to replace it in Europe.

Bag, suitcase, duffel, purse. Charges for checked luggage now range from $100 to $600 per checked bag, depending on the airline, and depending on the weight and dimension of the bag. Pack only what you yourself can easily and safely carry. There is an 18-mile trip from the airport to the city center. Each person will be carrying and guarding her or his own bags as we get on and off the train, then on and off the tram, with walks up and down stairs and then across cobblestones in between. After check-in, you will be dragging your luggage to your apartment along cobblestone streets.

At present, airlines will allow you to carry only two items onto a plane. A purse counts as one item. A laptop bag also counts as one item. You will not be permitted to go through security points with more than two items, including a handbag or a computer bag.

There is a three-ounce limit on the liquid and paste items that you may carry on to the airplane (shampoo and lipstick both count as "liquids").