Study Abroad

Faculty and Staff


Helena Fracchia (PhD, University of California Berkeley) s the Director of the University of Alberta School in Cortona; Professor Emeritus of Classics; Adjunct Professor of Italian; Scientific Director of the University of Alberta Archaeological Field School at Ossaia. Dr. Fracchia has authored and co-authored several books and numerous articles on the archaeology of pre-Roman and Roman Italy. Her current research focus is the Romanization of Italy in the regions of Tuscany and Basilicata. Dr. Fracchia has held numerous Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grants for her work in Italy. She was the recipient of a McCalla Research Professorship and has been awarded a 2004 Killam Annual Professorship for excellence in teaching, research and service at the University of Alberta. 


Lori Thorlakson (PhD, University of London, LSE) is the Academic Coordinator of the University of Alberta School in Cortona and Associate Professor of Political Science. Dr. Thorlakson has held a Jean Monnet Chair at the University of Alberta (2012 – 2015) and was the founding director of the European Union Centre of Excellence at the University of Alberta. She was a Jean Monnet fellow at the European University Institute in Florence and has published numerous articles on comparative federalism, party organization and European Union politics. Her current research focuses on public attitudes toward energy and climate policies. 

   Maurizio Gualtieri (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) Professor Emeritus of History and Classics, University of Alberta, and Professor Emeritus of Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology at the University of Perugia. His main research interests are pre-Roman and Roman Italy. He has written numerous articles and several books on that topic, with grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He has directed the University of Alberta Field School in Italy at Roccagloriosa and at Oppido Lucano, where work is still on-going.

Local Faculty

Roberto Bondi (MA in Foreign Languages, University of Siena) holds a Certificate in “Second level DITALS – Didactics of Italian as Foreign Language” from the University for Foreigners in Siena and can teach advanced Italian language and literature (in addition to English, German and Spanish) and is also certified to test students who want to obtain a Certificate of Italian as a Foreign Language at the University for Foreigners in Siena.


 Alessandro Celani (PhD, University of Perugia) Taught art history at Richmond College, Rome; U of A alumni in Cortona; and at the University for Foreigners in Perugia. Author of numerous books and papers on topics in ancient, medieval and renaissance art, including his most publication: "A Certain Natural Pain: Helenistic Sculptures Between Sense and Meaning."

Marco Pacioni (Ph.D. studied literature, philology, history, and aesthetics in Italy at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and also in the United States at Indiana University, Bloomington) He currently teaches Renaissance City and History of the Grand Tour for the University of Alberta in the Cortona Program; History and Arts in the Renaissance, Italian Literature and Dante, and History of Medieval Italy for the U.S.A.C. Program at the University of Tuscia in Viterbo. His publications include a collective book on the 15 th /16 th century editions of Italian classics (the section on the Decameron), an anthology of Michele Ranchetti’s poems, several essays on Dante, Petrarch, Castelvetro, Accetto, Foscolo, Manzoni, Proust, and on contemporary Italian poetry; a new edition of a 15 th century text Paolo Boscoli’s Death written by Luca Della Robbia, and more recently a political philosophy essay on “Terror, Territory, and the Sea”. Most recently, he published Neuroviventi, a book on the relationship between neurosciences and governance, and essays on the concept of ruins for an exhibition catalogue and for the journal of the Italian Society of Psychoanalysis. He is currently a reviewer for “il manifesto” and “Alfabeta 2”


Valentina Raparelli (LLB, University of Rome “La Sapienza”; PhD, University of Naples) has published articles on multicultural society and immigration, and has lectured at the University of Perugia on Italian Constitutional History (“The Italian Political Parties and the Democratic State”, “The Welfare State”, “The Republican Constitution of 1948 and the Resistenza”, “Globalization and Crisis of the National State”, etc.). She is now a researcher at the following institutions: University of Rome “La Sapienza”, University of Perugia and University for Foreigners in Perugia.