The Lure of Italy for the Creative Soul: Summer Seminar and Tour of the Italian Lakes

Summer Seminar: The Armchair Journey to Italy

Three evenings in succession, Monday, August 28, Tuesday, august 29 and Wednesday, August 30, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. | Mirabeau, 3202 Argonne (one block east of Kirby, one-half block south of West Alabama)

The Lure of Italy for the Creative Soul: Summer Seminar and Tour of the Italian Lakes
Artists have been magically drawn to Italy for centuries. The summer seminar will arouse our spirits with a survey of Italian-inspired works and the fall study tour will lead us to unique sites around the Italian lakes which have stimulated the creative impulse.

August 28: The Dream of Arcadia: American Writers in Italy, 1760 - 1915
Caroline Levander, professor of English and director of the Humanities Research Center at Rice University, will examine the enchanted works of American authors captivated by Italy such as Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton, and Ernest Hemingway.

August 29: Groves of Olive in the Summer: The British in Italy, 1830 - 1900
Robert Patten, the Autrey Professor in Humanities at Rice University, will evoke the fascination of British writers who traveled to Italy, including Charles Dickens, Percy and Mary Shelley, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

August 30: Rossini by the Lake
An array of musical artists will join conductor Peter Jacoby, music director of the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston to explore the music of Rossini. Included in the program will be highlights from the opera “Tancredi,” written during the composer’s stay at the magical, private villa on Lake Como which we will visit on the fall study tour.



Registration for fall 2018 is ongoing. You may register online, by mail, or by phone with a credit card. 


If you are interested in traveling with the Houston Seminar to Natchez October 26-29, 2019 you may access the itinerary, trip cost, and registration documents here.

If you are interested in traveling to Virginia in the spring of 2019, please call the registrar at 713.666.9000 to place your name on a list. Please see Terms and Conditions for "travel list" policy. 


Please note a date in the Mid-term Elections course has changed from that published in the brochure. The course will meet the first two Mondays, October 29 and November 5 as planned, but will meet Tuesday, November 13 instead of Monday, November 12. 


Also note Art Underground: Carlos Cruz-Diez at the Cistern on Wednesday, November 14 is FULLY SUBSCRIBED. A second session has been added and will meet Monday, November 12 from 2:00-3:30 P.M. Registrations are being accepted for November 12. You may register online, or by phone.


Who Gets to Vote: Challenges for the 2020 Elections?
Speaker: Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Voter Rights Project
Monday, November 19, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Location to be announced


Register today!


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.