Rome: Illustrating Dante's Inferno
Rome, Italy 2019

RISD in Rome

Since 1960, RISD has maintained its site in Rome as a space for interdisciplinary exchange and immersive learning.

As the first US art and design school with a significant presence in Italy, RISD in Rome has educated over 1,800 students and engaged with institutions across the city, country and Europe for 6 decades.

Today, RISD in Rome serves as a home base for a range of immersive teaching and learning experiences, including RISD’s European Honors Program, Global Summer Studios and Wintersession Travel Courses. The site, located in the Palazzetto Cenci, creates a vibrant space for interdisciplinary exchange and experimentation, faculty research, exhibitions, symposia, and convenings.

In an ever-evolving global landscape, the need for experimental approaches, thoughtful critique, and immersive cultural exchange remains urgent. At our site, the city of Rome becomes studio, environment, and inspiration with an ever-growing network of partners invigorating our space and programming. Courses and studios are created by rotating RISD faculty-in-residence, enriched through engagement with our partners and local artists and designers, and activated through the work of our students.

European Honors Program
Castelvecchio, Italy 2019
Palazzetto Cenci: RISD in Rome

From the 1960's to Now

RISD in Rome was founded in 1960 by RISD faculty members including Gilbert Franklin, Department Head of Sculpture and Chairman of Fine Arts, and under the direction of President John R. Frazier. Housed in the Palazzetto Cenci, a 16th-century noble home within walking distance of the Vatican, the Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, the site is home to our semester pre-graduation residency program for juniors and seniors, the European Honors Program, as well as RISD Global Travel Courses in Wintersession (Jan/Feb) and Summer (Jun/Jul).

RISD in Rome engages partners across the city of Rome through exhibitions, symposia, panel discussions, performances, and other events and activities. Recently, RISD in Rome has partnered with the American Academy, Rome (AAR) and MAXXI to co-host a series of panels and a film screening with RISD alumna Shahzia Sikander, collaborated with RISD's Global Faculty Fellow, Paolo Cardini, MAXXI, Galleria Uno Su Nove and partners across the world to host a think tank, symposium, and exhibition, and with many other art and design organizations on exhibitions and performance-based events.

Palazzetto Cenci

Since 1963, the Palazzetto Cenci has been home to RISD's European Honors Program (EHP) and the focal point of every RISD student’s experience in Rome. A historic site in its own right, the Palazzetto dates back to the 16th century and was once inhabited by the notorious Cenci family.

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Programs at RISD in Rome

European Honors Program

Founded in 1960, RISD's European Honors Program (EHP) is a unique art and design pre-graduation residency-style program that welcomes a select group of students from all RISD departments at RISD’s site in Rome.

Global Summer Studies

Global Summer Studies are open to undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at RISD or in other art and design institutions worldwide, as well as recent graduates and new professionals practicing in the field.

COVID-19 Update: Global Summer Studies 2022 are under review. More information will be released soon.


He holds degrees in Political Science, Università di Perugia, and in D.A.M.S., Università di Bologna. While in University, Ezio wrote a thesis on a walking experience between Assisi and Bologna, Italy. Today, he leads EHP students on walking art history tours of Rome and across Italy. He is the recipient of the John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in teaching.

Outside of his teaching and leadership role at RISD in Rome, Ezio has curated exhibitions, published catalogs, research articles and books on Mediaeval Musical Iconography, Renaissance Grotesque imagery, 19th and 20th century art and artists and, most recently, on the pervasive neo-mediaeval restoration of his hometown, Assisi, in 1926. Prior to joining RISD, Ezio also worked in Irpinia, Italy as a volunteer following the 1980 earthquake.

Rodica Gabor was born in Romania (Transylvania), were she graduated from the Liceul Chimic of Victoria. She moved with her family to Italy in 2002.

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European Honors Program
Rome, Italy 2018
European Honors Program
Rome, Italy 2016