Summer Abroad Italy - Instructor

UC Davis Study Abroad, Summer Abroad Italy, Art, Culture, History in the Eternal City Program, Header Image

Rome—Art, Culture, History in the Eternal City

Instructor Profile Image, UC Davis Summer Abroad Italy

Jay Grossi

French and Italian

I was born in Berkeley, California and raised in Sacramento. My paternal grandparents immigrated from Canton Ticino, the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland, to California in the 1920s. In 1979 I visited this region of Switzerland and Italy for the first time, and upon my return to California, I decided to study Italian language, literature, culture, and history. I eventually went to graduate school at UC Berkeley where I specialized in modern Italian literature. I also have a great interest in Italian-Swiss history and culture.

I have been a lecturer in Italian language and culture at UC Davis since 1994 where I teach Italian language and culture courses.  The summer of 2019 will be my 13th time leading a study abroad program in Rome, and I look forward to another very rewarding year in Rome, Italy with my students!

A Message to Student and Parents

I have been faculty leader of the UC Davis Rome summer abroad program, Rome-Art, Culture, and History in the Eternal City since 2007. The students who participate on this program and I stay in the historic center of Rome near Circus Maximus; during our stay, every morning Monday-Friday we do a walking tour of the Eternal City visiting historical sites, such as St. Peters, Villa Borghese, the Roman Forum, etc.; in the afternoon Monday-Thursday the students attend class where I teach them about Roman (and Italian) history and culture. In addition, there will be the following visits outside of Rome: a day trip to Tarquinia, north of Rome to visit the Etruscan tombs, a visit to the ancient Roman port of Ostia Antica, a visit to Renaissance Villa D’Este east of Rome and a three-day trip to the Amalfi Coast where we visit Pompeii and other historical sites in this region. I have found my ten years as faculty leader a very rewarding experience, and I hope to make 2019 an even better experience for my students!

What Students Are Saying

  • "I got to fully experience the place I have always wanted to go, Rome."
  • "I loved this program and had the time of my life!" 
  • "Jay Grossi is an amazing teacher, person, traveller. Great trip!"
  • "He [Jay Grossi] was organized and very knowledgeable about Italy. He was very helpful."