A limited number of undergraduate summer internships are available for Harvard students at Villa I Tatti. The primary goal is to allow students to spend two months (June-July) at the Florence center to carry out a project that contributes to their academic development.


Photography, Medieval Archaeology and the Making of a Harvard Luminary

Arthur Kingsley Porter was a medieval art historian who was an early advocate for the teaching of art history and archaeology in the American educational system. In 1925 he became chair of Harvard University’s Art History Department. Before his mysterious death in 1933, Porter traveled extensively in the Mediterranean, and he and his wife Lucy took photos of archeological sites in Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece and beyond. Porter regularly sent these photographs to Bernard Berenson – his close friend and mentor since having met him in Paris after World War I. Today, these correspondences are held at both the Harvard Fine Arts Library and at I Tatti. Through documenting these photographs and their handwritten captions, interns will have the opportunity to examine concepts of cultural preservation through the personal journey of an art historian.

Mediterranean Cookery and Produce

The intern working on Mediterranean cookery and produce will gain experience in the production and preparation of seasonal ingredients and dishes. Interns will assist I Tatti's experienced team of Italian chefs in food preparation and the art of pasticceria (pastry-making.) I Tatti relies on its organic garden to produce a colorful selection of herbs, fruit, and vegetables, and interns will learn about the correct preparation of these ingredients while helping to create innovative and fresh Italian and Mediterranean recipes for the scholarly community. The internship also involves the preparation of written content concerning the history of I Tatti's olive oil and wine, soon to be sold at Harvard, and assisting with the production of an upcoming booklet of recipes from I Tatti's kitchen. Applicants must be proficient in Italian. Some experience in the basics of food preparation is desirable.

The Diaries of Mary Berenson

Mary Berenson was the wife of Bernard Berenson, one of the most famous and influential connoisseurs of Italian Renaissance paintings and drawings, who bequeathed his library of some 50,000 volumes, his collection of artworks, and the villa that housed them to Harvard University. Mary was herself a scholar of Italian Renaissance art, but like the wives of other prominent art historians such as Dora Panofsky and Margot Wittkower, Mary’s own professional and personal accomplishments have been subsumed by the singular focus on her husband’s achievements. In fact, Mary was involved in the women’s movement in the US and England, wrote essays and made speeches on suffrage and the role of women in politics, and published art historical journal articles and pamphlets. Working with a collection of thirty diaries compiled by Mary Berenson, interns will help bring to light her contributions as both an independent scholar and as Bernard’s collaborator in his research, writing, lecturing, and business affairs. Working with primary and secondary sources, interns will be introduced to archival research and cultural criticism, uniquely familiarizing them with the Berensons’s vast network of friends and intellectual relations (including figures such as Isabella Stewart Gardner, Edith Wharton, and Kenneth Clark) that proved so significant for 20th-century art history.


An American Cultural Ambassador During the Cold War: The American Academy of Rome Through the Lens of Isabel Roberts

From 1946 until 1960, Laurance Roberts was appointed director of the American Academy in Rome, a research institution focused on the Classics and Fine Arts that attracted an elite circle of international intellectuals. Roberts was the son of a coal magnate who graduated from Princeton and became an art historian specializing in Asian art. His wife Isabel Roberts, who was a graduate of Vassar College, was an active member of the Academy and documented social and private events in her photos. The photographs reflect the atmosphere of the American Academy as a cultural ambassador to Europe and beyond; and provide a lens on Isabel’s active role in creating an international network of intellectuals and artists. The interns will work with Isabel’s photo albums to map the intricate interactions of people and places at the American Academy of Rome against the backdrop of the Cold War.


Applicants must be currently enrolled as full-time undergraduate students at Harvard University. Priority will be given to rising juniors and seniors at Harvard College. Familiarity with Italian is recommended but not required. Unfortunately, graduating seniors are not eligible.



Interns receive $5000 to offset the cost of living and airfare. They are required to reside in Florence from June 1 through July 30 and are responsible for arranging their own travel. Housing is offered on the I Tatti estate. Interns are required to spend at least four full days a week at the Villa and to attend all academic events. Interns may not take on any other obligations, even part-time ones, during any part of their internship. Interns enjoy all the privileges of the Harvard Center, including use of the Biblioteca Berenson and lunch from Monday through Friday. 



Applicants will need to provide a cover letter, C.V. (including knowledge of languages), and a list of courses taken at Harvard (including grades and names of professors.) The online application form will ask applicants to indicate three projects in order of preference. References should come from a Harvard professor but will also be accepted from a TA with a co-signature from a Harvard professor. To give the referee adequate time to submit a letter of recommendation, click the reference tab and register them as early as possible. Referees will receive an email explaining how to access the system and submit their letters electronically. The application submission deadline is March 29, 2024 by midnight (Cambridge, MA time). Letters of recommendation are due April 2, 2024.

  *The I Tatti Summer 2023 Internship Program depends on the public health situation at the time, and on travel restrictions that may be imposed by Harvard or by government authorities.

This page is being updated. Please check back in March for internship details and a link to the 2023 I Tatti Summer Internship application.

The deadline for applications has now passed.







Chiara Albanese and Sara Coady spent summer 2018 in Florence as a Tatti interns working on the diaries of Mary Berenson.


Gavin Moulton spent his time at the Harvard Center in Florence exploring I Tatti's photographs of Islamic architecture.