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.


Digital Humanities: 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. 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. Mary’s diaries, written between 1891 and 1937, provide rich details about the personal, social, and intellectual life of the couple, including their friends and acquaintances, their travels, and the works of art they saw.

The diaries have been digitized and transcribed into Microsoft Word documents. These documents need to be programmatically transformed to HTML and enriched for publishing online. Dates, locations, people, and works of art need to be extracted, normalized, and linked to external knowledge bases such as Wikidata, VIAF, GeoNames, and the Getty vocabularies. This work will result in the creation of an online catalogue that allows users to explore the network of the Berensonian world and create interactive map-based visualizations that allow users to track her travels throughout time. Interns should be proficient in HTML, JavaScript, and Python. Experience with RDF, SPARQL, and NLP libraries are a plus.


Digital Humanities: Visual Search for Artworks

Leveraging cutting-edge computer vision tools, interns will collaborate on building a platform that allows for the exploration of artworks through visual search. Aggregating images and metadata from various open-access museum collections and archives, interns will use these images to build computer vision models to classify groups of images and identify features that are visually similar. The resulting tool will serve to programmatically match artworks across collections, archives, and libraries across the world, as well as assist scholars when conducting research on artworks. Applicants should have prior experience with Machine Learning and Computer Vision libraries and REST API's.

Digital Humanities: Named Entity Recognition tools for Historical Documents

As part of a scholarly digital publishing initiative aiming to create a research infrastructure allowing for the integration of scholarly articles or historical documents with raw data, interns will work on a component to integrate Named Entity Recognition (NER) tools to extract entities (persons, places, institutions, etc.) from textual documents. These entities will be published as annotations within the system, allowing users to seamlessly navigate between documents and metadata. This toolset will automate the process of textual annotations by leveraging several existing open source NER tools, grouping them together to obtain more accurate results. During the two months, interns will gain experience in working with Natural Language Processing (NLP), Semantic Web technologies, and publishing the results in a semantic web research environment. Interns are expected to have good working knowledge of Python (especially modules like NLTK), REST API's, HTML, and JavaScript.

Digital Humanities: Online Portal to the Berenson Art Collection

Drawing from the two catalogs of the Berenson Art Collection (The Bernard and Mary Berenson Collection of European Paintings at I Tatti and The Bernard Berenson Collection of Oriental Art at Villa I Tatti) as well as records from Hollis Images, the intern will produce short entries for each artwork aimed at broad, non-specialized audiences (i.e. similar to wall texts). This content will be made available online through an interactive map of the Berenson house, allowing users to view how objects were put on display by Bernard Berenson. The spatial visualization of the collection will allow users to acquire focused information on specific objects, while also conveying how artworks interact visually with each other in Berenson’s historic display. Eventually, this information will be organized not only spatially but also temporally, along a timeline of Berenson’s acquisitions, allowing users to intuitively trace certain trends and switches in taste. Art History majors are particularly encouraged to apply.

Digital Humanities: Web Development for the Digital Humanities

As I Tatti increasingly moves towards supporting scholars who wish to leverage digital tools to facilitate and augment their research, this internship program focuses on building public-facing websites that allow scholars to publish their work in online environments. Interns will design and publish the public website for Digital Humanities Research Group and work on front-end development for the Berenson Art Collection and other digital projects underway at I Tatti. Applicants should have prior working knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and have taken CS50 or equivalent prior to their arrival.

Indigenous Art in the Photo Archive

A small section of the Berenson Library’s photo archive, as yet unstudied, relates to the art and culture of indigenous populations in Africa, the Pacific, and the Americas. The photographs themselves date to the first half of the twentieth century and include images of pre-Columbian objects, sculpted figures and masks from sub-Saharan Africa, views of Caribbean islands, and mummified human remains found in Peru. In conjunction with the preparation of a new catalogue of non-Western art at I Tatti, the intern will work with this “hidden collection,” using both printed and electronic library resources to research the history of the photos, investigating Bernard Berenson’s interest in these cultures, and helping to prepare a detailed inventory.

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.


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 deadline for submission is March 1, 2022 by midnight (Cambridge, MA time).

 *The I Tatti Summer 2022 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.







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.