Registrations for the 2024 academic program are open!


1 - 26 July 2024
The application deadline is April 30, 2024


Earning of 12 undergraduate UCF-ECTS credits through the University of Pisa

The excavation site

The fieldschool takes place by a monastery flourished during the 12-13th centuries thanks to its location along the Via Francigena, a major trade and pilgrimage route, which connected France and Northern Europe with Rome throughout the entire Middle Ages.  The monastery’s decline started in the 14th century and eventually led to its dissolution in the 15th century. San Pietro’s church remained as the village’s center of worship and is still in use.

Previous excavations conducted at the site exposed human burials dated to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Modern (18th-19th c.) times. Additionally, archaeological investigations revealed the buries remnants of the structures belonging to the medieval church and cloister of the abbey (11th-13th c.). During the 2023 field season, the field school will continue to explore the medieval contexts of the site, including the cemetery as well the monastery’s ruins.

San Pietro’s church was once part of a Camaldolese monastery, which was founded in the 11th century on the shores of Lake Bientina. The medieval lake, now entirely dried up, extended between Lucca and the Arno River.

The field school is a project created and managed by the University of Pisa, investigating biocultural complexity in the region surrounding Lucca during the Middle Ages. Specifically, the research project has the following objectives:

  • Excavation and analysis of the monastery’s cemetery, with particular attention to population demography, burial typology, and funerary ritual.
  • Bioarchaeological analysis of the medieval population buried at Badia Pozzeveri, with particular attention to biological diversity, paleopathology, and activity patterns.
  • Reconstruction of the settlement’s evolution from the Early Middle Ages until Modern times.
  • Analysis of material culture from a monastic center along the Via Francigena, with particular attention to trade dynamics, diffusion of technical knowledge and economic activities related to monastic life.

Learning objectives

The field school at Badia Pozzeveri is an outstanding opportunity for students to gain practical experience in archaeological excavation and bioarchaeological investigation by working side-by-side with leading researchers in the field.


EUR 2,400.00

Cost breakdown: EUR 1,000.00 (academic fees) / 1,400.00 (meals + accomodation)

The cost listed for each session covers Field School activities (excavation practice, lectures, laboratory activities and instruments), meals (MON to FRI: breakfast, lunch and dinner), accommodation and airport pick-up service (set schedule); registration and tuition with the University of Pisa for 12 CFU-ECTS credits (NOTE: most US institutions will convert 1 CFUs to 0.6 credit hours, that is, about 7 credit hours).

The course is open to up to 15 undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students in archeology, anthropology or allied disciplines from any country and institution. Current enrollment in a university is not a requirement; all applications are evaluated equally and acceptance decisions are primarily based on merit.

Housing is provided by the Summer School in a shared-room dormitory by the excavation site.

Participants in the Summer School will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday.

Monday through Friday, 8:00am-6:00pm (including one hour lunch break).

The course will be offered in English (with optional Italian translation) in the following formats:

  • Field practice
  • Lectures
  • Labs
  • Workshops

How to apply

The Summer School has no formal prerequisites; students will be fully trained for all the activities they experience.

Students interested in applying to the Summer School must fill out and submit the Enrolment Form online, via Alice portal.

Prior to their arrival to Italy, the students are required to complete all readings included in the attached reading list. The readings will include topics such as bioarchaeology, stratigraphy, geographic information systems. An understanding of such topics is essential to maximize on-site learning.

Students are required to participate actively in both fieldwork and laboratory activities, and to demonstrate a good understanding of the concepts and techniques employed in the field.

Participation and overall performance in the field will be monitored throughout the entire field school.

A Final Examination will be administered during the last week of the program to assess the student’s mastery of the theoretical and practical concepts and techniques learned throughout the entire field school.

Required documents

  • Identity Document (*PASSPORT in case you are a foreign student*)
  • Enrolment Form
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Statement of interest
  • Proof of tetanus vaccination
  • Medical certificate of physical fitness

All the documents must be in pdf format, in order to upload them on the portal when required.

Application has to be submitted via Alice portal following the instructions of the “How to apply” page.

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    An occasion to visit Italy

    Badia Pozzeveri is located in a strategic position that allows you to reach the main cities and touristic localities easily. In 40 mins you can get to Pisa, the leaning tower city, in 20 mins to Lucca, a perfectly preserved medieval town surrounded by Renaissance walls. Florence, considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, featuring countless monuments and art masterpieces, is only 1 hour away by train. The connection to Rome is direct with a 3-hour trip. You can also reach the city of Volterra, located in the interior of Tuscany, with its many archeological monuments, and in 2 hours you can reach the pearls of Ligurian tourism, the Cinque Terre.