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Venice, Italy

June 22 - July 3, 2015

Delaware Law offers students the opportunity to take law courses in beautiful Venice, Italy for the summer and enjoy tours of Venetian legal and cultural institutions. Classes and administrative offices are at Venice International University (VIU), located on the beautiful island of San Servolo; by vaporetto (waterbus) just minutes from St. Mark's Square.  

VIU is an international institute of higher learning and a research center.  In collaboration with Delaware Law, it offers substantial opportunities for advanced training and research within an international context.

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Art, Culture, and History

Famous for the canals that run through the city as well as its long and colorful history, Venice is sometimes referred to as the “City of Bridges” or “City of Water.” If you’re interested in art or cultural history, then Venice is filled with attractions that should satisfy your interests. Enjoy the city’s rich cultural heritage while visiting St. Mark’s Basilica or the Accademia museum gallery of pre-19th century art. Several long weekends provide ample opportunity to travel through Italy, and given your location, you can easily visit many other European cities, opening numerous possibilities for exciting exploration and fun.


Examples of courses to be offered this summer are European Union Law, Comparative Corporate Law, and Tort Law in Global Perspective. Once again, Justice Randy J. Holland of the Delaware Supreme Court will teach Comparative Corporate Law. The Delaware Supreme Court is the leading corporate law court in the United States. This is a fabulous opportunity for those interested in corporate law.

Additional Information and Frequently Asked Questions

For additional information, explore housing or how to order course materials. <UPDATE LINK> If you have a specific question, try the FAQ <UPDATE LINK> and if you don’t find an answer there, please feel free to contact us. <UPDATE LINK>You can also download the student manual. <UPDATE LINK>


General study abroad information and disclosures <UPDATE LINK> (including information on costs and travel warnings)

Class Location

Venice International University, Venice, Italy


See Tuition and fees. <UPDATE LINK>

Anticipated enrollment: 15

Widener student participation in 2014: 15

Participation of students from other law schools in 2014: 2

Participation of foreign students

Summer Study Abroad programs are open to those students from other countries who are enrolled in the final year(s) of an LLB program or are LLM students with a degree in law. While few foreign students apply to the program, we often have students participating in one or more courses. Generally, no more than five or six foreign students participate in the program in a given year.

Credit acceptance

Acceptance of any credit or grade for any course taken is subject to determination by the student's home school. Students should consult with their home school's registrar for more information.


The Director is Professor Christopher Robinette. Professor Robinette can be reached at 717-541-3993 or Joan Titmarsh is our program facilitator in Venice. Her contact information is as follows:

Joann Titmarsh, Program Facilitator
Tél: 390415225923
Mobile: 393406676778


Venice is considered by many to be the most beautiful city in the world with its magnificent churches, great art, and luxurious palazzi. But the city itself is the masterpiece. A walk through Venice confronts the visitor with the play of light on the curve of a canal, the slap of water against a gondola, the pervasive scent of the sea. Venice has had a remarkable history. The city  operated as an independent republic for more than a thousand years—and was the principal crossroad of East and West, dominant naval and trading force of the Mediterranean, and  richest, most prosperous commercial center of the Western world. Marco Polo lived here, where the Venetian Navy maintained trade routes against the onslaught of the Ottoman Empire.

Venice is easy to live in. One can walk to every location. Public boats (vaporetti) are available for longer trips. A short boat ride from Piazza San Marco takes you to the nearby Lido Beach.  Nearby islands are famous for their production of glass artifacts (Murano) and lace (Burano).

Weekend Travel

Italy, a founding member of the European Union, is bordered by Switzerland, France, and Austria, Students who enjoy weekend travel can easily travel to southern Italy, Eastern Europe, or France, or Germany for a short visit. Venice, which is a major train hub, affords a good travel base, with Milan, Florence, and Rome accessible in a few hours and to the north, Austria, Switzerland, and France. Greece is accessible by ferry.

Padova, Italy, which is within half an hour by train, offers an urban experience as a great university town.  Nearby, the outdoor Roman amphitheater in Verona offers summer performances with international opera stars. The Dolomite mountains are nearby for a weekend of hiking.

Explore the following links for more information on Venice:


Download the 2015 Venice, Italy, Course Schedule (PDF)  updated 01/16/15
Requirements for Student Performance & Grading (PDF)

Comparative Corporate Law (Justice Randy Holland) (1 credit) <UPDATE LINK>

Today's global economy has resulted in a proliferation of multinational corporations. Frequently, the parent corporation is governed by the law of one country and one or more subsidiaries are governed by the laws of other countries. This course will make a comparative assessment of the advantages and disadvantages to incorporating in a particular country. It will focus on corporations considering mergers, acquisitions, or joint ventures with corporations outside of their own jurisdiction and on the reasons why a corporation may decide to form a subsidiary under the law of another jurisdiction. For those comparative purposes, the law of Delaware will be used as the United States model.

(Schedule: Schedule: 6/22 to 6/26 9:00 – 11:20 a.m.)

Tort Law in Global Perspective (Christopher Robinette) (1 credit) <UPDATE LINK>

This course will focus on the ways major tort issues are handled in different countries (with emphasis on the United States and Europe). The first class will focus on the basic tort systems in various countries, including a discussion of common and civil law. Subsequent classes will cover substantive tort areas on a comparative basis: verbal insults, automobile accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, privacy, defamation, and governmental liability. Several international topics would be covered, including the Alien Tort Statue, Torture Victim Protection Act, and the Warsaw Convention.

(Schedule: 6/22 to 6/26 11:40 - 1:00 p.m.)

(Schedule: 6/29 to 7/3 9:00 - 10:20 a.m.)

European Union Law (Professor Massimiliano Granieri-Italian Faculty) (1 credit) <UPDATE LINK>

This course will deal with the sources of EU law and, in particular, with regulations, directives, recommendations and other acts of the European institutions. It will also focus on the role of the European Court of Justice as the highest authority in the judicature system of the EU law and its function in shaping the EU law. Finally, the Four Freedoms of the EU will be discussed as well as their evolution in the opinions of the EU Court of Justice.

(Schedule: 6/29 to 7/3 - 10:40 am – 1:00 pm)


Students are responsible for making their own travel and housing arrangements. Several shared rooms have been arranged with Venice International University in on-site dormitories. Dorm rooms are air-conditioned, modern, and include Internet access. There is also a 24-hour computer lab with Internet access available for resident students. Dorms (and classrooms) are located on San Servolo, an island in the Venetian lagoon between San Marco (St. Marks) and Lido Beach. Vaporetto (water bus) service is available to and from the island from early in the morning until late in the evening during the summer. Vaporetto line 20 runs from the San Marco area (San Zaccaria) to San Servolo and ends at the Lido (Casino stop).

Students are free to rent apartments or rooms on the “main” islands of Venice and commute via vaporetto to class each morning. Dorm rooms are expected to offer less expensive housing with better facilities than the available housing on the main Venetian islands, although cost savings may depend on the apartment students choose to rent.

If you take an apartment, you can fit as many people into it as the landlord will allow, which might lower your costs. When negotiating the price, make sure to emphasize that you are graduate (not college students). Also, ask what additional costs there are, such as use of the apartment’s phone, utilities, cleaning costs, etc. Late June and July will be very hot in Venice. You may wish to insure that the apartment is air-conditioned.

You can contact realtors in Venice about apartments. Prices range according to size and location. The most economical apartments are in the sections called Castello and Cannaregio. Cannaregio would be the furthest area of Venice from San Servolo, so the commute on the vaporetto system could be lengthy. Castello is relatively close to the vaporetto stop that gets you to San Servolo. The most expensive apartments are in the San Marco area, as this is the area heaviest with tourists. There are no inferior or superior neighborhoods in Venice, so your major considerations should be cost and convenience.

If you take an apartment, you can fit as many people into it as the landlord will allow, which might lower your costs. When negotiating the price, make sure to emphasize that you are graduate (not college) students. Also, ask what additional costs there are, such as use of the apartment’s phone, utilities, cleaning costs, etc.

Many realtors’ websites include apartment listings, with a range of prices. The following sites may be useful to you:,D/Studio-flat/Venice_1.htm –– Ms. Barbara Carron (Venice Rentals By Owner)

Past students have reported using the following realtor with success.

Mitwohnzentrale Alloggi Temporanei:

Small Hotels

It may be possible to book a double room in one of the smaller, more economical hotels in Venice for the period of the program. This will be more expensive than an apartment, but it is an option. Delaware Law cannot vouch for either the quality or the final prices of such hotels, but you may want to explore this website:

Transportation to Venice

Delaware Law provides information on discounted round-trip fares. Student airfares should be available for approximately $1,000–1,400 round-trip from New York or Philadelphia (January 2009 price). Travel to Italy requires only a US passport. Passports can be obtained from US passport agencies and at some post offices and courthouses. Visit the Office of Passport Services for specific information about passports: If you do not have a passport, you should apply for one as soon as possible.

You may wish to check various travel websites including
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