Santa Clara University


da Vinci

The da Vinci Residential Learning Community celebrates Italian heritage and culture with a focus on science and engineering. Although the academic interests of our residents reflect those of the famous Leonardo, and many of our members major in science or engineering, others study the arts, humanities and business. Some commuter students also belong to da Vinci, participate in our events, and make Casa Italiana their home base while they’re on campus.

Many da Vinci students stay together throughout their four years at Santa Clara, allowing younger students to make new friends and learn from their more experienced peers. Moreover, older students pass on our community traditions to new members. These include weekly community events including Family Game Night and da Vinci Caffe. Other programs occur less frequently. For example, at the beginning of the academic year, the entire community comes together to celebrate da Vinci Day with various competitions including a bocce ball tournament, a pizza dough throwing contest, a pasta sauce cook off, and an egg drop, in addition to various other games and races. On the first night of every quarter, Prima Notte, half of the residents in da Vinci cook a spaghetti dinner for the other half. Also, we celebrate the end of the year with da Vinci's Last Supper, a huge Italian feast.


Ciao da Vinci!

Ciao da Vinci! Is a community within the da Vinci Residential Learning Community with a focus on Italian Culture. Students who live in the Ciao da Vinci! community reside on the fourth floor of the Casa Italiana Residence Hall. 

The Ciao da Vinci! community is home to students who have a special interest in Italian heritage, culture, and cuisine. Residents of the Ciao da Vinci! community celebrate all things Italian through numerous activities including: bocce ball tournaments, Italian movie nights, homecooked "family" dinners, and a trip to an Italian-American neighborhood. Students may also participate in campus programs sponsored by the Vari Italian Studies Initiative.

Freshmen members of the Ciao da Vinci! community take a Cultures and Ideas sequence called "Italy: Gateway of Cultures." Through class discussions and guest lectures, this two-quarter course explores Italian culture from Ancient Rome through the Middle Ages and Renaissance to Italy today. Students analyze literature, art, film, and television created by or about Italians; read and write extensively; and have the opportunity to do two major projects such as cooking a medieval feast and re-engineering a da Vinci invention as part of the annual Ciao da Vinci! Maker Faire. Students who return to the Ciao da Vinci! community after their freshman year have the opportunity to serve as a peer educator for the next year's course.