About The Renaissance Company

Together, Directors Deborah Warin and Frank Ambrosio have led more than fifty study tours in the city of Florence, throughout Tuscany, Umbria and the Marche, as well as Venice and the Veneto.

With the launch of the Renaissance Company ten years ago, Frank and Deborah are realizing their longstanding ambition of making the rich cultural legacy of the Italian Renaissance, the enduring meaning of its art and ideas, more broadly available as a personal intellectual and reflective experience.

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Francis John Ambrosio

Frank is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University in

Washington, DC.  He received his PhD. from Fordham University with a specialization in contemporary European philosophy. He is the author or editor of three books, including, Dante and Derrida: Face to Face (2007), and published numerous scholarly articles. He founded and directs the “MyDante” Digital Project at Georgetown (dante.georgetown.edu), a web-based, interactive pedagogy designed to enrich readers’ appreciation of Dante’s great poem. In 2014, MyDante became the platform for a MOOC (Massive,Open, Online Course) sponsored by Georgetown on the EDX  network. Frank has received several major awards for excellence in teaching at Georgetown. In 2009, The Teaching Company released his 36 lecture series, entitled “Philosophy, Religion and the Meaning of Life,” in their “Great Courses” catalog. For more than 15 years at Georgetown, Frank led study tours for Georgetown alumni, parents and students.

Deborah Panicale

Deborah Ross Warin

Deborah Ross Warin is co-founder and co-director of The Renaissance Tour Company. While at Georgetown University as Director of Continuing Education for ten years, Deborah led more than twenty academic tours to Italy in association with at Georgetown’s Villa Le Balze in Fiesole, as well as spending a sabbatical semester there. In addition to her faculty position at Georgetown, she has held leadership positions in higher education as a director at the American Council on Education, and as Expert Adviser to the European Council’s Higher Education, Civil Responsibility Initiative in Strasbourg, France. She has been a member of the Executive Council for Liberal Studies at Georgetown University, and an adviser to Shakespeare Magazine, where she was Managing Editor its founding year. Deborah has lectured in a variety of settings in the United States and abroad.  Her talks have included a sold-out engagement at the Embassy of Italy’s Italian Cultural Institute; featured presentations at the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associates program; the Italian Cultural Society; and a number of talks at Georgetown including four different series of lectures - The Medici and the Montefeltro and the Virtue of Magnificence; "Golden Bastards" and "Learned Ladies" of 15th C Italy; What's Love Got to Do with It - Love and Marriage in Renaissance Italy; Studia Humanitatis, The Rebirth of Liberal Arts in the Italian Renaissance - for the University's Emeriti Association. 

Mission Statement

The principal activity of the Renaissance Company is to offer flexible programs for adults who wish to invest their leisure in learning about the origins, development, and lasting impact of the Italian Renaissance through travel and in discussion.  Liberal education is always a communal activity, so our programs are designed to offer participants the leisure of time to reflect on and discuss with colleagues and peers the implications of the Renaissance and its relationship to contemporary life.“Renaissance” means new birth and renewal of society; personal initiatives and reflective dialogue are its primary sources.


At the core of all of the Company’s diverse programs will be an exploration of the economic, religious, political, intellectual artistic and cultural dynamics of change that characterize this period and made it among the most unique in Western history. Through guided visits and discussion led by expert teachers, participants will come into contact firsthand with the environment and artifacts of the early Italian Renaissance. Lest this sound too academic, too intensely guided, our complementary objective is to move out of the way, giving travelers a generous amount of free time to experience the culture and beauty of these places on their own.


After many years of leading these tours, we are committed to the integrity of the individual experience, which so shaped the many articulations found in the human achievements of the Renaissance, and therefore we hope to set the context rather than interfere with the resonance found in the individual experience of our travels. Above all else, our goal is to allow our travelers to enjoy the leisure of becoming at home in a place of breathtaking beauty, both the beauty of nature enhanced by centuries of human craft and the beauty of human experience transformed by imagination and art.