The Great Courses

Understanding Japan: A Cultural History Discover Japanese Spiritual and Philosophical Concepts in <i>Understanding Japan: A Cultural History</i>

Understanding Japan: A Cultural History

Discover Japanese Spiritual and Philosophical Concepts in Understanding Japan: A Cultural History

The Guide to Essential Italy Explore Italy's remarkable history and architecture in <i>The Guide to Essential Italy</i>

The Guide to Essential Italy

Explore Italy's remarkable history and architecture in The Guide to Essential Italy

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In-Depth Travel Courses

Together with The Great Courses, Smithsonian offers a series of in-depth audio and video lectures on favorite travel destinations worldwide. Each course provides engaging, illustrated talks featuring deep insights into the arts, history, and culture of the destination. View our available courses below!


Understanding Japan: A Cultural History

Japan’s extraordinary 2,000-year-old civilization has grown through periods of engagement and isolation into a society responsible for immeasurable influences on the rest of the world. Discover what makes Japan so distinctive in Understanding Japan: A Cultural History. These 24 fascinating lectures offer an unforgettable tour of Japanese history, life, art, and culture.
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The Guide to Essential Italy

Italy is the quintessential location for anyone interested in art, culture, and history. This course brings you the exceptional gems and daily life of Italy’s past and present in a visually stunning tour. Explore Rome, Florence, and Venice—and take side trips to Pompeii, Perugia, and more. Smithsonian Journeys Expert Valerie Hedquist provides insider tips as you immerse yourself in Italian culture.
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