Rocky Ruggiero is originally from Providence, RI. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross where he majored in Art History and PreMedicine. In 1996 he was awarded a Florence Fellowship by Syracuse University where he continued his art historical studies at a graduate level in Florence, Italy, and later received his Ph.D. in Art History and Visual Culture from the University of Exeter, UK. He lived in Florence, Italy for twenty years teaching art history for various American universities including Syracuse, Kent State, Vanderbilt, Boston College, as well as the Jay Pritzker Academy Summer Program in Florence. In 2015, Ruggiero and his family moved to East Greenwich, RI and he now divides his time between the US and Italy. In the US, his company, Cultural Programs for the Arts, offers specialized lectures in art and architectural history, cultural events and educational seminars throughout the US. Ruggiero starred in various TV documentaries concerning the Italian Renaissance including the History Channel series “Engineering an Empire: Da Vinci’s World” episode as an expert witness and “Museum Secrets: the Uffizi Gallery”, as well as the recent NatGeo/NOVA PBS program on the architecture of Brunelleschi “Great Cathedral Mystery.” Prof. Ruggiero specializes in Early Renaissance Architecture, although he has lectured on subjects ranging from ancient art and architecture through the Italian Baroque. He also shares his knowledge and love of Florentine art as an academic advisory board member of the non-profit group Friends of Florence and frequent lecturer for Friends of the Uffizi Gallery, both of which have raised funds for the restoration of various works of art throughout the city.