Italian Cultural Studies in Studio Art, Art History, Language, Cuisine, Fashion and Photography

Pre-College Programs

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Open my heart and you will see, Graved inside of it, 'Italy'.

Robert Browning


Florence (Tuscany)


3 week option July 3 - July 24
4 week option July 3 - July 31 (includes Venice)
Rome (optional extension)
July 31 - August 4


$5,995 (3 weeks) Promotional Price
$6995 (4 weeks) Promotional Price
(+ $985 optional extension to Rome)


Student Apartments + Hotel


Grades 9-12, no language prerequisite

Day Trips

Siena, San Gimignano, Cinque Terre, Fiesole

Optional Extension

Rome, July 31 - August 4

Join us in Florence this summer for an adventure of a lifetime! You will be inspired by the beauty of Tuscany and its cultural capital, a living museum holding the world’s greatest treasures from the Renaissance era, a city of elegance, history and art.

Program Highlights

  • Live in upscale, spacious student apartments in the historical center of Florence
  • Enjoy fresh authentic food prepared by our culinary staff and local chefs
  • Learn in a fun, interactive way, outside of the classroom (hence our Experiential Learning Method!)
  • Be a savvy, sophisticated traveler. Go above and beyond the standard tourist checklist!
  • Meet local Italian youth and make friends from all over the world
  • Option to receive college credit, studying with our local partner institutions
  • Included trips to Venice, Verona, Milan, Siena, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, Viareggio and more
  • All inclusive 3 or 4 week sessions
  • Pre-Summer Language Courses and Tutoring Online (get an early start on practicing your Italian!)
Sivan W.,

“The entire experience was priceless. The classes were fun and entertaining, but the best part was exploring. We were given free time to explore, shop, eat and just experience Italy in our own way. This was one of my favorite things about the program. It was very structured, but at the same time it gave us all an opportunity to experience Italy in a personalized way. Each weekend we traveled to different cities outside of Florence. The weekend trips were some of my favorite parts of the whole trip. It was so awesome to see other ...

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Our culinary staff will buy daily fresh food for breakfast and lunch from the local markets and shops. Some evenings our staff and students will make delicious meals together, armed with fresh ingredients and our own Tuscan recipe book. These culinary adventures quickly become a favorite bonding and cultural activity among our students and staff. We will also enjoy authentic local cuisine during outings to local restaurants.

Our staff will provide you with daily groceries (bread, pasta, cereal, water, olive oil, etc.) and house supplies. If you need more food or house supplies – just tell us. We will get them for you.

Residential Life

You will live in upscale, comfortable student apartments, in the very center of the city, a short walk from the Piazza del Duomo, the heart and soul of Florence, right by the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata. The apartments have living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms and 2-3 bedrooms. Each bedroom is shared by two students, with staff members housed in a separate apartment down the hall.

You will be part of our Abbey Road family, making new friends, learning to be independent and self-reliant, to share responsibilities with your peers, manage your time, and getting ready for college years!

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Academics / Experience Mix

Art history & Architecture

Italian Language



Daily Schedule

Every student on the program chooses two classes as their academic focus in Florence: a major and an elective. Major classes meet every morning Monday to Friday, while electives meet three afternoons a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Students interested in earning college credit will have the option of doing so via our local partner school, Lorenzo de Medici Institute.

Majors: Art History, Studio Art (Drawing, Oil Painting), Italian Language.

Electives and Workshops: Photography, Fashion Design, SAT Prep, Italian Conversation, Italian Cinema, Tuscan Cuisine, Drawing, Oil Painting, Art History & Architecture, OSA Soccer Academy.

Some of our students’ favorites are:

  • admiring the legendary Renaissance masterpieces at the Uffizi, Bargello, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Medici and countless other Florentine museums
  • sketching Michelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia as part of the art class taught by our faculty
  • an evening soccer match in Piazzale Michelangelo
  • Iron Chef culinary competition at our residence judged by the staff
  • sketching Florentine life in Piazza Santa Croce
  • fashion workshop with Italian fashion designers
  • …and many more. Have a look at the gallery below

If you were there...

  • Morning Activity

    Fashion design class

  • Morning Activity

    Having fun in Italian class

  • Afternoon Activity

    Ceramics workshop

  • Afternoon Activity

    Student self-portrait in the painting studio

  • Afternoon Activity

    Sketching in front of Palazzo Vecchio

  • Night Activity

    Night at the Opera

Weekend Day Trips

In addition to showing you all of the most celebrated and “lesser known” cultural sites in Florence, the program allows you to explore cities outside Florence and even Tuscany each week. From hiking along the cliffs on the Italian Riviera to following in the footsteps (and postures) of millions as you “lean” in front of the tower in Pisa, you and your new friends will be able to explore some of the legendary sites that make Italy one of the most visited countries in all of Europe.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Included: Three Days in Venice & Verona -

Join us for a sunset gondola ride through the famous canals of Venice! With its looming fortresses, breathtaking architecture, and history of naval dominance, Venice is the perfect location to examine the intersections of art, history and present-day Italian culture. From an afternoon chat with friends over espresso con panna by the famous Rialto, to taking in a street performance in Piazza San Marco, get ready to learn the story of how Venice influenced centuries of European history.On the way to Venice, stop by Juliet’s house in beautiful Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s greatest love story, the annual opera festival and its Roman amphitheatre. Ponder finding true love and your own Romeo as you stand on Juliet’s balcony (but please do not miss our bus departure!)

Optional Travel Extension – Rome -

This final portion of the Florence program includes four days of cultural discovery in Italy’s capital. Saying « Arrivederci » to Florence will be difficult, but greeting Rome with an enthusiastic « Ciao Roma!» will no doubt ease your pain. Hosting such influential sites as the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, Fori Imperiali and the Pantheon, this trip allows you to study first hand some of the most important cultural landmarks of Western Civilization. From throwing coins over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain to sketching on the Spanish Steps, you will have the opportunity to experience every aspect of this city’s incredible history and vibrant life



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Last Hoorah in Florence

The fact that we are leaving in less than a week is sadly starting to sink in and it stinks.  We don’t want to go home at all.  It feels like Florence is our real home and going back to the US would be the trip.  Keara has been finishing up her final art project while Elena does the same in Italian class.  At the start of this ...

by Student
Keara S. & Elena D.,
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Rome and Florence

Our last full day in Rome was started with an early morning. We all rose and headed out for a long walk, and we discovered that our instructors had set up a scavenger hunt for us. Our teams roamed around Rome snapping photos of various things on the list. We had to get a picture with a priest! Later that night, the group headed up to visit the ...

by Student
Maya C. & Carlos C.,
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Week 1 in Florence - Time Flies!

Florence Session 1 is off to a fantastic start!  From the moment our students turned the corner onto the picturesque little cobble-stone street that we call home for the duration of our program, everyone has been in awe of the history and beauty that surrounds us in our neighborhood! Our group has become a family very quickly, bonding over ...

by Staff
Carrie Osborn,
Florence Session 1 Program Director
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