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

“Open my heart and you will see, Graved inside of it, ‘Italy.’” Robert Browning

Join us in Italy this summer for a study abroad adventure! Our Italian cultural immersion program combines a three and a half week residential living experience in Florence for a truly unforgettable summer abroad. It is impossible not to get caught up in the beauty of Florence and Tuscany. For this reason and so many more this incredible city serves as the starting point and foundation of our Italian residential immersion summer program.

Florence is a living museum holding the world’s greatest treasures from the Renaissance era. Its stunning Duomo, rolling hills and winding allies have inspired students of all ages and disciplines for centuries- now it is your turn to join in the tradition! Every day in Florence is a new opportunity for you to experience la dolce vita firsthand. From eating the meal of a lifetime in Piazza Santa Croce to listening to live music on the Ponte Vecchio, the city’s elegant, palace-lined streets make for the ultimate Italian cultural experience.

I also really liked the tri-weekly cooking groups because it gave everyone time to bond, learn a new skill and my cooking group even ate together on a balcony with a view of the Duomo! McKenzie O., California

Residential Life

Is there anything better than sharing a new experience with friends? We couldn’t agree more (with the adage that sharing a new experience with friends under the watchful eye of seasoned, caring staff is even better). The residential living component of the Florence-Venice program is one of the greatest pre-college preparation and culturally immersive experiences out there. Daily tasks like making your bed, washing your clothes and picking up after yourself will help you learn to be a considerate, self-aware cohabiter. Weekly family-style cooking in small groups and a historic building (yes, some apartments even have frescos on the ceiling) mean you can actually be inspired just by walking through your front door. To top everything off you cannot find a better location. Our residence is a short walk from the Piazza del Duomo, the heart and soul of Florence, and the bustling outdoor markets of San Lorenzo. In short, you are far enough away from the city’s main piazzas to maintain a tranquil nighttime slumber but close enough so that you can make the most of your daily free time with friends.

Night sketching was really fun because we got to go out to the bridge and draw the Ponte Vecchio when it was all lit up. The reflections in the water and all the lights of the city were just really amazing to see. Maddie K., Connecticut

Daily Schedule

Four weeks in Europe passes by very quickly, especially during the summer. With that in mind the daily schedule in Florence and in Venice is designed to take every opportunity to educate and inspire. Every student on the program chooses two classes as their academic focus in Florence: a major and an elective. Major classes meet every morning while electives meet on a tri-weekly basis during the afternoons. This frees up two afternoons per week for you to try your hand at gelato- making, ultimate Frisbee, leather binding, museum touring or, to cool off with a dip in the local pool. We will always give you at least two-to-three options to choose from just to make sure there is something for everyone.

My trip this summer was one I will remember and cherish forever and was an amazing learning experience and summer of growth. I won’t forget the friendships I’ve made and the many lessons I’ve learned. Samantha O., New York

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.

This program went beyond my expectations. It was really worth it! They did more than what I expected…and if I were to do it again I wouldn’t change a thing! Marisa L., California

Optional Travel Extension – Venice

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. During this optional five-day travel extension at the Florence-Venice program’s end, you will enjoy a varied daily itinerary that balances cultural tours and leisure activities. From an afternoon chat with friends over espresso con panna in one of the city’s many cafés to taking in a street performance in Piazza San Marco, get ready to learn the story of how Venice influenced centuries of European history.