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  • Locations: Florence, Italy; Milan, Italy; Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: Abbey Road Programs 
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English, Italian Click here for a definition of this term Class Status: 1-first year, 2-sophomore, 3-junior, 4-senior
Housing Options: Apartment (shared), Hostel/Hotel Click here for a definition of this term Areas of Study: Archaeology, Architectural History, Architecture, Art, Art History, Arts, Culinary Arts, Culture, European Studies, Film, Gastronomy, History, Italian, Italian Language & Literature, Literature, Philosophy, Photography, Studio Art, Studio Arts
Program Type: study abroad
Program Description:

Florence Italy Study Abroad

Residential Cultural Immersion 
Italian Cultural Studies in the Arts, Language, Cinema and Cuisine 

Located in the heart of Tuscany, Florence is famous for the wealth of its artistic tradition, its spectacular landscapes, as well as its exquisite cuisine. Our summer study abroad program in Florence is more than just a teen travel program- for students passionate about art, art history, architecture, fashion, cuisine and everything in between, Florence is the ideal place for study – a living museum holding the world's greatest treasures from the Renaissance era.

Our Florence summer study abroad program is designed for high school students of all academic backgrounds and levels excited about immersing themselves in Florentine culture and lifestyle. In this pre-college program, students have diverse options for course study, including studio art, art history and fashion design, in addition to Italian courses in language, cinema and cuisine. Every day is a new opportunity to experience la dolce vita first-hand. From eating the meal of a lifetime in Piazza Santa Croce, to listening to nightly live music on Ponte Vecchio, Florence's elegant, palace-lined streets make for the ultimate Italian cultural pre-college experience.



Students choose one major course for their daily focus and one afternoon elective. Major classes meet Monday through Friday for three hours, while elective classes meet three times a week for two hours per class. Certain courses can be taken as either a major or an elective, while others are dedicated specifically to one or the other option. See below for availability: 

Italian (major) 
Taught solely in the target language, the primary focus of this course is on oral communication and the use of the language in authentic and realistic situations. Classes are conversational and make the best use of the resources specific to the host community and its surrounding areas, both as part of coursework and in extra-curricular activities. Beginning and Intermediate levels are available. 

Italian Conversation (elective) 
Understand and use everyday Italian words and phrases. During this introduction to the Italian language, classes emphasize active knowledge and practical application. Students learn to find their way, order meals, introduce themselves and grasp basic concepts through oral comprehension. Beginning and intermediate levels are available. 

Survey of Italian Cinema (elective) 
Acquaint yourself with a broad range of Italian cinematic styles and directors in this introductory course in Italian cinema. Classes will follow the development of post WWII Italian cinema with discussions of thematic elements and their relationships to modern Italian society and culture. You will even have the chance to try your hand at directing and producing a short group film! 

Tuscan Cuisine (elective) 
There is no better way to familiarize yourself with Florentine culture than through a study of Tuscan cuisine. Each unique lesson will teach you the history behind each dish, as well as how to prepare it from scratch. From learning the secret behind your favorite pasta recipe to traveling to local markets to buy ingredients straight from the vendors, this exploration of Italian culture will be a truly memorable experience. 

Tuscan Cuisine course
Digital Photography (major/elective) 
This course serves as an introduction to the basic principles and applications of digital photography as an artistic medium. Classes emphasize visual concepts, as well as basic image capture and camera functions. Important topics covered include the manipulation of camera settings, controls, lighting and exposure. 

Studio Art: Drawing (major/elective) 
The wealth of sculpture and painting in Florence serves as inspiration, while students learn the basics of drawing such as lighting, shading, dimensionality, movement and the human form. The course covers a variety of drawing techniques, ranging from the classical to the contemporary. Throughout the course, students work with a variety of materials and are encouraged to utilize their skills in capturing the essence of the city. 

Studio Art: Oil Painting (major/elective) 
Explore oil painting techniques and the relationship between concept, material and process in this studio art course as you develop your painting portfolio. Studio instruction emphasizes the importance of color, form, composition, light and texture as they affect traditional and non-traditional subjects. 

Fashion Design (major/elective) 
The link between fashion and art is undeniably growing stronger. In adhering to this belief, this course encourages you to push the boundaries of your imagination, while empowering you with the practical knowledge necessary to execute your visions and personal style. Classes cover a wide range of topics, including figure proportion, movement, textiles and fashion attitude, providing you with all the necessary tools to produce and present your own exclusive designs. 

Art History and Architecture of Florence (major/elective) 

Florence is the quintessential location for students to learn about the rich history of art and culture in Italy. Students study the history of the Italian Renaissance, focusing specifically on Florentine contributions. In addition, students in this course have the opportunity to learn about the architectural history and significance of many of Italy's great buildings. 


In this Italian residential immersion program, high school students live alongside Abbey Road staff in a historic apartment residence just steps away from the busy outdoor markets of San Lorenzo. Living in the historical center allows you to explore Florence by foot--this is one of the best parts of living in Florence! Typically, students will share double rooms within larger apartments. Female and male students will live in separate apartments, while the staff will live in the same complex. The pre-college experience is enriched by daily activities such as planning and sharing meals with staff, shopping for groceries in local markets, and preparing group meals using traditional Italian recipes. These cooking adventures quickly become a favorite with our students and staff!


Outside of their class schedule, students will choose from various activity options. From outdoor concerts to gelato tasting, students will have a good balance between cultural and recreational events as well as free time to explore Florence, shop, and enjoy the outdoor life and café culture of Italy. We strive to maintain a balance between structured activities and free time. While we give our students this privilege, we expect them to adhere to the program rules and safety guidelines, especially the policies on alcohol and curfew, and to uphold our standards of responsibility and maturity


During weekend excursions, students will visit some of the legendary sites unique to Tuscany, including Siena and San Gimignano, and the ancient Roman village of Fiesole! Students will also spend a day at the seaside towns of Cinque Terre, where they can relax at the beach or take the famous pathway between the small villages to see some of the most impressive views in all of Italy.


Students have the option of participating on a five-day travel extension to either Milan or Rome for an additional fee. Space is limited, and extensions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. 

There is no other city in the world like Rome! From the Colosseum and the Forum, to the Vatican and Piazza Navona, Rome has it all. Participating students will explore every corner of the historical center, throwing coins over their shoulders into the Trevi Fountain and sketching on the Spanish Steps. You will find every moment packed with amazing sights to see and things to do! 

Rome rooftops


No fashion enthusiast should miss the opportunity to visit one of the world's most renowned fashion capitals. Home to such celebrated fashion houses as Versace, Prada, Via Spiga and Armani, this travel extension serves as the perfect supplement to a course of study in Fashion and Design and includes showroom tours, haute-couture design workshops and even the chance to experience runway shows! In addition to being one of Italy's most glamorous cities, Milan also lays claim to incredible artistic attractions, including Michelangelo's Last Supper and the famous La Scala Opera House.

Milan Canal


Click here to view this program's dates and fees.