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Florence, Rome Italy Study Abroad

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

Join us in Italy this summer for a study abroad adventure! Our Italian cultural immersion program combines a residential living experience in Florence with a five day travel excursion to Rome for a truly unforgettable summer abroad.

Live the life of a Florentine as you absorb the local culture through daily classes in art history, Italian language, studio art, digital photography, fashion design, and Tuscan cuisine. Make friends and explore new interests during daily recreational, sports, and social activities. Expand your horizons as you tour Italy’s most breathtaking towns and cities during weekend day trips. Finally, deepen your understanding of Italian culture as you venture to Rome for a five day guided excursion with visits to the Coliseum, Pantheon, Roman Forum, Vatican City, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, and more!

Florence is the ideal location for cultural immersion and summer study abroad. A clearly defined mid-sized historic center provides a safe environment for high school students to experience the city’s greatest cultural treasures. Taking full advantage of our central location and long-standing relationship with the local community, weekday classes are taught by professional artists, historians, photographers, and chefs to guarantee an authentic, quality learning experience. Diverse daily activity options combined with weekend day trips keep students engaged and fully immersed in the local culture. In short, every day is a new opportunity to experience la dolce vita firsthand! From eating the meal of a lifetime in Piazza Santa Croce to listening to nightly live music on the Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s elegant, palace-lined streets are sure to inspire you this summer!


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.

OSA Soccer Academy (elective)
Train like a real Italian pro-athlete! During this exciting tri-weekly soccer elective students will be exposed to the training techniques and soccer style of the acclaimed OSA Soccer Academy and Florence’s own ACF Fiorentina professional soccer club. Each week, accredited OSA coaches will work directly with students to enhance their skills and training techniques through group and individual practice, drills and scrimmages. Students will also have the unique opportunity to tour the Coverciano complex, home to the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), visit its museum as well as tour the ACF Fiorentina stadium. Participants of the course will receive an official training kit of socks, shorts and shirt along with an official diploma upon completion. Students must bring their own soccer, running shoes and shin guards. Previous knowledge of soccer encouraged.

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.

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.


Students and staff live together in a historic apartment residence, Il Palazzo Le Monnier. Every apartment in this renovated, secured apartment building has a kitchen, private bathroom, bedroom(s) and living area. Perfectly situated in the historic center of Florence, steps away from the outdoor markets of San Lorenzo, Il Palazzo Le Monnier makes an ideal home for students who want to have the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Florence right at their doorstep. In most cases, students are housed in double rooms within larger apartments and share household responsibilities typical of those they can expect from a college or university dorm. Female and male students live in separate apartments with the Abbey Road staff centrally located in the same complex.

An important component of this pre-college experience, students shop for weekly groceries with their apartment mates and enjoy 3-4 evening meals per week with their staff supervised cooking group. Equipped with fresh ingredients and their own Tuscan recipe book, these nightly culinary adventures quickly become a favorite bonding and cultural activity among our students and staff. Outside of their cooking groups, students will enjoy tasting authentic cuisine during outings to local restaurants or, discovering their own favorite places to eat during stipend meals.


During the week, students explore Italian art, history, language and culture through their chosen major and elective courses. After noon, students head out for lunch and then dive into the day’s exciting selection of electives and activities. Discover the secrets of fine Tuscan cuisine at the world-famous Scuola di Arte Culinaria Cordon Bleu, or simply delight in the flavors of an amazing gelato in Piazza Santa Croce. Try your hand at film-making, or just snap a few great photos of Florence during Abbey Road’s Digital Photography class. Enter the world of Italian fashion design with internationally recognized experts, or show off your newest bathing suit at the local pool. Compete in an evening game of pick-up soccer at Piazzale Michelangelo, or sit back and enjoy its incredible panoramic view Florence. Whatever the activity, every day with Abbey Road Florence is truly unforgettable!

Sample Daily Schedule
9:00-9:30 Morning Group Meeting
9:30-12:30 Major Class
12:30-2:00 Afternoon Break and Lunch
2:00-5:00 Tri Weekly Electives OR Afternoon Activities
5:00-7:00 Free Time
7:00-8:30 Dinner: Restaurant, Stipend or Cooking Groups at Residence
8:30-11:30 Evening Activities
11:30-12:00 Return to Residence, Face-to-Face Nightly Check-in


There is no other city in the world like Rome! From the Colosseum and the Forum to Vatican City and Piazza Navona, Rome has it all. An exciting way to shake up the daily routine and further bonding through group exploration our students, with the help of the program staff, discover every corner of the historic center throwing coins over their shoulders into the Trevi Fountain and sketching on the Spanish Steps. During this final week abroad, you will find every moment packed with amazing sights to see and things to do!


Florence is at the heart of one of Italy’s most beautiful regions, Tuscany! And Abbey Road students spend their weekends exploring many of the legendary sites that make Tuscany a place like no other on Earth. We’ll go to Siena home of the incredible Palio delle Contrade, a traditional horse race in which the town’s neighborhoods compete for honor and glory. We’ll visit the town of San Gimignano whose medieval architecture has earned it a place among UNSECO’s World Heritage sites. We’ll look down on Florence from the ancient Eutruscan walls at the village of Fiesole. We’ll swim the blue waters of the Mediterranean at the popular beach resort of Viareggio. We’ll stroll the terraced villages of Cinque Terre on the gorgeous Italian Riviera and even bicycle through history in the amazing walled city of Lucca.


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

At the program’s end, students have the option of extending their stay in Italy through a four night trip to Venice. Also known as the City of Bridges, the Republic of Music, and the Queen of the Adriatic Venice's rich history and importance throughout the Mediterranean are undeniable. As a port city, Venice was a center for trade and naval dominance during the Middle Ages and Venetian influences (and fortresses) can be found far and wide throughout the Mediterranean. A major contributor to the Renaissance artistic movement and the birthplace of Vivaldi, a trip to Venice is particularly interesting after an immersion experience in Florence as it presents a very different view of Italian cultural heritage than that found in Tuscany. From a tour through the magical world of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice to an afternoon gondola ride with friends, Venice is a truly unique place to visit and not to be missed!


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Florence Italy Study Abroad
Florence Italy Study Abroad
Florence, Italy Study Abroad Florence, Italy Study Abroad Florence, Italy Study Abroad
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