Every year, Art History Abroad takes students aged around 18-22 to the great cultural centres of Italy. Our tutors are young, unstuffy and expert, most of them Masters who know how to make the obvious extraordinary and the unusual captivating.
We have been going to Italy for nearly 30 years and have a reputation for giving our students not what they expect but more than they could ever dream of – including private visits to places like the Basilica of St Mark, Venice.
This is a voyage of discovery – six weeks that will last you all your life. But don’t just take our word for it: many of our new students come because they know someone who has been on a course with us and we can put you in touch with past students – just ask us. We have a list of people who would not mind being called. Meanwhile, take a look at who we are and what we do, and decide what further questions you may have.
What will I see?
- Bologna or Verona
- Siena or Perugia
We make day excursions to at least six of the following towns: Padua, Vicenza, Bologna, Ravenna, Modena, Urbino, Pisa, San Gimignano, Arezzo, Orvieto, Pompeii , Herculaneum and Tivoli.
The course is taught entirely on-site, with a typical day split into morning and afternoon tutorial sessions, not too long and not too short (visiting 2-4 sites in each). This close, first-hand experience of paintings, sculpture and architecture acts as a natural springboard for discussion.
The itinerary is very carefully designed to be chronological and thematic within the restraints of geographical location (not too much walking!) and opening times.
The first five days are usually spent introducing basic themes and subjects which are worked up throughout the entire course. In this way, a series of cross-references builds up over the duration of six weeks as recurrent themes pose themselves, and a solid foundation in terminology is created: architectural (vocabulary and descriptive terms), classical or biblical narrative (myths and stories), geographical (Italy and Europe), basic datelines, and general themes like politics, propaganda and patronage.
All our hotels in Italy are selected for their location and character. In Rome we stay in the arty, buzzy Trastevere district, in Florence we stay a stone’s throw from the Duomo and in Venice we stay just steps away from the magnificent Frari church. In each case the hotels are family run and we have used them for years. Rooms are generally shared in 2s, 3s or 4s and have private bathrooms.
We choose our hotels so that most of the sites we see are within walking distance and we are in the heart of the city, close to the restaurants. It is important to us not to waste time commuting and vital that students should be in the most atmospheric, ‘sugestivo’, part of the cities we visit.
When we move between cities we often take the train or occasionally we hire a bus. The train is perhaps more fun, with a real sense of travel.