Abbey Road Program: Florence - Residential Cultural Immersion

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  • Location(s): Italy
  • Program Type(s): Study Abroad, Intensive Language, High School

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Residential Cultural Immersion Italian Cultural Studies in the Arts, Language, Cinema and CuisineLocated in the heart of Tuscany, Florence is famous for the wealth of its artistic tradition, its spectacular landscapes, as well as its exquisite cui... read more

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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.  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.

Ever dreamt of living in a palace?  Abbey Road Florence makes that dream come true! Our students and staff make their summer home in Il Palazzo Le Monnier, a historic palace with marble staircases, marvelous sculptures, amazing frescoes, beautiful balconies and breath-taking views.  At the same time, Il Palazzo Le Monnier is a modern, recently renovated secure apartment building where each suite has a character of its own. Every apartment has a kitchen, private bathroom, living-room, as well as wireless internet access.  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 Abbey Road students who want to have the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Florence right at their doorstep. Typically, Abbey Road students share double rooms within larger apartments, much as they would in an American university’s student suites.  Of course, female and male students live in separate apartments, as does the Abbey Road staff. E la cucina?  Abbey Road students savor fresh food every day!  Whether they are experiencing the joys of choosing produce from the local outdoor market, preparing the evening meal all’italiana, or tasting the best local cuisine during an Abbey Road group meal at one of Florence's best restaurants, Abbey Road students love this Italian culinary adventure!

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

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 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! 

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 Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper and the famous La Scala Opera House.

Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
Intensive Language
High School
Program Length(s):
  • Summer
Relevant Study Subject(s):
  • Architecture
  • Culinary Arts
  • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
  • Italian Language, Literature
  • Film, Video, Photographic Arts
  • Fine Arts, Studio Arts
  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
Minimum GPA:
Year Founded:
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Abbey Road Programs Scholarships

Abbey Road offers various partial summer fellowships and scholarships annually to its summer programs.


Summer Fellowship applications are accepted on a rolling basis through June 1st and awards are given on a first come, first served basis. As such, interested students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Please follow instructions carefully as incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Fellowship recipients are notified within 1 month of application. Scholarship recipients and finalists (when applicable) will be notified by the Scholarship Committee by April 15. Scholarship recipients will be given until May 1 to accept or decline their scholarship award.