top of page

Classics Abroad Florence
The creation of classical antiquity

Previous course:

Monday 3 - Saturday 8 July 2023


Our signature one-week course unlocking the secrets of classical antiquity and its transmission through the history, art and literature of Florence. On this interdisciplinary journey, you will draw links between ancient and modern Italy, sharpen your research skills and deepen your understanding of how classical ideas were revived and reshaped through Renaissance Italy. This course is about unlearning as much as learning!

What's the link between Classics and Florence?

Not only does Florence have its own ancient history dating back to the Etruscans, but it is also known as the birthplace of the Renaissance i.e. the "rebirth" of classical antiquity. An insight into this period, is an insight into 'Classics' as we know it: Which ancient texts were discovered and how? Whose ideas were considered important and whose have been overlooked? How was myth translated into art? On Classics Abroad, you'll gain a clear insight into the history-making process and transform your approach to researching the past.

nov-flo 2.jpg
Screenshot 2022-08-01 at 22.33.02.png

A Typical Day 

10 - 1                 Seminars

  • Transmission of Classical Literature

  • Petrarch, Catullus and Humanism

  • The Genre of Biography: On Famous Men and Women 

1 - 2                   Lunch break 

2 - 4                   Site visit, seminar or workshop

  • Ancient egg tempera work in Florentine art studio

5+                      Cultural Programme (optional)

  • Beginners' Latin drop-in (5 - 6) and Live concert in an amphitheatre (9 - 10)

Cultural Programme

In the evenings, students are free to immerse themselves in the dolce vita alongside their studies and join optional activities on our Cultural Programme, which compiles relevant local events such as life-drawing classes, library lectures, language drop-ins, live music and film screenings and tips to gain access to authentic Florentine nightlife for students to explore independently.

Our Approach

Classics Abroad is a dynamic combination of classroom-based study and first-hand experiences in context. At Forte Academy, we combine engaging pedagogy with academic rigour, placing a strong emphasis on primary sources and building tools for independent thinking. Our international tutors embody the passion and intellectual curiosity that we hope to inspire in others!  Previous seminars include: Piazza della Signoria: Public Sculpture, Power & Mythology, Machiavelli's Classical Authors, Virgil & Dante, Classics & Christianity, Latin Love Elegy feat. Modern Rap, Pliny & Renaissance Art, Defences of Helen and Eve.


What's Included?*

  • Full timetable of interactive seminars on the classical tradition each morning, with a strong focus on both well-known and understudied material (no Latin prerequisite) across Florentine history, literature, art, spirituality & science!

  • Specific sessions tailored towards developing independent thinking skills and approaches to interdisciplinary research

  • Tickets to several sites of importance to visit what you've been studying up-close each afternoon, such as The UffiziPalazzo Pitti, Palazzo Vecchio and Museo Galileo, including some guided visits.

  • Exclusive hands-on workshops e.g. Latin Palaeography and Ancient Art workshop (3 hours), where you will learn an ancient painting technique such as fresco-making. Take home your masterpiece! 

  • Access to a Cultural Programme of optional suggested events in Florence such as outdoor film and music events, library lectures, language drop-ins (Italian & Latin) and life-drawing for the evening.

  • 3 group lunches.


*Flights, accommodation & meals except those listed are not included. Students must be 18 years old at time of travel.

Fees & How to Apply 

Full Fee: From £895


Application status: Closed

Please complete an application form to be considered for a place on this course. Places are limited will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Dates for 2024 will be updat


Florence boasts a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget, from hostels to single rooms to studio flats. We can help advise current students on finding a home base for the week within walking distance of our classroom in the vibrant city centre. We can also put Classics Abroad students in touch with each other with a view to finding shared accommodation, or with our housing partner in Florence offering discounted rates for a shared residence.

Feedback from Classics Abroad students....

In Florence

"Classics Abroad was an amazing experience for me! I would really recommend anyone with a historical curiosity to participate, not only to learn but also to travel the city."
- CA 2022 Student 

I thought it offered a truly fascinating insight into Florence’s classical, medieval and renaissance history in a fun, accessible way.
The people were lovely and the location perfect." - CA 2019 Student

"Fantastic experience, would definitely do the same or something similar again!" - CA 2019 Student

"A superb way to see Florence that built on the material I've been covering at uni, demonstrating in the stone and paint of the Renaissance masterpieces the continuous link between the ancient and modern worlds." - Matthew, CA 2019 Student

"An amazing trip, would recommend to anyone." - CA 2019 Student


"I absolutely loved the online classics course this year! It opened up a whole new discipline for me to explore and I can’t wait to learn more! Thanks for a great week!"
- CA 2020 Student

"A fascinating, rewarding course with passionate and remarkably insightful and engaging lecturers. On the whole, really well-adapted to an online format. It always felt rooted in a love of Florence, despite the distance. I would recommend to anyone at all interested in Renaissance Italy or Ancient Rome"
- CA 2020 Student

"The course was engaging and fascinating from start to finish. Every session was presented by an expert who brought their subject to life, all the more impressive as it was online. I would highly recommend this course."
- CA 2020 Student

"I am absolutely blown away by how much information I received during this course. It feels like so many more doors have been opened for me to explore, and thanks to Florence and the team my appetite for the Classics has increased tremendously! Each day felt like a brand new experience, and I left every session having learnt at least five things I didn't know before. If you want an entirely new perspective on the Classics and what it means to be a historian, I couldn't recommend this course more."
- Erin, CA 2021 Student

"The Forte Academy programme offered a perfect variety of content that both challenged and expanded my knowledge of the Renaissance and how we tackle the Classical Canon - both what we can learn from it and how we can challenge it. The plethora of primary sources ranged from art to poetry to letters and really painted the picture of the Florentine past, I highly recommend."
- CA 2021 Student

bottom of page