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Classics Abroad 2021 Florence Online

This course is now over! Sign up to our contact list to receive updates on when we will next offer this course online or in Florence.

Dates & Times

Monday 26th - Friday 30th July 2021


At Forte Academy, we can't wait to bring Classics Abroad 2021 online for the second time, our Florence-based summer course devoted to exploring classical antiquity through the literature, art, history and culture of Florence. 

What's the link between Classics and Florence? Not only does Florence have its own classical past 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? Which (and whose) ideas were considered important? How was myth translated into art? 


This year there is a twist. Our theme is 'Challenge the Canon' as we reflect throughout the week on the role that Florence and the Renaissance played not only in reviving but also in creating 'Classics'. To find out more about the theme, read our article here.

On this course, you will learn: 

  • how to question what you know about antiquity

  • how to approach primary material with "fresh eyes"

  • how to challenge scholarship and common assumptions with confidence 

  • how to engage with Renaissance art and literature

  • how gender, race and class bias has affected canon formation

  • how Florence played a role in the transmission of classical texts and ideas


Our Approach

We aim to combine the best elements of an engaging sixth form lesson with the academic depth of university level study at Forte Academy. We do this through interactive lectures. Students are encouraged to think independently, engage with primary material and contribute their ideas in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Our international guest tutors embody the passion and intellectual curiosity that we hope to inspire in others!

Course Content

The week-long course will be divided into 10 sessions, led by our tutors (2 hours per day). Resources will be provided for each topic, with some independent reading and study tasks required beforehand in the pre-course workbook. The emphasis is on students learning how to think, not what to think. Provisional seminar timetable available here. There are also language and experience add-ons which can be added on to your week. No previous knowledge required. 

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What's Included?

  • 2 hours per day interactive lectures (+ independent study), held via Zoom.

  • 10 sessions on topics that span classical and Italian art, literature, history and culture. 

  • Pre-course workbook with selected extracts and study tasks for students to engage first-hand with course content beforehand. 

  • Passionate guest speakers from the UK, Italy and the USA. 

  • Tools for a new academic mindset, promoting intellectual curiosity.


Application Status: Closed

Income generated from our online course will contribute towards bursaries for upcoming courses, so do spread the word! Contact us for course fee list in USD and EUR. Stay up to date by following us on on Instagram, Twitter or Medium, where we'll be using the hashtag #ChallengetheCanon.

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Medium

Optional Add-Ons*

Languages | Time TBC

  • Beginner's Italian 

  • Beginner's Latin

+ £50 / 5 x 1 additional hour per day.

Experiences | Time TBC

  • Ancient Spiced Wine Masterclass

+ £15 / 1 additional hour per week.

*Add-ons will run with a min. 5 and max. 10 students. 

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Feedback from our Classics Abroad students....


"I absolutely loved this course! I learnt so much and it wasn’t as restrictive or closed-off as traditional classical learning can be. A real chance to genuinely expand what classics means to a student of it." - Kasia, CA 2021 Challenge the Canon

"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 Challenge the Canon

Thoroughly enjoyed the course, felt that it was at an accessible level for someone with history knowledge but limited latin background. Would recommend to others and would love to do another course with the Forte Academy" - Sophie, CA 2021 Challenge the Canon

"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 Challenge the Canon 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

"The Classics Abroad Online course offers a multifaceted opportunity to study the classical influence on the Florentine Renaissance, from the significance of Virgil in Dante's Divina Commedia to the use of the classical nude in sculptures at the Piazza della Signoria, taught by a series of passionate, diverse and eloquent speakers." - Beth

"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

In Florence

"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

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

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