Classics Abroad 2021 in Florence

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Dates & Times

Sunday 1st August - 8th August 2021 


Our Florence-based summer course is devoted to exploring classical antiquity through the literature, art, history and culture of Florence. It is a dynamic combination of classroom-based study and first-hand experience in context, designed to inspire students from all subject backgrounds with personal or academic interests in Classics and the city 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? 


A Typical Day 


9 - 10         Coffee and Colazione

10 - 11       Classical sources seminar on Botticelli's Primavera and Birth of Venus,                               Caravaggio's Medusa and the Legacy of the Laocoon.

11 - 12       Guest Speaker: Catullus and Petrarch. 

2 - 5            Outdoor seminar on Piazza della Signoria and site visit to the Uffizi.

7 - 9            Meet for Aperitivo in Piazzale Michelangelo.

*Free time is factored into each day. There is no tuition on Saturday when the trip outside of Florence is scheduled. 

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, gaining access to authentic Florentine nightlife, outdoor film and music events, reading groups, visits to inscriptions and rooftop bars. Included in the course fee are two experiences (a hands-on Renaissance art workshop and Tuscan wine-tasting) and we can also help you organise experience add-ons during the week. 


Our Approach

We aim to combine the best elements of an engaging sixth form lesson with the academic depth of university level study. Students are encouraged to draw links across genres and time periods, looking at topics with "fresh eyes". Our international tutors embody the passion and intellectual curiosity that we hope to inspire in others! Last year, topics included: Latin Love Elegy feat. Modern Rap (watch the trailer) Virgil and Dante's Inferno, Catullus and Petrarch, Lucretius and Black Africans in Renaissance Art. This year, the theme is 'Challenge the Canon'. 

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What's Included?*

  • Timetabled seminars each day (+ independent study) exploring classical antiquity through the literature, art and history of Florence.

  • Site visits including tickets to visit what you've been studying up-close, including: the Duomo Complex (Cathedral, Dome, Baptistery and Museo), Bargello Museum, The Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens (TBC).

  • Saturday trip to Fiesole or Machiavelli's Villa.  

  • Cultural Programme of optional evening events, such as city walks, outdoor film and music events, language drop-ins, exhibitions and aperitivo. 

  • Renaissance Art workshop (3 hours), where you will learn and practice an ancient painting technique such as fresco or egg tempera.

  • Tuscan wine-tasting experience.

  • 24/7 Staff Assistance.

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

Fees & How to Apply 

Application Status: Closed

Contact us for the course fee list in USD and EUR. Travel bursaries available for applicants in financial need, please request a bursary form in the comments box of the online application form. Find out more about our cancellation policy this year and our plans in light of the UK government's traffic light system for travel here

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Florence boasts a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget. 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. A limited number of places may be available in our palazzo apartment on a shared, twin room basis or a private, ensuite room from Sunday to Sunday, 7 nights. 

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Language & Experience Add-Ons

  • 5 x 1 hour conversational Italian or Latin lessons 

  • Rafting on the River Arno

  • Book-binding workshop

  • Pasta-making workshop​

Optional add-ons are subject to availability and can be organised at an additional cost with our friends in Florence. 

Feedback from our Classics Abroad students....


"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