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As seen in Transitions Abroad Magazine November/December 2000
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Study Art History in Florence, Italy

If you wish to study art history in Florence you have plenty of options. A search of web search shows well over 20 institutions offering such courses. However, many are taught only in Italian, are offered only in the summer, or have a high cost of tuition.

The British Institute of Florence—housed in two 15th-century palazzi on opposite sides of the Arno River a few blocks from the Ponte Vecchio—offers year-round courses in Italian language and culture, including art history, opera, drawing, and cooking. In addition, it organizes guided day trips to destinations such as Rome, Bologna, Siena, Prato, and many other locations related to specific courses.

Santa Croce: Art History in Florence
Santa Croce in Florence.

The art history course, taught in English, ranges from a week to four weeks or more, with plenty of free time for exploring on your own, and at an affordable tuition.

All art history courses at the British Institute are taught in English by professors with doctoral-level expertise in Renaissance painting, architecture, and sculpture. Even for art history novices, these lively courses provide an excellent way to see and learn about Florence. Admission to lectures and tours can be purchased on a per-event basis. When sightseeing on your own, you can have the thrill of accidentally stumbling upon (or intentionally finding) exactly the same works of art discussed in the formal lectures.

The intensive week-long art history courses consist in introductory lectures and a whirlwind of on-site tours, which are equally superb.

In addition to courses on art history, the Institute hosts regularly scheduled receptions, lectures, and other cultural events that allow the English-speaking students to meet Italian students.

The Harold Acton Library has nearly 50,000 largely English-language volumes, and still growing, published between the 16th and 21st centuries covering art, Italian studies and language, music, travel, history, and English literature. Students can borrow books or use the comfortable reading room that overlooks the Arno.

For more information on the fascinating, ever-changing, and creative courses offered, as well as the precides yearly costs and dates, see the website of The British Institute of Florence.

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