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Amazing food, sights, history & culture

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Southern Europe.  Italy’s capital and largest city, Rome,  has for centuries been one of the leading political and religious centers of  Western civilization, first as the capital of the Roman Empire and later as the site of the Holy See.  Italy comprises the boot-shaped Italian Peninsula  and a number of islands including the two largest, Sicily and Sardinia.  Italy has over 60 million inhabitants.

The phrase Made in Italy conjures up notions of quality, innovation and style. Italy is a trendsetter for design and the world looks to it as a leader in fashion, interior, industrial and architecture design. Italy’s passion for design that started centuries ago, has not showed any signs of slowing down yet.

Italy is known for its considerable architectural achievements, such as the construction of arches, domes and similar structures during ancient Rome,  the founding of the Renaissance architectural movement in the late-14th to 16th century, and being the homeland of Palladianism, a style of construction which inspired movements such as that of Neoclassical architecture, and influenced the designs which noblemen built their country houses all over the world. Italian fashion has a long tradition, and is regarded as one of the most important in the world. Milan, Florence and Rome are Italy’s main fashion capitals. 

Commedia dell’ Arte is a form of theater characterized by masked “types” which began in Italy in the 16th century and was responsible for improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios.. Each commedia dell’arte company had various scenarios, commonplace books of soliloquies and witty exchanges, with a dozen actors. Though at times there was some doubling of masks (roles), most players created their own masks or developed ones already established. This helped to keep a traditional continuity while allowing for diversity.  

Italy cannot be explained without mentioning its food. Italian cuisine is characterized by its extreme simplicity, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation. Dishes and recipes are often the creation of grandmothers rather than of chefs, which makes many recipes ideally suited for home cooking. Be sure to try all the pizza, pasta, ham, wine and cheese you can get a hand on!


Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is located in one of the most beautiful regions in the world. It offers visitors the heritage of the Medici and the most famous artists of the Renaissance such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Brunelleschi. Stroll its historic streets and discover a world where the ancient craft markets or the Ponte Vecchio take you back in time.

Florence not only offers art and history, but it is a university town full of institutes specializing in science and culture. Living up to its reputation, the Tuscany and Chianti regions provide plenty of outdoor activities and excursions, and a wide range of leisure facilities making your stay in Florence an unforgettable experience.

Programs in Italy

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