Study abroad programs in Florence, Italy:

Florence is a city of culture: Culture of the past with its infinite examples of Renaissance splendor; culture of the present showcased in exhibitions of contemporary painting, sculpture, cinema, and fashion. The school is headquartered in the historic center of Florence, between Piazza Duomo and Piazza Santa Croce (bus 14 or 23 from the main train station or 10 minutes by foot).

It's just a few hundred meters from the Sant'Ambrogio market and the flea market. Many popular bars and restaurants can be found in this area, and the University of Florence and the largest public libraries in the city are within walking distance.


Museums

Florence Language CoursesGalleria degli Uffizi, Piazzale degli Uffizi - Justly one of the world's most famous fine art museums. The collections of Renaissance paintings and sculptures from classical antiquity are superb. Included is The Birth of Venus by Sandro Boticelli. There are often long lines (several hours' wait is not uncommon) since even before the doors are open. This is strongly recommended but there is an extra cost. The restaurant/caffè has a large balcony overlooking the main piazza with good views of the Palazzo Vecchio. It is a great place to take a break for art lovers making a non-rushed visit to this fantastic collection. This cafe is rather expensive however. Street performers are often seen outside the Uffizi.

Bargello (Officially The National Museu of Bargello), Via de Proconsolo - This museum houses one of the best examples of Renaissance and Mannerist sculpture. The works of many great Renaissance sculptors are on display here, including Michelangelo, Donatello, Ammannati, Bandinelli, Andrea and Jacopo Sansovino, Desiderio da Settignano, Giambologna, and Antonio Rossellino. The museum is located near Piazza della Signoria and can be seen in a few hours.

Florence Language CoursesAccademia Gallery, Via Ricasoli

- Highlights are Michelangelo's David and the unfinished Slaves. The David was recently cleaned in a controversial project. No photography is allowed inside. Wait times can be under one hour in the off-season. It is possible to reserve at the academia in advance and save yourself the long line. If you only interested in see David and Rape of the Sabines,and are short on cash you can see similar replicas in Palazzo Vecchino where you can also take pictures.

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Other sights

Florence Language CoursesSanta Maria del Fiore, also known as the Duomo di Firenze is the city's beautiful cathedral, the symbol of the city. Brunelleschi's huge dome was an engineering feat of the rennaissance. A statue of Brunelleschi is sited in the piazza, with his figure looking upwards towards his dome.

Giotto's Tower - adjacent to the Duomo, you can climb the tower for a magnificent 360-degree view of the Duomo, Florence, and the surrounding area. 6 Euro entrance fee, and requires some tenacity to climb 414 steps.

Palazzo Vecchio - old city palace/city hall, adorned with fine art. The replica of Michelangelo's "David" is placed outside the main door in the original location of the statue, which is a symbol of the Comune of Florence. The site displays an important collection of Renaissance sculptures and paintings, including the Putto, by Verrochio, and the series of murals by Giorgio Vasari at the Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the Five Houndreds) - the hall which used to display the now lost Renaissance masterpiece, that is, the so-called Battaglia di Anghiari, by Leonardo da Vinci.

Ponte Vecchio the oldest and most famous bridge over the Arno; the only Florentine bridge to survive WW2. The Ponte Vecchio (literally "old bridge") is lined with shops, traditionally mostly jewellers since the days of the Medici. Vasari's elevated walkway crosses the Arno over the Ponte Vecchio, connecting the Uffizi to the old Medici palace.

Santa Croce church contains the monumental tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Dante, and many other notables in addition to artistic decorations. There is also great artwork in the church. And when you're done seeing that, a separate charge will gain you admission to the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce, where you can see a flood-damaged but still beautiful Crucifix by Cimabue (Giotto's teacher), which has become both the symbol of the flooding of Firenze in 1966 and of its recovery from that disaster. The Pazzi Chapel, a perfectly symmetrical example of sublime neo-Classic Renaissance architecture is also worth visiting.

Santa Maria Novella, near the train station, is a beautiful church and contains great artwork, including a recently restored Trinity by Masaccio. Also, the Chiostre Verde, to your left when facing the front entrance of the church, contains frescos by Paolo Uccello which are quite unusual in style and well worth seeing, if the separate entrance is open. Off of the church's cloister is the wonderful Spanish Chapel which is covered in early Renaissance frescoes.

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Italian Language School in Florence, Italy
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