Creative Italy: for artisans & craft lovers

We all love to discover new places and learn about other cultures, but we often forget the valuable experiences that go far beyond sightseeing. At Studiainitalia, together with our partners at Italian Special Occasions DMC, we believe that the best way to experience a destination is to get to know the history and the ancient craftsmanship of the artisans in the area. That’s why we created the Creative Italy platform!

Protecting Ancient Crafts

Not only does Creative Italy help travelers to discover the incredible history and the people behind the most beautiful handmade objects, it also helps to preserve ancient traditions and support artisans.

An artisan is like a gatekeeper for the values, the traditions and the skills of their people. This is something that deserves to be given as much value as possible, and Creative Italy wants to bridge the gap between the “artigiani” and those who want to learn about their trade as a hobby or for their own profession.

Professional Courses, Made in Italy

If you are yourself an artisan and would like to expand your knowledge and learn new techniques, or if you are an aspiring craftsperson, there is no better country than Italy where to attend a professional course.

You will be learning directly with the masters behind the famous “Made in Italy” guarantee of beauty and quality. We are happy to have many testimonials of students who, following a crafts course with Studiainitalia, opened their own workshop abroad or in Italy.

Traditions that give way to creative travel

Learning how an artisan creates an object is an experience that goes beyond simple knowledge: the process is soul enriching and full of spiritual power. Society is stuck in a loop of consumerism and we have lost touch with our creativity and craftsmanship.

If you want to enjoy an authentic, meaningful vacation in Italy by doing more than marvel at sights, choose one of the selected experiences by Creative Italy: you will have the chance to unleash your creativity, meet artisans and come up with your own creations under their expert guidance.

Intrigued? Check out to find your genuine experience in Italy!

florence perfumery course italy

Perfume Making History & Workshop in Florence

There is a misconception regarding the origins of perfume. Most people think that it originated in France, but the person who brought perfume to Paris and gave it notoriety was a citizen of Florence. The first perfume shop was opened in Paris by Renato Bianco, a man who became a specialist in the creation of fragrances and was the personal perfumier of Catherine de Medici. This Italian noblewoman was queen of France from 1547 until 1559, by marriage to King Henry II.

Alchemy is closely related to the process of creating perfumes and it was considered a very mysterious artform. It was thanks to Renato that perfumes started to become a commercial success all over France and in every corner of the globe at some point in history.

perfume history florence italy
The monks at Officina di Santa Maria Novella in Florence created a perfume for Caterina de’ Medici when she became the bride of Henri II, King of France. Image from

Perfume lovers and Florence

If you happen to travel to Florence and you are also a perfume enthusiast, you will find yourself in a very privileged position. There is a building near the Santa Maria Novella train station that is considered the oldest cosmetic shop and pharmacy in Europe. Known by its official name of “Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella”, this place holds more history and aromatic treasures than any other in Italy.

To this day, the family-owned six-hundred-year-old establishment uses the same ancient recipes it used back when it started to make perfumes and skin care products! Make sure not to miss this place when visiting Florence, the true birthplace of European perfume.

santa maria novella perfumery in florence
The Ancient Apothecary’s Shop at Santa Maria Novella.
Image from

Learn the art of quality perfume making

In Florence you also have the opportunity of joining a professional perfume-making course with Studiainitalia. The program, available for both beginners and advanced students, includes forty hours that can be spread over seven or fourteen days.

This course will give you detailed information on the history of perfume, the use of materials, the comparisons between the different scents and fragrances, the use of animal derivatives, the use of dyes and fixatives, and the choice of preparation.

italy perfume making course florence

You can find more information, starting dates and prices on the Perfume-making course in Florence here.

christmas desserts italy

13 Italian Christmas Desserts

Every region in Italy has its own typical cuisine and food traditions, even during the Holiday Season. Some regions have more than one dolce di Natale and the best way to discover them all is to visit Italy and taste these delicious homemade sweets as you travel. To give you just an idea of how you can treat your sweet tooth during the Festive Season, here is a selection of 13 Italian Christmas Desserts, one from each region where you can learn Italian or join cooking courses and art workshops with Studiainitalia.

Buccellati in Sicily (Taormina)
These Christmas cookies originated in Palermo and are also known as cucciddati in dialect. A thin pastry wraps around a filling of dried figs and nuts, and other ingredients depending on the areas where they are prepared.

Certosino or Panspeziale in Emilia-Romagna (Bologna, Modena)
This ancient dessert originated in the Middle Ages, when it was made by pharmacists (known as speziali). Later, the friars of Certosa began preparing the panspeziale, and they were so good at it that the dessert changed name to certosino. Typical from Bologna, it is made with almonds, pine nuts, dark chocolate, and candied fruits.

Gubana in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Trieste)
This is a spiral-shaped cake of sweet leavened dough, filled with dried fruits, raisins and amaretto, and sparkled with grappa or slivovitz (a plum spirit).

Nepitelle in Calabria (Tropea)
The nepitelle calabresi are typically prepared for Christmas and Easter. Their name derives from the Latin word “nepitedum” (eyelids), because these sweets resemble a closed eye. They are filled with walnuts, dried figs, almonds, Strega liqueur, and dark chocolate or honey.

Pandolce in Liguria (Genoa)
This sweet bread with raisins, candied fruit and pine nuts originated in Genoa in the Middle Ages.

Pandoro in Veneto (Venice, Verona)
This is the most popular Christmas dessert in Italy along with Panettone. Shaped like an eight-pointed star and dusted in vanilla-scented icing sugar, it descends from the ‘pan de oro’ created in Verona in the 19th century to celebrate the first Christmas under the Scala dynasty.

Panettone in Lombardy (Milan)
The most famous Italian Christmas dessert, even abroad. It originated in Milan in the 9th century. The classic recipe includes flour, eggs, butter, raisins and candied fruit; although today there are many versions, for example with chocolate or pistachio cream.

Panforte in Tuscany (Florence, Siena, Lucca, Orbetello)
Originating in Siena as far back as the year 1000, the panforte is one of the most sumptuous Italian Christmas desserts. It is a dense, flourless, and heavily spiced fruitcake mixing honey, spices, candied fruit, and almonds. The name literally means "strong bread".

Pangiallo in Lazio (Rome)
Ever since the times of Imperial Rome, pangiallo (literally “yellow bread”) is prepared on the day of the winter solstice as a good omen for the return of long, sunny days. That’s why it has a golden crust, given by the mixture of flour, oil and saffron. It includes dried and candied fruits and raisins.

Panpepato in Umbria (Todi)
This round, sweet-and-sour cake is made with walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, honey, raisins – and as the name suggests – even pepper.

Sebadas in Sardinia (Alghero, Cagliari)

Although you can find them throughout the year, the sebadas (or seadas) are typical of special occasions such as Christmas and Easter. They are a fried dessert with a savoury touch, filled with local pecorino and covered with corbezzolo honey.

Struffoli in Campania (Naples, Sorrento, Salerno)
Originally from Naples, Struffoli are deep-fried little dough balls coated in honey, sprinkles and candied fruit. They are served once shaped into a Christmas tree or a pyramid.

Tronchetto di Natale in Piedmont (Turin)
Resembling a small tree trunk, this roll is made with eggs, flour and mascarpone, topped with chestnut cream and chocolate flakes.

Did we list your favourite Italian Christmas dessert? Share your thoughts below!



Creative Fall Break in Italy: Italian in Venice & Naples (10% off)

Fall has arrived in Italy with all its glory: intense blue skies and crisp fresh air, picturesque foliage and landscapes, and delicious seasonal food. If you want to book a last-minute vacation in Italy, make the most out of autumn by combining sightseeing, local events and an Italian course to become a Creative Tourist.

Our top picks in Italy for fall learning holidays in October, November and December are Venice and Naples. Not only do you enjoy 10% off the Italian course with Studiainitalia if you study in one of these months, these cities also offer a variety of things to see and to do during autumn.

Venice Fall Events

To celebrate his 500th birth anniversary, the Palazzo Ducale di Venezia hosts a wonderful art exhibition about Venetian painter Jacopo Tintoretto (1519-1594) from 9 September 2018 to 6 January 2019.

If you love drama and theater, don’t miss the autumn shows at Teatro La Fenice, one of the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre. These include Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Gioacchino Rossini in October, La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi in October, and Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi in November and early December - among others.

Unsure about visiting Venice in fall? Here is what an expert travel journalist from The Telegraph has to say: “Venice is a unique, magical place 365 days a year. But much of the time you'll be sharing that magic with thousands of other visitors. Numbers peak in summer, despite the heat, humidity and swarms of mosquitoes. Spring and autumn are much more pleasant months. I especially like late autumn (mid-October to mid-November) when, if you're lucky with the weather, it can still be warm enough to eat outside. But my favourite season of all is winter, a time of misty vistas when tourists are few and far between, rooms are cheap and the city is reclaimed by Venetians.

Naples Fall Food Recipe

The pumpkin is loved and recognized all around the world as the symbol of fall. In the region of Campania, and particularly in its capital city Naples, the “zucca lunga di Napoli” (also known as “cucozza zuccarina” or “zucca piena di Napoli”) is traditionally planted in April and May, and then harvested between August and September. The pumpkins are then conserved for different months in precise conditions, although they are best savored fresh in autumn.

According to the Slow Food Foundation, the pumpkin from Naples is on the brink of disappearing because it is cultivated in very limited amounts. You can consume it raw in salads, marinated or cooked, both for savory and sweet dishes.

Here is our favorite autumn recipe from Naples

Pasta e zucca alla napolitana - by

The ingredients are: zucca lunga di Napoli, pasta, garlic, parsley, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, optional peperoncino (chili pepper).

The procedure is:

  • In a large saucepan fry the garlic, a trickle of extra virgin olive oil and - if you wish - the peperoncino.
  • Then, add the diced-cut pumpkin that you have previously peeled and freed from seeds. Let it cook for a couple of minutes and add some chopped parsley.
  • You can then remove the garlic, add a glass of water and cook the pumpkin for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, boil some more water in a separate saucepan.
  • When the pumpkin will be very soft and begin to undo, add a little of the separately heated water and the pasta that will cook for a few minutes (depending on its cooking time) on a low flame; if needed, add some more water with a wooden spoon.
  • When the pasta is almost ready, add a little more chopped parsley and, if you like, serve at the table with a sprinkle of peperoncino to flavor.

Italian Courses in Italy – Seasonal Specials

Sign up for an Italian course with Studiainitalia and enjoy 10% off in Venice and Naples if you study in October, November or December 2018. Our Italian courses are composed by 20 lessons per week. You can learn Italian in Naples or Venice for any length of time. Lessons are delivered by qualified native-speaking teachers and based on the use of simple and effective teaching methods with small groups of students in a fun and stimulating atmosphere. At the end of the course, our Italian language school issues a certificate of attendance that indicates the type of course attended and the level completed. We provide our customers with different accommodation options (private rooms, shared/individual flats, hotels) near the school.

italy summer events

Summer in Italy: Events, Recipes, Courses

Are you planning a last-minute summer trip to Italy? Or are you currently in the Bel Paese and looking for inspiration on how to make the most out of this beautiful season? There are thousands of great events for you to attend; delicious dishes for you to taste at a restaurant or to cook at home; and fun and interesting courses that you can join as a creative tourist to enjoy your hobby or to improve your professional skills. Here are some of our highlights.

Spectacular Summer Events

Music lovers cannot miss the classical festivals held in Rome, Verona and Ravello. The Caracalla Summer Festival is unique: it is hosted by the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and takes place in the ancient ruins of Terme di Caracalla (Roman baths). The Arena Opera Festival is held in the Arena di Verona, one of the most prestigious Italian concert halls. Ravello Festival is simply spectacular, with concerts throughout the summer in the Amafi Coast’s Annunziata Historic Building.

Historic events that thrill thousands of locals and tourists every year include the Palio in Siena and the Festa del Redentore in Venice. The former takes place twice a year, on 2 July and on 16 August. In addition to the famous horse race, there are plenty of other attractions including costume parades, flag exhibitions and music. The Festa del Redentore takes place every year on the third Sunday of July. It features spectacular fireworks, thousands of illuminated boats decorated with flowers and balloons, and the Regatta of the Redeemer.

Summer Dishes

italy summer courses

The table of an Italian family looks particularly bright and colorful during summer! One of the simplest and most delicious seasonal dishes is Melone e Prosciutto (ham-wrapped melon slices), usually served as an aperitivo. The Caponata is a Sicilian stew that unites the vegetables that are at their best in summer, including chopped fried eggplant, celery and capers seasoned with sweetened tomato and vinegar sauce. And of course, the patriotic Caprese salad mixes high-quality mozzarella, local tomatoes and fresh basil, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Italian Summer Courses & Testimonials

Many travelers combine leisure with education, visiting Italy to discover its beauty, history and cuisine, but also to learn Italian or a craft that is part of local heritage. We have asked two of our summer students to share their Italian course experience with Studiainitalia.

Juliana from the USA just completed an Italian Course in Salerno.

My time in Salerno has been wonderful. I stayed here for three weeks! My teacher, the accommodation, and Studiainitalia have been wonderful. The classes have been so helpful in improving my Italian, and I have learned a great deal in a short amount of time. The school offered wonderful excursions as well. I would absolutely recommend this program and school to anyone who wants to improve their Italian (or begin to learn) and travel around the beautiful cities in Italia!

Katie from Australia is attending our Leatherwork Course in Florence.

Alicia is a very good teacher she is very thorough and pedantic for detail and making the perfect bag. She is patient and holds your hand through the whole process and towards the end of the program I am now feeling confident in my ability. She is also very flexible and happy to meet my customized needs. I would choose Alicia time and time again as my teacher.

You can see more testimonials and updates on our Facebook Group “Studiainitalia People”, join here!

If you are interested in Creative Tourism, take your time to browse through our courses in Italy and please contact us if you have any questions or need more information.



learning holidays italy

Top tips for a Learning Vacation in Italy

One of the most difficult decisions that one can make is to either continue furthering your education or taking that once in a lifetime trip overseas. We say, “Perché non entrambi?” or in English, “Why not both?”. If you have ever dreamed of learning the Italian language, fashion from a country always on the cutting edge, the finer points of Italian cuisine, or learning about art in the birthplace of the Renaissance - then an Italian learning vacation is exactly what you need.

vacation courses italy

How to sign up for a learning holiday in Italy?

Do a research on Google, finding and comparing agencies that offer quality courses and interesting leisure activities, have competitive prices, and boast verified positive reviews from past customers.

Browse the websites of the agencies specializing in educational tourism, and see how transparent and thorough they are with the information about courses, schools, location, services, permits and fees. Contact them with your questions and doubts to see how quickly and efficiently they reply. This will give you an idea of their expertise and customer care.

learning vacations italy

Why choose Studiainitalia?

We have been working in the field of educational tourism for over 12 years and won the prestigious "Best Creative Tourism Agency" award by the Creative Tourism Network.

At Studiainitalia we offer a variety of packages that will see you immersing yourself in local culture. We have carefully selected all the schools that we work with. You could embark on a learning holiday in some of the most famous destinations in Italy – like Florence, Venice, Rome, Naples – or choose from lesser-known yet beautiful towns, like Tropea, Trieste and Todi; among many others.

Finally, our customer service and attention to detail have been praised by hundreds of students and creative travellers throughout the years. Our flexible services will give you the experience you desire with no detail left unattended.

Contact Studiainitalia today to find out how to get started on your Italian learning vacation!

learning holidays italy
Useful links for your Vacation Course in Italy

Italy Travel Guide - Italian Tourism Official Website
Italy Travel Guide - Loney Planet
Life in Italy - Girl in Florence
Italy Blog - Walks of Italy
14 Tips On How To Travel Italy Like A Local – Forbes
Visa for Italy - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Where to study in Italy in 2018? Top cities for your interests

Tell us your interests and we’ll tell you the best city for you

Have you made any New Year's resolutions? If one of them is to study abroad to expand your cultural horizons and to nurture a passion of yours, you might be looking for ideas on where to find the ideal destination. At Studiainitalia we offer a variety of courses for foreigners all around Italy. If you like the idea of studying in the Bel Paese, we have selected our top picks for different interests.



Venice is simply unique. It’s not easy to find a city with so many artistic and architectural masterpieces, and with such a phenomenal location. If you love art, you can sign up for an Art History course in Venice, where you will have the possibility of learning about the works of famous painters like Canaletto, Tiziano and Tintoretto – not only in class but directly in museums, churches, academies of fine art… Venice is also home to the prestigious Biennale di Venezia, which in 2018 features the 16th International Architecture Exhibition. The city celebrates another form of art, cinema, with the oldest film festival in the world – Festival del Cinema di Venezia – which will reach its 75th edition in 2018.

As the birthplace of the Renaissance and of countless artists, Florence is an obvious choice for most art lovers. You can choose from a variety of art programs, such as Painting, Sculpture, Mosaic, Gilding, Photography, and Chalcography & Xylography Courses. In Florence you can also sign up for Art Restoration courses to learn how to return old books, paintings and furniture back to their former glory.


Italian Language

Naples has mesmerized travellers for centuries, not only for its beautiful location but also because it is a vibrant city full of character, friendly locals, rich traditions and amazing cuisine. It is a great option if you want to learn Italian in Italy, while enjoying history, sightseeing, nature, archaeology and food. Our Italian Courses in Naples are available for all levels, from beginner to advanced students.

If you are looking for a destination off the beaten path, you can sign up for an Italian Course in Todi in Umbria, the region in the heart of Italy. Todi is a great destination for foodies! The local cuisine is characterized by simplicity. Few essential ingredients from the earth reflect the local rural roots: mushrooms, asparagus, wild aromatic herbs, black and white truffles. Umbria is also a land of excellent wines, which you can discover along the four Wine Routes: the Sagrantino Route around Montefalco; the Trasimeno Hills Wine Route; the Etruscan-Roman Wines Route; and the Cantico Wines Route.



Get creative and make your hands give life to amazing objects in the north or in the south of Italy.

Up north, you can join a practical Murano glass making course in Venice with an experienced maestro vetraio. The one-to-one course provides you with a unique insight in the ancient practice that has made Murano famous around the world.


Down south, the beautiful Sicilian city of Taormina is full of culture and history, nestled between the sea and Mount Etna. Sicilian pottery is renowned the world over, and here you can delight yourself with the creation of striking and colourful ceramic objects. The Pottery Course in Taormina is combined with Italian language lessons for you to make the most out of your stay in Sicily.


Fashion & Design

Milan is the top destination for fashion and design lovers. It hosts amazing events like MIFUR Leather & Furs Exhibition, Milan Furniture Fair, Milano Unica Textile Fair, Milan Fashion Week, and exhibitions at the Triennale Design Museum. Studiainitalia is an official agent for two prestigious schools in Milan: Domus Academy and NABA. They offer courses such as Masters in Design, in Fashion, in Marketing of Luxury Goods, and in Interior Design– among others.


Naples is also a great option for Fashion lovers. In fact, it is home to several premier fashion manufacturers and brands that produce quality products for companies all over the world. You can learn Italian in Naples while indulging in its surprising traditional and high-end shopping streets.

For more on this topic, read "3 Reasons why to Study Fashion & Design in Italy".



Bologna is renowned for its culinary tradition. Just think of local specialties such as the well-known Bolognese sauce, and cured pork meats such as prosciutto and mortadella. The town also offers several interesting food festivals that will complement your cookery course in Bologna. Examples are the MortadellaBò Festival and CioccoShow.


In Tuscany, the medieval gem of Siena awaits you with a variety of cooking lessons. You can choose from courses about Italian bread and desserts, Mediterranean diet cuisine, Summer Dishes or Christmas Classics – among many others. Read more about Cookery Courses in Siena.


Your thoughts and questions?

Is your hobby or area of interest not listed above? Are you still undecided on where to study in Italy? Drop us a line in the comments or contact us directly so that we can provide you with even more ideas and solutions!

Learn Italian in Naples: 5 secret sights

Learn Italian in Naples: 5 secret sights

Naples is Italy's most vibrant city, and it is a delight to discover. If you have decided to learn Italian in Naples, we have 5 lesser-known sights where you can escape the crowds, enjoy the scene and even find inspiration to do some homework and study the beautiful language.


“I love her theatricality, the oriental chaos of her streets, the architecture that began with the ancient Greeks and ended with the Baroque. I love the fat, sensual Neapolitan vowels. I love the scruffy bars where coffee is served zuccherato, ready sweetened; the pasticcerie with the delicate sfogliatelle bursting with cream; the friggitorie, with their roaring wood-fired ovens and bubbling pizzas; the extravagance of the opera house, the oldest in Europe […]” -  Stanley Stewart, The Telegraph


Castello Aragonese di Baia

If you want to leave the hustle and bustle of Naples behind for a day, head out to the Bay of Pozzuoli, about 30 minutes away by car, to admire the Castello Aragonese di Baia. This late 15th-century castle was built by the Aragonese over ancient Roman ruins thought to be the summer residence of Julius Caesar. It towers over a cliff and offers amazing sea views. It is home to the Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei. This museum is rich in Roman remains found in the Phlegraean Fields, which is the large volcanic area situated to the west of Naples (you can also plan a visit in this regional park on your way to the castle).

Castello Aragonese di Baia
Castello Aragonese di Baia (photo from


Spazio Nea

This whitewashed gallery is a living space dedicated to contemporary art and cultural entertainment. Its cafe-bar is dotted with books and flowers, and features an outdoor seating area at the bottom of a baroque staircase. The art gallery is near Piazza Bellini in central Naples. Here you can admire exhibitions of contemporary Italian and foreign art by established and emerging artists. Check out its Facebook page for updates on its next activities: concerts, theatrical performances, children's workshops, vinyl sets, video art…

spazio nea learn italian in naples
White ambiance at Spazio Nea (pic from Spazio Nea on Facebook)


Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco

This unique church was built in the early 1600’s, when the “cult of the souls in purgatory” was recognised by the Catholic Church. Noble Neapolitan families commissioned its construction so that they could bury their loved ones in crypts under the city. Behind the baroque façade there are two churches mirroring each other – one at surface level and one below. The underground cathedral features niches carved in tuff stone displaying skulls and femurs; and it has an altar with flowers, rosaries, and other memorabilia left by devotees. You need to join a guided tour to access the underground section.

Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco
Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Anime del Purgatorio ad Arco (photo by Baku CC BY-SA 4.0)


Parco Sommerso di Gaiola

This 42-hectare park extends along Posillipo's coastline from the high cliffs in the bay of Trentaremi to the gentle slopes of Marechiaro. You will find mesmerizing underwater Roman archaeological remains, as well as remarkable flora and fauna. You can explore the Protected Marine Area with guided visits on boats and with snorkeling and diving itineraries.


Cimitero delle Fontanelle

This is a fascinating and unusual place: a tufa cave with ancient Greek and Roman tunnels, and thousands of human skulls and bones. The charnel house was created to store remains due to overcrowding in traditional burial sites. Eventually, the plague of 1656 claimed thousands of victims, most of which ended up in the Fontanelle Cemetery. Your tour guide will also tell you the story of the ancient practice of the "anime pezzentelle". Basically, believers in need of something would “adopt” a soul’s skull and bones and pray for that soul until their favour was granted. The soul’s transition from purgatory to heaven would be faster thanks to the prayers.

Cimitero delle Fontanelle
Cimitero delle Fontanelle (photo from


Italian language course in Naples with Studiainitalia

Are you looking for an Italian language course in Naples? With Studiainitalia you can learn Italian in the best language schools, with intensive courses composed by 20 lessons per week, available all year round. Get all the information you need about the courses, prices and accommodation options for your Italian course in Naples here.


painting holidays italy

Painting Holidays in Italy

I dream my painting and I paint my dream” said Vincent van Gogh. If you love this art, have you ever considered the idea of a painting holiday in Italy, home to some of the greatest painters of all time? It doesn’t have to remain a dream: with Studiainitalia you can easily join professional artists and maestros in their bottega (artistic studio). Here you can learn century-old traditions and techniques, discovering or refining your skills – whether you are a professional painter or just enjoy painting as a hobby.

Painting Holidays in Italy


Portrait painting, oil painting, watercolour painting, fresco painting – you name it, and you can learn it with the best teachers. During your art vacations in Italy, you can alternate your painting workshops with visits in museums and churches where you can admire fantastic works by famous and less-known artists alike.

Painting Holidays in Florence


For example, if you study painting in Florence you are right in the cradle of the Renaissance! What better place for viewing masterpieces such as “Trinity” by Masaccio in Santa Maria Novella, the painting where one-point perspective and modern spatial illusion began? In the Uffizi Gallery, you will be mesmerized by the enigmatic “Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli; while the Church of Santa Felicita hides “Deposition from the Cross” by Pontormo, one of the most beautiful works of Florentine Mannerism.

Florence: painting holiday italy

In Florence, you can find art almost around every corner, and even in your plate! Florentine cuisine grew out of humble origins, relying on fresh food from the surrounding countryside. Local dishes prepared with the rustic ingredients do not necessarily have a picture-perfect, gourmet aspect, but they come with an explosion of colours and flavours. Examples are the “pappa al pomodoro” soup combining tomatoes, basil, garlic, stale bread and olive oil – or its salad version called “panzanella”. If you are more of a carnivore, don’t miss on “trippa alla fiorentina” with tripe, sautéed in olive oil, onions, tomatoes and parmesan, or the flagship “bistecca alla fiorentina”, a thick porterhouse cut of beef made from the local Chianina cattle breed.

Panzanella (photo by

Painting Holidays in Florence: fresco and classic painting courses

With Studiainitalia you can choose from individual or group painting courses in Florence.

Individual courses are taught in Italian and their programme can be adapted to your own needs. If you do not speak Italian, you can apply for an interpretation service. If you are feeling particularly diligent, you can also join an Italian language course to make the most out of your cultural and educational holidays. The programme of the individual painting course includes aspects of use of coloured pencils and pastels technique, use of normal and oily temperas, use of oil-colours for glazing and printing – among other aspects.

Group courses can be taught in Italian or in English. The programme of the fresco course includes aspects of base preparation, copy of the sketch on the base, colour preparation, and the “Buonfresco” technique according to Giotto.

Interested in knowing more about each course and accommodation options? Have a look at:

Painting course in Florence (individual)

Painting course in Florence (group)

Fresco course in Florence (individual)

Fresco course in Florence (group)

italy cooking classes

Cooking Classes in Italy: foodie fun in Florence, Siena and Bologna

Italians are very proud of their cuisine and their relationship with food, which is an essential part of local lifestyles. Do you love good food and enjoy cooking? A vacation with cookery classes in Italy provides you with a fantastic and inspiring way to taste new and familiar flavors, discover traditional recipes and improve your chef skills, whether you are an amateur or a professional.

How can you make the most out of your cooking vacation in Italy? We have some ideas for a full immersion in Italian lifestyle, alternating hands-on cooking courses with other food experiences in some of Italy’s most beautiful art cities.


Florence: from the market to the dish

One of our partner cooking academies in Florence offers a unique experience involving a guided visit to the Market of San Lorenzo. Here, participants personally select the fresh and healthy ingredients needed for their cooking lesson. Following the market visit in the morning, participants proceed to the school where they learn how to prepare typical Italian dishes using those ingredients under the guidance of a chef.

The visit to the Mercato di San Lorenzo is a must in Florence. This historic place includes an indoor market, known at the Mercato Centrale (home to all things food) and the outdoor section in the surroundings streets (selling leather, clothing and souvenirs). Mercato Centrale is a two-level food market in a beautiful building designed by Giuseppe Mengoni and built in the 1870s when Florence was still Italy's capital.

Mercato Centrale in Florence - Cooking Classes with Market Tours, ItalyPhoto Credit: Mercato Centrale

Siena: seasonal flavors & medieval cuisine

Our partner cookery school in Siena specializes in hands-on courses that have a thematic flair that includes seasonal recipes and traditional Italian and Tuscan cooking. For example, you can learn how to cook vegetable and meat dishes in spring; fish dishes in summer; truffles, cabbage and mushroom dishes in fall; and poultry dishes and sweet cakes in winter. Here you can also learn notions of medieval cuisine with some ancient recipes dating back to the Middle Ages!

Cookery course in Siena: medieval cuisine

Bologna: “green” cooking classes & foodie festivals

Bologna is renowned for its culinary tradition, which relies heavily on meats. Just think of local specialties such as the well-known Bolognese sauce, and cured pork meats such as prosciutto and mortadella. Of course, you can sign up for a cookery course that will make you an expert in traditional meat dishes. But if you do not eat meat or are interested in other types of cuisine, in our cooking academy in Bologna you can also join Vegetarian, Dietetic and Gluten-free cooking courses.

This city is also known as La Dotta, La Grassa e La Rossa (the Learned, the Fat and the Red), respectively because it is home to the oldest university in the Western world; because of its culinary treasures, and due to the terracotta color of its brick buildings and of its communist past. Truthful to its nicknames, Bologna offers several interesting cultural and artistic events, as well food festivals that will complement your culinary vacation. Examples are the MortadellaBò Festival and CioccoShow.

Cooking Classes in Tuscany

Cookery Classes for all tastes

The team at Studiainitalia has personally selected the cooking schools for your culinary travels in Italy. The lessons are held in full-professionally equipped kitchens and the teachers are professional chefs. Apart from the examples mentioned above, you will also find specific courses about: homemade pasta, pizza, pastry, gelato, as well as cooking classes for families. Curious to know more? Have a look at our Cooking Courses in Italy or Contact Studiainitalia for more info.