History of Art Courses in

History of Art Courses in Florence and Venice

When thinking about where to study art history in Italy, there are two cities that immediately come up to mind thanks to their amazing buildings, statues, museums, and all the artists that were born or worked there. We are talking about taking art history courses in Florence and in Venice, which became UNESCO World Heritage Sites respectively in 1982 and 1987.

Here you will find history and art behind every corner and will be able to experience it with all your senses: admire famous paintings and statues; listen to powerful operas in the theatre; touch precious leatherwork and glasswork hand-made by local artisans; inhale the fragrance of the rose gardens and of the artisanal perfume-making workshops; taste traditional dishes that are still prepared with ancient recipes.

If you decide to study History of Art in Florence or Venice, you will be inspired and engaged both creatively and intellectually, thanks to the variety of cultural and social events and activities that you can join.


History of Art Course in Florence

Florence was the birthplace of artists like Filippo Brunelleschi, Cimabue, Leonardo Da Vinci, Dante Alighieri and Niccolò Macchiavelli, and of the most powerful patrons of Renaissance culture, such as Lorenzo de’ Medici. The city also contains many museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Pitti. Due to its artistic and architectural heritage, Florence still exerts an influence in the fields of art and culture.

Studiainitalia offers a short History of Art course in Florence, composed of 10 one-to-one lessons in one week. Special attention is paid to the history of Florentine painting and architecture. The course includes guided visits to specific places and artworks of interest in the city. You can choose one or more art history programmes, for example: From the Middle ages to the early Renaissance, Mannerist Art and The Seicento (among others).

History of Art Course in Florence
Rima is our guide and art historian in Tuscany!

For a full immersion, you can combine your art history course in Florence with Italian classes in the same school. And you can choose from different types of accommodation (private rooms, shared/individual flats, hotels) near the school, which is in the historic centre. For more information and costs, see Art history course in Florence.


History of Art Course in Venice

In addition to famous painters and artists that were born in Venice, such as Tiepolo, Tintoretto and Vivaldi, many other artists from all over Italy worked here, like Titian, Palladio and Monteverdi. And don’t forget the local yet international adventurers, Marco Polo and Giacomo Casanova. Venice is a living museum, thanks to its mesmerizing attractions such as St Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace, Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco.

Studiainitalia offers History of Art courses in Venice: our school is in a historical building with a wide terrace overlooking one of the most beautiful squares! You can sign up for a course of one or two weeks, with lessons held in the morning or in the afternoon for three hours a day. The art history programme allows you to join guided tours around Venice to discover its artistic and architectural masterpieces.

History of Art Course in Venice

For a full immersion, you can combine your art history course in Venice with an Italian course. And you can choose from different types of accommodation (private rooms, shared/individual flats, hotels) near the school. For more information and costs, see Art history course in Venice.



group art course italy

Art Courses for Groups in Italy

What can be more fun for a group of friends, school mates or work colleagues than to travel to a foreign country and enjoy some creative and enriching activities together? Whether it’s for student travel programs, summer teen camps or corporate teambuilding and incentives, Italy is the perfect destination for group art courses.

At Studiainitalia we can organize art courses for groups for high schools, summer camps and businesses. Just last week we had a group of high school students from China, who attended a painting course in the beautiful setting of Museo degli Innocenti, a historic building in Florence that was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and that is regarded as a notable example of early Italian Renaissance architecture.


The Chinese school returns every year for art courses in Italy: have a look at the splendid work from last year’s group, who had the challenging task of painting Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus!

Art Courses for Groups in Italy

Other art programs that can be organized for groups are Florentine Mosaic, Fresco, Painting Restoration, Gilding and Pottery Courses. This variety of courses caters to different tastes of art lovers and to the most diverse needs by companies who want to organize corporate activities.

What are the advantages of study abroad group travel in Italy? There are many, but the most important are: participants arrive at the destination with people they have already met; you can save on transfers to/from airports and train stations thanks to group rates; an experienced agency like Studiainitalia is at your disposal for pre-travel, on-site and post-flight assistance, course selection, accommodation and activities.

If you have any questions regarding group courses in Italy for your school or business, please contact Studiainitalia.



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 lacucinaitaliana.it)

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)

Study Art in Florence - Art Courses in Italy

Why Study Art in Italy? Art Courses in a Living Classroom

Italy is one of the top destinations for  Art Studies and Art Vacations. If you are passionate about art, either professionally or as a hobby, you will love visiting the country that has the most Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Can you imagine the emotion in seeing in real life a famous piece of art that you had only seen on a textbook or on a screen? If you are considering which country to choose for your education and/or vacations, here are 3 good reasons why you should study art in Italy.


1. The birthplace of countless artists and art movements

Italy was the cradle of the Renaissance and of many other art movements. And the list of influential Italian artists is quite formidable. Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Donatello, Masaccio, Botticelli, Giotto… just to mention a few! One great thing about this country is that it is a living classroom: you can study inside an institute, and then continue your learning experience outside, in fact there is…

2. Art behind every corner

In Italy, you will find art along the streets, in ancient sites, inside museums, at the theater, even in Italian cuisine! You can experience Art with all your senses. You will be inspired and engaged both creatively and intellectually, thanks to the variety of cultural and social events and activities that you can join.

3. The Best Art Courses

The artistic spirit has remained ingrained in Italian society, and if you study art in Italy you will find many skilled professors ready to share their passion with you. There are excellent schools that can meet the needs of any student, whether they want to enrich their education or career, or simply want to enjoy an art vacation in Italy.


Why Study Art in Italy with Studianitalia?

With more than 10 years of experience in the field of Creative Tourism and Educational Travel, Studiainitalia has carefully and personally hand-picked the best art courses in Florence. This city was the cradle of both the Renaissance and the Italian language, and offers a delightful richness of art and architecture. You can study art in Florence in a creative and interactive way, learning century-old techniques directly in art workshops run by professional artists and maestros. Curious to know what courses you can sign up for? Have a look at Studiainitalia’s Art Courses.



Italian art and craft: keeping traditions alive

UNESCO, with its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, recognizes the importance of encouraging artisans to continue to produce craft and to pass their skills onto others. Italian artists and artisans are among the most active and proud in sharing their knowledge. They know that keeping traditions alive is important for teaching the present and next generation about a shared past, and for safeguarding ancient trades that are slowly disappearing.

When we think of ancient paintings or fashionable shoes, chances are that in our minds we picture a work of art by Leonardo da Vinci or a pair of stiletto’s by Ferragamo. Italy is the unchallenged birthplace of many forms of art and crafts. Yet, difficult economic conditions and the affordable prices of mass production have forced or persuaded some Italian businesses to transfer their factories abroad or to give up the use of manual work in favor of machines. But many artists and artisans have remained in Italy, stubbornly and proudly defending their old ways of work.

Luckily, in a world that is ever-more globalized, many consumers and regular people are rediscovering authentic forms of crafts and appreciating their value. It feels great to own a leather bag that was handmade in Italy. But how cool is it to have a leather bag that you have created yourself in an Italian bottega (workshop) under the guidance of a local artisan? If you collect or simply love old books, wouldn’t you find it rewarding to be able to restore them, or to book-bind ancient paper sheets with the original techniques?

Even in the domain of art, there is a growing movement for educated tourism, in other words for travel that goes beyond the explanation of tour guides or visiting a site just to take a selfie. After all, Italian art and architecture have long been the central focus of world history. Museums, art collections and historical venues have attracted tourists for centuries. But nowadays there seems to be a sense of renewed interest, urgency and desire to understand and appreciate the treasures of the past. Maybe this is partly due to recent problems such as the buildings that collapsed in the archaeologic site of Pompeii, the $30 million renovation project of the Colosseum, and the tragic destruction of the Palmyra site in Syria. All of a sudden, we realize that majestic buildings might not be there forever, and we stop taking things for granted.

Hopefully, the collaboration between the public and private sectors, along with the input of organizations such as UNESCO and of common people who are genuinely interested in the preservation of ancient arts and crafts, will help Italy and countries around the world to preserve their tangible and intangible treasures in the centuries to come.

Working towards this direction is our agency, Studiainitalia, specialized in cultural travel and creative tourism in the Bel Paese. Are you intrigued or inspired by the idea of learning with artisans and artists in Italy? Studiainitalia offers a variety of Art Courses, such as Painting, Sculpture, Xylography and Art History; Handcraft Courses like Shoemaking, Leatherwork, Bookbinding and Pottery; and Restoration Courses for Paintings, Furniture and Books - among many others. All courses are practical and take place in a bottega, where the master artisan follows the student(s) throughout two or more weeks. For travelers who want to make the most out of their Italian cultural experience, Studiainitalia can also combine the art and crafts courses with a language course. Browse through our course list or contact us now for more information!

Top Art Exhibitions to see in Italy in 2017

The new year offers new opportunities to enjoy art in Italy. 2017 features some exciting appointments: here are some of the best art exhibitions so that you can plan your trips to visit museums and art galleries all around the boot!




Anish Kapoor

WHEN: From 16 December 2016 to 17 April 2017

WHERE: Macro, Rome www.museomacro.org

British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor returns to Italy after 10 years, with an exciting show in Rome’s Macro Museum. The exhibition will comprise a series of reliefs and paintings made up of jutting layers of red and white silicone and paint, as well as monumental architectural sculptures, including the extraordinary “Sectional Body Preparing for Monadic Singularity”, displayed in the park of the Palace of Versailles.



Pablo Picasso

WHEN: From 21 September 2017 (end date TBA)

WHERE: Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome www.scuderiequirinale.it

Later in September, Rome hosts a grand exhibition called “Pablo Picasso between Cubism and Neoclassicism”. It showcases the complex relationship between Picasso and Italy, from the neoclassical hints inspired by the Roman Renaissance to the realistic temptations due to Pompei’s paintings.





Keith Haring

WHEN: From 20 February to 18 June 2017

WHERE: Palazzo Reale, Milan www.palazzorealemilano.it

From February to June, Palazzo Reale in Milan hosts “Keith Haring – About Art”. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the American artist and social activist, whose imagery has become a widely recognized visual language of the 20th century.


Édouard Manet

WHEN: From 8 March to 2 July 2017

WHERE: Palazzo Reale, Milan www.palazzorealemilano.it


Milan welcomes two more great art exhibitions between March and July 2017. One is dedicated to “Manet and Modern Paris”, featuring the works of art of the French maestro along with paintings by Renoir, Degar and Cezanne.


Wassily Kandinsky

WHEN: From 15 March to 2 July 2017

WHERE: Mudec, Milan www.mudec.it


The other event pays homage to Wassily Kandinsky with an original “site-specific” exhibition, based around his vocation and the relationship between art and science and on the metaphor of travel as a cognitive adventure. The exhibition displays his works from the most important Russian museums, some never seen before in Italy, and traces the long formative period of the artist’s visual imagination.


Amedeo Modigliani

WHEN: From 16 March to 16 July 2017
WHERE: Palazzo Ducale, Genoa www.palazzoducale.genova.it

You can explore Modigliani’s creative life in Genoa’s Palazzo Ducale in March. The exhibition shows the main stages of his brief, yet fruitful, artistic career. Modigliani had a very distinctive brush stroke and moved between tradition and modernity, influenced by ancient Greece, passionate Paris and Art Négre.



Pablo Picasso

WHEN: From 10 April to 10 July 2017 (dates may vary, program still TBA)

WHERE: Museo Capodimonte (Naples) and Antiquatium (Pompei) www.museocapodimonte.beniculturali.it

2017 marks 100 years since Pablo Picasso visited Italy while he was working on “Parade”. Apparently, Naples inspired the artist in designing the costumes and sets for that ballet. At this time, there still isn’t much information regarding the exhibition called “Picasso Parade”, which will be split between Museo Capodimonte in Naples and the Antiquarium in Pompei. Stay tuned on our social media accounts for updates!



What do you think about these events? What are your favorite art exhibitions in Italy? Comment below!



2016 Art & Handcraft Courses: Fall & Winter Deals

Artists quote by St Francis of Assisi

Florence is the World Capital of Art and Handicrafts, featuring hundreds of ancient botteghe (artisanal workshops).

In this beautiful video, artists and artisans talk about their passions, history and work.

Learn about how the Italian Renaissance was born in the small botteghe in Florence, thanks to the Medici’s, the geographical location, hard-working families and traditions handed down from generation to generation.



Would you like to study in the capital of arts and handcrafts? Become an artist by learning from master artisans in Florence!

Studiainitalia offers a special 75-euro discount on all Art & Handcraft Courses in Florence during the months of November and December 2016. The choice is vast, from Painting to Art History, from Sculpture to Xylography; from Bookbinding to Leatherwork, from Shoemaking to Inlay and Gilding - and many more. Choose your favorite course in Florence now!

Art & Handcraft Courses: Fall & Winter Deals

Learning the Art of Antiques Restoration in Florence

Learning the Art of Antiques Restoration in Florence

Learning the Art of Antiques Restoration in Florence

The art of antiques restoration consists in restoring an antique or work of art to a like-new condition. There is a lot of difference between restoring and repairing. Functionality may be achieved by a repair, but restoring an item is a proper form of art.

Restorers have to be trained craftspeople. Why? Because a single piece of furniture may include wood, glass, inlay, leather and fabric. This means that antique restoration requires knowing different types of materials. Also, a restorer who is working for a collector who values patina, must make sure that the item reflects an aesthetic that shows its age. In other words, an "over restored" item can actually lose its value.

In the historic center of Florence, Tuscany, there are many botteghe – or artisan workshops – that are specialized in antiques restoration. They are often family owned, with traditions passed down from generation to generation. Some also share their knowledge and secrets with students, offering authentic restoration courses to people from all around the world.

Studiainitalia, an agency specialized in language courses and art & handcraft workshops across Italy, offers a number of restoration courses, including period furniture, ancient books, paper and paintings.

Enjoy the videos below presenting some of the master artisans who teach the courses, and students offering testimonials about their Florentine experience.





History of Portrait Painting in 4 minutes - video

History of Portrait Painting in 4 minutes

History of Portrait Painting in 4 minutes - video

Here is a beautiful video by Art Historian Dr. Raichel Le Goff, who presents a slideshow of portraits from Pisanello to Freud in about 4 minutes.

The video starts with the individual paintings featuring “the profile” in the 1400s, like the works by Pisanello.

Then, in the 1500s, the sitters start turning towards the viewer, for example in the artworks of Antonello da Messina.

The evolution is quick, with portraits expanding to include the head and chest like many ancient marble statues. Eventually, even the background is no longer plain and tells a story, like in Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

In northern Italy, Giovanni Battista Moroni asks his “sitters” to stand up. The full-length portraits help to give an idea of the importance and status of the person that is being painted, especially if he or she has props. For example, take a look at Titian’s painting of King Philip II of Spain (circa 1551).

In the 1600s, portraits do not only represent people of a certain status, but also ordinary people such as Vermeer’s Milkmaid (1658). They also go beyond physical appearance, with allegorical portraits representing a mythical figure or virtue, as is Anthony van Dyck’s painting of Countess Rachel de Ruvigny as Fortune (1639).

The video ends with a few of the best portraits in the following centuries… Enjoy!



Painting and Drawing Courses in Italy

Would you like to join a Painting Course in ItalyPerhaps you would enjoy learning the Art of Fresco with lessons in Florence? Another popular option for art lovers is the Drawing Course.

All courses are practical and hands-on, and take place in an authentic bottega (workshop) where a master artisan teaches and shares the secrets and skills of the ancient arts. Discover Italy and its Arts with Studiainitalia!

Chalcography course in Florence

Ancient Printmaking Courses in Florence

Chalcography course in Florence

Florence has been the world’s capital of arts and handcrafts for centuries, and offers the perfect environment where to join courses of ancient processes and techniques. If you are interested in antique printmaking, you should not miss out on the courses of chalcography and xylography offered in Florence by Studiainitalia, specialized in creative tourism and language courses in Italy.


What is Printmaking?

Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper but occasionally on fabric, parchment, or other support. The result are prints that have an element of originality, created under the direct supervision of or by the hand of the artist. Such fine prints are considered original works of art, even though they can exist in multiples [Encyclopaedia Britannica].

Ancient printmaking course in Florence

Chalcography is the art of engraving on metal plates, especially for printing and for illustrations in the production of books. The word derives from the Greek terms chalcos, copper and graphia, to write. The first available news on this print technique date back to 1450, when goldsmith Maso Finiguerra conceived it and used it in Florence.

Xylography: Madonna of Fire, Forli, ItalyThe most ancient book bearing chalcographies - Monte dei Santi di Dio by Antonio Bettini - was printed in Florence on September 10, 1477. However, its primacy is contested by Ptolemy's Cosmographia, printed three months earlier in Bologna and containing geographical charts engraved in copper plates.

Xylography (also known as woodcut) is a technique for transferring onto paper an image carved in relief on a wooden block. Xylon, in Greek, means wood.

It is likely that it originated as early as the 8th century in Chinese Buddhist temples. However, European use of the woodcut as a means to produce old master prints began in the 15th century. One of the earliest such works is The Fire Madonna (Madonna del Fuoco), an early woodcut that miraculously survived a fire in 1428, and still resides in the Cathedral of Forlì. Italian artisans raised the level of the craft during the 16th century.


Chalcography and Xylography Courses

The printmaking workshops in Florence offer one, two or more weeks of Chalcography and Xylography courses. You can book a 24, 48, 72 or 96-hour course and distribute your hours along the number of weeks of your choice.

These hands-on courses are conducted by local artists, masters concerned with maintaining Italian artistic traditions alive. The programs are focused on a direct approach to the techniques. As a participant you will create sketches, prepare plates and blocks, and – at the end – you will print your artwork!

Xylography course in Florence, Italy

The Chalcography and Xylography courses take place in a “Bottega”, or a typical artisan workshop located in the historic center of Florence. Here, participants will find a cheerful and informal atmosphere.

Lessons are delivered in Italian: the course is very practical and it is not required to have previous knowledge of Italian language; however you can apply for an interpretation service or you can combine this course with an Italian language course in Florence.

Need accommodation in Florence? Studiainitalia can help you with that too, offering a wide range of possibilities, from carefully selected Italian host families to shared apartments and private studio apartments.

Learn more about Studiainitalia’s Chalcography and Xylography course, prices & accommodation in Florence.