6-week Gap Year Course in Italy | Art History Abroad

Video and Photos

The David, Florence
Outside San Marco, Venice
Siena Sunset


This course travels through Italy four times a year, exploring all aspects of culture, such as history, music, politics, food, literature and philosophy – in addition to art and architecture. Alongside studying the greatest masterpieces of Western civilisation, tutors will take students off the beaten track to unearth some of the secret wonders of Italy. The course visits Venice, Verona, Florence, Siena, Naples and Rome as well as many places in between. For example, while in Florence students will spend a day visiting the leaning tower of Pisa, and while in Naples some time is spent studying Pompeii and climbing Mount Vesuvius. Spending at least 5 days in each city and up to 10 in some, students will delve beyond the realms of tourism, leaving with an in depth knowledge of Italy that will remain with them for life.

Questions & Answers

Hi, thanks for stopping by! To get a feel for the experience you will have on this trip we recommend reading reviews! You can find a ton of helpful reviews and pictures at the bottom of this page to help you out: https://www.gooverseas.com/gap-year/italy/art-history-abroa….


based on 51 reviews
  • Housing 8.9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9.7
  • Benefits 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Facilities 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 51
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 3 Months of My Life!!

Before embarking on my journey with Art History Abroad, I had no idea I would come out the other side a completely changed person. After finishing high school I felt almost burnt out and AHA completely revived my excitement about learning and exploring the world. Every day the tutors (who live and travel with the group) lead “sessions” on a different subject in a museum, cathedral, city center, or even on a gondola. These lessons were anything but dry and often discussions about the art and architecture we were seeing continued into the rest of our days together. I often found myself most looking forward to our meals. The tutors always knew the best restaurants in the area and we would spend hours as a group eating, laughing, and talking about the day. Something that I quite appreciated about AHA was their flexibility. I decided to combine two of their courses and start a few weeks late on one of them since I had an interest in traveling to France by myself. They were more than accommodating and even encouraged me to forge my own path and meet up with them later. I also appreciated how the tutors and directors treated the students as real and capable adults. After participating in similar programs throughout high school, I found that it is unique to AHA how students are given so much freedom to explore and learn and are taken seriously in return. The tutors, directors of AHA, and friends from the program became like another family to me and I am forever grateful for the memories I made and the amount I learned about myself and the world with AHA.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Personally, I was quite worried that I did not have an art history background. I would tell future students not to worry about what other interest they might have an how those will take away from the program or make it difficult to fit in but rather how they will add to their experience. Some of the most interesting conversations we had surrounded a student’s interest in a subject I initially thought was totally separate from art history. Without having the diverse group of students and tutors I had, I would have never learned as much as I did!
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Art History Abroad - 6 Week Gap Year Spring Programme

For anyone thinking of pursuing a future in Art History or any creative field, AHA is without doubt an eye opening experience that will exceed your expectations. The course provides an inviting social environment that encourages individuality within members of the group and aids the challenging yet engaging opportunities that the course offers. Each location that you visit gives plenty of time to inhale the cultural differences between each region, and how history has influenced its infrastructure and people throughout time. I can safely say from my experience that I discovered so much about the wealth of locations such as Florence, Naples and Rome. And how important they were in establishing Italy as a powerhouse of the arts from a contemporary view of today, reflecting on the time period.

The best offer to the course is definitely the tutors who are extremely insightful with both their opinions and factual knowledge to each location we visited. They provide an intimate and engaging setting when they take you to visit galleries, monuments etc.. which personally cannot be provided in regular tour groups. The teaching style of the tutors were a big reason for artists I found a new interest in, you also will find yourself becoming invested into certain figures depicted and not just the artist themselves. I especially became fascinated with the life story of Mary Magdalene, after being in awe of Donatello's emaciated wood sculpture 'Penitent Magdalene' at The Opera del Duomo Museum in Florence.

Looking on the course as a total package it was the most insightful and intriguing experience i've had abroad! Packed full of curricular activities, workshops and including free time to do some independent research around the cities and capitals we visited. The itinerary includes entry to exhibits to all galleries of medieval, renaissance, modern and contemporary stature. Workshops allowed us to take handcrafted pieces home and providing demonstrations of traditional techniques used to make sculptures, mosaics and frescos. These making both great memories and ideal presents if you wish to give them to relatives and loved ones.
Tutors will take you to the most authentic restaurant locations in each city, steering you clear of tourism traps of overcharged prices for food, which becomes especially useful for lunch and supper. All in all it's an course I would urge anyone who is interested art, history, architecture or even in general to get involved with AHA, it's a great way to spend part of your gap year anywhere from 2 to 6 or 12 weeks engulfing the culture of Italy and form your own opinion of the place itself.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure to keep your whereabouts at all time, despite it seeming like a safe environment its best to be on the safe side. In particular with cons and beggars around the streets offering you 'free' gifts.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

AHA - The Best of Times

Before having found AHA, I had never been away from home without the company of friends or family. The idea of being on my own was a terrifying concept. But AHA changed that for me. I came into the program thinking I would fail. Instead, I succeeded in the best of ways. There was so much that made the trip extremely memorable. From the art, the tutors, and the other students, AHA made it their goal to help us have the best time possible. The tutors not only were supportive, but they were fun, happy and altogether fantastic. They were amazing teachers too, providing us with the necessary tools to be passionate about the art we saw while not pushing us in the way of exams or tests. They taught us simply for the love of learning. Also, the food was amazing. Every dinner was a new experience, and I never grew tired of eating pasta. AHA provided me, and I believe so many others, with the chance to experience art in a new and thought-provoking way. We had discussion-based sessions where students were encouraged to ask questions and speak out, while also having sessions where we would be able to draw and write about the art we saw.

There was so much to explore on this trip, so much to do and so much to learn. I would really recommend it for anyone looking to learn (for the sake of learning!) and to have fun. I’m so glad that I found AHA’s summer course, and if I could, I’d do it all over again.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing at all. It was really one of the best experiences!
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Art History Abroad| 6 Week Autumn Gap Course

I cannot speak highly enough of AHA. Its an opportunity that provides the perfect learning and social combination which excatly what I had hoped for. The access to the treasures and places of historical importance in Italy must be completely unique. Finding myself on a private tour around Saint Marks Basilica one evening in Venice an example of the lengths AHA go to, to provide a first hand taste of what Italy offers. This is all backed up by tutors who are incredibly knowledgable. They also teach in such a style that is inclusive, fun and socially interactive making it a perfectly balanced learning environment. Your able to connect with people from all over the world on the trip, some of whom I still see today. The course encourages you to socialise with everyone including the tutors in the evening which is a brilliant way to get to know everyone more and explore the cities further. The tutors are experts on the restaurants and bars to go to which is a huge help, that allows you to delve into the local cuisine. The exposure to the quality and different periods of Art, Architecture and even Literature in the finest Churches, Musuems in the world is just extraordinary. Asides from the renowned calling points, a highlight included discovering one of Carravagios last paintings in an old bank off the high street in Naples. Pleasant surprises like this happen regularly mainly due to the courses fantastic organisation.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

If you're considering this trip, do it.

Going on the six-week gap year trip with Art History Abroad was one of the best experiences of my life thus far. I went in with no prior knowledge of art or art history and left feeling like I was able to hold meaningful conversations about nearly any piece of art placed in front of me. The tutors are incredibly knowledgeable and all wonderful, engaging teachers. Besides being great teachers, they are also amazing people and will feel like friends by the end of the trip.
This trip will present you with some of the most incredible opportunities you can imagine. You see all of the artistic highlights like the David, The Birth of Venus, and more, which are just as remarkable as they are hyped up to be. Beyond that, AHA takes you to places that you would likely never think of on your own. One of my favorite days was a day trip from Naples to the island of Ischia, where we explored a stunning botanical garden and got to spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach and swimming in the Mediterranean. Yes, this trip is about art, but it will teach you about so much more. You will learn about people, food, Italian culture, and life. This trip absolutely changed me for the better as a person and made me feel so much more confident in my abilities as a student and as a young adult. I could try to encapsulate all of my favorite experiences in this review, but it would honestly end up reading like a novel. And besides, seeing these things in real life and learning from these amazing tutors firsthand is even better than hearing about it. The fun memories and friendships I've made from this trip will last me a lifetime.
If you are even remotely considering doing this trip, I recommend you do it. You will not regret it!!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Art History Abroad

This trip still feels like a hazy dream. I am still trying to comprehend everything that happened. This trip was truly amazing. Our schedule was always jam packed with unique things to do. They took us to places I would never find by myself like Fiesole and the Brion Tomb, which quickly became my two favorite spots on the trip.

Fiesole is now one of my favorite memories. The crowded and long bus ride made it difficult to get up there, but once we were there it was all worth it. The view overlooked Florence, a sunset, and a rainbow. I brought my guitar, so I got to play a few songs for the group while looking at that view.

I feel like a new person after this trip. I'd say my confidence and inspiration have increased. I've made some incredible friends and memories on this trip.

Yes, I recommend this program

Best trip of my life! Would recommend to anyone.

I went on the Northern Italy summer trip with AHA this past summer, and it was without a doubt one of the best experiences I have had. I have always been interested in art, but was never able to take an Art History course at my school, but that did not at all limit my ability to participate in the program. The tutors are wonderful teachers and bring excitement to every piece of art, as well as each new city you explore. After going on this trip, I have a whole new view on art and the time periods we studied. Would absolutely go on this trip again!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

2017 Gap Year Course

I had planned to do something like this for over two years and can safely say that my expectations were exceeded. I found that an unexpectedly large part of this was due to the tutors: what I found most admirable (aside from their extensive knowledge and engaging teaching methods) was their flexibility in giving students freedom to spend more time on pieces they particularly loved, while still maintaining a sense of structure and organisation. Their patience and encouragement of going outside the schedule was commendable, especially given that in comparison to other courses, AHA packs the most into the six week period. We covered a huge range of artists and topics, while also going into a considerable amount of depth.
Thank you all!!! :*****